Dear Mr. President,
Helen Thomas's remarks were offensive to many people. I don't think there is any one, including Ms. Thomas, who would deny that. Her remarks have inspired more forceful outrage from your administration than the 9 dead civillians on board the Mavi Marmara. I can't speak for any one else, but that offends me, deeply. What Helen said, while upsetting, didn't kill any one, didn't destroy families or cut short the life of an American teenager. Her words didn't cost any one an eye, didn't shed a single drop of blood. Yet, while the 9 innocent dead managed to summon your dismay and regret, her non-lethal words were called reprehensible.
Murder is reprehensible. The prolonged suffering and starvation of the people of Gaza is reprehensible. And I would have no problem with your administration calling her words reprehensible, as well, if you had managed the same level of outrage after the flotilla attack. Her career, a long and distinguished one that inspired a generation of women in journalism, is now over. I don't think that what she said was right, I don't think that what she said was fair, but I know, for sure, that no one died as a result.
I know these last few weeks have been spent trying to strike the right emotional note with the American public over the oil spill, to some how demonstrate your emotional response is proportional to this tragedy. The hypocrisy of the reaction with regards to Ms. Thomas and to Gaza, the anger stirred over words contrasted with the mild dismay over injury, suffering, and death is, in my opinion, a much more problematic demonstration of how out of step your administration is with the human cost of your policies.