by John Hawkins | May 1, 2006 3:00 am
There has been a lot of talk about the White House Correspondents’ dinner. Bush did a little skit with a White House impersonator which got rave reviews and Steven Colbert did a comedy routine that apparently hit a little too close to home for W.. A lot of people on the right are arguing that Colbert was mean spirited and not funny while people on the left are cheering on Colbert for going after Bush.
Know what I say?
Isn’t it time for the Bush administration to stop attending these ridiculous joke dinners for the press? After all, the press hates the guts of everyone in the Bush Administration from Bush right on down to the lowliest Republican bureaucrat in the White House. So, why do anything special for people who wish you ill?
Moreover, this whole incident with Colbert isn’t the first embarrassing headline to come out of these silly dinners. In 2004, there were complaints about some WMD jokes Bush made at the Radio and Television Correspondents Dinner:
“During the annual Radio and Television Correspondents Dinner this week, Bush presented a slide show of quirky photographs from inside the White House. In one, the president is looking under furniture in the Oval Office.
“Those weapons of mass destruction have got to be somewhere,” Bush joked. “Nope, no weapons over there … maybe under here?” (Bush pokes fun at himself at dinner)
Democrats have seized on the matter, calling it astonishingly insensitive when Americans have died for their country in Iraq while the search for WMD has turned up nothing.
…A majority of CNN viewers who have responded by e-mail also said they were offended.
“Seeing our president joke about WMDs at a comedy function was terrible. How can a thinking, caring human being joke about the lie that led to body bags and broken young men and women? I was appalled,” wrote Fran in Burlington, Massachusetts.”
Then, last year, remember people complaining about Laura Bush’s joke at the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner?
“I saw my in-laws down at the ranch over Easter. We like it down there. George didn’t know much about ranches when we bought the place. Andover and Yale don’t have a real strong ranching program. But I’m proud of George. He’s learned a lot about ranching since that first year when he tried to milk the horse. What’s worse, it was a male horse.”
Maybe Bush’s people think these correspondents’ dinners humanize him because he gets to yuck it up in public, but it’s hard to miss that for the 3rd year in a row, there has been some sort of controversy to come out of one of these dinners that has been a net negative for W. That’s why the Bush Administration and future Republican Presidents should avoid these dinners and let the press get their jollies elsewhere.
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