ADL welcomes decision to retire Helen Thomas award

January 19, 2011 13:25

The Anti-Defamation League on Wednesday welcomed the decision of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) to permanently retire the Helen Thomas Award for Lifetime Achievement.

The decision means no lifetime achievement award with Thomas's name attached to it will be given in the future, the statement said quoting the SPJ.ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman said in the statement: "We welcome the Society’s decision to permanently retire the Helen Thomas Award in the aftermath of her anti-Semitic remarks.  No respectable professional organization should want their name affiliated with someone who espouses offensive and stereotypical anti-Semitic views."

He continued: "We disagree with those who argued that discontinuing the award would put a damper on Ms. Thomas’ First Amendment rights.  Quite the contrary: Ms. Thomas still has every right as a journalist and American to freely express her personal views about Israel, Zionism or any other subject.

"Fortunately, there are consequences in our society for those in positions of power or authority who publicly express racist, anti-Semitic or prejudiced views.  We are pleased that the SPJ agrees that this award is no longer appropriate given the unprofessional and unbecoming conduct of its namesake."

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