The Right-Wing Helen Thomas
The matriarch of the White House press corps only dreams she could ask questions as biased as those of WorldNetDaily's Les Kinsolving.
By Terry Krepel
If there is one face that comes to mind when conservatives think of the "liberal media," that would be Helen Thomas, who's been a part of the White House press corps for, well, just about forever.
A CNSNews.com columnist calls her "smug and disrespectful"; a CNS attempt at humor depicts her in "soiled Depends undergarments"; Michelle Malkin attacks her as a "crusty ex-journalist-turned-White House heckler"; WorldNetDaily's Joseph Farah called her "this witch ... this tired, old battle ax" and, in a true pot-kettle-black moment, lumped her with "partisan political activists masquerading as objective news professionals" (though he also offered her a job when she left UPI after the Moonies bought it); NewsMax complains about the "astonishingly biased, cynical babble of the bizarre Helen Thomas and her cronies" and her "launching into diatribes at President Bush rather than just asking a question"; The Media Research Center whined that she "harangued" Ari Fleischer, takes one of its many, many whacks at Bill Clinton because he once "effusely praised" Thomas and had a "Media Reality Check" dedicated to her; and NewsMax's ever-helpful Norman Liebmann chips in: "Helen Thomas may be the first person ever to require a cosmetic autopsy. She already looks like a first attempt by a student embalmer."
Helen Thomas, meet Les Kinsolving.
CNSNews.com reproduced his line of questioning about the Jesse Dirkhising case. NewsMax calls him "irrepressible" and "legendary." The MRC's Brent Baker, complaining about "another left-wing harangue from ... Helen Thomas," had this to say: " If the rest of the White House press corps had any self respect they’d show disdain for her and laugh the second she starts to speak. If they won’t, it suggests they don’t think her views are unreasonable. After all, they often laugh at the questions posed by the conservative Les Kinsolving."
Well, Brent, the reason people laugh is that Kinsolving is more biased than Thomas could ever hope to be. We know that because we can browse through his repository of questions at WND. Here are a few of these loaded, slanted gems:
-- Following a report that John Kerry swore at a Secret Service agent after running into him on a ski slope: "... you can assure us, can't you, Scott, that the president will take some action to assure that no more Secret Service agents be subjected to such vile abuse by Democrat nominee, Kerry?" And his follow-up: "A new book has just been published, written by John Podhoretz of the New York Post and Fox News. It's entitled, "Bush Country: How Dubya Became a Great President While Driving Liberals Insane." And my question, is the president familiar with this book, and if so, does he like it?"
-- "Since many of the families who provide a lot of our armed services recruits are religious, what does the president, as commander in chief, believe would be the effect on recruiting of the Kerry plan for openly advertising and practicing sodomist sergeants and commissioned officers?"
-- "Both the New York Times and the Washington Post reviews of "The Passion of the Christ" were very strongly negative. Despite that, you told us the president plans to see it, as did the largest winter opening day audience in American history. And my question: Since these two newspapers often pan the president, like they panned "The Passion," would you deny this is a sign of their notably waning influence?"
-- "Do you believe that the predominantly Democrat big-media coverage of Mr. Kerry's association with Jane Fonda and their coverage of Mr. Clinton's draft evasion has been anywhere nearly as extensive as their questioning of the Bush National Guard records?"
-- "How does the president believe we can best stop the very serious problem of outsourcing and sending so many American jobs overseas? And what is the reaction to the $160 million Clinton Presidential Library's ordering nearly $1 million worth of cabinets from Scotland?"
-- "President Reagan's son, Michael, says that his father is now bedridden with Alzheimer's. My question is, do you or the president know of anything in the history of American television that's more despicable than what CBS did to President and Mrs. Reagan?"
-- " ... does the president believe that the U.S. Constitution's promise of free exercise of religion should not allow confiscation of church property by Episcopal bishops who promote or engage in sodomy or who, in one case, denied the existence of God?"
-- "The California Democrats have put together a number of recorded telephoned comparison spots against Schwarzenegger, including one by the reverend adulterer, Jesse Jackson, and another by the presidential adulterer, Bill Clinton. And question: Since the president is understandably interested in this California election, does he see the incredible behavior of the Democrats in trying to critique a reported groper with two nationally notorious adulterers?"
