Jon Ward of the Daily Caller, until recently a White House reporter for the Washington Times, wrote a piece for Sunday's Washington Post titled “Why we'll miss Helen Thomas.” But Ward also interviewed some White House press colleagues who suggested Thomas had ventured across a line into explicit advocacy and argument:
"Helen had always been a tough, no-nonsense interrogator of presidents and press secretaries," said Ann Compton, who has reported on the past six presidents for ABC News. "About a decade ago, when she shed her role as reporter and began a career at Hearst as an opinion columnist, Helen's questions began to cross the line into advocacy."
Ward wrote that as “zany and obvious” her advocacy had become, he wondered if other reporters couldn't learn something about being a little bit tougher on press secretary Robert Gibbs. Fox reporter Major Garrett admitted to Ward “that until the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico became a major story, the White House press corps (himself included) had often failed to adequately hold Gibbs's feet to the fire.” He explained: