RIP Helen ThomasPosted: July 20, 2013
Helen Thomas, whose keen curiosity, unquenchable drive and celebrated constancy made her a trailblazing White House correspondent in a press corps dominated by men and later the dean of the White House briefing room, died Saturday at home in Washington. She was 92.
Worth reading: Twitter reacts to the death of journalist Helen Thomas http://ow.ly/2yvqlR
As news spread of Helen Thomas’ death Saturday, journalists, politicians and admirers paid homage to the trailblazing reporter who was a fixture at White House daily briefings for decades.
“Michelle and I were saddened to learn of the passing of Helen Thomas. Helen was a true pioneer, opening doors and breaking down barriers for generations of women in journalism,” President Barack Obama said in a statement.
“She never failed to keep presidents – myself included – on their toes. What made Helen the ‘Dean of the White House Press Corps’ was not just the length of her tenure, but her fierce belief that our democracy works best when we ask tough questions and hold our leaders to account,” he added.
Female journalists took to Twitter to thank the woman who many said helped shatter the perception that political journalism was a profession only suited for bourbon-quaffing men.
“Helen Thomas made it possible for all of us who followed: woman pioneer journalist broke barriers died today,” tweeted NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell.
“Any woman who has had the privilege of sitting in the front row of the White House briefing room owes huge debt of gratitude to Helen Thomas,” tweeted Julie Pace, White House correspondent for the Associated Press.
I will have to say that you never had to ask for a better Press Corp or journalist when Helen was on the beat. She could make powerful men sweat bullets with her tough questions.