- The Washington Times - Monday, June 14, 2010

Disgraced reporter Helen Thomas‘ May 27 rant that Israelis should “get the hell out of Palestine” and go back to Germany or Poland brought justifiable condemnation in some circles. The Society of Professional Journalists is considering renaming its Helen Thomas Award for Lifetime Achievement, and Bethesda’s Walt Whitman High School withdrew its invitation for Ms. Thomas to be its commencement speaker this week. Even President Obama belatedly admitted, “Her comments were offensive.” Too bad the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence doesn’t agree.

On May 18, the Brady Campaign presented Ms. Thomas with the Sarah Brady Visionary Award. As of last night, the organization’s website still had a glowing article posted that referred to Ms. Thomas as “indefatigable,” and carried four photos of her schmoozing at the anti-gun gala. Not only is it surprising that the campaign hasn’t scrubbed its website of this embarrassment, it’s startling that Ms. Thomas was tapped for the award in the first place because this wasn’t the first time she’s made outrageous statements against Jews and Israel.

In 2006, Ms. Thomas delivered a long diatribe during a White House press briefing accusing the United States for having “gone for collective punishment against all of Lebanon and Palestine,” to which then-presidential spokesman Tony Snow responded: “Well, thank you for the Hezbollah view.” In 2002, Mark Rabin, a former freelance cameraman for CNN, had a conversation with Ms. Thomas in which she reportedly said, “Thank God for Hezbollah” for driving Israel out of Lebanon, adding that, “Israel is the cause for 99 percent of all this terrorism.” The Daily Caller related a 2004 speech that Ms. Thomas gave at the Al-Hewar Center, a Washington-based Arab organization, where she “likened Palestinian protesters to the anti-Nazi resistance.”

Ms. Thomas‘ recent acceptance speech for the Brady Campaign award received boisterous applause when she accused the Supreme Court of opening the door to “Murder Incorporated” by striking down Washington, D.C.’s gun ban, a decision she said let people “feel free to kill.” She went on to spit out the absurdity that, “We can expose the real intent of the NRA and gun sales - it’s all called ‘money.’ ” The Sarah Brady Award is supposedly bestowed on visionaries. If the campaign doesn’t publicly rescind Ms. Thomas‘ award, it is enabling some dark visions.