American Notes: White House Correspondents Dinner
WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENTS DINNER: A cozy affair that has been going on for nearly a century between the White House press corps and the administration of the day. In its current form it acts as a Friars Club roast (only much tamer – so more of a light broiling, really, than a roast) of the sitting President, demonstrating year after year that there is nothing more inconducive to humor than an authority figure in on the joke*. And who wants to see the press corps chuckling away to the Vice President’s unfunny filmed skits rather than treating the whole event with the disdain you’d hope from seasoned hacks? Just do away with the whole damned thing – and if the press still want to eat out once a year the White House could offer them the choice of a $25 gift card to either Chili’s or Red Lobster. Otherwise this may well be next year’s dinner.
* The exception to the normal toothless satire being the year that Stephen Colbert hosted and, in character, skewered George W. Bush. This, however, was one of those rare, unlikely to be repeated moments when you had a comic skilled in irony and a President seemingly not in on the joke Bearing in mind the increasing Hollywoodization of the ceremony, the sitting President almost certainly has to be a Republican in order for the roasting of the Commander-in-chief to have much bite to it