On Sunday’s “Meet the Press”, Tom Brokaw was analyzing the Presidential race of 2012 when he took a sharp turn into Curmudgeon-ville to take major swipes at Nerd Prom. He is not pleased about the glittering of the White House Correspondents’ Dinner with stars like George Clooney and Charlize Theron. Some people may argue that at last those stars are politically active and aware of what’s going on the world. The same can’t be said for the likes of Kim Kardashian and Lindsay Lohan.
In any event, reaction started pouring in over Twitter as Brokaw’s comments went viral. WSJ’s Neil King welcomed Brokaw’s comments by saying, “Here’s seconding Brokaw’s takedown of the WH Correspondents Dinner. And here’s predicting the day when POTUS says thanks but no thanks.” Longtime Washington political journo and columnist for the Dallas Morning News Carl Leubsdorf told FBDC, “I think he spoke for many of us.” He went on to say, “Tom is spot on. And as the dinner has become glitzier, fewer seats have gone to actual correspondents and more to corporate executives, advertisers and celebrities. The upcoming 100th WHCA anniversary in 2014 might be a perfect time to consider this, though I’m not too hopeful that will happen.” Something that got the attention of HuffPost’s Michael Calderone was Brokaw’s mention of “taking over the Italian embassy.” It just so happens that was the location of the blowout MSNBC after-party. National Correspondent for The Atlantic, James Fallows also agreed with Brokaw, saying, “Good for Tom B!”
Brokaw is one in a procession of Washington journalists who are trashing what the dinner has become. Late last week we reported on U.S. News & World Report’s Susan Milligan,
who also believes celebs ruin the image of the event. Some may also recall WaPo Dana Milbank‘s take on Nerd Prom last April, in which he says journalists have turned themselves into pimps for the politicians and the stars. He intimated that he grew sickened as he started to RSVP for parties and “made other plans for the weekend.” But Brokaw’s blast is a little bit different. First, he has the highest profile of anyone who has criticized the dinner. Second, he doesn’t seem to differentiate between George Clooney and Lindsay Lohan. He wants Hollywood out of the dinner.
It’s interesting to note that while Twitter was having a field day with Brokaw’s comments, neither Betsy Fischer, Exec. Producer for “Meet the Press”, nor host David Gregory made any comments. Watch Brokaw’s comments in the video below.