In a radio interview this week, former White House correspondent Helen Thomas acknowledges she touched a nerve with remarks about Israel that led to her retirement. But she says the comments were “exactly what I thought,” even though she realized soon afterward that it was the end of her job.
“I hit the third rail. You cannot criticize Israel in this country and survive,” Thomas told Ohio station WMRN in a sometimes emotional 35-minute interview that aired Oct. 12.
Thomas, 90, stepped down from her job as a columnist for Hearst News Service in June after a rabbi and independent filmmaker videotaped her outside the White House calling on Israelis to “get the hell out of Palestine.” She gave up her front row seat in the White House press room, where she had aimed often pointed questions at 10 presidents.
She has kept a low profile since then. “(It was) very hard for the first two weeks,” she said.
Asked whether she’s anti-Semitic, she responded “Baloney!” She said she wants to be remembered for “integrity and my honesty and my belief in good journalism” and would like to work again. — ap