Your Wonkette comes bearing sad news: Helen Thomas,"White House Crone," died today at age 92 after a long and eventful tour through the halls of the White House. Younger Wonketeers may only know her from that 2010 video where she made anti-Semitic comments , but she was also the first woman assigned to a full time position as a White House reporter and, over the course of a half century, reported on every U.S. president from John Kennedy to Barack Obama. She was the only reporter to accompany Nixon to China. She asked hard questions that made G.W. appear almost -- not quite, but almost -- sympathetic in his bumbling idiocy, and -- unlike many contemporary journalists (YOU KNOW WHO WE MEAN) could be combative and hostile to press secretaries and the presidents they worked for. For example, she practically called Dana Perino a warmongering hussy, right to her face, and asked Obama why the hell we were still in Afghanistan given the corruption of the Karzai regime, its inhospitable terrain, and the mounting death toll. And -- in addition to doing all that -- she stalked Stephen Colbert, which we present to you in her honor:

And then of course there was that awful thing she said that got her fired, for which, yes, she was rightly condemned, because what decent person says that?

But a lot of us will always remember Helen Thomas as the woman at White House press conferences who, no matter what the Topic Of the Day was, would ask the president some WTF question about a topic that she was interested in, regardless of what the cool kids were asking. And were it not for Thomas's long talks with Martha Mitchell, the phrase "third-rate burglary" might never have been enshrined as the perfect description of Watergate.

White House photographer and Wonkette Nerdlust Object Pete Souza tweeted this photo of Barack Obama and Thomas "on their mutual birthday in 2009."

She will be missed.

[NYT / CNN / Chicago Tribune]


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