Journalism delusion was evident in the triumphant return to WHCA.
Saturday night in D.C., there was an outbreak of glitzy catharsis as the privileged journalist set of our nation regathered once again for the formerly annual celebration of themselves, the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Following two years of no ceremonies due to COVID the most passionate pandemic supporters gathered together in a ballroom, to show off the same protocols they continue to want to force on the public.
While Dr. Fauci was not present, he managed to appear as a guest at the event. (I’ll show shortly how this was something of a theme of the night.) There was some excitement in the media circles earlier in the week when Doc Tony made his announcement. He would not attendThe dinner was arranged out of an awareness of COVID precaution. Fauci was at it again, contradicting himself. Just a few days earlier, he said that the country had ended its pandemic phase. Also defying his own words – the diminutive doctor was spotted at pre-parties, snuggling with luminaries in maskless fashion.
Then there These were the inevitable COVID hysterics…from those who wereIn attendance. The Washington Post’s Jada Yuan I had to tell a horror story about a terrifying nightmare. of the cloistered masses, literally describing the event as a “horror scene.” Bear in mind, that this was a gathering she willingly attended. She was also comfortable posting her own glamorous shot and discussing the outfits she gathered for the slasher film gala.
It opened with an opening video by James Cordon (late-night talk host). He appeared to be visiting the White House in order to become a new Press secretary. This was five-minute long tedious routine. After meeting President Biden and exchanging vitriol with Jen Psaki to get her attention, he took the stage in the press area and answered questions. While everyone behaves like merely being on camera is enough for comedy, he delivers the feeling of middle school talent shows where the relative insists how amazing the embarrassingly inept performance is.
Stephen Portnoy from CBS News Radio was elected President of the WHCA to take the podium and open the event. The event went off the rails in no time. “Welcome to the country’s biggest annual celebration of the First Amendment,” said Portnoy ebulliently, to a room full of people who have spent the past few weeks screeching against First Amendment rights. This is the group of journalists who rail against Elon Musk’s plans to open Twitter to them, claiming that freedom to speak freely would be a danger to the Constitution.
This scene felt like they were raising a glass to the top of The Bill of Rights’ opening entry.
Portnoy turned the tables and accepted a number of media awards from the WHCA. Jonathan Karl of ABC News was given one for reporting the deadline report on the Jan 6th riot. Karl saw that the microphones had been abandoned briefly so he jumped in with a brief speech, declaring that the riot was not just an attack on the Capitol but was an “assault on our democracy,” in a completely neutral unbiased non-partisan fashion.
Gayle King of CBS Morning Show was going to present an award that was based upon pioneering POC correspondents. But she shared an interesting story from the previous night. She was attempting to be photographed outside, but was loudly told to move, because “K-ete is here!” Nothing better exemplifies the import of journalism than Gayle King explaining how she and Drew Barrymore were pushed aside on the red carpet because Kim Kardashian and Pete Davidson were arriving at the media gala…for some damned reason.
Soon after, there was a mention made that CNN’s April Ryan was in the audience, and it led to a standing ovation when it was noted that she recently became the longest-tenured African American White House correspondent. It felt like a scene from the Academy Awards, where they always feel a need to highlight when a winner is from a notable sub-category – She is now the only left-handed agnostic pescatarian who has been awarded best cinematography.
After numerous references to the First Family at the podium (take a sip every time someone referenced ‘Dr. Jill Biden’), it now became time for the President to take to the teleprompter. Biden made the most memorable comment of the night, stating that every Fox News member in attendance must be immunized and given a booster to enable them to attend.
The scripted humor was dull for Joe, and the audience just laughed at his slapstick jokes. One gag that thudded like an airline engine falling off of a wing was when Joe mentioned his predecessor losing, and would make it up to him by having his Chief of Staff go over to Fox News, “Sean Hannity could then tell him what to do every day.” This not only made little sense but falls even flatter considering big administration names such as Jen Psaki and Symone Sanders moved to MSNBC to do this very thing.
Joe actually delivered one of the more pointed lines of the night, saying “I’m really excited to be here tonight with the only group of Americans with a lower approval than I have” They say that the best humor is rooted in the truth, but sometimes that truth looms larger than the humor itself.
Finally, the night’s featured speaker came up, Trevor Noah, host of the comedic The Daily Show. His job was decent enough. A scathing line of barbs was directed towards Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. Noah kept referring to DeSantis as being there. Truth delivery professionals across the country laughed at this, and completely ignored the fact DeSantis didn’t attend. The Miami Herald tried, however, to keep the myth that DeSantis was there while also receiving insulting comments from him in person.
Over 2,600 people attended, but not one person spoke to him. No pictures were taken of him at the event.
However, you didn’t see it as an obvious sign. https://t.co/iabLlnsI3M
— Brad Slager 🍸🥃🍺🎙 Lifetime Subscriber to CNN+ (@MartiniShark) May 2, 2022
Trevor managed to make a few funny jokes. These journalists, however self-regarding humor claims, don’t appreciate their professions being mocked. He called out to Chuck Todd, and said “Chuck Todd, how’s it going? I’d ask for a follow-up, but you don’t know what those are.’’ When he turned to Jen Psaki on the dais Noah dared mention her departure to MSNBC.
“However, you should be aware that the move to MSNBC represents a major change in your life. Now, your task is to present the Biden government as professional as possible. Now you’re going to be at MSNBC and you’re going to have to uh…well, you’ll be fine actually…”
Most notable however were Noah’s closing remarks, where he turned serious and schooled these press members on the task of their profession. Noah was able to convey words that could be understood by all working media professionals present.
— Mike Birbiglia (@birbigs) May 1, 2022
The key quote to hang onto, here: “You realize how amazing it is in America that you have the right to seek the truth, and speak the truth – even if it makes people in power uncomfortable. Even if you make your viewers and readers uncomfortable.”
Take a look at what the same journalists have been saying the past weeks about the concept of social media platforms opening up for people to voice their opinions. Journalists have been squealing about people having a more open forum, and that they as the drivers of the news will lose their grip on the national narrative – it is the journalists who are being made uncomfortable. They see themselves, at the information level, as those in power.
You can see how they are missing the main point. This journalism event is like the Academy Awards for journalists. But there’s a noticeable difference between the similarity of glamour and the congratulatory backslapping. Journalists fail to recognize that by fighting the freedoms the industry relies on, they create their own problems. The journalists celebrate the 1st Amendment while claiming that it is theirs and only theirs. Others with the same freedom are seen as threats.
Oscars are renowned for their self-esteem and Nerd Prom displays a lack thereof. It’s amazing how many people could get dolled up in the mirror, while at the same time never manage seeing themselves.