Editor's note: Patricia McCormack's reporter's notebook -- referenced below -- was intended as a reflection on her 30-plus years working with Helen Thomas, not an endorsement of Thomas' recent public statements.

`Reporter's joke book'

This is in response to the reporter's notebook published on June 16 by Patricia McCormack.

It should have been titled "reporter's joke book." This editorial was as vile as its subject, Helen Thomas the heroine, quoting bloggers -- she told the truth. In this country we have the first amendment and thus have the right to free speech, so we have to suffer fools as a result.

What appears to be authoritative is nothing more than opinion laced with her own personal bias and prejudice as demonstrated by the editorial, printed on June 16, the same bias and outright bigotry that emanated from the lips of Helen Thomas, the same bias that seeps out of the Obama administration, the same bias that has opened the door for the radical Muslims of the world to rise up in many corners of the earth.

Helen Thomas's statements were vile, and they were not attributed to her, they were caught on film, this was not a sound bite but a dialogue that continued for several minutes. They were the words of hate, words of ignorance and vengeance, whatever she was, whoever Helen Thomas is, we know what she really thinks and that is the one truth, the only truth that matters.

To write a story, any story that depicts her in her glorious place in the history of the media in the midst of the unrest and constant attacks that not only Israel is under, but our own troops by the very same ideologues and fanatics in the Middle East is not only in bad taste, but it is downright disgusting in my opinion, both as a Jewish citizen and a military veteran.

In your career, Ms. McCormack, you are only as good as your last story, personally I hope that this is the case for you as well.

Seth Block


Long-time feelings

In response to Patricia McCormack's "reporter's notebook" on June 16 in the Fairfield Citizen:

Ms. McCormack, with all your experience and knowledge in the field of journalism it amazes me how you can have such respect for Helen Thomas. Of course she was called "the dean' of the White House press corps. For decades she had access to Presidents and many important people. Obviously she hid her true feelings about Israel and the Jews. Ms. Thomas was very straight forward and crass at times. I always got the impression that she was not a big fan of the State of Israel.

On May 27,Thomas, being employed by the Hearst Corp. and being perhaps one of the "finest" and most connected reporters in the business was captured on video spewing at the mouth: "Tell `em to get the hell out of Palestine. Remember these people are occupied and it's their land, not Germany and not Poland. Jews In Israel should go home. Back To Germany, Poland and America, and everywhere else."

Then, eight days later, on Friday, June 4, of this year, she issued a written statement as follows:

"I deeply regret my comments I made last week regarding the Israelis and the Palestinians." She said the comments "do not reflect" her "heart-felt belief that peace will come to the Middle East only when all parties recognize the need for mutual respect and tolerance."

"May that day come soon," she added.

Firstly, there was no reason for her to apologize to the Palestinians. Her anti-semitic comments were directed solely at the Jews of Israel. Secondly, how do you think her parents might have reacted if they had been told years ago to go back to Lebanon?

For someone who is considered the "dean of the White House press corps," she has a filthy mouth. This fine country, the U.S., has been kind enough to open its doors to immigrants for decades: Jews, Muslims, Dominicans, Brazilians, Italians and more. What she did was extremely irresponsible and inconsiderate. How is it possible that a fine institution such as the Hearst Corporation had an employee like Thomas?

Believe it or not, for years, Israel has been as honorable as the U.S. People from other parts of the world, e.g., Sudanese, Vietnamese, Lebanese Christians and others have all been received in Israel with open arms. In this "puny" country of about 6 1/2 million Jews, live also many Christians, Mormons, Jews for Jesus, Muslims and others. Those who live in Israel and obey the laws of the land are treated with respect and kindness. Others who believe that Israel should be destroyed and all Israelis thrown into the sea, are not treated the same.

Madame Thomas, along with many in this world, somehow believe that Jews are less equal than others. Israelis are not allowed to defend themselves. How would you or Thomas feel if your state was constantly being bombed and terrorized by maniac murderers. Is it acceptable, that since 1948, Israel hasn't had one moment of rest from death, destruction and murder at the hands of the Muslims?

Isn't it interesting that when Jordan had control over the "Palestinians" no one yelled and screamed about their occupation. What did Jordan do on that Black September day? How are women treated in the Muslim countries? People have limbs lopped off every day in many Muslim countries, including that fine example of democracy, Iran. There are over 20 Arab countries in this world and not a single one has offered residence to these "poor, destitute" Palestinians. Israel evacuates 8,000 Israelis from Gush Katif, which had been turned into a Garden of Eden and Hamas comes along and turns it into a terrorist base. Absolutely incredible.

Thomas is an example of millions of bigots around the world. She must also be showing her true colors. The world so fears the Muslims that they are willing to throw Israel to the wolves. "She should still generate income on the on the speaker's circuit." Interesting how you can revere such a person. Perhaps you should rethink your opinion. There was a time when anti-semitism and anti-Israel were considered two different things. Today that is not the case. One final question--how is it that 8 days passed until Ms. Thomas felt it was necessary to apologize?

Comments, due to old age? Not possible. Long-time feelings that she kept reasonably hidden. Yes.

Stephen Rubin


Good riddance

To the headline on the opinion piece (June 16) about Helen Thomas -- "Real pioneer, great reporter" -- I would add, "Good riddance." Her last story revealed a rather loathsome person who, for years, masqueraded as an objective reporter.

Dick Lowenstein