The Bush Administration re-writes some of the press rules. A video of the latest directives from Stephen Colbert at the White House Correspondents Dinner on Saturday: "The president makes decisions - he's the decider. The press secretary announces those decisions. And you people of the press type those decisions down. ... Just put them through a spell check and go home. Get to know your family again."
Transcript of the Colbert "conference" here, courtsey of Democratic Underground.
Billmon's take -- this was Colbert's sin: inserting a brief moment of honesty into an event based upon a lie -- one considered socially necessary by the political powers that be, but still, a lie.
Like its upscale sibling, the annual Gridiron Club dinner, the White House Correspondents dinner is a ritual designed, at least implicitly, to showcase the underlying unity of our Beltway elites. It's supposed to demonstrate that no matter how ferocious their battles may appear on the surface, political opponents can still gather in the same room and break bread, with the corporate media acting as the properly neutral host. It's a relic of the good old days of centrism and bipartisan log rolling ("the end of ideology"), visible proof that in the American system, there may be enemies, but there are no mortal enemies. And so last night we had Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame sitting at one table, Karl Rove at another, and no knives were drawn.