Always erascible and ever irreverent, 89 year old journalist, Helen Thomas ends a stellar career in disgrace and infamy. Her crime has been judged by a jury of her peers and her sentence is death. No one will give her a lethal injection or place her in a gas chamber to breathe in noxious fumes. Her death will come more slowly and painfully than either of these methods.
She won't die from the shame of having her good name besmirched or being villified in the press. Her death will be by her own hand. She will be felled by that most evil of all executioners: retirement. Without looking at statistics, I know that many people die shortly after or before retirement.
The prospect of day after day of inactivity is fatal for many, usually men. Women seem to have other things to because most women, even those with careers, always had a second job as homemaker. It's that duty they can still look forward to after retirement. While men most likely centered their lives around work and when they no longer work, have nothing to do.
Thomas lived her life like a man in that regard. She did one thing. Work. And now that her job is no longer tenable due to a few thoughtless words, she probably won't live too long after she reaches her ninetieth birthday in August - if she makes it until then. The irony is that once she's dead all will be forgotten and forgiven and her illustrous career will be celebrated in her absence by the very peers who past judgement on this dean of journalism who walked away from her profession wearing the scarlet A of anti-semitism.
I wonder will they leave an empty chair in the front row of the White House press room in her honor?