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John Kiesewetter on the world of local and national TV

Senior Entertainment Reporter John Kiesewetter has been covering TV and media issues for 20 years. After joining the Cincinnati Enquirer in 1975 as a summer intern, he worked as a county government and suburban reporter; assistant city editor and suburban editor; and features editor supervising the Life section. He has a B.S. in journalism from Ohio University.

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Friday, April 25, 2008

Must See TV: White House Correspondents Dinner Saturday

A DVR alert for C-SPAN? Yes :). One of the funniest TV shows each year is the White House Correspondents Association dinner every April on C-SPAN. It starts at 8 p.m. Saturday on C-SPAN.

Craig Ferguson is the entertainer this year. In the past, Leno, Colbert and Cedric the Entertainer have done the dinner. (We'll forget the year Imus did it.) Usually the funniest stuff is when the president does/orchestrates some schtick. One year Bush did a routine with Bush look-alike Frank Caliendo translating the remarks. It was hilarious. Another year Laura Bush told George to sit down, and she did a stand-up routine. She killed. In Clinton's last year, he did a terrific video about the boredom of his final days in office (written by the "Everybody Loves Raymond" writers). Leno came on after that Clinton video, and praised Clinton's comedic skills.

Set the VCR for 8 p.m. Saturday. You can fast-forward through all the arrivals in the foyer and the boring awards, then enjoy Ferguson's routines... and probably laugh harder at whatever self-deprecating routine Bush cooks up for the dinner.


at 4/25/2008 3:34 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hardly think that it is an appropriate time for the President and/or the press to be doing any joking around. The revelations that came out this week regarding the Pentagon's plan to use generals that appeared on television to act as a mouthpiece for Administration policies certainly should be investigated as should the revelations that the Bush Administration conducted meetings within the White House to discuss torture techniques.

Frankly, it makes me ill to watch members of the Administration delivering jokes while we are involved in:
- a housing crisis
- a worldwide food crisis
- the Iraq War and occupation
- a torture scandal involving Administration officials.
- The Pentagon giving special access to generals who touted their policies on television and in print and the legalities of using PsyOps on the American population.
- The media becoming further cosolodated with the purchase of Newsday by NewsCorp.
- Telecom companies turning over records to the government without warrants and possibly getting retroactive immunity.
- The use of private contracting firms within Iraq and the loopholes that allow them immunity from potential prosecution.

Need I go on? The LAST thing I want to see on my television is the President telling jokes and having a grand old time when we are in such dire circumstances on so many levels. Call me crazy.

at 4/25/2008 5:27 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

ok, you're crazy.

should we all sit around 24 hours a day and wail about our fate?

you must be fun at parties.

wait, i forgot, you don't go to any.

we have tons of problems, but everyone deserves to blow off steam from time to time. just look at all the bloggers on here who take anonymous shots at their co-workers!

at 4/26/2008 6:19 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

3:34, I guess it was OK for the disgrace that was Bill Clinton to do the dinner too, right? The president that soiled the oval office with an intern, lied under oath and failed to do anything about OBL that would have prevented a majority of the problems you seem to think are the Armageddon. Get over yourself and your hate for GWB and get back on your Prozac you Debbie Downer!

at 4/28/2008 12:10 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

6:19, your assumption and inference that I must not be critical of Clinton's attendance or policies solely based on the fact that I was critical of Bush's role, is not helpful to the discourse. Your comment is a knee-jerk reaction in assuming that everything is divided along the political lines of left vs. right..."if I'm hard on the current President, then I must be giving a free pass to his predecessor." This simply doesn't follow and distracts from my point.

I am addressing THIS Correspondents dinner because it is the issue at hand. My point is that when you have a press that is largely complicit in acting as a megaphone for the official line and for policies of the investigation would perhaps be more appropriate than a party. Especially with the revelations of the Generals "embedded" in the media like I discussed above and the Administration paying off journalists to speak favorably about policies (Armstrong Williams).

It is more appropriate to investigate the alarming trend of the media's role in these scandals and their overall independence than it is to rub elbows with the elite and tell jokes.

at 4/29/2008 1:08 PM Blogger House of Cards said...

but Anon 12:10, that's apparently what we've got YOU for.....

at 4/29/2008 6:23 PM Blogger SophiaZ123 said...


Thanks for this link. I watched the part with Craig and enjoyed it immensely!!

I never would have seen this to view had you not posted this here.

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