Remember the good that Helen Thomas did in seven decades
After seven decades of setting standards for quality journalism and demolishing barriers for women in the workplace, Helen Thomas has now shown that most dreaded of vulnerabilities -- she is human.
The Patron Saint of White House Correspondents -- the person most feared by many a president on the eve of a news conference -- has uttered hurtful comments about Israel. They have cost Ms. Thomas her job [news story, June 7], have diminished her reputation and prompted criticism of her on The Post's op-ed page -- all appropriate. Yet, who among us does not have strong feelings about the endless warfare in the Middle East? Who among us has not said something we have come to regret?
And who among us does not admire Ms. Thomas for what she stood for journalistically and what she accomplished for America through her healthy curiosity and skepticism as America's premier White House correspondent?
Ms. Thomas offered a sincere and meaningful apology. We should accept it and continue to appreciate all she has meant to journalism, women and America.
While on a different scale, last week's botched call at the end of a perfect game in Detroit ironically became a fine example of man's humanity toward man. Umpire Jim Joyce realized his mistake and apologized to Detroit pitcher Armando Galarraga. The pitcher accepted the apology, and both his team and his city responded in kind. What a lesson in how to conduct yourself in the face of controversy.
We didn't kill the umpire then. Let's not destroy Ms. Thomas now.
In her apology, Ms. Thomas said, "I deeply regret my comments I made last week regarding the Israelis and the Palestinians. They do not reflect my heart-felt belief that peace will come to the Middle East only when all parties recognize the need for mutual respect and tolerance. May that day come soon."
Michael Freedman, Washington
The writer is a former managing editor for United Press International.