How the journalist prom got out of control
on Saturday night, Post reporters and editors, in black-tie finest, go to the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner to host their invited guests, including . . . Donald Trump.
Awkward though the Trump invitation is, it is just one of the many problems with the annual dinner and its satellite events.
The fun begins, appropriately enough, at the offices of the American Gas Association, where White House reporters are feted by the lobbyists of the Quinn Gillespie firm. More lobbyist-sponsored entertainment comes from the Motion Picture Association. Along the way, journalists wind up serving as pimps: We recruit Hollywood stars to entertain the politicians, and we recruit powerful political figures to entertain the stars. Corporate bosses bring in advertisers to gawk at the display, and journalists lucky enough to score invitations fancy themselves celebrities.
Read more for David Millbank at the The Washington Post.
Hosting the WHCD is no joke
Though honored to join the ranks of past headliners including Stephen Colbert, Jon Stewart, Conan O’Brien and Jay Leno, Meyers, head writer on “Saturday Night Live” and anchor of the show’s mock news report, Weekend Update, had to think about it.
“I did kick it around,” he told POLITICO. “I’m always hesitant to say yes to almost anything, mostly because of my own personal neuroses, but … yeah, I certainly gave it a lot of thought.”
While mulling over the offer, the 37-year-old comedian put in a call to NBC colleague Brian Williams, a veteran of these dinners, for some guidance.
“He didn’t say, ‘Stay away!’ But he was the one who kind of reminded me what a tough room it was,” Meyers said of the “Nightly News” anchor’s reaction. “But that’s good: His job is giving people bad news, so I’d rather hear it from him than other people.”
“All jokes aside,” Meyers continued, “it’s really exciting going into a room like this. The more scary thing to comedians is when you say, ‘Oh, everybody kills there.’ So I’d rather hear that it’s a tough room, because then you go in saying, ‘Well, you know, I’m in the service of my country. And that’s the way I’m going to look at it.’”
Read the rest of the story by PATRICK GAVIN
Guess who’s coming to Dinner?
Kate Hudson is coming to dinner with the president. So are Sean Penn and Michael Stipe. And, as was probably inevitable, Bristol Palin has finally scored an invitation.
We speak, of course, of the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner, coming up on April 30 — and it’s not just you, there’s been somewhat less buzz thus far for the annual media-political-showbiz happening. Blame the crush of real news, the distraction of the royal wedding, or everyone being gone for the religious holidays. Blame, too, the fierce competition for tickets to the increasingly glitzy event, leaving media organizations hesitant to brag about their VIP guests until they’re sure they’ve got a seat for everyone.
But a red carpet lineup is slowly coalescing, in whispers and leaks. Greta Van Susteren of Fox will bring Hudson; Penn is coming with David Corn of Mother Jones; and REM’s Stipe will be sitting at an NPR table, along with David Byrne. Palin will be a guest of People, which has also wrangled Steven Tyler, Mindy Kaling of “The Office,” and one of those “Glee” kids, Chris Colfer. His co-star, Matthew Morrison, apparently didn’t loathe the dinner last year; he’s back again, we’re told. Bloomberg has tapped Shaun White, that red-headed snowboarder, and Brooke Burke, that lady from “Dancing with the Stars.”
Read more – The Washington Post.
Main course: petite filet w/a wild mushroom and onion compote paired w/ coco buttered scallops, cranberry and tasso risotto. Grilled baby veggies included: zucchini, spring pepper, sun burst squash
Desert: Kit Kat Pyramid (no clue what that is either), cherry verrine, passion fruit napoleon
Wine: Estancia chardonnay, Estancia cabernet sauvignon-
Thanks to White House Pool Reporter Jesse Lewin from Washington Times
REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT
AT THE WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENTS ASSOCIATION DINNER
The Washington Hilton
10:01 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: All right, everybody, please have a seat. (Applause.)
My fellow Americans. (Laughter and applause.) Mahalo! (Laughter.) It is wonderful to be here at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. What a week. (Laughter.) As some of you heard, the state of Hawaii released my official long-form birth certificate. (Applause.)
Hopefully this puts all doubts to rest. But just in case there are any lingering questions, tonight I’m prepared to go a step further. (Laughter.) Tonight, for the first time, I am releasing my official birth video. (Laughter.)
Now, I warn you — (laughter) — no one has seen this footage in 50 years, not even me. But let’s take a look.
(“Secret Birth Video” plays.) (Applause.)
Oh, well. Back to square one. (Laughter.) I want to make clear to the Fox News table: That was a joke. (Laughter.) That was not my real birth video. (Laughter.) That was a children’s cartoon. (Laughter.) Call Disney if you don’t believe me. (Laughter.) They have the original long-form version. (Laughter.)
Anyway, it’s good to be back with so many esteemed guests. Celebrities. Senators. Journalists. Essential government employees. (Laughter.) Non-essential government employees. (Laughter.) You know who you are. (Laughter.)
I am very much looking forward to hearing Seth Meyers tonight. (Applause.) He’s a young, fresh face who can do no wrong in the eyes of his fans. Seth, enjoy it while it lasts. (Laughter.)
