Oscars for politics. Journalists: don’t get seduced by Correspondent’s Dinner. Take their money, drink their liquor, but still hold these politicians, corporations and lobbyists accountable!

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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.

About William Brighenti

William Brighenti is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, and Certified Business Valuation Analyst. Bill began his career in public accounting in 1979. Since then he has worked at various public accounting firms throughout Connecticut. Bill received a Master of Science in Professional Accounting degree from the University of Hartford, after attending the University of Connecticut and Central Connecticut State University for his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees. He subsequently attended Purdue University for doctoral studies in Accounting and Quantitative Methods in Business. Bill has instructed graduate and undergraduate courses in Accounting, Auditing, and other subjects at the University of Hartford, Central Connecticut State University, Hartford State Technical College, and Purdue University. He also taught GMAT and CPA Exam Review Classes at the Stanley H. Kaplan Educational Center and at Person-Wolinsky, and is certified to teach trade-related subjects at Connecticut Vocational Technical Schools. His articles on tax and accounting have been published in several professional journals throughout the country as well as on several accounting websites. William was born and raised in New Britain, Connecticut, and served on the City's Board of Finance and Taxation as well as its City Plan Commission. In addition to the blog, Accounting and Taxes Simplified, Bill writes a blog, "The Barefoot Accountant", for the Accounting Web, a Sift Media publication.
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