Harriet’s Correspondence with Ari Fleischer’s Office
Dear Mr. Fleischer,
This morning, I caught your interview in which you made statements about the Helen Thomas incident that I would like to quote on our blog, https://haitiholocaustsurvivors.wordpress.com/ .
What stands out are the comments that related to the following:
- She is advocating that all Jews go home and she cannot separate by religion.
- It is hatred, prejudice and bigotry
- Hearst should let her go.
- She took the side of Arafat.
I want to be accurate therefore, would greatly appreciate a brief paragraph from you confirming some of the points, which I am grateful to you for making.
Thank you for your time and a prompt reply.
Please see the transcripts below from Ari’s interviews on Fox and CNN. You can view the video by clicking on the link.
Be sure to let me know if you need any more information.
Ari Fleischer Communications
Fleischer Discusses Helen Thomas Video/Apology
Fox And Friends
STEVE DOOCY: veteran white house correspondent helen thomas coming under heavy criticism for comments she made at the white house. listen.
RABBI DAVID NESSENOFF: any comments on israel?
HELEN THOMAS: get the [beep] out of palestine.
RABBI NESSENOFF: any better comments than that?
THOMAS: remember, these people are occupied and it’s their land. not german. it’s not poland.
RABBI NESSENOFF: where should they go?
THOMAS: they should go home!
RABBI NESSENOFF: where’s their home?
THOMAS: poland. germany.
RABBI NESSENOFF: so they should go back to poland and germany?
THOMAS: and america and everywhere else.
GRETCHEN CARLSON: well, our next guest thinks that helen thomas should be fired for those comments. former white house press secretary ari flesher. you say this is cut and dry. it’s black and white. she should be gone.
ARI FLEISCHER: it is. this goes beyond all boundaries. this is not your usual ideological difference that everybody has a free speech right to. i look at this as an employer matter. who wants an employee who espouses what is tantamount to religious cleansing to work for them?
DOOCY: sure, they should do something. at least a suspension?
FLEISCHER: my view is her employer should let her go. it’s time for helen thomas to be let go.
DOOCY: she’s no longer a correspondent. shooz a commentator.
FLEISCHER: she’s a columnist and she’s entitled to any of her opinions. when you advocate people need to be separated on the way of her religion and there’s a region that no jews should leave as she calls it in palestine, this is a reprehensibleproblem. this is bigotry. this is prejudice. who wants somebody like that working for them?
CARLSON: you always knew that helen thomas was pro palestinian.
CARLSON: you never thought it crossed over the line into the feelings of being anti-jewish?
FLEISCHER: i think you have to allow people their thoughts and her case, her thoughts were that the palestinians had issues with the israelis and she took the side of the palestinians. she took the side of yasser arafat. that’s fine. once you cross the line and go beyond that and you advocate separation by religion which is what she’s called for, all jews go home. get the hell out of palestine, as she says. this is not a minor issue.
FLEISCHER: this is a real moral matter for hers to face.
DOOCY: here’s her apology. she says i deeply regret my comments i made last week regarding the israelis and the palestinians. they do not reflect my heartfelt 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. what should the white house say?
FLEISCHER: look, this is hard for the government because the government by the first amendment cannot restrict people’s free speech so i don’t view this as a government issue.
DOOCY: what about the white house press correspondents?
FLEISCHER: that’s a different group, the white house correspondents association has their own call to make about the seating arrangement in the room and whether she is —
DOOCY: she’s in front room. she’s got the numero uno chair.
FLEISCHER: and the only columnist to have a seat at the white house, too. that’s a slightly different issue. i think through debates like this and through employers having to make decisions, society sets the bounds for what should and should not be ceptab speech. what she said is not acceptable. a sign needs to be sent. she shouldn’t be let go at a minimum of two weeks suspension. if i were her employer, i would let her go. it’s the right thing to do.
CARLSON: we’ll see what she does later on this week.
FLEISCHER: thank you.
Fleischer Discusses Helen Thomas Video
T.J. HOLMES: This is a story that everyen is talking about she is the longest serving member of the white house press corps, now helen thomas is making headlines herself and they are not farable. thomas has cover every president since 1960, from kennedy to reagan, both bushes, clinton and now president barack obama. the 89-year-old journalist is under fire tonight for these comments.
