Veteran White House reporter Helen Thomas announced today that she is retiring after covering 10 presidents, following a political firestorm over her comments about Jews, Palestinians and Israel.
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Thomas' role as the dean of the press corps has long been held in high regard even as her presence at the White House waned as she approached the age of 90 and was sometimes caught speaking about politically charged topics. Her focus of the last few years has been the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and when questioning President Obama and administration officials, she has asked why those countries have been "occupied." She was a vocal critic of President George W. Bush, and the presidential tradition of calling upon Thomas at White House press conferences also has become less frequent.
[TPM SLIDESHOW: COVERING THE PRESIDENT: HELEN THOMAS AND THE WHITE HOUSE]