Journalist Helen Thomas criticizes Wayne State U. for ending annual diversity award named in her honor
Detroit Free Press
December 7, 2010
Journalist Helen Thomas fired back at Wayne State University for ending an annual diversity award in her name, telling the Free Press on Sunday night that "the leaders of Wayne State University have made a mockery of the First Amendment and disgraced their understanding of its inherent freedom of speech and the press."
Wayne State discontinued the Helen Thomas Spirit of Diversity Award on Friday after she made controversial remarks in Dearborn on Thursday about what she said was Zionist control of American institutions.
The morning after her remarks, the Anti-Defamation League issued a statement by director Abe Foxman that blasted her comments as anti-Semitic and called upon journalism schools and other groups to rescind honors that recognize her. Hours later, Wayne State said it was pulling its award, saying it "strongly condemns the anti-Semitic remarks made by Helen Thomas."
Contacted by the Free Press on Sunday, Thomas, 90, criticized her alma mater, adding that "the university also has betrayed academic freedom -- a sad day for its students."