In his column in yesterday’s New York Times (sub. req.), Frank Rich announced that the paper will no longer participate in the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner. E&P today confirms it, and writes that the paper will also stop attending the Gridiron Club dinner, a similar affair.
This strikes me as a very dumb overreaction to a perceived coziness between Washington reporters and their sources. What happens the next time a New York Times reporter is invited to a White House dinner, as David Sanger was last June? Are NYT reporters henceforth barred from attending any party or social function at which government officials are present, for fear that liberal bloggers might accuse them of being lapdogs again? By implying that there’s something improper about such hobnobbing, the Times brass is setting its D.C. reporters up for all sorts of accusations, should they, God forbid, get caught having a drink with a friend who works for the government.