Helen Thomas was the very first female reporter to cover the White House. She was an aggressive questioner, sometimes abrasive, always direct and insistent, and yet loved by most who knew her. Indeed, she became a legend.
Sadly, Helen passed away this past week, and as I watched long time journalists reflect on their years of working with her, I could not help but think, “How did she pull it off? Aggressively and overtly persistent…and still loved!”
I am sure most of us have met aggressively persistent people in our work. In my world most of them wind up disliked, or at least not admired. But then there are the occasional Helen Thomas’s who can be very argumentative, even rudely interrupting, and yet still end up loved and remembered as absolutely wonderful people and treasured colleagues.
Helen would challenge White House spokesmen and presidents alike. She would press relentlessly for answers they did not want to give. Then, follow-up and press again. She was always insisting on more transparency and…
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