A Final Farewell

Jul 22 2013

A final farewell to two people who had a big impact on journalism, for better or worse. Helen Thomas has died at 92. As the most famous member of the White House Press Corps for nearly 60 years, she opened the doors for women in journalism and wouldn’t let Presidents get by with stonewalling. But some of her comments about Jews and Israel raised protests. And her partisanship toward liberal Presidents caused a quandary for her admirers, who also liked to claim objectivity as the highest journalistic virtue. Remember the pretense of objectivity? If you do, you might be getting old.

And British comedian Mel Smith has died of a heart attack at 60. Americans might not know his name, but in the ‘80s, he starred in a show called “Not the Nine O’Clock News” that made fun of the day’s events in a way that viewers of the straight-laced BBC newscasts had never seen. It’s considered to be one of the major inspirations for “The Daily Show.” So for better or worse, Mel Smith helped create the way that many young people get their news today.

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