FAIR associate Sam Husseini has blogged his reaction (Husseini.org, 7/4/09) to a Barack “Obama Photo Op with Helen Thomas” in which the president “came with cupcakes to wish Helen Thomas a happy birthday”: “Now, if only he’d take her questions.”

Obama claimed they have a “common birthday wish”–for a “real healthcare reform bill”–but Thomas is not in favor of Obama’s plan, she’s for single-payer.

Last week I bumped into Helen Thomas at her stomping ground, Mama Ayesha’s restaurant in Washington, D.C., and she stressed the single-payer failure on the part of Obama.

I asked her if I was right, that Obama hadn’t called on her since his first news conference. Yes, she confirmed. He’s had five news conferences since and not a single question from her.

And why would that be? Well, “at his first news conference, she asked about Obama’s buildup in Afghanistan and Pakistan and about Israel’s nuclear weapons arsenal,” but “Obama declined to ‘speculate’ about the existence of such an arsenal.”

Husseini asserts that reporters “should be asking Obama: Why are you refusing to take Thomas’ questions? Why are you refusing to acknowledge the existence of Israel’s nuclear weapons arsenal?”

But then, Husseini makes a habit of asking exactly such questions so doggedly ignored by his corporate counterparts.