From The Hill newspaper in Washington:
Helen Thomas announced Monday that “she is retiring, effective immediately,” according to a statement from Hearst newspapers.
Her decision comes after her controversial remarks about Israel hit the blogosphere. She later apologized for her comments, saying she “deeply regretted” making them.
White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) President Ed Chen criticized her in a statement Monday.
“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.
Thomas, who will turn 90 in August, has been covering U.S. presidents since the Kennedy administration.
Here’s the source of the controversy — a YouTube video posted on rabbiLIVE.com:
It would have been hard for her to stay, considering this comment from Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, as reported by Politico:
“I think those remarks were offensive and reprehensible. I think she should and has apologized,” Gibbs continued. “Obviously those remarks do not reflect the opinion, certainly, I assume, of most of the people in here, and certainly not of the administration.”
Thomas was not present in the briefing room Monday.
For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.