Helen Thomas Hub

Remembering Helen Thomas: A Gay White House Reporter's Reflections

Chris Johnson, the White House reporter for The Washington Blade, has published his reflections on working with Helen Thomas as a member of the White House Press Corps. Thomas, the first female journalist to cover the president, passed away Saturday at the age of 92.

Recalls Johnson: 

Helen ThomasI first saw Helen Thomas (pictured right with President Obama) in the White House briefing room when I started attending daily briefings at the start of the Obama administration, working the beat for federal LGBT politics. Blade reporters had been kicked out of the briefing room during George W. Bush's second term, so it was a new era and an exciting time.

I remember thinking Thomas could move around the press area deftly for a woman in her late 80s and could hold her own in conversations with other reporters. During a news conference with President Obama in the East Room, she had to have someone escort her by hand over the wires and between the chairs, but otherwise she seemed full of energy.

Bestowed with a front row seat in the briefing room by her colleagues, Thomas would pester then-White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs with questions that would probably veer a little too close toward editorializing than other reporters in the briefing room would be comfortable asking. 


But Thomas was holding the White House accountable long before the Obama administration. Getting her start in the Kennedy administration, Thomas broke up the boy's club that was the White House Press Corps and was the first female reporter to cover the president, rather than the first lady.

In 1962, she pressed Kennedy to skip the annual dinner of the White House Correspondents Association unless it were open to women. After he said he wouldn't attend, the dinner for the first time admitted women.

One of my major regrets is that I never initiated a conversation with Thomas during the times I saw her in the White House briefing room or the press area. Our time that coincided covering the White House in 2009 was very short. Also, I was a little intimidated as I was still getting my bearings. Lesson to all: If you see someone you admire, take the opportunity to speak to them before it's too late.

You can check out the full article, HERE

News: Andrew Garfield, Ryan Murphy, Star Wars, Helen Thomas

6a00d8341c730253ef0192ac18ea06970d-800wi Watch: The very first full-length trailer for the upcoming film, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.

Garfield6a00d8341c730253ef0192ac18ea06970d-800wi Yesterday, Andrew Garfield told Comic-Con attendees: "'Spiderman stands for everybody -- gay, straight, bixsexual, transexual,' Garfield said. 'To me, love between two consenting adults is love. To me, that anyone would bat an eyelash at what I said to me is interesting.'"

6a00d8341c730253ef0192ac18ea06970d-800wi Jesse and the Rippers reunite, thanks to John Stamos and Jimmy Fallon.

6a00d8341c730253ef0192ac18ea06970d-800wi Man injures only himself after setting off home-made bomb in Beijing International Airport.

6a00d8341c730253ef0192ac18ea06970d-800wi Will season three of Once Upon A Time introduce a gay character?

6a00d8341c730253ef0192ac18ea06970d-800wi Lesbian couple in Canada receives disturbing threatening letter: “We know you and have been following you for the past several weeks and we wish for you to leave this city, before it is too late, for you.”

6a00d8341c730253ef0192ac18ea06970d-800wi An abandoned set from the original Star Wars film is in danger of being covered up by sand dunes in Tunisia.

Ryan-murphy-talks-cory-monteith-death-lea-michele-grief-future-glee-plans16a00d8341c730253ef0192ac18ea06970d-800wi Ryan Murphy speaks out about the death of Cory Monteith: “It’s always sad and shocking when somebody so young dies, but one of the things that made it even more upsetting is that so many of us who knew and loved him were actively involved in trying to get him better.”

6a00d8341c730253ef0192ac18ea06970d-800wi "Out in the ‘Hood: Young, Gay and Hoping for Something Better": A photo essay about a young gay black man by Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Preston Gannaway.

6a00d8341c730253ef0192ac18ea06970d-800wi RIP: long-time White House journalist Helen Thomas.

6a00d8341c730253ef0192ac18ea06970d-800wi Prepare for Superman and Batman - in one film!

6a00d8341c730253ef0192ac18ea06970d-800wi The anti-flash mobs: "bash mobs."

