Sunday, May 01, 2011

Dead C-Span Scrolls

If they put last night's four-hour coverage of the White House Correspondents Dinner into a time capsule, future generations will get a glimpse of what went wrong in a once-great civilization.

The "news" may emphasize face-to-face takedowns of an unsmiling Donald Trump by the President and SNL's Seth Meyers (check out the jokes here) but, for a long-time veteran of toxic Washington dinners, the C-Span hours before were the real thrill.

How nostalgic to see overstuffed men in penguin suits and bare-shouldered (many unfortunately) women shaking hands and air-kissing while looking past one another for bigger names to accost!

How fascinating to see the nation's movers and shakers congratulating themselves on their in-ness without actually having to be in the room being bored by them!

How wonderful to see what Dana Milbank calls "the journalists' prom" where they "wind up serving as pimps: We recruit Hollywood stars to entertain the politicians, and we recruit powerful political figures to entertain the stars. Corporate bosses bring in advertisers to gawk at the display, and journalists lucky enough to score invitations fancy themselves celebrities."

My favorite part of the program was an opening montage of the President and Mrs. Obama telling various audiences to "Sit!" It looked like the intro to a dog-obedience video and, for an audience of trained poodles, quite apt.

SNL itself showed a rerun with Dana Carvey as host, but C-Span got the jump on them with a satire of those who make and influence life-and-death decisions for the audience.

As the Church Lady would say, "How convenient!"

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