The yearly White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner tomorrow evening represents all that is wrong with the corporate news media. It is event where members of the news media get to mingle in a big swanky hotel with the people they are supposed to be holding to account, and pose for photos with celebrities.
And it’s getting worse and worse. From Politico:
If you needed a sign that the White House Correspondents’ Association annual dinner has hit a new level of star appeal, you need look no further than the E! Network’s decision to cover this year’s red carpet at the Washington Hilton for the first time.
E!, after all, is the cable network known for its wall-to-wall celebrity programming and its blanket coverage of such events as the Oscars and the Golden Globes.
Any self respecting journalist would not be seen dead at an event covered by E!. Yet vast swathes of the DC press corps will be there, dressed in tuxedos, hoping to fuel their careers in an industry that prefers blond hair to actual reporting skills.
The truth is, if you took reporting seriously, you also wouldn’t want to be anywhere near the subjects you are supposed to be holding to account in a social setting. Real journalists should be hostile to power. Real journalists should be hated by the establishment.
And if you’re there tomorrow, you’re definitely not a real journalist.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.