President Bush's former flak was quick over the weekend to demand that Hearst newspaper columnist Helen Thomas be fired from her job because of comments she made about Jews getting the “hell” out of Palestine and returning to their homelands of Poland and Germany and America. (Thomas later apologized for the comments.)
Note that Fleischer didn't simply urge that Thomas' White House press credential to be revoked. He announced Thomas no longer had a right to be employed as an opinion writer. Period.
But if Fleischer and the rest of the other right-media figures who flipped out over Thomas' comments are suddenly in charge of who should and should not have jobs in the world of opinion media based on offensive comments they make, than when is Fleischer going to start calling on Clear Channel to fire Rush Limbaugh and for Fox News to cut its ties with Glenn Beck? Because let's state the obvious: Both men have an audio and video trail of hateful and offensive comments that absolutely lap, many times over, whatever controversial statements Thomas has made in recent years.
Here's a sampling of recent insane comments the two men have made, many of which portray the President of the United States and/or Democrats as un-American at best, and a murderous monsters determined to destroy America from within, at worst:
So why the double standard Ari? Why should Thomas lose her job as an opinion commentator for offensive comments, but Limbaugh and Beck should keep their jobs for often portraying the president as a murderer? And note that unlike Thomas, the men virtually never apologize for their hate speech. So why won't you say boo about them Ari?
That's why I found this blustery, right-wing media crusade against Thomas comical, if only because it's being championed by the same people who worship Limbaugh and Beck and the relentless hate they spew. Sorry folks in the far-right media, but you long ago abandoned any high ground when you turned those two hate merchants into spokesmen for your movement. Your standing to critique others in terms of 'offensive' speech stands at less than zero.
UPDATED: Chris Matthews has in recent weeks famously challenged any Republicans to appear on his show to openly disagree with anything Rush Limbaugh says on his radio program. (Matthews has had no takers.) Only after people like Fleischer take Matthews up on his offer will they be taken seriously when lecturing the rest of us about what's offensive, and who should and should not have jobs in the world of opinion media.