US White House correspondent Helen Thomas retires
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Veteran White House journalist, 89, announced her retirement yesterday with immediate effect, ending her fifty-seven year career, amid criticism over controversial remarks.
Thomas has been a correspondent for over fifty years and has covered every president from Lebanese immigrants, who blazed a trail for female reporters in politics in the United States, has ended her career after apologizing for saying that Israel should "get the hell out of Palestine."to . Thomas, the daughter of
In retiring, Thomas stated: "I deeply regret my comments I made last week regarding the Israelis and the Palestinians. They do not reflect my heart-felt belief that peace will come to the Middle East only when all parties recognize the need for mutual respect and tolerance. May that day come soon."
Her departure ascolumnist was announced after she was captured on video saying: "Remember, these people are occupied and it's their land. It's not Germany, it's not Poland," and that Israelis should "get the hell out of Palestine" and "they should go home" to Poland, Germany, the US and "everywhere else."
Rabbi David Nesenoff, an independent filmmaker, said he spoke to Thomas outside the White House on Jewish Heritage Day on May 27. Video of her controversial comments were widely disseminated on the Internet by his website, rabbilive.com, that relaunched last week.
Thomas was absent from Monday'sbriefing. She was dropped by her public speaking agency and a high school commencement address was canceled. The White House Correspondents Association called her remarks "indefensible". The Hearst statement came shortly after White House press secretary called her remarks "offensive and reprehensible."
Thomas has been a correspondent for fifty-seven years, she had worked for decades as a White House correspondent forand became a columnist for the Hearst newspaper chain in recent years. She was the first female officer of the , the first female member and president of the , and, in 1975, the first female member of the .
Thomas did little to hide her views, with her questions to Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama and their press secretaries often about the wars in the Middle East. Two weeks ago, she asked Obama, "Mr. President, when are you going to get out of Afghanistan? Why are you continuing to kill and die there? What is the real excuse? And don't give us this Bushism, 'If we don't go there, they'll all come here.'"
Helen Thomas has written five books. During Kennedy's administration, Helen ended all presidential press conferences with a signature "Thank you, Mr. President" and always issued a caveat about her work: "In my career you're only as good as your last story."
- John O'Callaghan. "Helen Thomas retires after Israel remarks" — , June 7, 2010
- Jim Kuhnhenn and David Bauder. "Helen Thomas ends White House career amid uproar" — , June 7, 2010
- Martin Weil. "Helen Thomas agrees to bow out as commencement speaker at Walt Whitman High" — , June 7, 2010
- "US reporter Helen Thomas quits over Israel comments" — , June 7, 2010