So… Helen Thomas just plain blew it. Late in the game, she lost her greatest potential.
Dammit… Things, aren’t supposed to turn out this way. So, we need to seek and divine the lessons best learned, here.
Many people abuse their position or authority, both accidentally and with grim purpose. However, it’s more like a cardinal sin if a journalist does such a thing. Especially if yours is a voice for the ages, like that of madame Thomas.
Thomas was influential in my life because she offered a unique opinion; and, that of a pioneering female, a daughter of immigrants, and with a force of will few will ever match.
I won’t bother with a background story of my own, here. I will only add that I first met Thomas when I visited Capital Hill in 1987 after having read her book: Dateline: Whitehouse. I had some questions, so I sought her out. It’s that simple really. This is, amongst other things, what Prudent Gentlemen do.
While serving as White House Bureau Chief, she authored a regular column for UPI, “Backstairs at the White House,” which provided an insider’s view of various presidential administrations. Thomas was the only member of the White House press corps to have her own seat in the White House Briefing Room. All other seats are assigned to media outlets.
So, I found myself calling and emailing her from time-to-time for the odd insight (she sounds just like she looks like she’s supposed to). She was always terrific, if possibly overly-thorough with her views. She always wanted to make sure I agreed. I often did not. And, I believe she managed to appreciate that about me.
So long Helen Thomas, we won’t be seeing (the same way) you.
I supposed I’m bothered mostly because one possible epitaph for this hearty and ferocious woman might be: “She didn’t finish well”.
I’m not certain if much else could be more important.
Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.
Brian Patrick Cork