Brave, progressive former White House correspondent Helen Thomas, who was what many consider unfairly forced out of her job, is now writing again for a Washington, DC area newspaper, the Falls Church News Press.
Now age 90, Thomas began her journalistic career in 1942 and has covered every U.S. president one a day-to-day basis as a White House correspondent since 1960. She declared her retirement abruptly on June 8, 2010 following a firestorm of criticism that arose from spontaneous taped comments she made the day before that some claimed to be anti-Semitic.
But in a statement also published in today's edition, News-Press owner-editor Nicholas F. Benton writes that, as one who has known Ms. Thomas since 1991, "She is progressive, and following my more than eight hours of direct, one-on-one talks with her since the events of last June, I remain firmly convinced that she is neither bigoted, nor racist, nor anti-Semitic."
He added, "I am proud that a journalist of the stature and professionalism of Helen Thomas is relaunching her career, in her ninetieth year no less, in my newspaper. She more than deserves, and I am honored to help provide her the proverbial 'second chance.
Her first column ran today and deals with social security. Here is an except:
This year, 2011, marks the beginning of baby boomers receiving Social Security checks and they should be alerted of past perennial Republican attempts to partially privatize the program.
Heaven forbid that plans prevail to invest a certain amount of those checks in the stock market, as many pension plans have taken a bath in the current meltdown. While there have been past GOP plans to partially privatize the program, fortunately they have all failed. So far the Social Security trust fund remains tempting for the gamblers and other risk takers on the market.
In this age of corporate and lobbyist control, we need strong journalists like Helen Thomas. I'm glad she has a byline again!