Update: WHCA Statement: Helen Thomas Skips WH Presser, Retires
"Helen Thomas' comments were indefensible and the White House Correspondents Association board firmly dissociates itself from them. Many in our profession who have known Helen for years were saddened by the comments, which were especially unfortunate in light of her role as a trail blazer on the White House beat," he said.
"We want to emphasize that the role of the WHCA is to represent the White House press corps in its dealings with the White House on coverage-related issues. We do not police the speech of our members or colleagues. We are not involved at all in issuing White House credentials, that is the purview of the White House itself. But the incident does revive the issue of whether it is appropriate for an opinion columnist to have a front row seat in the WH briefing room. That is an issue under the jurisdiction of this board. We are actively seeking input from our association members on this important matter, and we have scheduled a special meeting of the WHCA board on Thursday to decide on the seating issue," he said.
Get used to it.
With Helen Thomas's seat conspicuously empty at the Monday briefing, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs assailed the veteran reporter for her remark that Jews should return to Germany and Eastern Europe.
It looks like she won't be coming back.
WASHINGTON, June 7, 2010 – Helen Thomas announced Monday that she is retiring, effective immediately.