Saturday was “nerd prom” or as everyone who isn’t a member of the “political elite” call it, the White House Correspondents Dinner. A tradition started by Glenn’s least favorite President (and possibly human being to have ever walked the earth) Woodrow Wilson.
“Back in the Woodrow Wilson days, the idea was that the press was too — was just not cozy enough with those in the White House and those that they covered, so they thought, “If we could just get them enamored and get them into our lifestyle, then they will stop representing the American people because they will see their job as, we’re really in this together.” And the White House correspondents dinner was started,” Glenn explained.
While the media and political elite view the even as a great tradition, Glenn views the dinner as “a black spot on journalism.”
“I look at it as, really, the downfall of all journalism in America,” he noted. “This is where it began.”
Glenn noted that, back when the dinner first started, it may not have been to the obnoxious scale that it is now. It was probably more of “an old boys club.” But the Correspondents Dinner today as essentially turned into a red carpet event that puts the White House and members of the mainstream media on the same level of some of Hollywood’s most esteemed.
For Glenn, this isn’t’ about who is in the White House. His opinion of the dinner doesn’t shift with the part that controls the White House — although it’s safe to assume the dinner wasn’t so uppity with George W. Bush was president. Glenn isn’t alone in his feelings about he egregiousness of the dinner. Tom Brokaw was very public in his criticism of the dinner.
After declining his invitation, Brokaw explained to Politico that “somewhere along the line, it began to freewheel out of control. And the breaking point for me was Lindsay Lohan.”
TheBlaze.com reports that Lohan attended the 2012 White House Correspondents’ Dinner as a guest of Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren.
The first year Glenn was at Fox News he apprehensively attended the event. Sitting with Bill O’Reilly and Juan Williams, among a few other Fox personalities and a Hollywood star. Glenn recalled the event this morning during the radio program noting, “I spent most of the time just talking to Bill and we sat there, and the room changed when the president and First Lady walked into the room. And NBC was sitting right in the front. They had the best access and they were sitting right there in the front with a table, and all the Hollywood crowd and, of course, we were way off in the back on the side and I just watched this circus. And then as I walked out, all of the ‑‑ some of the veteran journalists were like, “Hey, it’s so good to see you.” And I thought, oh, my gosh, this is like a ‑‑ this is like a really, really bad prom go awry.”
Conan O’Brien headlined this year’s dinner — a guy typically liked by people on both sides of the aisle. It only takes a quick Google search to see how “well” his jokes came across.
Here are a couple highlights from his performance:
The president’s speech wouldn’t have faired much better if everyone in the room didn’t feel the obligation to laugh at the one-liner filled speech. From approaching the podium to rap music, to singling out Rush Limbaugh, Republicans (nothing new there), to CNN & MSNBC, the President didn’t seem to pick favorites this year while deflecting some of the more controversial stories surrounding his administration with jokes.
Here’s a video of his full speech…
“If you’re going to be a journalistic force, you’re supposed to be at the White House correspondents dinner,” Glenn noted. “We won’t. I’ll never buy a damn table to that thing. Never.”
Glenn wasn’t the only one not amused by the dinner. Here’s what Sarah Palin tweeted during the event:
— Sarah Palin (@SarahPalinUSA) April 28, 2013
Twitchy has more of what was tweeted about the D.C. event HERE.
…and here is the photo that had Glenn cringing all morning long.