ADL welcomes ‘retirement’ of Helen Thomas lifetime achievement award
NEW YORK (Press Release)–The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) welcomed the vote of the board of directors of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) to permanently “retire” the Helen Thomas Award for Lifetime Achievement.
The award will be retired with Thomas’s name attached, meaning no lifetime achievement award will be given in the future, according to the Society, which confirmed the vote results on Friday. Awards presented to past recipients will not be renamed.
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following 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.
“We disagree with those who argued that discontinuing the award would put a damper on Ms. Thomas’ First Amendment rights. Quite the contrary: 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.”
Preceding provided by Anti-Defamation League
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