There is an empty seat in the White House Press Corps room. Helen Thomas, who has covered the White House from the end of the Eisenhower administration to the second year of the Obama administration, resigned June 7, 2010 amid controversial statements about the recent conflict between Israel and Palestine regarding the Gaza flotilla raid.
Despite her long storied career covering the White House for 57 years and being the first woman member and president of the White House Correspondents' Association and the over 30 honorary degrees to her name, almost all of that is overshadowed by comments made in a two minute interview. Sadly, that is our world today. We live in a world where information (both good and bad) is readily available via the internet and the 24-hour cable news cycle and repeated over and over again.
NPR wrote a piece about how timing is everything when ending a distinguished career. This was clearly one of those examples where Helen Thomas wanted to enter retirement on better terms than with this mark of poor judgment by a highly respected journalist.
I can say this about Helen Thomas’s retirement:
The White House Press Briefings will never be the same afterwards.