The First Ever Helen Thomas Bile-Riser List

Tracey Barnett ©June 2010

Still slaying dragons at the office every day at age 89, Helen Thomas, a trailblazing woman correspondent for 67 years, 50 of them in the White House, has decided to call it a day. One of my heros has hung up her steno pad. This wonderfully cantankerous, verbal commando-in-a-can first got the gig in 1960.    She announced her retirement after her controversial comments that Jews in Israel should return to Germany, Poland, the U.S. and “get the hell out of Palestine.”  One can only imagine that the resulting controversy over her remarks pissed her off sufficiently enough that she actually imploded.

Most predicted Helen’s funeral would happen long before she succumbed to retirement. It was a sad exit from an illustrious journalistic career that has held 10 president’s feet to the fire with barely contained spittle.

In honour of a good warrior having fought long, valiantly and well, this week I give you my first ever honorary Helen Thomas Bile Risers List.  Enjoy.

Pass the Port, Not the Shops
Can someone explain to me who allowed the airport redesign that forces newly arrived International passengers to literally exit through the gift shop at the Auckland International Airport?  Passengers no longer have a choice to walk down a genuine hallway instead of being funneled directly through a shop to exit.

What a poor first impression it gives visitors of who we are as a country.  Will they start hiding the clocks next like Vegas? A spokesperson from the airport said this decision was based on “global best practices” and they were only responding to what passengers requested.  Who’d they survey, Johnny Walker and Yves Saint Laurent? This is our first port of arrival for millions of first time visitors to this country.  They’ve actually eliminated the public space in deference to no-choice, in-your-face consumerism before you even get out of customs.  Haere Mai, folks.  Anyone out there willing to defend that decision that doesn’t directly benefit from it financially?

Cutting Edge Advice
Falling out of love?  Just get out the knife. Danny Dyer, a British columnist, gave advice to a lovelorn reader that stymied even its ladd-ish publisher, ZOO Magazine.  When a reader wrote in saying he was having a hard time getting over his missus, Byer replied, “I’d suggest going out on a rampage with the boys, getting on the booze and smashing anything that moves…Of course, the other option is to cut your ex’s face, and then no one will want her…”

A spokesperson for the publisher who says they are the “biggest-selling men’s weekly in the world” told the Guardian that the column was the result of a “regrettable production error.”

Disaster Conspiracy Du Jour
Hats off yet again to Michael [“You’re doing a heck of a job, Brownie”] Brown, Bush’s widely criticized disaster Czar during Katrina.  In my favourite conspiracy du jour, Brown told Fox News that Obama waited nine days for the BP spill to escalate on purpose.   Why? There’s always that evil environmental agenda to kill big oil. Brown figures Obama was thinking, “Let this crisis get really bad, and then we will step in. We will be able to shut down offshore drilling. We will be able to turn to all these alternate fuels.”   I should have known the BP spill was all an elaborate Obama/Greenie plot.
After the interview, Fox News cameramen could be seen racing to the Gulf shores to record the elated faces of millions of newly minted environmentalists celebrating wildly in the glow of the oil sheen off dead dolphins.

Honour Among Thieves?
You’ve heard of buyer’s remorse.  Well, there’s no such thing as Ponzi King remorse, even when you’re staring down 150-years of jail time.  According to New York Magazine, everybody’s favourite Ponzi pal, Bernie Madoff told a fellow inmate, “F*ck my victims.  I carried them for twenty years, and now I’m doing 150 years.”  New York Magazine wrote that Madoff was unrepentant.  Prison has been a kind of asylum where “he no longer had to express what he didn’t feel,” writes New York’s Magazine’s Steve Fishman.

Madoff told another inmate that he took money off of people who were rich and greedy and wanted more. In short, he stole from people who deserved it. “People just kept throwing money at me,” Madoff related to a prison consultant, in what will go down as one of the top three problems of all time that no one else has ever experienced.

In a sit-com in the making, Madoff actually pals around with a former mob boss and a spy.  He’s very popular, even admired in prison.  “A hero,” wrote one lifer on his website, “He’s arguably the greatest con of all time.” The total take from investors is said to approach $19 billion USD, reportedly $2 billion more than God makes.

You’re wondering how I know how much God makes?  Helen Thomas told me. And I won’t mess with her sources.


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