Veteran White House journalist retires


WASHINGTON – Long-time Washington journalist Helen Thomas abruptly retired yesterday as a columnist for Hearst News Service following remarks she made about Israel that were denounced by the White House and her press corps colleagues.The 89-year-old Thomas, dean of the White House press corps, has been a fixture in Washington and has been lauded as a pioneering female journalist who has covered presidents since 1960.Known for her confrontational questioning, Thomas apologised for comments that were captured on video and have spread widely on the Internet. On the May 27 video, Thomas says Israelis should “get the hell out of Palestine” and suggests they go to Germany, Poland or the US.Hearst announced her retirement, effective immediately, shortly after White House press secretary Robert Gibbs called her remarks “offensive and reprehensible” during his daily briefing with reporters. Thomas, who has had a front-row seat in the briefing room for many years, was not present.In this last year’s picture, President Barack Obama, marking his 48th birthday, takes a break from his official duties to bring birthday greetings to veteran Thomas, who shares the same birthday and turned 89. (AP)


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