I despise the White House Correspondents Dinner. Perhaps this is because I despise the DC political-entertainment complex.
Every year, media personalities who call themselves journalists hang out with media personalities from film and television, and media personalities who call themselves politicians. Let’s just start straight off: these motherfuckers don’t deserve a red carpet, and their embrace of celebrity is a disgrace to the profession they claim as their own. #NerdProm is a worthless pseudo-event, the creation of an entertainment complex using celebrity “journalists” as the focus of attention. It puts the lie to the idea that the political press are challenging power, and instead focuses attention on how they are licking power’s boots.
I was thinking about this in the context of Larry Wilmore’s performance this weekend. It was hilariously awkward. Like Steven Colbert several years ago, he took the piss out of the room. Both men brought unwelcome reality into a room that wanted desperately to absolve itself of the responsibility for failing to actually cover that reality. Both men uncovered the flaccid nakedness of the room.
These people deserve to be slapped down, especially when they are celebrating themselves. They have abandoned “speaking truth to power” and “afflicting the comfortable” in favor of stenography, disaster porn, and fluffing the rich and powerful.
One of the best jokes of the night was when the President said Jake Tapper left journalism for a gig at CNN. Wilmore was far too kind to Don Lemon. For fuck’s sake, Chris Matthews is still babbling about “Reagan Democrats,” not noticing that they’re all elderly Republicans or dead by now. These are very stupid, very shallow people.
The political-entertainment complex should be ashamed of itself, not celebrating itself. But, hey, Trump is good for the bottom line, if not the nation. So fluff away, Morning Joe, fluff away. Next year, though, try and make the #NerdProm correspond with the AVN Awards. Everyone will feel right at home.