Last year, Tom Brokaw raised some eyebrows when he criticized the evolution of the White House Correspondents' Dinner. Brokaw recently clarified his stance again and confirmed he will not be in attendance again this year.
“The breaking point for me was Lindsay Lohan,” said Brokaw during a recent interview in the NBC News Rockefeller Plaza headquarters in New York. “She became a big star at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Give me a break.”
Brokaw said it was “time to rethink” the occasion since it, in his words, “separates the press from the people that they’re supposed to serve, symbolically. Why do we think to have a successful evening, you have to have Donald Trump as your guest of honor, for example, or Lindsay Lohan?” he asked.
The veteran newsman continued. “This is one of the issues that we have to address. What kind of image do we present to the rest of the country? Are we doing their business, or are we just a group of narcissists who are mostly interested in elevating our own profiles?’ And what comes through the screen on C-SPAN that night is the latter, and not the former.”
Brokaw is especially concerned about how this reflects on what the dinner has represented in the past.
“But I think any organization,” he said, “… has to have a kind of self-policing instinct and what we’re doing with that dinner, as it has been constituted for the past several years, is saying, ‘We’re Versailles. The rest of you eat cake.’”