The Washington Post

Tweet of the Week, Vol. 13 – WHCD vs. the real D.C.


In which I highlight local tweets and analyze why they’re important relevant.

The White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner brings out the best and worst of Washington.  Each year for the past five years, the event has drawn a more pop-culture-centric crowd, a move away from decades of the tables being filled with journalists and political types. On a national level, “Nerd Prom” has officially gone full Hollywood, with no shame.

But locally, the tensions between “This Town” and “Our Town” are still very real. Last year, I wrote about the two sides of the city and how that weekend affects them. And the above exchange shows how among certain crowds, there is still a somewhat bitter relationship.

The initial tweet comes from Robert Vinson Brannum, Chairman of the Ward 5 Democrats, staunch supporter of Mayor Vincent Gray and overall media and political gadfly in the District. The message was one of many in which he copied the same message and tagged various media outlets, effectively throwing anything against the wall to see what might stick.

With CNN’s Jake Tapper, it worked.

Full disclosure: I’ve appeared on Tapper’s show “The Lead,” numerous times, and I like him personally. And his response was one that many people in D.C., including me, would consider valid. And it raises an interesting point:  Is this distinction between “real D.C.” and “some other” D.C.  really even sensible anymore?

To draw things out a little further, is it possible that the constant push for “D.C.” to be separated from “Washington” actually doing a disservice to both? I don’t think we’re at that point yet, but we are close to reaching a point where the quibbling — especially in the wake of what is essentially a glorified party — is pointless.

I’ve had my reservations about attending events surrounding the dinner. Not to say that I haven’t done it before. But the exchange between Brannum and Tapper, in 4 tweets, sums up perfectly how difficult it is for certain gaps to be bridged.  Hopefully, next year, the two can sit down and make that list of people who fit the “Real D.C.” criteria.

Then throw a party, together.

Clinton Yates is a D.C. native and an online columnist. When he's not covering the city, pop culture or listening to music, he watches sports. A lot of them.



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