Sunday, August 17, 2008

Heroes Tour I: Helen Thomas

So this has shaped up to be quite a year! In just the past six months I have been able to meet several of my heroes. As glamorous as that sounds, on all occasions, I find myself completely speechless, with just a few phrases able to tumble off my tongue - including, a meek, “ hhhhhiiiii.” … “great book, “you’re my hero,” and while completely unmemorable to these women these are standout moments for me.

This year’s heroes tour include Helen Thomas, Christian Amanpour, Cokie Roberts, and Kimberly Dozier. Helen Thomas, the remarkable White House correspondent Thomas has covered every president since John F. Kennedy, was the first woman officer of the National Press Club, was the first woman member and president of the White House Correspondents Association, and the first woman member of the Gridiron Club. She has written four books; her latest is called Watchdogs of Democracy?: The Waning Washington Press Corps and How It Has Failed the Public.

Hardly standing five feet tall, she keeps state leaders in check (and a bit fearful!) While attending a speaking event in Bethesda, she commented on everything from Iraq, “We should get out of Iraq…yesterday. And bring in UN Peacekeepers,” to her role in the WH briefing room as being, “ a ring side seat for history.”

Winning her spot in hero-dom however was her commentary on serving the fourth estate, “ there is too much at stake to throw [the President] softballs.”

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