Veteran journalist Helen Thomas abruptly retired Monday after treading into some deep doo-doo with recent remarks in which she said Israelis should “get the hell out of Palestine.” Thomas, 89, a fixture in the White House briefing room for decades, apologized on her Web site on Friday but still faced fallout as the new week began. Her employer, Hearst Newspapers, announced her retirement soon after the White House called the Israel/Palestine remarks “indefensible.” Before the announcement the board of the White House Correspondents Association reportedly was considering action, and Thomas was dropped as commencement speaker at a suburban Washington high school. Thomas was a pioneer for women in journalism, working for UPI for 57 years before joining Hearst in 2000 as a columnist. During the Bush administration her liberal leanings increasingly showed in edgy questions put to the president and his representatives. National Review Online’s Jonah Goldberg writes Thomas’ comments weren’t surprising. “Can we do away with all of the shock and dismay at Thomas’ statement?” Goldberg wrote. “Everyone knows she is a nasty piece of work and has been a nasty piece of work for decades.” Nasty no more.