Every year we have the White House Correspondents Dinner. It’s a cavalcade of politicos, politicians, and celebrities. It is an orgy of the elite, hobnobbing with each other. The highlight every year is an appearance from the President, usually making jokes.
The dinner is supposedly to raise money for a scholarship, but do we really think the major media organizations behind the correspondent’s organization couldn’t pull $103,000 some other way? Of course they could.
But “nerd prom” is all about schmoozing, where the people who make the news get their backs rubbed by those reporting the news. They always claim that this doesn’t affect their judgement, but it seems to strain credulity to think that a hard-hitting expose is going to come from your dining companion.
In Washington, reporters are already too cozy with the people on their beat. There are too many gentlemen’s (and women’s) agreements that govern how our news is eventually delivered to the consumer. When news comes out of Washington, it is often what someone or some organization is willing to let you know, rather than a dispassionate, factual accounting of information as the audience often thinks it is.
The Correspondents Dinner just amps this up to a whole other level, especially with the ridiculous game of attracting celebrity guests piled on top.
The press should be skeptical of power. Not partying with it.