Media Relations

Press Release:

MEDIA CONTACT: Polly Burks
561-297-2595, pburks@fau.edu

Veteran Journalist Helen Thomas Addresses Packed Auditorium at FAU

              BOCA RATON (March 3, 2008) - Veteran journalist Helen Thomas addressed an audience of over 1,700 people in Florida Atlantic University’s Carole and Barry Kaye Performing Arts Auditorium recently as part of the Alan B. Larkin Symposium on the American Presidency.  Thomas conveyed stories from a lifetime of covering every U.S. president since John F. Kennedy as part of the White House press corps.  She acknowledged her reputation for asking the tough questions – a reputation that even made it to Fidel Castro, who, she relayed, when asked what the difference was between being the leader of America and the leader of Cuba responded that he didn’t have to answer to Helen Thomas.

            Thomas still asks tough questions of the president as a columnist for Hearst Newspapers, and she told the audience that she thought that journalists today aren’t being tough enough in their reporting.   “There is too much at stake for the press to toss in softballs,” she said. 

            After Thomas’ lecture, the audience was invited to ask questions.  When a student asked what individuals could do to question U.S. policy and make a difference, Thomas replied, “hit the streets, make your voice heard,” something that Thomas has always done. 

The lecture was part of the Alan B. Larkin Symposium on the American Presidency.  It was made possible by a generous endowment to the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters history department by the family of Alan Larkin, a magazine publisher who died in 2002. Larkin had a true passion for American history, particularly the presidency, and his family hopes the annual series will promote broader understanding of important issues related to the history of the executive branch of government.  Additional support for the symposium comes from the Palm Beach County Tourist Development Council and the Palm Beach County Cultural Council. 

For more information, visit www.fau.edu/larkin or call FAU’s History Symposium Series at 561-297-2764. 

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