So Helen Thomas retired in “disgrace” after giving an opinion nobody should have been surprised by. When I initially saw the video my first thought was, “Wow! I bet nobody else has seen this yet…” Five pages into a “Helen Thomas” Google search later I was reminded yet again that the only time people I scoop are those living in the Arctic tundra (who have no access to the internet).

Anywho, as many of may have seen by now, I posted that because she happened to be voicing an opinion that many in mainstream media are sympathetic to, in all likelihood nothing would come of us and yet another liberal would go on saying crazy nonsense and not get punished for it. Well I’m a big enough man to admit when I am a victim of my own cynicism, so I humbly admit, I was wrong. Within 72 hours of that video going viral Helen Thomas was “resigned”. If you’re a liberal it’s a sad day for journalism and if you’re a conservative you are singing, “Ding dong the witch is dead.” Having said all that I’ve done some reflecting about this incident and here’s what I’ve come up with:

Despite my ardent and unwavering support for Israel, I’m not convinced Helen Thomas did anything wrong per se. What she said is wrong, in that the content is anti-semitic and outrageous but the fact that she said something provocative and outrageous is a reflection of modern journalism and the culture at large. If we’re being fair and intellectually honest, neither liberals nor conservatives or any other modern celebrity ever gets seriously punished for being controversial, provocative or outrageous. Oh sure some have gotten fired from a gig or two but then they either bounce back with a better gig or simply continue with whatever is their main bread. For the most part, said individuals either get rewarded or ignored; it’s like the old saying that even negative publicity is good publicity. Let’s look at some examples:

In early 2009 Nancy Pelosi repeatedly said, “Five hundred million people will lose their jobs each month until we have an economic package.” Last time I checked she’s still the Speaker of the House. Many in the country will even argue that despite outrageous statements like this, she’s very much in touch with reality.

Later that year, Sarah Palin uttered this on her Facebook page, “The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s “death panel” so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their “level of productivity in society,” whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.” Meanwhile, Palin still enjoys relative mainstream popularity today among conservatives.

Here’s one that’s a real doosey. To a question about “Christian terrorists” blowing people up in America, Tavis Smiley stated, “Yes, Oh, Christians, every day, people walk into post offices, they walk into schools, that’s what Columbine is – I could do this all day long … There are so many more examples, Aryan, of Christians who do that than you could ever give me examples of Muslims who have done that [blow people up] inside this country, where you live and work.” To date this guy still has a job with PBS (your tax dollars at work) and I’m sure he will for the foreseeable future.

While I tend to agree with Rush Limbaugh, he too has said some things that were insane and yet he still has a the most successful AM radio show in modern history. Here’s one brilliant utterance from the mouth that roared, “God does not have a birth certificate. Neither does Obama.” This was not one of his brighter or funnier comments.

Even President Obama says things that are insane and I’ll bet that barring any unforeseen calamity, he still will command a hefty lot of re-election votes. “I mean, I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money.”

I could cite more but I think you all get the point. Outrageous statements and behavior seldom draw condemnation but rather applause and maybe even a prize. Imus once made remarks about “nappy-headed” female basketball players and eventually he got a better gig on satellite radio for more money. Howard Stern has made a career out of that sort of thing.

My point is that Helen Thomas was only behaving in a way that has been rewarded by society over and over again. We Americans love it when a celebrity goes nuts and says something that gets half of our knickers in a twist.

Now, if we as a society would like our reporters and professional talking heads to actually be conscientious about what they are saying and not immediately say the most outrageous thing that comes to their mind, then we have to stop voting with our dollars for the silliest of content. The “news” shows that garner the highest ratings are the ones with the most histrionic, shrieking and irresponsible opinions. When we as a society stop watching crap, then crap will stop flying out of the mouths of our celebrities (in theory). Until then, I say give Helen Thomas back her job and seat on Obama’s lap for her troubles.

I’ll be talking about this and more on my new show The Whiskey Rebellion June 8th at 8:00 PM eastern time. Feel free to call in and disagree Call-in Number: (646) 915-8862

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