6a00d8341c730253ef0192ac18ea06970d-800wi JK Rowling was not pleased to learn that a partner in an entertainment law firm was the one who leaked her highly secretive pen name to his wife's best friend: “To say that I am disappointed is an understatement. I had assumed that I could expect total confidentiality from Russells, a reputable professional firm and I feel very angry that my trust turned out to be misplaced.”

White House Reporter Helen Thomas to Retire Immediately


White House veteran reporter Helen Thomas will retire, effective immediately, following fallout from her recent remarks that the Jews "should get the hell out of Palestine." Mediaite has the announcement from Hearst.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs condemned the remarks on Monday.

Said Gibbs: "I think those remarks were offensive and reprehensible. I think she should and has apologized. 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 apologized Friday on her website: “I deeply regret my comments I made last week regarding the Israelis and the Palestinians. They do not reflect my heart-felt belief that peace will come to the Middle East only when all parties recognize the need for mutual respect and tolerance. May that day come soon.”

Nevertheless, Thomas was dropped by her speakers agency on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Rabbi Nesenoff, whose video interview captured the remarks, says more footage is coming.

Mediaite reports:

"Nesenoff noted that he was just as surprised as anyone else at Thomas’ comments and that he had intended the interview to be 'light': 'I was dumbfounded and hurt by it.' Nesenoff also revealed that 'there was more to the video' and that 'part two is coming out in the next day or so.' Nesenoff would not disclose what 'more' consisted of except that the visual 'explains it all.' I must admit I find the fact he is waiting a 'day or two' to get it up when there is clearly such a clamor for this story somewhat questionable. Additionally, one wonders whether Thomas will still have her job in a day or two, and if she doesn’t whether any additional video will really matter in the larger picture."

The original interview, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "White House Reporter Helen Thomas to Retire Immediately" »

News: Andy Bell, Helen Thomas, Mt. Rainier, Modern Family

 road Jake Gyllenhaal gets caffeinated in LA.

Jake  road Andy Bell on experiencing his first dose of ageism: "I saw this guy, turns out he was 24, and I went up to him and said 'you are stunningly good-looking.' And he says, 'I thought you used to be good-looking when you were in Erasure.' And I thought, I still AM in Erasure. Then he went on to say that he really only likes to have sex with people his own age. I have never been an ageist person. My tastes are open to all men, I like all ages, all races, all kinds. I remember thinking is it me, and the fact that I am 45, or is the issue with this kid?"

 road Miley Cyrus promises you that she did not kiss a girl on Britain's Got Talent earlier this week.

 road Foot in mouth: Helen Thomas sorry for saying Jews should "get the hell out of Palestine" and "go back home to Poland, Germany, America and everywhere else."

 road Anna Paquin on coming out as bisexual earlier this year: "It wasn't like it was a big secret. It was just a cause I cared about and privately supported, but not one that I had ever had an opportunity to speak out about in a way that would be useful. Obviously I know that one person's voice doesn't necessarily do that much, but I just wanted to do my bit."

 road Gary Coleman's ex-wife turns to the camera asking for your help paying for his funeral.

 road One missing as avalanche strikes Mount Rainier.

 road NY Times columnist Charles Blows explains why heterosexual men are becoming increasingly accepting of gays. One theory: "Virulent homophobes are increasingly being exposed for engaging in homosexuality...In fact, there is a growing body of research that supports the notion that homophobia in some men could be a reaction to their own homosexual impulses. Many heterosexual men see this, and they don’t want to be associated with it. It’s like being antigay is becoming the old gay. Not cool."


 road Ed O'Neill on the controversy surrounding the lack of affection between Modern Family's gay couple: "Oh, that's so stupid. Who cares? When I hear that, it's half amusing, half annoying. First of all, they're the most conservative family of the three. Mitchell is a lawyer, and Cameron is a stay-at-home mom with a baby."

 road The manager of a pub in London refused to serve gay group LGBT Labour.

 road Stolen trailer leads to a hate crime.

 road Watch 10 seconds from Twilight: Eclipse of Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner getting all confrontational with each other.

Barack Obama and Helen Thomas Celebrate Birthday Together


Today is Barack Obama's birthday (his 48th). It's also the birthday of veteran White House reporter Helen Thomas (she's 89), and Obama surprised her in the press room. Watch,

Continue reading "Barack Obama and Helen Thomas Celebrate Birthday Together" »


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