If ever there were an apt metaphor for the DC press corps, it would be a creaky, over-the-hill, bootlicking comedian crooning impressions for the amusement of powerful insiders as the rest of the nation looks on in mild disgust.
So thank god they found that exact guy to host the White House Correspondents Association dinner. The gathering, an annual lovefest between the brave, combative journalists and the political powers they cover every day, was hosted last year by Stephen Colbert, who made national news by actually being funny. President Bush was mad that Colbert didn't properly josh with him good-naturedly, and the press was aghast at the breach of etiquette.
In the ensuing year, the media has come under increasing fire for not doing enough tough reporting in the run-up to the Iraq war. So to reassure the public that they are properly adversarial with the White House, the Correspondents Association announced that this year's host will be Rich Little, a 68-year-old Canadian "presidential impersonator" who credits Mel Torme for giving him his big break.
The press corps needed to prove it can speak truth to power. Instead, it hired a lounge lizard. Maybe DC journalists are just impersonators after all.
PR Play rating:
3. On the right track