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Duck, national scribes! Not that you’re unaccustomed to taking shots from a weary public. This time, though, you might want to get down a little lower: Your latest thrashing comes courtesy of one of your own—veteran White House correspondent Helen Thomas. In Watchdogs of Democracy?: The Waning Washington Press Corps and How It Has Failed the Public, Thomas writes, “[I]t’s not nostalgia, but true concern that makes me believe the profession had its golden age in the twentieth century.” Still, if the book is occasionally shrill, it is consistently fascinating: After she leaves blisters all over the backsides of most of the current crop of journos, Thomas sets aside a chapter to single out the ones she genuinely respects. And she knows how to back up her argument: with reams of facts and detailed history, penned in tight daily style—which makes it much more worth your attention than the average pissed-off anti-press rant. Thomas speaks and signs copies of her work at 7 p.m. at Olsson’s Books & Records, 418 7th St. NW. Free. (202) 638-7610. (Mike Kanin)