Washington Babylon — May 12, 2009, 8:55 am

The White House Correspondents Dinner: “This is the real deal”

The description in the headline comes from Christian Slater, which is quite a testament to the multitudes that assembled at the dinner. A Washington Post reader had a different opinion:

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.

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I sat in a taxi with Emma and her son, Stak, all three bodies muscled into the rear seat, and the boy checked the driver’s I.D. and immediately began to speak to the man in an unrecognizable language.

I conferred quietly with Emma, who said he was studying Pashto, privately, in his spare time. Afghani, she said, to enlighten me further.

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