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Quotes of the day: Helen Thomas
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Published Monday, August 03, 2015 @ 1:16 PM EDT
Aug 03 2015

Helen Amelia Thomas (August 4, 1920 – July 20, 2013) was an American author and news service reporter, member of the White House press corps and opinion columnist. She worked for the United Press and post-1958 successor United Press International (UPI) for 57 years, first as a correspondent, and later as White House bureau manager. She was a columnist for Hearst Newspapers from 2000 to 2010, writing on national affairs and the White House. She covered the administrations of eleven U.S. presidents- from the final years of the Eisenhower administration to the second year of the Obama administration. Thomas was the first female officer of the National Press Club, the first female member and president of the White House Correspondents' Association and the first female member of the Gridiron Club. She wrote six books; her last, with co-author Craig Crawford, was Listen Up, Mr. President: Everything You Always Wanted Your President to Know and Do (2009). Thomas retired from Hearst Newspapers on June 7, 2010, following controversial comments she made about Israel and the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)

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All presidents rail against the press. It goes with the turf.

Everyone with a cell phone thinks they're a photographer. Everyone with a laptop thinks they're a journalist. But they have no training, and they have no idea of what we keep to in terms of standards, as in what's far out and what's reality. And they have no dedication to truth.

I don't think a tough question is disrespectful.

I suppose that's democracy really. But everybody with a laptop thinks they're a journalist these days. That's a problem.

I think I'll work all my life. When you're having fun, why stop having fun?

If we care about the children, the grandchildren, the future generations, we need to make sure that they do not become the cannon fodder of the future.

It should be mandatory that every president would read the Constitution. Too many swear to uphold the Constitution and then make end runs around it.

It's become the incredible shrinking presidency in terms of access, and in my opinion, we are all being shortchanged.

Life is too short to drink the house wine.

(Reporters) are not there to curry presidential favor, nor can we respond to efforts at presidential intimidation. Our priority is the peoples' right to know- without fear or favor. We are the peoples' servants.

The White House used to belong to the American people. At least that's what I learned from history books and from covering every president starting with John F. Kennedy. But now the 201-year-old Executive Mansion belongs only to a select, elitist group of people, including top government officials, members of Congress and the press corps. They and some others, all of whom are screened in advance, are welcome. But most people are not- not anymore.

We don't go into journalism to be popular. It is our job to seek the truth and put constant pressure on our leaders until we get answers.

We in the press have a special role since there is no other institution in our society that can hold the President accountable. I do believe that our democracy can endure and prevail only if the American people are informed.

We won`t really know what will happen until it happens.

You don't spread democracy through the barrel of a gun.

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(August 4 is also the birthday of Louis Armstrong and Barack Obama.)


Categories: Helen Thomas, Quotes of the day


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