It’s funny how criticizing the White House Correspondents’ Dinner generated piles of really nasty and asinine email overnight. Apparently any dissent from another celebration of Obama is beyond the pale.
Anyway, why did I think it was awful? For starters, the hotel is under renovation, so the traditional pre-dinner reception in the courtyard was gone this year. This meant that everyone had to congregate indoors which turned the place into a steam bath. Also, neither The Weekly Standard nor NR had a reception this year, which was too bad.
As for the dinner itself, I thought Obama was fairly good for most of his talk, though I have my quibbles. I thought Wanda Sykes had some funny lines, but was generally pretty bad. Yes, I thought the Limbaugh stuff was particularly awful, not just because it was offensive, but because it was unfunny. Biting humor is fine at events like this, so long as it’s humorous. Sykes’s schtick was a cliche wrapped in a lefty talking point. There are funnier lines in lefty blog comment sections. Moreover, the contrast with Stephen Colbert’s gig was striking. I was there for Colbert’s performance, which I thought went too far the other way. But here was a guy who was immediately lionized by the left as a brave truth-teller who did what the “lapdog” media was afraid to do. Here comes Sykes who makes some harmless cutesy jokes about Obama and then delivers a spiel that could have been written by Axelrod. Recently, the worst thing in the world you could do was “question” someone’s patriotism. But calling Limbaugh a traitor and a terrorist and hoping he dies is hilarious?