“… The collision of force and gravity,” that was the description of possibly one the country’s top political events, by Los Angeles Times Washington Bureau Chief, Doyle McManus.
That “Force and gravity” is sending Washington’s “Nerd Prom” – The White House Correspondents’ dinner “to freewheel out of control.” That being the opinion of veteran NBC newsman Tom Brokaw, who was noticeably absent for the second year, and has emerged as the most vocal opponent of the party, saying the breaking point was Lindsay Lohan’s attendance several years ago.
So what did attendees of last Saturday’s event make of the former network anchorman’s remarks? Newsblaze set out to interview the attendees after the dinner and at the Thomson-Reuters after-party at Washington’s Landmark Hilton Hotel, which was also the site of where former President Ronald Reagan faced down an assassin’s bullet.
We posed this basic question. “In light of Tom Brokaw’s comments about the dinner, what would you change, or where is the dinner heading?”
Many of the results of our small, very unscientific survey were unsurprising of the Washington establishment. We found bipartisan support for the status quo. First from U.S. Senator Johnny Issakson R-GA who hailed it “as a successful dinner and wouldn’t change a thing” His Michigan Colleague, Debbie Stabenow, on the other side of the aisle, echoed his remarks by saying “I think they are doing a great job and wonderful to hear about the scholarships” The scholarships was a persistent defense line of the event.
And yes, Newsblaze did actually receive a quote from the Anonymous White House Press official who would only tell us “It was great.”
“More Bluegrass” according to Comedy Central’s Daily Show Correspondent, Ed Helms, was the only thing that would revive the credibilty of the fourth estate’s signature presentation to the world.
Helms was not the only comedian who weighed in at some variance to Brokaw, some of whom were inside his profession of journalism. “OMG Tom how could you say that?” stated Rob Cox, editor of Reuters Breaking news. “This is the greatest generation of media and government functionaries that have ever schmoozed under one roof.” “The greatest generation” pun is a take off on the anchor’s best selling book.
Surprisingly, some attendees found constructive value in the evening such as Fox News’s Juan Williams who noted “it was a great dinner … I’m always sensitive of gatherings of elites but [the dinner] made a point of scholarships and access to the President and that’s something we’ve been working on.” Williams noted that his Fox colleagues, such as White House Correspondents’ Association Chair Ed Henry, were making it happen.
But perhaps the defense the White House Correspondents’ Association was looking for in the prior week of skeptical press, came from an Unnamed reporter for the Wall Street Journal who noted, “much can be changed … We’re supposed be close to powerful people and comfortable working with them” The reporter then added “Conan O’Brien roasting the president – where else would that happen?”
The Correspondents’ Association has posted on their website that the dinner is nearing its 100th anniversary, and plans are being made for future dinners.