"She should lose her job over this," Fleischer said in an email to the Huffington Post. "As someone who is Jewish, and as someone who worked with her and used to like her, I find this appalling.
"She is advocating religious cleansing. How can Hearst stand by her? If a journalist, or a columnist, said the same thing about blacks or Hispanics, they would already have lost their jobs."
Hearst Newspapers spokesman Paul Luthringer emailed the Washington Post: "We deeply regret Helen Thomas' remarks, which in no way reflect the views of Hearst Newspapers or its employees. Helen has expressed her own profound regret over the incident."