Eleanor Clift has a column defending Helen Thomas that opens with the following dishonest claim:
Google “good riddance to Helen Thomas,” and you get 41,700 results, more than enough to get the gist of the blogosphere’s general disdain for the 89-year-old doyenne who was a fixture in the White House press room going back to the Kennedy administration.
I don’t know what version of Google Eleanor is using, but when I did the same search, I got 472 results — just over 1% the number claimed by Clift. Oh, and the first result in that search? You guessed it: Clift’s own column.
Maybe her problem was not putting the phrase in quotes? No, that’s not it either. If you remove the quotation marks (which would give you results that don’t contain the actual phrase in question), you get 18,400 results — still fewer than half the number claimed by Clift.
Nope, still not 41,700
Much of the commentary reflects revulsion at Thomas’s characterization of the Palestinian issue as something that could be solved if Jews left the Palestine territories and went back to where they came from.
She was talking about the settlers, and if she had said they should go back to Brooklyn, where many of them are from, she probably wouldn’t have made news.
She wasn’t talking about the settlers. If she had been, she would have said they could go back to “Israel” and not to “Germany and Poland.” See, as a proponent of what Tony Snow labeled the “Hezbollah view,” when Helen Thomas says the Jews need to get the hell out of “Palestine,” she is talking about Israel as well as the settlements.
The rest of Clift’s column is the typical rubbish about Thomas’s longevity. So what?
Incidentally, the phrase “good riddance to Eleanor Clift” (with quotation marks) had no results when I performed it in doing research for this post. That should change, however, with the publication of this post.
Thanks to Eric Blair.