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I am retired from government, law enforcement, politics and all other pointless endeavors. I eat when I am hungry and sleep when I am tired.

Sunday, May 4, 2014


The White House Correspondents Dinner just wrapped up, and of course it's televised.  It didn't used to be.  I'm old enough to remember when the annual White House Correspondents Dinner was a closed event attended by senior public figures, mostly men and the reporters who covered them. It was a useful masculine ritual of camaraderie between the press corps and the President and his team.  They were opposing teams but not enemies.  Each fought their corners, according to understood rules.  This is very much the masculine style. Competition without rules is ignoble and ultimately, it leads to destructive, unseemly behavior.

This all went by the boards since The Sixties.  Journalism became a branch of social work and with the arrival of women reportage was less about facts and more about feelings, gossip and conformist in group, out group speculation women are so fond of.

We should, once again be grateful to CSPAN for this inside glimpse of our new aristocracy at play.  If this event was not called the Correspondents Dinner, one could be forgiven for mistaking it for a Hollywood political fund raiser.  It had a red carpet.  The place was packed with media types and starlets.  Instead of politicians and working reporters trying to be funny, they had a professional comic who turned out to be very unfunny indeed.

The old white guys who used to cover the White House are gone now.  Many of these were former beat reporters and war correspondents.  They have been replaced with graduates of Journalism schools who can't find their way around the block without help.  Would-be policy mavens and the sort of cave creatures who live in that wet gray zone between politics and show business abound.  The frontier between show business, journalism and politics no longer exists.

Hi! I cover the Small Business Administration.

Why do people with actual power feel the need to turn their own event into a superficial, showbiz vulgarity?  Why does Wolf Blitzer feel the need to have and actress on his arm?  Given his appearance one would think he would flee the contrast with an attractive person. Why does the President need audio-visual props to tell his professionally scripted jokes. Why do powerful people who work together prefer the company of actor idiots like Matt Damon more than each other?  Is nothing real, to them unless it has a showbiz gloss?  It's all a bit like real soldiers pretending they would rather be actors portraying soldiers.

As time goes by, I'm more and more impressed by the sagacity of the film Network. The public now truly believes that what appears on the screen is more real than what they experience in their own lives. And so it is perhaps not surprising that at the summit of power, image manipulators are at the head table.  Who needs reporters when the news is styled and produced?  In the near future we will have increasing difficulty telling the news bunnies from the starlets.  Perhaps we are already there.

Does my ass look big in this administration?

1 comment:

  1. Spent enough time in D.C. to realize it's a fantasy world just like the movies.