May 2, 2010

Have Some More Cake: Another White House Correspondents' Dinner

Simultaneous with oil about to drench the Gulf coastline, Wall Street investment banks on as big a roll as ever, a near forgotten dual-slog in Afghanistan and Iraq, and, in the most surreal-and-hyper-real twist of the night, a serious bomb scare closing down Time Square while Jay Leno fumbled through pathetic inanities and a cheap roll call of Beltway elite, those watching this specticle had no trouble grasping the essence here, an empire feasting on celebrity culture.

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

If not quite Bacchanalian, this “biting” wire photo captures the indulgent quality of that (actually week-long) Hollywood-meets-press corp-meets-corporate America-meets-government-who’s who, otherwise known as the White House Correspondent’s Dinner.

What’s unique above, besides Leno’s buffoonish expression, is how Michelle Obama’s head is completely obscured by the comedian’s back when the First Lady, by way of her hugs for scholarship students, was the evening’s only class act.

And then, it seems no accident so many celebrity/guest portraits seemed more garish, or discomforting, than anything else.

Bloomberg for Getty

This Murdoch portrait almost seems a parody of itself.

Olivier Douliery/Getty Images

This shot featuring actor Dennis Quaid, the way it’s loaded with distractability, seemed fitting for the way it speaks to “being there to be seen.”

(Previous BAG WHCD coverage.)

(Revised: 5/2/10. 3pm PST)

( White House Correspondents’ Association fundraising dinner, at the Washington Hilton Hotel, Saturday, May 1, 2010, in Washington.)

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Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

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