This past Saturday was the annual White House Correspondents' Dinner, which over the years has turned into a form of entertainment that blends both Hollywood and the media into one celebratory party. However, some critics have pointed towards the fact that, while amusing, the White House Correspondents' Dinner this year focused more on taking jabs at celebrities, or issues with the President himself, and less on the people who work hard on issues to ensure that they are brought to light.
Granted, there are some celebrities, such as George Clooney, who are humble in their efforts to make change. Yet, on the whole they are not the figures who the dinner seeks to poke fun at; instead the dinner focuses on the celebrities and media personalities that are obsessed with wealth and fame.
While it is understood that the dinner is meant to be lighthearted and fun, some have pointed to the fact that the dinner does have serious undertones. For example, at last years’ White House Correspondent's Dinner, President Obama told jokes and smiled at the crowd like every year; little did the audience know that Obama had just given clearance to a top-secret operation by a navy SEAL team to kill Osama bin Laden in his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
Admiral William McRaven who administered the operation was at this years’ White House Correspondents’ Dinner; he was not publicly acknowledged, and rightly so as it would not have been appropriate. Adm. McRaven’s operation was a great risk and and he worked to maintain precision in his team, and his overall operation. Honor has not been forgotten, but it may have gotten lost somewhere in the haze of the media circus.
From a critical standpoint, some have said that the dinner is nothing more than a gathering of acclaimed journalists. The journalists and reporters that are not invited hate the event and all the people who are invited to it. On the other hand, the people who are invited see the dinner as a proud moment and an accomplishment that validates their careers.
It was even noted that there is a bit of a blur between the actors, politicians, journalists, and newsmakers who are invited. There are those journalists and politicians who have worked long and hard to bring forth the most important issues and no doubt deserve to be given a break and an invitation to such a prestigious event. However, does inviting pop-culture icons to this dinner undermine this event which some journalists refer to as the #nerdprom?
Young people watching at home think so and are voicing their opinions on Twitter, saying they are the real nerds and journalists are just stealing their spotlight. Every year it appears as though there is a different opinion on the matter, and with millennials voicing their opinions on social media, some question whether it would really matter whether the event was even televised.
If prominent journalists and politicians looked at how others view the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, then possibly there could be change in terms of how the event is publicized. Where are else is one going to find New Jersey Governer Chris Christie and Kim Kardashian in the same room? Exactly.