LOS ANGELES, May 2, 2013 — The annual White House Correspondents Dinner is a place for the elite media to rub elbows with the elite politicians to celebrate their mutual patrician status. The Fourth Estate sits down with two of the three branches of government to dine on expensive cuisine and pretend they have anything but contempt for each other.
Conservative Republicans show their good-natured side by poking fun at themselves. Liberal Democrats also make fun of conservative Republicans, which is the media definition of bipartisanship.
President Obama gave a harmless speech that has already been forgotten. Conan O’Brien made remarks about something. Yet, the 2013 version of this event was noted less for who attended than for who did not.
Tom Brokaw and Barbara Walters both refused to attend. They specifically boycotted the event because they felt it had been corrupted by the appearance of Hollywood celebrities. Brokaw specifically said that his last straw was the 2012 invitation of Lindsey Lohan.
Under normal circumstances, Brokaw and Walters would have a valid point. As a general rule, any event attended by Katy Perry or a Kardashian is an event to be avoided. They may be nice people, but their appearance automatically conveys a lighthearted event unfit for serious individuals. This is a polite way of saying that they represent the worst of celebrity culture, and detract from what matters.
The problem with Brokaw and Walters is that they do not want to look in the mirror and admit what for them would be an unbearable, painful truth. They are the celebrity culture they pretend to despise.
Media stars are Hollywood stars. Every criticism of Hollywood applies to the media. Both are overwhelmingly politically liberal.
Hollywood and the media involve spectacularly wealthy individuals who love to be seen. They both act like their words matter more than the events themselves. They make themselves the story.
Brokaw and Walters could have quietly not attended. They publicly boycotted the event because drawing attention to themselves is what prima donnas do. The White House Correspondents Dinner was always by, for and about elitists worshipping each other.
Brokaw and Walters simply dislike that different kinds of elitists have been allowed in the club. While it is enjoyable to see Hollywood celebrities subjected to the “there goes the neighborhood” attitude they foist on others, there are no barbarians at this dinner gate.
Brokaw and Walters will never accept reality, but they are Katy Perry. They are the Kardashians. They are Lindsey Lohan.
Brokaw is an NBC guy. He works at the same network that gave America controversy over Matt Lauer and Jay Leno. Sister network MSNBC provides a daily embarrassment that was reflected in a Pew poll showing the network as 85% opinion and only 15% real hard news.
Brokaw spent his adult life in television, and television is Hollywood. While other correspondents routinely reported from danger zones around the world, he enjoyed his comfortable air-conditioned office.
Walters was once a serious news reporter. Now she finds Lady Ga-Ga fascinating. Her television show, “The View,” may be the least intelligent show in the history of daytime talk.
Her co-hosts over the years have included comedians, from Rosie O’Donnell to Whoopie Goldberg to Joy Behar. Sitting around a table bashing Republicans and then discussing recipes is not a place for any news anchor who wishes to be taken seriously.
This does not make any of these people bad people. It does mean they are kidding themselves if they think television ratings equate to relevance in terms of seriousness of purpose.
Walter Cronkite and David Brinkley were serious about the news (although new information shows Cronkite did frequently editorialize). CNN’s Bernard Shaw was a serious news man.
The “Today Show” and “Good Morning America” are now what passes for news. Katie Couric was about as serious as Ron Burgundy in “Anchorman.” At least Will Ferrell was pretending. The joke was on his character, and he as the actor was in on the joke with the audience.
Brokaw and Walters fail to grasp this irony. The mere existence of the White House Correspondents Dinner devalues the news. This is one function that even Hollywood celebrities cannot dumb down because there is nowhere lower to go.
Plenty of journalists want to be taken seriously, yet show up on the red carpet at the Academy Awards. The White House Correspondents Dinner is just the private jets and empty tuxedos making return flights back to Washington.
Lindsey Lohan, the Kardashians and Katy Perry deep down know who and what they are. In a perverse way, this makes them more insightful than Tom Brokaw and Barbara Walters.
If a more serious America is what Brokaw and Walters desire, then cancel the entire White House Correspondence Dinner now and forever. Ordinary people like me should continue to refuse to watch anything involving Brokaw and Walters or anyone with which they regularly associate. They are the last people to be turning their noses up at anyone.
As for the White House Correspondents Dinner, it always has been narcissistic nonsense. That was long before party crashers Barack Obama and Lindsey Lohan stumbled through separate rooms filled with people reeking of equal amounts of toxic smugness.
Brooklyn born, Long Island raised, and now living in Los Angeles, Eric Golub is a politically conservative columnist, author, public speaker, satirist and comedian. Eric is the author of the book trilogy “Ideological Bigotry, “Ideological Violence,” and “Ideological Idiocy.”
Eric is 100% alcohol, tobacco, drug, and liberalism free. Follow Eric on Twitter @TYGRRRREXPRESS. Follow us: @wtcommunities on Twitter
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