Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Just for fun

Daddy Frank

Last week, Politico published a piece by Mike Allen and Jim Vandehei simultaneously criticizing and celebrating Times reporter Mark Leibovich for writing a book on D.C. culture while also being part of it. This past Saturday night was the annual journalist-celebrity-politician schmooze-fest that is the White House Correspondents' Dinner. How uneasy are you with this brand of Beltway navel-gazing?

Mark Leibovich is one of the wittiest writers about politics around. If he is already provoking Politico to take a preemptive strike at a book that no one has read and isn’t out until July, he must be doing something right. Indeed, we’ll know Leibovich’s book, titled This Town, is a success if he can never eat lunch in that town again. As for the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, it is what it is — a campy hoot as long as you don’t have to attend. Just seeing (on C-Span) how the Washingtonians are dressed as they saunter down the red carpet is hilarious; the town’s fashion sense hasn’t changed all that much since I attended the senior prom of my D.C. high school, Woodrow Wilson, quite some time ago. This year, as in other recent years, the only real winner at the dinner itself was President Obama. He was funny, and watching journalists and politicians squirm as the president mocks them is always a fabulous spectator sport. The black-tie audience in the ballroom looked as if it was having about as much fun as the Broadway opening-night crowd at Springtime for Hitler.