Lanny Davis, Clinton adviser and stalwart Democrat, joins Ari Fleischer in calling for Helen Thomas to be booted. He has released a statement, which reads:
Helen Thomas, who I used to consider a close friend and who I used to respect, has showed herself to be an anti-Semitic bigot. This not about her disagreement about her criticisms of Israel. She has a right to criticize Israel and that is not the same as being an anti-Semite.
However, her statement that Jews in Israel should leave Israel and go back to Poland or Germany is an ancient and well-known anti-Semitic stereotype of the Alien Jew not belonging in the “land of Israel” — one that began 2,600 years with the first tragic and violent diaspora of the Jews at the hands of the Romans.
If she had asked all Blacks to go back to Africa, what would White House Correspondents Association position be as to whether she deserved White House press room credentials — much less a privileged honorary seat?
Does anyone doubt that my friends Ann Compton, head of the WHCA, and Joe Lockhart, who believe in the First Amendment right of free expression as much as I do, would be as tolerant and protective of Helen’s privileges and honors in the White House press room as they appear to be if she had been asking Blacks to return to Africa? Or Native Americans to Asia and South America, from which they came 8,000 or more years ago? I doubt it.
Of course Helen has the right as a private citizen under the First Amendment to speak her mind, even as an anti-Jewish bigot — but not as a member, much less privileged member with a reserved seat, in the WH press corps.
See, that wasn’t so hard. Where is the rest of the media, the White House Correspondents Association, and the White House? As to the latter, no response to my inquiry has been forthcoming. Perhaps, the White House is hoping — you know, like with the BP spill — that it can dodge responsibility for this one. But it is their credentials Helen Thomas uses and their briefing room in which she sits. What say you, Mr. President?
UPDATE: Helen Thomas gets dumped by her agent.