I didn’t have to dress, but I went anyway, and I insisted Doug join me at the 2012 White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Who knew we would see so many actors and other performers? (!)
Thanks to c-span for carrying the event, and so showing us the kinds of people who shape our understanding of the world events and entertainment, without comment. They documented the demise of political satire, and ongoing dependence on bathroom humor, profanity, and name-calling. We could see the White House correspondents as they saluted one another, schmoozed, and skewered attendees. We heard the President of the United States, and a late-night TV personality perform, for laughs.
Fifty years ago, women were not permitted to attend the dinner, according to Helen Thomas, interviewed shortly before the dinner by C-span. Indeed their attendance was their right, duty and privilege as hard working journalists, and President Kennedy insisted the doors open wide to women reporters.
If the increased presence of women will elevate the tone of the workplace, an argument made for changing the culture of the Secret Service, I wonder about the half-century contribution women journalists have made to this evening’s celebration.