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Helen Thomas (August 4, 1920 – July 20, 2013)
by Steven Argue
Saturday Jul 20th, 2013 10:58 PM
"Her refusal to conceal her strong opinions, even when posing questions to a president, and her public hostility toward Israel, caused discomfort among colleagues." -An unintended tribute from FOX News
Helen Thomas (August 4, 1920 – July 20, 2013)

Due to the intervention of Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, Helen Thomas was the first woman officer at the U.S. National Press Club in 1959. Women were barred as members, but she fought for admission. Nikita Khrushchev came to her aid, refusing to speak at a luncheon scheduled by National Press Club unless its ban on women was lifted.

In 2003 Helen Thomas said of the Bush invasion of Iraq, “I thought it was wrong to invade a country without any provocation.”

While never being a revolutionary, Helen Thomas was an outspoken member of the press corp who questioned presidents from John F. Kennedy to Barack Obama. In doing so she attempted to ask the hard questions in press conferences. She was finding that job more and more difficult to do as press conferences have become more tightly controlled by the presidents to convey their desired propaganda message. Of all the presidents who manipulated those gatherings to get the questions they wanted, she said Obama was the worst, stating he was "even worse than Nixon" and going on to say:

“I’m not saying there has never been managed news before, but this is carried to fare-thee-well--for the town halls, for the press conferences. It’s blatant. They don’t give a damn if you know it or not. They ought to be hanging their heads in shame.”

Eventually, Obama used the elderly Helen Thomas's outspoken support for the oppressed Palestinian people to trip her up and destroy her career.

Yet today even Barack Obama had to recognize the contributions of Helen Thomas to journalism stating, "Helen was a true pioneer, opening doors and breaking down barriers for generations of women in journalism". Of course, Obama failed to mention how Nikita Khrushchev helped her start that career and Obama's work to destroy it.

-Steven Argue of the Revolutionary Tendency

On a related topic, see my article:
For Women’s Liberation through Socialist Revolution!