-- "Does the president know that of these California federal judges who ruled that voting machines that re-elected Gray Davis are now illegal, one was appointed by Jimmy Carter and the other two by Bill Clinton?"
-- "Balitmore has a large community of sadomasochists, who have no record of spreading AIDS and who have a compatibility if they're civilly united. And my question: Does the president want respect and welcome for sodomy but not S&M?" (Kinsolving did not actually ask this question but said he would have.)
-- "Patrick Guerriero, the executive director of the Log Cabin Republicans, is quoted as saying, "I'm not sure that there's been a week that I've been on the job where we haven't been called to the White House or asked to attend a meeting with the Republican leadership." And my question: Why is this extensive amount of White House and other Republican calling of the Log Cabiners so much greater than in the first Bush and Reagan administrations?"
-- "The president had a positive reaction to both of the Supreme Court decisions on the University of Michigan racial admissions policy. But the 5-4 law-school decision allowed the continuation of skin shade as one criterion of admission. And my question: Does the president care about the historic plea that 'someday, my children will be judged by the content of their character and not by the color of their skin'?"
-- "The Gallup Poll has just reported that on the question who do you regard as the greatest United States president, Bill Clinton is tied with President Bush for third at 11 percent, receiving more votes than three of the four presidents on Mount Rushmore and more votes than President Reagan. And my question: Does the president, as the nation's chief law enforcer, still believe it was wise and just to tolerate the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York not even giving a report on the 3-year-old criminal investigation of President Clinton's pardongate?"
-- "The Dixie Chicks, a country music trio, has suffered a decline in sales and radio playtime due to their lead singer's comment in London that she is ashamed the president is from Texas. And my question: Is the president equally ashamed that the Dixie Chicks are from Texas?"
-- "The Washington Post quoted the Associated Press' corporate spokesman, Jack Stokes, in New York as saying with regard to their interview of Sen. Santorum: "Any of our reporter's marital status has nothing to do with their stories." And my question is, do you, as the president's chief media spokesman, believe that there would be no conflict of interest seen if AP hired that brilliant writer Lynne Cheney to be their White House bureau chief or to cover Sen. Kerry's campaign?"
-- "Ari, Maryland's long-time Congressman Roscoe Bartlett, who is the president's fellow Republican, says of the most recent U.N. action, "If the U.N. was good for anything, it would have been something like this. Since the U.N. was no good for this, maybe they are good for nothing." If we applied one year's United States U.N. dues of $800 million to the cost of this war instead of U.N. dues, doesn't the White House think it would be a better use of all that money, as well as an object lesson to the U.N.?"
-- "The New York Daily News, the Schenectady Gazette and WorldNetDaily have all reported that former U.N. weapons inspector Scott Ritter, who has called for President Bush's impeachment, was twice in three months caught by policewomen who he thought were underage girls, and he was charged with attempted endangerment of children. And my question is, considering that The Washington Post reported another American who was appointed to the U.N. inspections team is a sado-masochist, and now we have Ritter, surely, the president in his strong opposition to these two perversions regrets the U.N. appointment of these two, doesn't he, Ari? I mean, you know where the president stands, Ari?"
-- "Ari, on Monday, the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York confirmed that there has been no report on their criminal investigation of William J. Clinton for Pardongate, an investigation that began nearly two years ago. And my question, since the Constitution requires that the president "shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed," will he or has he ever taken such care regarding this criminal investigation lest there be national suspicion that this is just being swept under the rug forever?"
-- "Much of big media, including the New York Times, has refused to report Sen. Patty Murray's tribute to Osama bin Laden, which [talk-show host] Sean Hannity has on tape and broadcast yesterday on hundreds of stations. And my question is, does the president believe that Sen. Lott's 100th birthday tribute to Sen. Thurmond was really worse than Sen. Murray's tribute to Osama bin Laden?"
-- "Ari, on that one, the Democrats in the Senate have never denied chairmanships to a one-time Klan member who just recently used the N-word on TV, nor have they denied it to the senator from Chapaquiddick; and they still honor President Clinton, who in October, strongly praised his mentor, Sen. Fullbright, one of the Senate's strongest segregationists. And my question, isn't this double standard one of the reasons that the president did not ask Sen. Lott to step down?"
