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American Journalism Review
Cancel My Reservation  | American Journalism Review
 AJR  Letters
From AJR,   June/July 2006

Cancel My Reservation   

I agree wholeheartedly with Rem Rieder's column calling for the abolition of the White House Correspondents' Association dinner ("The Party's Over," Web special). As a journalist, it makes me uncomfortable. The dinner implies the tensions between the Bush administration and journalists over leaks and secrecy aren't real somehow, that instead both the press and political leaders are both part of the power elite and the confrontations are just for show. I don't think that is the case, but as you say, it looks bad. It would be one thing if it were more formal, but it is so chummy it looks like a gathering at Bohemian Grove.

Jim Robbins
Freelance writer Helena, Montana

I concur with every point and critical statement you make in your column about the White House Correspondents' Association dinner. The only problem is that without the dinner, Stephen Colbert would not have been able to confront the president or the press like he did. (Personal note: I haven't stopped smiling since viewing the WHCD with Colbert!) Then again, the WHCA might follow the lead of President Bush and in the future reserve the keynote speaker spot for comedians who are uncritical of them and the president. (Insert Orwellian or Communist Russia/Pravda Analogy Here.)

Jason Combs
Cincinnati, Ohio

The WHCD is a joke. The fact that the MSM neglected to report on Colbert's performance they don't want to hurt Bush's feelings? The press in this country is pathetic. They do not do their job.

Susan Severance
South Orange, New Jersey



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