Sep 19, 2008

Thank you, Mr. President.

"I'd like to ask you, Mr. President, your decision to invade Iraq has caused the deaths of thousands of Americans and Iraqis, wounds of Americans and Iraqis for a lifetime. Every reason given, publicly at least, has turned out not to be true. My question is: Why did you really want to go to war? From the moment you stepped into the White House, from your Cabinet—your Cabinet officers, intelligence people, and so forth—what was your real reason? You have said it wasn't oil—quest for oil, it hasn't been Israel, or anything else. What was it?"

This was the question that made Helen Thomas persona non grata at the White House Press Conferences. A strong woman who sat front and center for as long as I can remember now she sits quietly somewhere else at the room and maybe, just maybe gets in a few questions, if she's lucky. Blasphemy.

Thank You Mr. President is a very interesting documentary currently running on HBO about this incredible and feisty reporter, who has covered every president since John F. Kennedy - yes, since Johnny boy, you do the math - and probably knows every detail of american history, period. A daughter of immigrants, she achieved the unthinkable: to make it in a male dominated profession. And boy, she did.

This little woman actually had the balls to end one Kennedy briefing - which was going really bad - with just one phrase: Thank you, Mr. President. Kennedy took the hint and walked off, smiling at her for taking him out gracefully. From then on, every time she uttered that phrase, Elvis had to leave the building. No more press conference guys, Helen has just said the words. Talk about power, dammit! (Do anyone of you guys would love to shut the hell up some people at your ad agency by saying Thank you? Yeah!)

If I have just one problem with the flick it's this: it is really short. A woman with this power should have been examined a bit more. We go President by President way too fast. She talks about Nixon, Clinton, Daddy Bush, Idiot Bush, Carter... the list goes on and on, but way too fast. For example, she talked about how Clinton had his butthole ripped by the media and that it wasn't normal how they hounded him for so long... but when asked if she regretted any questions, she just replied: you had to write it. People needed to know.

The thing I loved about watching her is that, at the end, she is a copywriter just like we are. She loves to have good copy and needs to get the perfect material to do so. Granted, she got blasted for saying that Bush was the worst President in history - yes, reporters are supposed to be unbiased but... dammit, some reporters are analysts, and two, we all have the right to call them as we see them. I prefer Helen to say that than to watch O'Reilly give a "No Spin Zone", full of biased reporting. One thing is to analyze from left to right, another thing is to have an agenda.

I just hope that she returns to the front of the class someday. She deserves it. Long live women with testicles! May they one day rule!

Here's the trailer. Enjoy!


Andrea-Ja said...

As just an interested non-american, (as in: not even in usa) could you post an update once your new President holds his first White House Press Conference, to see wheather or not she came back?

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