-- "And my question is, why does the president so encourage law-breaking by Mexicans and Haitians, who have not received such amnesty that I'm aware of as well as some of the 9-11 terrorists? And wouldn't it be a good idea to recruit, train and deputize the Citizens Border Patrol Militia of Arizona, the American Border Patrol of California, and the Texas Ranch Rescue? (Laughter.) There's three of them out there, Ari. And they still come across the border by the thousands."
-- "On CNN and reported by The New York Times yesterday, new House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said, "I'm a liberal Democrat, but I'm a conservative Catholic." But attorney William Donahue of the Catholic League announced yesterday, noting the record, that Mrs. Pelosi supports partial-birth abortion, and he said, "Pelosi's spin game is insulting. No conservative Catholic we know OKs the killing of kids 80 percent born." I know the president is very deeply concerned about this, so could you tell us, does the president agree with Mr. Donahue, or does he agree with Mrs. Pelosi's claim?"
-- "Ari, on another subject, if thousands of illegal aliens walked across the Crawford ranch property every month, trashing the land, smuggling drugs, and threatening to rape and injure and kill the residents, would the president do something about it? This, of course, is happening on our borders, as you know."
-- "And my question, is the president aware that the Clinton administration de-emphasized fighting Arab international terrorism in order to focus on right-wing militia groups, and the FBI never analyzed boxes of evidence gathered in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing until after 9-11?"
-- "Ari, given that Congresswoman Connie Morella votes perhaps more often than any other House Republican against the president's agenda, why did the president attend a fund-raiser for her? Does it reflect some concern that she's in danger of losing her seat?"
The reaction to Kinsolving's question, as one would surmise by the continual Clinton- and gay-bashing and the undeniable slant of them, tends to be a lot of laughter. But at one briefing when Kinsolving asks, "If it is true, as your administration claims, that Islam is a religion of peace, how can such a claim continue to be made in light of the Quran's promotion of violence and killing in Surat 4, 5 and 9?" then-spokseman Ari Fleischer snaps: "Lester, the president emphatically rejects your constant line of questioning. ..."
After another rebuke which came on the same day he received a solicitation from the Bush campaign, he claims that he replied: "I even hope that, at the president's next news conference, he will avoid that advance list of reporters on whom he calls almost all of them representing the left-wing dominated Big Media whom he said he pays no attention to and recognize some of those in the back who do not constantly bash him, as does so much of Big Media."
So, not only is he egregiously biased, he wants special treatment from the president because of it.
Kinsolving has not been content to restrict his biases to the White House briefing room. He has written a few "news" stories for WND as well, consisting of things such as a Catholic League complaint that a Nebraska state senator with a reputation of being highly critical of Catholics spoke to a local Rotary Club and the Democratic candidate for governor in Maryland who allegedly "misspoke" when she described her running mate as "the most decorated admiral in American history." And he grumbled in a "news" story on a political commentator's alleged sex scandal: "There is growing concern that the failure of most big media to report this case concerning a nationally known media figure may be evidence of media protecting its own."
Kinsolving also writes a more-or-less-weekly column for WND, where he does such things as defends the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, beat up on the so-called "Sodomy Lobby," and complains that "there is a monument to blacks on the South Carolina Capitol grounds which is larger than the monument to South Carolina's Confederate dead."
He also reminds us of why he isn't a reporter in a March 2 commentary attacking his hometown paper, the Baltimore Sun. He first gets the name of the paper's owners wrong, then launches into his attack: "In the interest of full disclosure and accurate labeling, would you be kind enough to the people of Maryland to order your newspaper in Baltimore to make a change in its title to the Baltimore Sodom?" He then goes into story excerpts from the Sun interspersed with his own attacks:
As the use of words like "sodomist" and "buggers" show, Kinsolving appears to have some kind of problem with gay people, which might be taken slightly more seriously if he had gotten the company's name right. Let's hope this stuff isn't what his WND tagline insists was "twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for his commentary."
Gays are the only folks he has a problem with, though. He also once called the executives of a radio station "terrorist sympathizers" for daring to (gasp!) allow on-air callers a forum to express support for Muslim ideals shortly after 9/11.
Helen Thomas can only dream of advancing this kind of bias. The epithets the ConWeb has hurled at her fit Kinsolving as well, if not better. Is it any wonder the guy gets laughed at?