Tony Snow on Helen Thomas

From a recent Q&A with Brian Lamb on C-SPAN:

    LAMB: Helen Thomas has been around since the ’60s, maybe the ’50s.

    SNOW: Yes.

    LAMB: What, she just turned 87 years old?

    SNOW: She’s either 86 or 87, yes.

    LAMB: She went from being a UPI reporter, which meant as a wire service …

    SNOW: Right.

    LAMB: … to being an opinionist and writing a column.

    SNOW: Right.

    LAMB: First of all, how do you do that and stay in that same front row?

    SNOW: I think what’s happened is, Helen, by virtue of longevity, has earned a place there, and the correspondents acknowledge it.

    I’ve often said, if I’m 86 or 87, I’d love to be able to be sitting there, badgering the White House press secretary.

    So, Helen, I think, is a special case, just because she’s been there for many years. She’s sharp. She tends to ask the similar sorts of questions all the time.

    LAMB: Has the president ever called on her recently?

    SNOW: Yes. In fact, he led off – not this press briefing, but the one before – with a question to Helen.