New York Times: We Aren’t Judging Other Outlets for Going to the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner

By
Nonjudgmental <i>Times</i> editor Bill Keller.
Nonjudgmental <i>Times</i> editor Bill Keller. Photo: Scott Gries/Getty Images

The Observer today managed to snag a particularly backhanded "no judgment!" statement from the New York Times' Washington editor Dean Baquet on the subject of why his paper doesn't participate in the cronyish White House Correspondents' Association Dinner:

"We are not being holier than thou, or criticizing anyone who chooses to go. But we came to the conclusion that it had evolved into a very odd, celebrity-driven event that made it look like the press and government all shuck their adversarial roles for one night of the year, sing together (literally, by the way) and have a grand old time cracking jokes. It just feels like it sends the wrong signal to our readers and viewers, like we are all in it together and it is all a game. It feels uncomfortable."

Yes, definitely not holier than thou.

The best part of the story was the response the writers, Foster Kamer and Kat Stoeffel, got when they e-mailed Times editor Bill Keller the same question. "GROAN," Keller wrote back. "SUCH a done subject. Why don't you try Dean Baquet in the Washington Bureau? I'm sure he'd LOVE to answer your questions."

God, it's so annoying that other journalistic outlets exist, isn't it, Bill? What a bore.

The Situation and the Story: Press Corps Parties While White House Makes History [NYO via Romenesko]