Yes, I think it is fair to say that when it comes to my presidency, the honeymoon is over. (Laughter.) For example, some people now suggest that I’m too professorial. And I’d like to address that head-on, by assigning all of you some reading that will help you draw your own conclusions. (Laughter.) Others say that I’m arrogant. But I’ve found a really great self-help tool for this: my poll numbers. (Laughter.)
I’ve even let down my key core constituency: movie stars. Just the other day, Matt Damon — I love Matt Damon, love the guy — Matt Damon said he was disappointed in my performance. Well, Matt, I just saw “The Adjustment Bureau,” so — (laughter) — right back atcha, buddy. (Laughter and applause.)
Of course, there’s someone who I can always count on for support: my wonderful wife Michelle. (Applause.) We made a terrific team at the Easter Egg Roll this week. I’d give out bags of candy to the kids, and she’d snatch them right back out of their little hands. (Laughter.) Snatched them. (Laughter.)
And where is the National Public Radio table? (Cheering.) You guys are still here? (Laughter.) That’s good. I couldn’t remember where we landed on that. (Laughter.) Now, I know you were a little tense when the GOP tried to cut your funding, but personally I was looking forward to new programming like “No Things Considered” — (laughter) — or “Wait, Wait…Don’t Fund Me.” (Laughter.)
Of course, the deficit is a serious issue. That’s why Paul Ryan couldn’t be here tonight. His budget has no room for laughter. (Laughter.)
Michele Bachmann is here, though, I understand, and she is thinking about running for President, which is weird because I hear she was born in Canada. (Laughter.) Yes, Michele, this is how it starts. (Laughter.) Just letting you know. (Laughter and applause.)
Tim Pawlenty? He seems all American. But have you heard his real middle name? Tim “Hosni” Pawlenty? (Laughter.) What a shame. (Laughter.)
My buddy, our outstanding ambassador, Jon Huntsman, is with us. Now, there’s something you might not know about Jon. He didn’t learn to speak Chinese to go there. Oh no. (Laughter.) He learned English to come here. (Laughter and applause.)
And then there’s a vicious rumor floating around that I think could really hurt Mitt Romney. I heard he passed universal health care when he was governor of Massachusetts. (Laughter.) Someone should get to the bottom of that.
And I know just the guy to do it -– Donald Trump is here tonight! (Laughter and applause.) Now, I know that he’s taken some flak lately, but no one is happier, no one is prouder to put this birth certificate matter to rest than the Donald. (Laughter.) And that’s because he can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter –- like, did we fake the moon landing? (Laughter.) What really happened in Roswell? (Laughter.) And where are Biggie and Tupac? (Laughter and applause.)
But all kidding aside, obviously, we all know about your credentials and breadth of experience. (Laughter.) For example — no, seriously, just recently, in an episode of Celebrity Apprentice — (laughter) — at the steakhouse, the men’s cooking team cooking did not impress the judges from Omaha Steaks. And there was a lot of blame to go around. But you, Mr. Trump, recognized that the real problem was a lack of leadership. And so ultimately, you didn’t blame Lil’ Jon or Meatloaf. (Laughter.) You fired Gary Busey. (Laughter.) And these are the kind of decisions that would keep me up at night. (Laughter and applause.) Well handled, sir. (Laughter.) Well handled.
Say what you will about Mr. Trump, he certainly would bring some change to the White House. Let’s see what we’ve got up there. (Laughter.)
(Screens show “Trump White House Resort and Casino.”)
So, yes, this has been quite a year in politics, but also in the movies. Many people, for instance, were inspired by the King’s Speech. It’s a wonderful film. (Applause.) Well, some of you may not know this, but there’s now a sequel in the works that touches close to home. And because this is a Hollywood crowd, tonight I can offer a sneak peek. So can we show the trailer, please?
(The parody trailer plays.) (Applause.)
Coming to a theater near you. (Applause.)
Let me close on a serious note. We are having a good time, but as has been true for the last several years, we have incredible young men and women who are serving in uniform overseas in the most extraordinary of circumstances. (Applause.) And we are reminded of their courage and their valor. (Applause.)
We also need to remember our neighbors in Alabama and across the South that have been devastated by terrible storms from last week. (Applause.) Michelle and I were down there yesterday, and we’ve spent a lot of time with some of the folks who have been affected. The devastation is unimaginable and is heartbreaking and it’s going to be a long road back. And so we need to keep those Americans in our thoughts and in our prayers. But we also need to stand with them in the hard months and perhaps years to come.
I intend to make sure that the federal government does that. And I’ve got faith that the journalists in this room will do their part for the people who have been affected by this disaster –- by reporting on their progress, and letting the rest of America know when they will need more help. Those are stories that need telling. And that’s what all of you do best, whether it’s rushing to the site of a devastating storm in Alabama, or braving danger to cover a revolution in the Middle East.
You know, in the last months, we’ve seen journalists threatened, arrested, beaten, attacked, and in some cases even killed simply for doing their best to bring us the story, to give people a voice, and to hold leaders accountable. And through it all, we’ve seen daring men and women risk their lives for the simple idea that no one should be silenced, and everyone deserves to know the truth.
So I thank you for your service and the contributions that you make. And I want to close by recognizing not only your service, but also to remember those that have been lost as a consequence of the extraordinary reporting that they’ve done over recent weeks. They help, too, to defend our freedoms and allow democracy to flourish.
God bless you, and may God bless the United States of America. (Applause.)
END 10:19 P.M. EDT
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