Old, Tired, and Whacked in the head

The other day, after watching a press conference featuring yet another Tony Snow vs. Helen Thomas exchange, I asked rhetorically, “Who is this bitch? Does anyone even publish her anymore?” Oddly enough, the American Thinker brought me some insight on the answers today when they referenced this New Republic article:

Hack journalist Helen Thomas’s strange rise to liberal icon
(Login required… may I suggest BugMeNot?)

Thomas made her name, in other words, simply by staying in the same gruntwork job far longer than any of her colleagues could bear. She started on the beat in 1960; stories describing her as the dean of the White House press corps can be found as early as 1979. At some point, through sheer force of longevity, she became etched into the Washington landscape.
The odd thing about her awards and citations is that they almost never mention any specific contributions she has made to journalism save for being female and, well, old. The usual path to journalistic fame, other than appearing regularly on television, is to break a major story–Ida Tarbell and Standard Oil, Bob Woodward and Watergate, et cetera. But Thomas has no connection to any such body of work.
In fact, the behavior of Bush and his spokesmen suggests that they are grateful for her presence. Fox News often broadcasts her exchanges with the press secretary to bolster its claim that the mainstream press has an anti-Bush bias.

So, the bottom line? Helen Thomas is a moronic iconic liberal figure that no one can get rid of, but the administration is happy to keep around for comedy relief. Sounds about right, judging by her obnoxious outbursts at every White House press conference I’ve ever seen.