I think a lot of us out here in the hinterlands, better known as the 99.99999% of America that does not have a press pass from a D.C. news organization, have felt for some time that the people who cover the news have their own agenda that has nothing to do with the idea that they are the Fourth Estate. The latest dustup over the White House Holiday Party invites really has me wondering if the White House correspondents need their own reality show so they can bask in a little celebrity for awhile.
In old days men had the rack. Now they have the press. That is an improvement certainly. But still it is very bad, and wrong, and demoralizing. Somebody — was it Burke? — called journalism the fourth estate. That was true at the time no doubt. But at the present moment it is the only estate. It has eaten up the other three.
The Lords Temporal say nothing, the Lords Spiritual have nothing to say, and the House of Commons has nothing to say and says it. We are dominated by Journalism.
Indeed we are.
Which is why I want to know why I should really give a damn if Important Pundits R Us, people who by all accounts can afford to throw their own lavish soirees, don't get invited to a White House holiday party. Don't you get enough free food on the chicken dinner circuit?
The hinterland dwelling public doesn't really care right now that the Obama's are messing up your collection of photos with the president. They don't want to hear about how important your opinion is to a sitting president, or why the president's people need to be jumping through hoops to make you like them on a personal level.
People in the hinterlands who thought you were supposed to be urging the president to serve the country's citizens, even when it doesn't serve his political aims, are tired of the "scratch my back, I'll scratch yours" culture you seem to revel in.
They are tired of you calling yourselves journalists while you cozy up to the very people you are supposed to be watching.
“I’ve been hearing from a lot of our members who haven’t been invited. They’re very upset and confused because they feel they put the time in covering this job, and the Christmas party was something they looked forward to,” said Julie Mason, a White House reporter for the Washington Examiner and a member of the White House Correspondents Association Board.
Maybe if you skip the White House eggnog this year, you might be able to spend some time connecting the dots between the lack of jobs, the refusal by banks to lend to business, and the high foreclosure rates that are leaving many of the homes your subscribers used to live in empty.
The rest of us think you get paid enough to act like adults and be thankful that you have a job you like that pays you. And for the rest of us who are out of jobs, or underemployed, or are waiting on our family members who are overseas in Iraq or Afghanistan dodging IED's to get home safe, this doesn't even come close to making it on our radar of things to give a rat's ass about.
If the lack of a White House invite has got you deeply depressed, and you can't seem to shake it, you can always "do a Salahi" and just walk right in. Although you might want to put your bulletproof vest on before you leave home.