by Whitney Pitcher
The response to anything Governor Palin tweets, writes, or says is often akin to Pavlov ringing the bell to feed his dog. She tweets, and the hounds come running. The Governor’s tweet on Saturday rightly calling out the “Let Them Eat Cake” mentality of both the “a**clown” press and politicians in DC garnered a lot of pearl clutching fauxrage from the Left and some of the “me too” pseudo-conservatives. Some wrongly deemed her a hypocrite for calling out the White House Correspondents’ Dinner self-absorption and decadence in the time of financial hardship for much of the nation. However, Governor Palin never attended the White House Correspondent’s Dinner, as she was giving a pro-life speech at the time of the 2011 dinner. Did she attend the brunch in the morning or the after parties following the dinner? Yes. However, using Palin’s critics logic, this means that President Obama cannot criticize the House of Representatives because he once was part of the Senate–which is tangentially associated with the House per our Constitution. I’m not going to hold my breath for the Governor Palin’s critics to turn their fire towards President Obama though.
Prior to and following Saturday’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner, at least four award winning journalists have essentially agreed with Governor Palin’s sentiments. Usually I could care less about a journalists’ opinion, but if there are several of them who agree that the event has become a largely gratuitous, narcissistic, and out-of-touch, it is worth noting. Additionally, if these are journalists who are have won the respect of their peers, yet are criticizing their profession’s self-absorption, that is also worth noting.
Tom Brokaw, who has won numerous journalistic awards and has attended the event in the past, compared the present-day WHCD to Versailles and said that he’s seen “more dignity at my daughter’s junior prom”. Ron Fournier wrote at the National Journal that the Washington is “never more out-of-touch” than during the weekend of the dinner. Fournier’s comments are especially pertinent as he won the Merriman Smith Memorial Award presented at the 2005 Correspondents’ Dinner. There has been no hue and cry about the hypocrisy of these journalists.There shouldn’t be, just as their shouldn’t be for Governor Palin. Brokaw and Fournier are just more self-aware than their peers.
Today, award winning journalist Barbara Walters noted disappointment that the event has become more and more about movie stars, and that’s why she didn’t attend. Additionally, today Lee Strobel, noted Christian apologist and award winning former investigative journalist for the Chicago Tribune, tweeted:
I don’t understand the WH Correspondents Dinner. Journalists shouldn’t be social butterflies with people they cover.
— Lee Strobel (@LeeStrobel) April 30, 2013
All of these individuals echoed Governor Palin’s sentiments of the self-indulgent, incestuous, and out-of-touch nature of the event. It isn’t any wonder she compared Washington D.C. to reality television during her CPAC speech last month. It’s almost as if Washington D.C. has become “The Real World on the Potomac” except the press and politicians (minus the examples listed above) have yet to “stop being polite and start getting real”.