Monday, April 30, 2018

The latest White House Correspondents Dinner

The White House Correspondents Dinner is one of my pet peeves in the world of politics and journalism. The worst part is that in the past it has featured the President cracking jokes about policy - most infamously, George W. Bush in 2004 yukking it up over the fact that no "weapons of mass destruction" had been found in Iraq - and the ostensibly watchdog press corps grandees laughing along. It is a real symbol of the social and mental corruption of the national press in catering to the powerful.

Trump skipped the dinner last year and this. So by this year, it became the establishment press embarrassing themselves without any help from the President. Charlie Pierce has a caustic commentary on this past weekend's event, The Forces Were Perfectly in Balance at the White House Correspondents' Dinner Esquire Politics Blog 04/30/2018:
Faced with an administration* and a president* dedicated to poisoning both the spirit and the institutions of free government, and faced with an administration* and a president* dedicated only to looting those institutions that it cannot destroy, the representatives of the elite political media, through the woman at the head of their formal association, Margaret Talev, have determined that bowing to the fauxtrage aimed at a comedian on behalf of the administration*’s paid liar [Sarah Huckabee Sanders] is the proper way to respond to the weekend’s festivities. The commitment to a free press is not common to this nation’s people any more, if it ever was, and it damn sure doesn’t have any fans in this administration*. Anyone who thinks that “a vigorous and free press” and “honoring civility” are equally desirable goals doesn’t love the former enough to deserve the latter. [my emphasis]

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