Society of Professional Journalists retires 'Helen Thomas Lifetime Achievement Award' 

I guess the Society for Professional Journalists finally decided that handing out awards named for a senile anti-Semite probably isn't the best P.R. move:

INDIANAPOLIS – The board of directors of the Society of Professional Journalists voted Friday to retire the Helen Thomas Lifetime Achievement Award.

The vote means the Society will not give out an award for lifetime achievement. The action does not rename the award or remove Thomas’ name.

Both the board of directors and the executive committee heard from many people inside and outside of SPJ’s membership and journalism. SPJ fully understands the concerns expressed by both sides regarding whether renaming or retiring the award is necessary or improper.

A prominent objection to taking any action was that of Helen Thomas’ free speech rights. SPJ staunchly believes Helen Thomas and all people in the United States have a right to free speech. The Society defends that fundamental legal right as a core organizational mission, even when the speech is unpopular, vile or considered offensive.

Well, its good to know they are concerned about Helen Thomas' free speech rights. Because if my recent experience is anything to go by, the Society for Professional Journalists is absent from the debate over free speech when it really counts.

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