On Sunday, NBC’s Tom Brokaw chastized the White House Correspondents’ Dinner on Meet the Press by saying:
“…if there’s ever an event that separates the press from the people that they’re supposed to serve symbolically, it is that one. It is time to rethink it… I don’t think the big press event in Washington should be that kind of glittering event where the whole talk about is Cristal champagne, taking over the Italian Embassy, who had the best party, who got to meet the most people. That’s another separation between what we’re supposed to be doing and what the people expect us to be doing. And I think that the Washington Press Corps has to look at that. And by the way, I’m a charter member of the White House Correspondents Association. I was there early on and often, and often enjoyed it. But it’s gone beyond what it needs to be.”
Politico talked to actress and activist Rosario Dawson (MIB II, Sin City) who talked about how guests “aren’t just showing up on their own. They’re being invited and they’re guests.” More importantly, they “are very much civically participatory.” The WHCD serves as an opportunity for cause-driven celebrities to get in front of influential lawmakers and media personalities which may not occur otherwise.
Dawson herself is a spokeswoman for Amtrak’s National Train Day and co-founded an advocacy group, Voto Latino, which empowers Latinos to get involved politically. In addition to attending the dinner, Dawson also is a regular attendee of the WHC Garden Brunch and this year jumped on stage with Willie Geist and Elle Macpherson and helped give away Jawbone Jamboxes to CURE Epilepsy and White Ribbon Alliance donors.