Times to Boycott White House Press Dinner

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TOO RICH Frank dinner discussion

Is the clubby relationship between the capitol’s press corps and its politicians on its way out?

The New York Times, so often the news organization from which all others take their cues, has decided to end its participation in the White House Cor-
respondents’ Association’s annual dinner. Word of the pullout came down through a casual mention in Frank Rich‘s opinion column. Noting how often the gala has served as a tool of presidential image-management, Rich wrote, “After last weekend’s correspondents’ dinner, The Times decided to end its participation in such events.” (A spokeswoman for the paper confirms the new policy.)

Now the onus is on other news outlets to decide whether they will follow the Times‘s lead or risk being pilloried as sycophantic Beltway shills. It’s unlikely that ABC, for one, will pull out, as ABC News Radio’s Ann Compton is WHCA’s incoming president and thus in charge of next year’s dinner. Spokespersons for Time, Newsweek, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and the Chicago Tribune did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Then again, it is Sunday.

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