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This weekend is the White House Correspondents Dinner. That’s like the Oscars for politics. Everybody here in D.C. gets very excited about it.
But Dana Milbank of the Washington Post explained something very interesting about it today. He said that the first event is at the offices of the American Gas Association; that’s for the White House reporters. And then the next party is put together by the Motion Pictures Association of America.
Let me ask you something. Do you think that the American Gas Association and all the other lobbyists are putting this party together out of the goodness of their hearts? Do you think that they’re just butteing up the reporters and politicians just because they like to?
I don’t think so. Look, don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I’m not into it. I would love to go to the White House Correspondents Dinner. By the way, i joined here late, so I didn’t even get in. It’s not because I don’t want to go. I would love to be there. I hear that Sean Penn will be there. It’s going to be great. There’s an MSNBC party; I’m going to go to that. Last night I got to hang out with Rosario Dawson. I love Rosario Dawson. She’s one of my favorite actresses. Don’t get me wrong. I’m just as guilty as anybody else.
But here’s the thing. What we have to be careful about is the lobbyists are trying to seduce us. Dana Milbank is right. Our job is to hold these guys accountable, whether it’s the politicians, the lobbyists, whatever. I know the famous quote about you’ve got to be able to take their money and drink their liquor and still do legislation. That’s for politicians, but it’s also for the press. We shouldn’t do any of those things, but if we do, we have got to be enormously careful not to fall into that trap. You’ll know that we have succeeded if the American Gas Company stops having those parties, saying we’re wasting our time, those guys will hold us accountable anyway. But we’re not there yet.