Friday, March 07, 2003
A new era begins: If you've watched presidential press conferences any time in the past couple dozen years, it's become tradition for the first question to be asked by the "elder stateswoman" of the White House press corps, Helen Thomas. For many decades, Thomas worked for UPI, but when the ownership changed, she quit and was hired by Hearst Newspapers. No longer really a reporter, Thomas writes a syndicated column.
Last night, tradition ended. President Bush, not only didn't call on Thomas first. He didn't call on her at all.
It's really no wonder, when you consider what Thomas has said in recent months. Earlier this week she asked White House spokesman Ari Fleischer: "Why does the president want to kill Iraqi civilians?" Fleischer, to his credit, didn't slap the old bat upside the head. But, are these sorts of outrageous, hysterical, and criminally stupid questions the type that you would want to answer, as president, at a press conference called with the sole purpose of preparing the country for war -- a serious war?
Helen, get used to it.