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I watched the White House Correspondents Dinner on C-Span, and my reaction was that this looked like a very prosperous group chowing down on cuts of beef that I haven’t seen on my table in many years. Here are my two questions: 1. Aren’t there an excessive number of correspondents covering the White House? They filled half of a very large and packed ballroom (the other half were their guests). 2. And why should we take seriously legislation Congress is considering to bailout the press when news companies supposedly in financial trouble engage in this sort of public excess? For me, it was an in your face “let them eat cake moment,” or a p.r. mistake similar to that made by Detroit car executives who flew their corporate jets to Washington to plead for Congress to give them taxpayer assistance.
Wanda Sykes, the event’s emcee, was almost as funny as George W. Bush a few years ago when, during the dinner, he got on his knees and looked for WMDs under the sofa.
Jon Stewart has more.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
Fleming awoke in the dark and his room felt loose, sloshing so badly he gripped the bed. From his window there was nothing but a hallway, and if he craned his neck, a blown lightbulb swung into view. The room pitched up and down and for a moment he thought he might be sick. The word “hallway” must have a nautical name. Why didn’t they supply a glossary for this cruise? Probably they had, in the welcome packet he’d failed to read. A glossary. A history of the boat, which would be referred to as a ship. Sunny biographies of the captain and crew, who had always dreamed of this life. Lobotomized histories of the islands they’d visit. Who else had sailed this way. Famous suckwads from the past, slicing through this very water on wooden longships.
A welcome packet, the literary genre most likely to succeed in the new millennium. Why not read about a community you don’t belong to, that doesn’t actually exist, a captain and crew who are, in reality, if that isn’t too much of a downer on your vacation, as indifferent to one another as any set of co-employees at an office or bank? Read doctored personal statements from underpaid crew members — because ocean life pays better than money! — who hate their lives but have been forced to buy into the mythology of working on a boat, separated now from loved ones and friends, growing lonelier by the second, even while they wait on you and follow your every order.
Average portion of its yearly household expenditures that a South African family will spend on a funeral:
Neuroscientists were hoping to use rat brain waves to find people buried by earthquakes.
Four people were arrested for using a remote-controlled hexacopter to fly two pounds of tobacco to prisoners inside the yard at Calhoun State Prison in Georgia.
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Our congratulations to Alice Munro, winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature