The White House correspondents’ dinner: How much do you care about this celeb-heavy event? (Poll)


Director Steven Spielberg, posing for photos at the correspondents’ dinner. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

For those of us who cover entertainment and reside in Washington, the White House correspondents’ dinner is an important event, the one night of the year when the District’s celebrity-per-square-mile ratio comes closest to approximating that of Los Angeles.

Simply by setting foot in the Washington Hilton on that evening, a pop culture reporter can knock out interviews with the Clooneys and Kardashians of the world within a few hours.

But to the average observer of this annual excuse for the 1 percenters who make movies and TV shows to hobnob with the 1 percenters who make laws, thanks to invitations extended by the media professionals who cover them, the whole affair can seem a bit, well, nauseating.

Those who aren’t gagging, especially outside the Beltway, may not even be aware that the dinner is happening.

Which raises a question: How much do you honestly care about the details of what happens each year at the White House correspondents’ dinner?

Yeah, I know. This sounds like one of those pieces written by a member of the media who apparently has forgotten that she’s actually a member of the media: “Hi, I represent both the pot and the kettle, both of which are black. But what do you think?” But hear me out because I honestly am interested in how Celebritology readers will respond to this.

If you’re reading this blog, presumably you have some interest in tracking the movements of notable entertainment figures and, therefore, some interest in what happens when they come to Washington.

But frankly, I don’t want to assume even that. I’ve previously thought it was a given that my friends and family would know what I meant when I said I was going to the White House correspondents’ dinner, only to be greeted with a “You’re going to the what now?” These are smart people who read major media outlets, reside in the Washington area and own mobile devices that theoretically keep them plugged into all semi-zeitgeisty events. And yet, despite its annual mentions in outlets like this one and on late-night talk shows, they managed to remain blissfully ignorant of all things related to the WHCD. (Case in point: A Facebook friend posted a comment on a correspondent’s dinner-related item about Diane Keaton that said, “I don’t understand what WHCD means, but why always the hats?” One of the many myths about Washington is that everyone here marinades their brains in politics and all politically oriented events. They don’t.)

Given the evidence at hand — specifically, the degree to which the dinner has been trending on Google and other social media outlets as well as the traffic it generates on this Web site and others — it seems that plenty of people do indeed want to ingest information about this event. But how much information? What aspects of it do you care about — the celebrity spottings, the intermingling of Washington and Hollywood or just the jokes?

Vote in the poll below or expand on your opinion by posting a comment.

DisclaimerThis is a non-scientific user poll. Results are not statistically valid and cannot be assumed to reflect the views of Washington Post users as a group or the general population.
When she isn’t at a movie theater or writing about movies, Jen Chaney is ... um ... probably at home, watching a movie.

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