The Obamas threw an epic Halloween bash in 2009 and we’re only just now discovering how over-the-top the bash was — and how complicit media was in keeping the White House’s secret. After all, White House staff was “concerned” that the extravagant bash would appear tone-deaf to unemployed Americans, hundreds of thousands of whom are leaving the workforce entirely as new jobs are scarce and businesses are stretched thin. But is the story what it seems?
The White House has thrown so many over-the top parties and the First Lady has come under fire from the President’s advisers for her expensive tastes, so the initial reaction to hearing of yet another extravagant White House party is anger. But was the Halloween bash like the other White House parties? Was it like the party with Paul McCartney that the Obamas enjoyed while the Gulf struggled with an oil spill? Or the party the White House threw when America had its credit rating downgraded? If media reports are to be believed, the Halloween bash was “staged“/thrown by Tim Burton and Johnny Depp. Security for the event would cost the public, but (I assume) comparatively no more than the cost of the annual Easter egg roll or other observances.
The point of the question isn’t to excuse the Obamas’ past irresponsibility in presentation; they lead one of the most tone-deaf administrations (Camelot style in a Carter economy, after all). The point is that this event, from my understanding, was for, and attended predominately by, military members and their families. This party is easier to justify, and features a better guest list, than the previous devil-may-care variety. I don’t want to discourage Hollywood from doing something nice for our soldiers when 99% of the movies they make about them portray them as monsters. The last time Johnny Depp dabbled in politics he called the country a “big dumb puppy.” A good deed like footing the bill (assumedly sans Secret Service, other security) for a bash thrown in honor of military families deserves some positive reinforcement by way of kudos, if this report is true.
There is still the pesky question of why the White House and media in attendance kept all of this quiet.
The White House press corps was allowed to report on more modest festivities earlier that day for Washington-area school children, but did not release details of the more glamorous festivities that occurred later for what was the Obamas’ first Halloween in office in 2009.
Why? One could beg the question that the White House and media didn’t disclose this because they knew it was wrong. Why would it be wrong? Because of public reaction? This is where it gets sneaky. It’s a set up: The narrative will be that details weren’t released because the White House didn’t want folks freaking out over extravagances for military families provided by a Hollywood director and his actor/muse. The narrative will progress into a notion that conservatives are tight-fisted when it comes to providing military families with a nice Halloween, one that wasn’t even at the conservatives’s expense. It will reinforce the stereotype that conservatives and Hollywood will always be at odds, and can’t a film director throw a party for the military if he wants? GOSH.
The blame will be put on you — instead of where it belongs: on an administration that has thrown, at the public’s expense, so many parties, taken so many vacations, and has been so decidedly opaque (for the most “transparent administration ever”). The White House owns the expectation is has created by precedence. Hollywood directors, actors, and their deeds are irrelevant to the discussion, but they will be used as deflection and later, an ally.
Who else owns the expectation? The media. The public has to play the guessing game, citizen journalists have to assume the responsibility of hunting down fact, because MSM either cannot or will not themselves.