She feels a real sense of obligation to get all the information that she can from the President, and any opportunity that she has to speak to the President, she wants to ask questions, wants to get the information out to the American people so they can be informed.
What sense do you get from her regarding the state of news coverage today?
I think she's disappointed, particularly in the lead up to the Iraq war. I think she feels the press weren't asking tough questions, and disappointment in the White House in their lack of response to the questions that were asked. And their lack of honesty, I think, is deeply, deeply concerning for her.
A big issue in the film is how important the Press Corp is in asking questions. And with the war we have a pretty acute example of the press not asking hard questions. Arguably, we might have not have ended up in this war in Iraq had the press pushed the President more and really looked at the facts the White House was presenting, and question those facts, question the sources, and gotten some real answers.
In that regard she's more like the Edward R. Murrow's and Walter Cronkite's of the world.
Absolutely. And at the same time, hers is an incredible personal story. She's a child of immigrants who were illiterate. As a young girl coming from Detroit, and having very few resources, moving to Washington, not knowing anybody in D.C. It's a great story of speaking truth to power. What an extraordinary person to speak up to Presidents over and over and over again, continuously, relentlessly.
But most importantly the film raises questions about the role of the press in a democracy, and just how absolutely crucial it is to have institutions that support journalists like Helen Thomas. There are very few people who are looking out for us, who are willing to ask the tough questions. And unfortunately, with the current administration, you don't really feel like they're looking out for the American people, and that their interests are in line with our interests. And having reporters who ask those questions and intervene on our behalf is crucial. And that is Helen Thomas. That is how she has spent her life and what she represents. And that's why I think she's deserving of a documentary, because she is so unique.