Helen Thomas, of All People, on Media Love-Ins

By Jack Engelhard

 

I’ve never been a fan of Helen Thomas (her rants against Israel, for starters) but this time she’s got me on her side. Good for her! While the rest of her colleagues in the press keep fawning over the Administration, Thomas literally stood up against all the media manipulation going on when, in a heated exchange with press secretary Robert Gibbs, she said that she’d never seen anything like this – this sort of “management” of the news.

 

Thomas, who’s been a White House correspondent since the days of JFK, came straight out with it in follow-up interviews, saying, “What the hell do they think we are, puppets?” Well, yes, judging from all the giggling that usually occurs at what are supposed to be press briefings but which sound more like press Love-Ins.

 

“It’s blatant,” said Thomas, speaking also about those town-hall set-ups that appear to be so rigged.

 

Speaking of blatant, as well as corruption, here comes the Washington Post. Yes, the Washington Post that we used to admire since the days of Woodward and Bernstein. Well forget that. The word is out that elements within that newspaper were selling access to White House power brokers at a price ranging from $25,000 to $250,000. Buy a cabinet member, a congressman?

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Liberals Sulking Over Me

By Jack Engelhard

 

The man said “I’ve been looking you up” and that sounded ominous and then he said “I’ve been reading you” and that sounded like a threat, which it was. “I’ll bet you’re a big fan of Ann Coulter,” he smirked, and when they smirk like that they remind me of Bill Maher – but hello indeed on Ann Coulter for the legs and the brains. I may be switching to Pamela Geller for her beauty and brains and also to maintain my letch credentials.

 

“I can see why you’ve been favorably compared to Hemingway,” the man said – but as we all know, no good deed or compliment goes unpunished.

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This is Getting Ghoulish (Michael Jackson)

By Jack Engelhard

 

Jonas Salk was never mourned like this – and he cured the world of polio.

 

No disrespect to Michael Jackson the pop star, pay him whatever tributes you wish, but I wonder how many other Jacksons live and die good ordinary lives and yet we do not call out their names. I wonder how many Michael Jacksons there are in our military, in harms way right this minute in Iraq and Afghanistan, who serve without recognition.

 

This wall to wall coverage, these mobs grieving over an entertainer, all of it, in such excess, approaches ghoulishness. The last time this happened was when silent screen idol Valentino died young and, as H.L. Mencken tells it, Valentino was startled by his fame and uncomfortable in his skin as a sex symbol — so surely he would have been horrified by the multitudes who grieved his death.

 

Obviously many of us lead lives of “quiet desperation” (Thoreau), so we live vicariously, through the lives of others, mostly entertainers and athletes. Nathanael West covered this in his Hollywood novel “The Day of the Locust,” about those lonely people who have turned fetish in their adoration of celebrities, alive or dead. Their sorrow becomes dangerous when it marches as a mob. 

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