A Contrarian’s Point of View on WHCD

In an editorial today, WaPo columnist Dana Milbank agrees with Ezra Klein: that the paper inviting Donald Trump was a mistake. Or, at the very least, awkward.

On Thursday, the Washington Post editorializes that Donald Trump has been campaigning on “bogus” issues and that he should “cease and desist.” An article in the news pages the same day reports that the great orange charlatan’s “simply wild speculation” has “almost no basis in fact.”

Then, 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.

But that isn’t his only problem with the WHCD. Far from it. The week or so of parties turns journalists into “pimps,” tasked with recruiting Hollywood celebrities, politicians, and business executives to come to the dinner as guests.

Milbank writes of a time, long ago, when the dinner was a “minor annoyance” with mainly journalists and obscure celebs. “Now, awash in lobbyist and corporate money, it is another display of Washington’s excesses.” Among the gaggle of parties, non-profits “hold cocktail parties masquerading as charity benefits.” He calls the whole thing “icky” before closing:

As I began to do the RSVPs for a few of this year’s parties, I thought about what our hardbitten journalistic forebears would make of Cee Lo and SamRo and the Donald. Then I made other plans for the weekend.

Would “our hardbitten journalistic forebears” really be upset with journalists dancing to Cee Lo at a party?  Doesn’t look like we’re going to find out anytime soon.

Publish date: April 29, 2011 https://dev.adweek.com/digital/a-contrarians-point-of-view-on-whcd/ © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT