Speaking in advance of the White House Correspondents Dinner on Saturday, New York Times writer Mark Leibovich blistered members of Washington’s permanent political class for their “self-congratulatory” parties that make them seem more removed from everyday Americans.
Leibovich, who has written a book, This Town, that promises to expose parts of the permanent political and media class, said on C-SPAN that Washington’s journalists see themselves as a part of a “celebrity class” unlike reporters in other cities, and noted that their “self-congratulatory” parties and events do not go over well with the rest of the country.
“Many people would think it odd we have two dozen parties to celebrate the efforts of the media when people are not happy with Washington or the media,” Leibovich said.
He noted how Washington, with seven of the 10 wealthiest counties in its surrounding suburbs, was becoming more disconnected with the rest of the country as America’s economy has lagged.
The author said Washington denizens live in a “bubble world” and party and celebrate to congratulate each other “when rest of country does not share in the enthusiasm.”
He said the zeitgeist in D.C. was “at odds with the zeitgeist of the country,” and the White House Correspondents Dinner was becoming a “carnival confluence of money” and celebrity.
Leibovich did not attend the dinner because the Times, in 2007, decided not to send its reporters to the dinner.