White House Correspondents Association refuses table to Helen Thomas at upcoming dinner – on 50th anniversary of allowing women journalists to attend, a breakthrough accomplished by Helen
I just sent the following message to the president of the White House Correspondents Association about their decision to refuse to allow Helen Thomas to purchase a table at their upcoming dinner. I hope others will contact them about this, also. (202-266-7453 phone; 202-266-7454 fax)
Dear Caren Bohan,
I hope you will reconsider your decision not to allow Helen Thomas to purchase a table at this year's White House Correspondents Association's Dinner. As you are aware, this will be the 50th anniversary of women journalists being allowed to attend this dinner – a breakthrough created by Helen Thomas.
Thomas wrote to your organization with a small, extremely appropriate request: "As the first woman president to preside over the WHCA, and one of a few women who were instrumental in successfully convincing President Kennedy to boycott the dinner, it is very important to me to celebrate the 50th anniversary of this monumental feat with my family and close friends this year."
I have read that Secretary of the WHCA Julie Mason explained your denial of a table to Ms. Thomas' because "it would be 'logistically impossible' to allow every past WHCA president to get their own table."
However, as you and she are no doubt aware, this is not a request based on Thomas' position as a past president of the WHCA; it is a request based on her unique, historical contribution.
In addition to breaking numerous barriers to women journalists, Thomas spent decades providing profoundly important reporting. It is for this reason that so many organizations honored her though the years with a multitude of awards, scholarships in her name, and honorary degrees -- many of which have now been taken away through the vengeful, mean-spirited campaign waged against her by such Israel apologists as Ari Fleischer and Abraham Foxman (please see The Manufactured Controversy Over Former Senior White House Correspondent Helen Thomas.)
I feel there is little doubt that if Thomas had not offended Israel partisans, your organization would be particularly celebrating her at the upcoming dinner, not denying her small request.
Given Ms. Thomas' age and health, this may be your organization's last chance to honor her in person. Please reconsider your timid, highly inappropriate refusal to allow her to purchase a table – a truly minimal request.
President, Council for the National Interest
Executive Director, If Americans Knew
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