Saturday, March 29, 2008

I Heart Helen Thomas

Helen Thomas delivered WAM's opening keynote address last night - and wow! Ann Friedman introduced this White House Press Corp trailblazer as "the patron saint of not shutting up" because of her courageousness to ask tough questions to US presidents.

True to her reputation of being authentic and bold, Helen delivered a powerful speech - which I wish I could share with you in full here. Lacking the full transcript, I leave you with these quick quips and food for thought from her speech that exemplify why I heart Helen Thomas:

On the 2008 Presidential Election in the US:
We are facing the dichtomy of our prejudices in our next presidential election.

What's wrong with diversity? What's wrong with division? Do we all need to be in lockstep?

On the Iraq War:
My solution: Get out of Iraq - yesterday. Bring in UN peacekeepers...Allow Iraqis who collaborated with us and whose live are now in danger to come inte our country.

We want a world where the weak are secure and the strong are just.

I've reserved my greatest criticism for Congress and the Press.

On Presidents & the Press:
Too much is at stake to throw the president a softball [question].

Presidents have to be watched.

I look at the president - you're a public servant. I pay your salary. [On havingt the courage to ask critical questions.]

What Public Figures Have Had to Say About Helen Thomas:
Castro, on the difference between Cuban and US media -
I don't have to answer questions to Helen Thomas.
Colin Powell, when approached with a difficult question at a reception -
Isn't there a war we could send her to?

Inspiration for Women Leaders:
Outrage is my adrenaline.

We should never look back in anger or revenge and should instead move forward.

Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

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