Just Asking — Why Were All These Celebrities At The White House Correspondents Dinner In The First Place?

Sun, May 2, 2010 5:08pm EST by 5 Comments
Getty Images, Twitter

Getty Images, Twitter

When did this political event, originally intended for journalists covering the White House, become just another celeb fest?

Is Jessica Simpson planning to lobby for stricter laws on tuna fishing? Does Kim Kardashian secretly have her eye on Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s gubernatorial seat? Is Justin Bieber even old enough to vote? The answer to all of these questions is “unfortunately no,” which makes me wonder — what the heck were they all doing at the White House Correspondents Dinner last night?

Established by the White House Correspondents’ Association, the annual dinner was first held in 1920 in an effort to promote “the interests of those reporters and correspondents assigned to cover the White House,” according to the WHCA’s official website. OK, a dinner to help smooth over the relationship between the administration and the political media. I’m cool with that.

So how exactly did it make the leap from a political media event to the Hollywood free-for-all it is today? Even Vanity Fair, who hosted one of the dinner’s after-parties, made note of the ridiculous change in a recent article:

“The dinner may have jumped the shark for good last month,” writes Todd S. Purdum, “when Mike ‘The Situation’ Sorrentino, the rippled-abdominal phenomenon of MTV’s reality show Jersey Shore, let it be known that he was anyone’s guest for the asking. ‘I heard that it’s just a day where pretty much some of the biggest celebrities of the year get to come and meet the president,’ he told Politico.”

Now, don’t get me wrong — I relish any opportunity to get Michelle Obama in the same room as HollywoodLife.com‘s beloved Biebs (and oddly enough, it’s the second time that’s happened this year) but is it really necessary? When interviewed about her admiration for the first lady, Jessica Simpson didn’t speak about Michelle’s efforts to improve the health of American children. Instead, she said she respected her for being confident and being with “such a powerful man.” That doesn’t exactly sound like someone with strong political connections to me.

You tell me — am I making a big deal over nothing, or is the line between Washington and Hollywood becoming blurrier as the years go by?

– Andy Swift

Read More on All of These Celebs:

  1. Kim Kardashian Finally Got to Indulge Her ‘Bieber Fever’ Last Night!
  2. EXCLUSIVE! Justin Bieber Wants to Be A Jock When He Heads to High School!
  3. Who Was the Most Glam at the White House Correspondents Dinner?
  4. Jessica Simpson Wants to Be Michelle Obama – She’d Better Start Brushing Her Teeth!

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Posted at 1:59 PM on May 3, 2010  

I thought it was no big deal and then I read The Situation’s comment about what he thought this event was all about. What a freakin’ idiot! He and Sn000ki have no right to be there. I’m ok with Kim and Biebs…but not The sitch. What a loser!

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Posted at 12:54 AM on May 3, 2010  

a lot of the celebrities that attend year after year do so whether the republicans or the democrats are in the white house. it’s not really a political night in that sense. and as someone who lived across the street from this dinner for a few years I can tell you this is the only event in DC aside from inaugurations that brings Hollywood out in droves. I don’t think there’s cause for concern.

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Posted at 9:48 PM on May 2, 2010  

Celebrities have been attending for years so I don’t know why it’s a big deal now. It has nothing to do with Democrats and Republicans. I remember a lot of reality stars, (The Osborns, The Hills, etc) came during the Bush years.

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Posted at 7:45 PM on May 2, 2010  

Andy – I totally agree with you. While terrorist are leaving vehicle bombs in Times Square, thousands of people are demonstrating in our nation’s streets, and millions are unemployed our political and journalism leadership are slapping each other on the back and mingling with D through Z list celebrities at this event (which has definitely jumped the shark). While the event began with a great mission it recently spiralled into D-list celeb fest that serves no purpose other than to inflate egos.

I’m getting tired of celebs who are becoming spokespeople when there nonames people who can actually speak better on these issues. For example, why was Shakira featured on CNN (she didn’t know what she was talking about in the interview – it was embarrassing) when you could get someone more knowledgeable on the issue. Another example, Angelina Jolie is always called upon to speak on any country she visits for a few days – how about getting someone who actually works on a humanitarian issues full-time in a country to speak about the issues?

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Lori Ann

Posted at 9:32 PM on May 2, 2010  

Wow, do I agree with you, Sugar! It’s all the liberals just getting paid back for giving so much money to the Obama Campaign. [or maybe their daughters’ favorite stars that they wanted to meet] Years ago it was a very good chance for ALL news media to get together in an informal [albeit formal dress] evening. It meant something 25 years ago. Now a farce and absurd gettogether on tax payers money. Actually silly when you think about some of the people attending.

Same as political conventions are no longer needed to determine who will run for party’s highest office. That is now completely done via state primary. We all ready KNOW who will run for president by the time of the convention. That stupid big show that cost millions is a drunken feast where quasi politicans drag their play things. Saw that first hand. Ah, politics a wonderful thing! There should either be a primary or a convention. Not both to determine the same thing.

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