Helen Thomas Finally Retires

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Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Eighty-nine-year-old Hearst opinion columnist Helen Thomas — the lady you see front and center at every White House press briefing — has announced her retirement, effective immediately, after coming under fire for remarking that Jews should "get the hell out of Palestine" and return to Germany, Poland, and America. Despite an apology, the fallout from the comments has been building over the past few days. Her speaking agency dropped her, a high school canceled a graduation speech she was supposed to give, and criticism rained down from all directions, from the White House Correspondents Association to past press secretaries to current Press Secretary Robert Gibbs today (which she wasn't around to hear). Thomas has been covering the White House since Dwight Eisenhower, and her prime seat in the briefing room was granted to her by her colleagues out of respect for her long and storied career, even though she's no longer a White House correspondent. But it was looking increasingly likely that she wouldn't hang on to it much longer. Obviously, it should now go to Chuck Todd.

Helen Thomas announces retirement [Hill]