Saturday, January 20, 2007

We report. You deride.

Basically, journalists do two things: they report, and they explain. It doesn't matter if you're reading the nightly news for a network, or doing the nightly crop report for Oogalala AM listerners. Report. Explain.

Unless of course you're Steve Scully, president of the White House Correspondents Association, and you don't want to ruffle Presidential feathers. Scully has asked 1970s legend and current D-list celebrity Rich Little to fill the Steven Colbert seat at this year's WHCA dinner, because, well, Heraldblog reports, and tries to explain:
"When I called Rich Little, I said 'I want your brand of humor,'" Scully told E&P. "It is a political audience, here are people who live and eat politics so someone who does George Bush, George Herbert Walker Bush, and Nixon, is someone we wanted."

Scully has said that the choice of Little, who practices a milder former of humor than Colbert, had nothing to do with any controversy surrounding Colbert's performance last year. "Colbert had a couple of zingers toward President Bush, and a couple toward the press corps," Scully recalled. "Stephen Colbert is very sophisticated and if you've not seen his show you may not get it." With Little, he added, "you don't have to explain his humor."
Rich Little isn't the one with some splainin' to do, Mr. Scully. Your job, if you really are a journalist, is to stop fretting about how popular the press is with the public. You're not supposed to be liked, and it's not your job to protect the delicate sensibilities of our Commander in Chief. That's what Laura does.

You and your pals in the popular press have been Bush's enablers for the last six years. If you are trying to shelter poor George Bush, it's because you feel sorry for the wretched state of affairs that you have led us to, with your celebrity culture frame of references and a timidity that borders on treason. I understand that the correspondents dinner is a respite from Washington's adversarial culture, a chance to let your freak flag fly. But the dinner is a reward that you have to earn. You are no more entitled to be chums with the President than I am to be a White House correspondent.

Ditch Little. Bring in Stewart.

We won't make you explain afterwards.

1 comment:

anaspirant said...

Great post. There have been some classic routines at this event in the past: Bill Clinton running after Hillary's speeding limo with her sack lunch, Laura's story about George trying to milk a colt, and of course, Colbert last year. And now, Rich Little!? Nothing against the guy, he was funny in his day and perhaps still is, but talk about a retreat to the womb! How sanitized, corporatized, and wimpy.