White House Correspondents Dinner is a disgrace to the news media
The 2013 edition of the annual White House Correspondents Dinner, which is inexplicably called the Nerd Prom (see HERE), takes place tonight in a ballroom at the Hilton Hotel in Washington.
My greatest regret at not being invited to this affair is that it denies me the opportunity to more formally — and conspicuously — tell the organizers to shove it.
I’ll just have to settle for sharing with you readers of this humble blog what Charles Pierce SAYS:
There is no clearer example of the uselessness and essential decadence of our courtier press than the annual White House Correspondents Association dinner, which will be fouling the reputation of the craft of journalism this very weekend. Putative journalists pretend they’re Academy Award nominees while squiring around actual Academy Award nominees [above], many of whom can’t tell one red carpet from another, and everybody acts as though there’s seemingly nothing wrong with journalism-as-celebrity, and with journalists claiming the same sort of celebrity as the people they cover. This is a medieval papal court for whom its Luther never was born. It’s Versailles without Robespierre.
Figure on paying big time for a semi-glamorous locale; an embassy will do (but only one for a major country). Then, add in food and booze – about $100 a head. Plus entertainment, security, cleanup, insurance. Valet parking for a few hundred could cost roughly $6,000. Want a celebrity at your event? Of course you do. First-class flight to Washington, a hotel suite and limo for the weekend: Count on $4,500 or so more per glamourpuss, not including his or her posse, which you may have to include.Add it up. When all is said and paid for after all the parties surrounding the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner this weekend, some media organizations will drop as much as $200,000 each to entertain an elite list of guests.
These would be the same “media organizations” that are laying people off by the carload, slashing the benefits of those they don’t lay off, and making people do more work in less time for smaller salaries.
Every year or so, some high-profile journalist — recently, it has been Tom Brokaw, The Man Who Discovered World War II — mentions that the whole thing might be a bit, well, unseemly. Every year it gets worse. That’s because actual journalism and actual journalists don’t matter, and that’s the bigger problem.