RABBI DAVID NESSENOFF: any comments on israel.
HELEN THOMAS: tell them to get the hell out of palestine.
RABBI NESSENOFF: oh. any better comments?
THOMAS: remember, these people are occupied and it is their land, not germany, not poland. >
RABBI NESSENOFF: where should they go? what should they to?
THOMAS: go home.
RABBI NESSENOFF: where is home?
THOMAS: poland, germany.
RABBI NESSENOFF: think jews should go back to poland and germany?
THOMAS: and america and everywhere else
HOLMES: listen, critics are saying that thomas, whose parents were lebanese, should lose her job as a columnist for the hearst news corporation and that is a charge ari fleisher is making. ari fleisher is going to join me in one second. mr. fleisher, before i introduce you, i want to say we have developing news here when it comes to helen thomas. thomas. cnn learned that thomas was dropped by her agent and craig crawford, who co-authored her book, said they’ll no longer work with thomas. so her agent and, also, co-author of her book says no longer at work with her. white house press secretary under president george w. bush joining me. she’s broken down many barrier force women. should that count for something?
ARI FLEISCHER: i think it has count ford a lot and that’s one of the reasons she has the honor to be a columnist with a front row seat in the house briefing room. that’s by virtue of what she’s accomplished in career. she’s crossed all lines and boundaries and said something that’s horrific. can you imagine the uproar that would be if somebody said all blacks need to leave america and go home to america? they would have already lost their jobs. i had nothing but respect for her. i always ideagically disagreed but i always liked her.
HOLMES: i know people disagree with you you can still be friends or co-workers. have you reached out at all? have you tried to talk to her?
FLEISCHER: no, i haven’t tried to directly get in touch with her. i always admired the fact that she was in her 80s and came to would be every day but this is so different. this is a unique category. if people can say this and put out a statement as she did calling tolerance, people should not sit by silently. even a signal that would be sent if they gave her a two-week suspension would be very powerful about telling people what is right and wrong. it’s on horrible that any ethnic group, to say they ould go home.
HOLMES: let’s look at 2001 and we’ll talk about that.
FLEISCHER: as soon as we have anything to announce, we’ll let you know.
THOMAS: that’s not. answer. this has been been very one-sided dialogue. and not talking to any president — the president has not talked to any palestinian leader face-to-face and we are want to know why?
FLEISCHER: helen, the president has met with many —
THOMAS; there’s two sides to this conflict, you know.
FLEISCHER: the president has met with many arab leaders. secretary powell will be meeting with the palestinian authority tonight, tomorrow and the next several days.
HOLMES: you have to appreciate her tenacity as a journalist to do something like that. did you sense any bias when you worked together with her?
FLEISCHER: oh, of course. that bias is fine. she’s a columnist. she’s entitled to that. she’s very pro palestinian and pro yasser arafat. and i never minded the clashes we got into. i wrote about it fondly in my book. this is a category town itself. this is a type of discrimination. a call for religious cleansing that all jews need to get out of israel to go home where they came from? no one would accept this if it was said about other groups.
HOLMES: she did apologize. here’s what she says — i deeply regret my comments i made last week regarding the palestinians and they do not reflect my heart felt relief that peace will come to the middle east only when the parties realize mutual respect and tolerance, may that day come soon. apparently, they’re not satisfied with that.
FLEISCHER: when they’re in the group of making money, i speak agency says from a moral point of view, they no loerng want to represent her. that’s a powerful statement. but i think the apology is too little, too late. how can somebody who expresses such hatred in their heart right away call for tolerance and acceptance. that’s what you do after you get caught.
HOLMES: are you concerned about any all nation from people that may not agree with you?
FLEISCHER: i already got hate mail sent to me. i’m jewish and that’s why i take fence. but it goes beyond that. i’m american. as americans we need to stand together to say to people who practice hate. helen’s boards are hateful. that’s why it’s s important to hear from hertz. will they stand by the original apology?
HOLMES: we reached out several times. we reached out to her come come on and explain herself and we couldn’t get in touch with her or she didn’t return our phone calls. ary fleischer, much appreciated.