Q [Thomas] (off mike): Why should we depend on him?
MS. PERINO: Because he’s the commander on the ground, Helen. He’s the one who is making sure that the situation —
Q (off mike): — You mean how many more people we kill?
MS. PERINO: Helen, I find it really unfortunate that you use your front-row position bestowed upon you by your colleagues to make such statements. It is an honor and a privilege to be in the briefing room, and to suggest that we as the United States are killing innocent people is just absurd and very offensive.
Q: Do you know how many we have since the start of the war?
MS. PERINO: How many — we are going after the enemy, Helen. To the extent that any innocent Iraqis have been killed, we have expressed regret for it.
Q :Well, regret it doesn’t bring back a life.
MS. PERINO: Helen, we are in a war zone, and our military works extremely hard to make sure that everyone has the opportunity for liberty and freedom and democracy, and that is exactly what they’re doing.
Q (off mike): — Oh, regret. It doesn’t bring back a life.
MS. PERINO: I’m going to move on.
I would say that Thomas is a disgrace to her profession, but it was their choice to put her on the front row in these gaggles. It’s therefore their call whether she’s a disgrace or not, and if they think she is they’ll move her off the front row.
Update: Here’s the exchange. Based on Perino’s tone, you could reasonably assume that she’s talking to a child. The pity is that she is.