Updated 1:30 pm ET
Veteran White House reporter Helen Thomas died today at the age of 92.
Thomas covered every president since John F. Kennedy. She worked for UPI and then Hearst until retiring abruptly in 2010 after saying the Jews should “get the hell out of Palestine” and go back to Germany and Poland.
I wanted to let you know she had died. I worked with her at the White House from 1997 until her retirement, and I’ll share some personal reflections Monday.
UPDATE: Obama released a statement early this afternoon:
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. She covered every White House since President Kennedy’s, and during that time 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. Our thoughts are with Helen’s family, her friends, and the colleagues who respected her so deeply.
Note he skirts her antisemitism. Would he have done similarly, I wonder, if she had said something racist?