The White House Correspondents' Dinner is an embarrassment, but it isn't a symbol of what's wrong with politics—it's a symbol of what's wrong with Washington, DC, writes Alex Pareene in a Salon piece titled "Washington's Sad Prom." Our nation's capital is nowhere near New York or Hollywood, meaning all those political journalists who "consider themselves terribly important" have to trick celebrities into attending an extremely lame party that, at this point, really has nothing to do with journalism, Pareene explains.
The president's joke session is not what draws most people to the dinner—it's actually the afterparties that are the exciting part, because "even if you, professionally, hate politics and politicians and think DC should be blasted off the face of the earth or at least paved over and replaced with a giant toll road to a charter school, it is fun to see famous people and drink drinks," Pareene writes. Really, the whole thing is "degrading," "insufferable," and should be canceled—except "then Washington reporters would never have a chance to be in the same room as George Clooney." Click for Pareene's full takedown. (Read more White House Correspondents Association stories.)