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