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Helen Thomas Cries, Denies Anti-Semitism, Calls President Obama 'Reprehensible'

Asked whether she's anti-Semitic, she responded "Baloney!" She said she wants to be remembered for "integrity and my honesty and my belief in good journalism" and would like to work again.

Associated Press/Huffington Post

Helen Thomas

In a radio interview, former White House correspondent Helen Thomas acknowledges she touched a nerve with remarks about Israel that led to her retirement. But she says the comments were "exactly what I thought," even though she realized soon afterward that it was the end of her job.

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"I hit the third rail. You cannot criticize Israel in this country and survive," Thomas told Ohio station WMRN-AM in a sometimes emotional 35-minute interview that aired Tuesday (Oct 12). It was recorded a week earlier by WMRN reporter Scott Spears at Thomas' Washington, D.C., condominium.

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Does Anyone Object to U.S. Drone Wars in Pakistan?

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  • Apparently not, although there are obviously fundamental questions about this policy--such as whether or not it's legal.
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  • America Detached from War
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  • Can the New York Times Count—or Quote—Peace Activists?
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Peter Hart, Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting

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Apparently not, judging by the Washington Post's October 3 story ("Military Drones Aid CIA's mission") about the CIA's expansion of its drone war in Pakistan. It is "part of a high-stakes attempt by the Obama administration to deal decisive blows to Taliban insurgents," and also  "a significant evolution of an already controversial targeted killing program."

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Post readers get details from "a U.S. official"--who says things like, "Our intelligence has gotten a lot better." The only other perspective comes from Bruce Reidel at Brookings, who is "a former CIA analyst who led the Obama administration's initial overhaul of its Afghanistan/Pakistan strategy." In other words, not much of a critic.

There are obviously fundamental questions about this policy--such as whether it's legal, something Jim Lobe wrote about recently for Inter Press Service (4/2/10).

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America Detached from War, Tom Engelhardt, TomDispatch
Bush’s Pilotless Dream, Smoking Drones, and Other Strange Tales from the Crypt

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Can the New York Times Count—or Quote—Peace Activists? Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting

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  • The rallies held in Washington were not the first time the paper downplayed peace activism.
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  • Action Alert
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Can the New York Times Count—or Quote—Peace Activists?

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  • The rallies held in Washington were not the first time the paper downplayed peace activism.
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  • Action Alert
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Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting<>

Since the September 11 terrorist attacks, the New York Times has downplayed and distorted peace rallies and demonstrations against a military response.

After thousands of anti-war activists gathered in Washington, D.C. on September 29, the Times responded with a 10-sentence story, under the headline "Protesters in Washington Urge Peace with Terrorists." Given that a call for bringing terrorists to justice through non-military means was central to the rallies, the headline is a gross mischaracterization of the protesters' message.

The Times also misreported other basic facts, like the size of the crowd in Washington. The Times estimated that a "few hundred protesters" were on hand, while the official police estimate was 7,000 (Washington Post, 9/30/01). One only had to watch the live coverage on C-SPAN to know the Times was way off.

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Action Alert: Please call on the New York Times to improve its coverage of the peace movement by including the perspectives of anti-war activists in its reporting about the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks. (New York Times 229 West 43rd St. New York, NY 10036-3959 nytnews@nytimes.com Toll free comment line: 1-888-NYT-NEWS)

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Haiti: 1,000 dead, who cares?

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  • Haiti and media hypocrisy
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  • Haiti: The white curse
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Sokari Ekine, New Internationalist

A leaked email from a BBC editor highlights the Western media’s lack of interest in Haiti.

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David Edwards writes:

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“The whistleblower’s editor had listed several stories which he described as “not that interesting”, followed by the comment: “Dull stories - every one of them, don’t you think?” These were the stories:

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  • “The leading anti-drugs judge in Afghanistan has been assassinated.
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  • “There’s been an angry reaction in France following the magazine publication of photos of Taleban fighters displaying trophies they’d stripped from French soldiers killed in an ambush.
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  • “The authorities in Haiti say the number of those killed in the wake of Tropical Storm Hanna has risen to more than sixty.
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  • “A United Nations report says the world’s wealthiest countries are failing to deliver on their promises to boost development aid.”
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Haiti: The white curse, Eduardo Galeano, New Internationalist
Haiti is a country that has been thrown away, as an eternal punishment of its dignity. There it lies, like scrap metal. It awaits the hands of its people.

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