“Not all, but key major news media outlets have chosen to continue misrepresenting Helen Thomas even beyond her death,” Nicholas F. Benton, owner-editor of the Falls Church News-Press, said in a statement today. “Their obituaries and other accounts of the life of the dean of the White House press corps published upon her passing Saturday report that she retired in 2010. That is false, and those responsible for the error know it. She retired for health reasons in February 2012. I challenge those organizations to correct the record.” Benton cited specifically the Washington Post, the New York Times and CNN, among others.
“Helen Thomas retired briefly in the summer of 2010, but she came out of retirement in January 2011 in a well-publicized comeback to continue her weekly political affairs column, hired by the Falls Church News-Press. She continued her column, published weekly in the Falls Church News-Press and on its website, fcnp.com, without fail for over a year, until declining health forced her to stop in February 2012,” Benton said.
“This is important to Ms. Thomas’ legacy for more than the simple fact it is true, while reports of her retirement in 2010 are false. It demonstrates that Ms. Thomas did not allow the firestorm of controversy that flared up in June 2010 to finally compel her to retire. Her revival permitted her important opportunities to set the record straight about that controversy and to begin a restoration of her amazing legacy,” Benton stated. “The beauty of Helen Thomas is she never gave up. Even after her setback, she continued working. It is a failure of reporting, and demonstrates a lack of understanding of the spirit of Helen Thomas, to not mention that she got back on her feet at 90.”