Breaking: Helen Thomas, who has covered the White House since the late days of the Eisenhower administration, has resigned her post effective immediately. 89-year-old Thomas, who was currently working for the Hearst news service, leaves amid a firestorm of controversy after comments made late last month in which she said Jews should “get the hell out of Palestine.” Developing…
The front-row seat held by Helen Thomas was empty at this morning’s White House briefing. (via WaPo)
> Update: A story from the Hearst news service after the jump…
• Drudge Report banner: HELEN SENT TO POLAND.
• @edhenrycnn Tweets: The retirement came shortly after the board of the WH Correspondents Association, which I sit on, put out strong statement on Thomas… Statement adds Helen has not been member of WHCA for years, but given her special status in briefing room we wanted to “speak out strongly.”
• Greg Sargent at WaPo reports that Bloomberg and Fox News had been in a “behind-the-scenes ‘death match'” over Thomas’ seat even before the recent controversy.
• POLL: Should Fox News get the front row seat left vacant by Thomas? Vote after the jump…
WASHINGTON, June 7, 2010 – Helen Thomas announced Monday that she is retiring, effective immediately.
Her decision came after her controversial comments about Israel and the Palestinians were captured on videotape and widely disseminated on the Internet.
Thomas later issued a statement: “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.”
Thomas will mark her 90th birthday on Aug. 4.