Helen Thomas Replies ‘Hell No’ To Question of Liberal Media Bias

July 22nd, 2008 3:47 PM

Helen Thomas, Former UPI White Correspondent | NewsBusters.orgJeff Dufour and Patrick Gavin, in the Tuesday edition of the Washington Examiner’s "Yeas & Nays" feature, reported that Helen Thomas gave a vehement denial of whether the media, and the White House press corps in particular, has a liberal bent. "Yeas & Nays got a sneak peak at Rory Kennedy’s new HBO documentary -- ‘Thank You, Mr. President: Helen Thomas at The White House’ -- which premieres next month, and Thomas is asked whether most White House reporters are liberal. ‘Hell no!’ she responds. ‘I’m dying to find another liberal open their mouths. Where are they!’ This is the second day in a row that Dufour and Gavin have reported on interesting quotations from members of the mainstream media.

During the documentary, Thomas went on to accuse the press of treating Former President Bill Clinton oppressively, especially during his second term. "[Thomas] exhibited great empathy for what President Clinton went through during the Monica Lewinsky scandal. ‘I don’t know how he could have taken what he took,’ said Thomas. ‘For reporters, it was a story you couldn’t avoid as much as you’d like to,’ but ‘no president has been subjected to that type of tyranny.’"

Perhaps Helen Thomas has high standards as to what defines a liberal, but one need only to look at one current and one former member of the White House press corps to cast doubt on her assertion that she is the only liberal member of the corps. During an episode of the syndicated "The Chris Matthews Show" in February 2006, Chris Matthews asked David Gregory, the White House correspondent for NBC News, "Reporters who hang around the White House, like you do, everyday of your lives. Is there a sense in the group that this guy's a winner or a loser? Just as a politician?" Gregory declared that the "overriding sense in the press corps is that, that he's [President Bush] losing."

CNN’s John Roberts, a former White House correspondent for CBS News, had Scott McClellan on as a guest when the former Bush White House spokesman’s "tell-all" book was about to be released in May 2008. Roberts, responding to an excerpt from McClellan’s book, declared, "[McClellan] finally articulates what we all came to believe...and further goes on to say that this war was unnecessary."

Roberts voiced similar sentiments about the Iraq War during his time at the White House. During a July 30, 2003 press conference with President Bush, he asked, "The world is a better place, and the region certainly a better place, without Saddam Hussein. But there's a sense here in this country, and a feeling around the world, that the U.S. has lost credibility by building the case for Iraq upon sometimes flimsy or, some people have complained, nonexistent evidence. I'm just wondering sir, why did you choose to take the world to war in that way?"