Tomorrow evening, the cream of our nation’s mainstream media celebrities, political celebrities, and celebrity celebrities will put on tuxedos and evening gowns and gather in a ballroom in Washington, DC to mutually give one another handjobs, in a mostly metaphorical sense. This is because the most powerful elements of our nation’s DC press corps are all “on the same team” as the people they cover (politicians) and the people they idolize (celebrities). This is called the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner, and it is the single most revolting annual gathering of pseudojournalistic cocksuckery in all the land.
Do you know who knows that the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner is a shameful display of whoredom that makes the “average American” vomit in disgust, or, more likely, simply continue to disregard the findings of any ostensibly neutral journalistic outlet in favor of their own ideology of choice, because they have a fully solidified belief that the “mainstream media” is little more than a bunch of ball-lapping lapdogs to whoever’s in power? Everyone. Everyone knows this. Even the members of the media who attend the White House Whores Despondence Dinner know this, deep down, whether they admit it openly or lie defensively about how they, the true professionals, can stand in a receiving line to backslap and shake the hands of politicians like groupies and pose for pictures with Ashton Kutcher and Alec Baldwin and Stephen Baldwin and Anna Paquin and no, it does not matter tomorrow, because they are professionals who would never be compromised by the fact that they just spent their favorite evening of the year joshing playfully with the powerful officials they are supposed to be afflicting and reveling in their close proximity to the celebrities that they wish they were.
This is not just any segment of the working press, enjoying a night out. This is the DC press corps, which has arguably the most important job in American journalism: informing the public about the activities of its government, and serving as a strong and omnipresent check on the government’s power. Great to know that our fearless watchdogs are busy swilling wine with the people they are supposed to be covering and introducing them to their wives and posing for pictures with Mila Kunis.
Every year I ponder whether it’s possible to go to Whore Dinner to cover it without being Part of the Problem, and I every year I decide that it is not. (Credit the New York Times and other news organizations who have come to the same conclusion.) And every year I and other humorless moralists write these somber diatribes about this event, and nothing ever changes, nor will it, because the media members themselves don’t give a fuck, because they like to meet celebrities, and the public doesn’t give a fuck because they already know the stars of the “mainstream media” are a bunch of patsy starfuckers who have to carefully consider how awkward next year’s Dinner might be every time they’re formulating uncomfortable questions for a politician, so who cares?
This little rant is not meant to offer any hope. It is not meant to project any sense of superiority. (We don’t get invited to these things.) This is only meant to make an annual declaration—which is not earth-shattering or surprising or particularly insightful, but is, nevertheless, necessary, in the sense of simply reading something into the public record—that you, the tie-adjusting, ballgown-donning, picture-posing members of the media at the annual White House Correspondents Association Dinner, are not cute.
You are gross.