Helen Thomas’ new gig


Falls Church, Va., a mile or two west from where I write this, is a sweet little anomaly: A liberal little township inside a fairly conservative county (Fairfax — conservative for suburban DC, in any case.)

It has its own weekly farmer’s market, a single high school, and its graduates, near and far, stick to the town’s hangouts — pubs, pizzerias, the State theater — for something approaching life. It has one of the few pint-sized bowling alleys left in the country (or had — I’m not sure the place still exists.) You know, with the little balls kids love to throw down on the pinewood. It had until recently a German deli that sold goosefat (go find goosefat anywhere else) and Fox’s, a music shop that warps you back into high-school band nerdiness with its antisocial staff, stacks and stacks of music, and real repairmen tweaking real instruments.

It also has its own little weekly, the Falls Church News-Press. The paper is packed with liberal NYTimes columnists (one way to get around the hefty subscription fee if all you want from the Times is MoDo and Krugman), news stories that lose me after the second graf, and possibly the worst comics page ever — about five strips I’ve never seen anywhere else, each seemingly pencilled with a protractor, and with gags that never make sense. It may be the first post-modern comics page.

It has giveaway boxes all around the DC area, and they remain resolutely full, outside of Falls Church, at least. It has a circulation of about 30,000.

And now it has Helen Thomas.

Adam Kredo at the Washington Jewish Week has the scoop on her her newest gig:

It seemed like something Helen Thomas might write.

In 2004, the Falls Church News-Press wrote about a pro-Israel "cabal" in an editorial that Jewish officials condemned as hate literature.

That’s why it didn’t come as a surprise to some local Jews that the man who wrote that editorial, Nicholas Benton – the paper’s owner and publisher – hired Thomas, who resigned from Hearst newspaper seven months ago following an impromptu anti-Semitic tirade at the White House.

In the 2004 editorial, endorsing Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.), Benton proposed that the election was "not about Moran’s ability to lead, or about news headlines accusing him of questionable public statements or personal finances. It’s about a cabal of powerful Washington, D.C., based interests backing the Bush administration’s support for right-wing Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon’s handling of the Middle East conflict… ."

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