By Dustin Wlodkowski – January 22, 2013
Being welcomed into the home of Helen Thomas is an honor.
Her Washington D.C. apartment is filled with shelves of awards and autographed photos of presidents. So it looks more like an annex of the Newseum than a private residence.
But she doesn’t think the media should do the same.
“Not that I don’t like the bias, I do. I’m very liberal,” said Thomas. “At the same time, I know it’s not fair.”
Thomas’s reporting career began in 1942 and she started covering the presidency when the Kennedy administration was getting ready to take over the White House. More than 50 years later, Kennedy is still her favorite President.
“I thought he had great vision,” she recalled. “He understood the presidency, he understood his power, and he tried to do the right thing.”
Since then, she’s witnessed changes she thought she would never see, like women taking on bigger roles in government and the election of the first African-American President.
The veteran journalist is also pleased with the amount of women reporters there are today compared to when she started.
“I think we made great progress, maybe not enough totally, but it’s a very big improvement,” she said. “There’s no question about that.”
Despite that progress, Thomas does not remember a time when Washington was so ideologically divided. She puts the blame on Republicans.
“Before there were leaders who knew how to compromise,” she explained. “Now the Republicans just say ‘no.’ That’s an easy way for them to hold up votes. They don’t give a [ ] about anything.”
Still, she thinks President Obama’s biggest challenge over the next four years is fixing the nation’s economy.
“We’ve got to straighten things out,” she said. “He has to have courage and he only has one chance to do the right thing.”