Brokaw on White House Correspondents Dinner: 'There Was More Dignity at My Daughter’s Junior Prom'

Former NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw made some serious waves last year when he spoke critically about the annual White House Correspondents' Association Dinner.

Brokaw's at it again this year telling Politico, "[T]here was more dignity at my daughter’s junior prom."

“The breaking point for me was Lindsay Lohan,” Brokaw told Politico. “She became a big star at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Give me a break.”

Brokaw had first publicly raised his concerns on Meet the Press last year before the event.

"[W]e were at a point in Washington where the country had just kind of shut down on what was going on within the Beltway,” Brokaw told Politico. “They were making their own decisions in their own states, in their own communities, and the congressional ratings were plummeting.”

“The press corps wasn’t doing very well, either," he added. "I thought, ‘This is one of the issues that we have to address. What kind of image do we present to the rest of the country? Are we doing their business, or are we just a group of narcissists who are mostly interested in elevating our own profiles?’ And what comes through the screen on C-SPAN that night is the latter, and not the former.”

“But I think any organization,” Brokaw continued, “… has to have a kind of self-policing instinct and what we’re doing with that dinner, as it has been constituted for the past several years, is saying, ‘We’re Versailles. The rest of you eat cake.’”


Then came his harshest criticism.

“I would watch on C-SPAN, and as I watched on C-SPAN, I would try to put myself, kind of, if you will, in the person of an interested citizen in Kansas City, or in Little Rock, or in Spokane, Wash., saying, ‘That’s the Washington press corps?’ I mean, there was more dignity at my daughter’s junior prom than there is [at] what I’m seeing on C-SPAN there.”

Brokaw then offered the Association some advice.

"What I would do is take a hard look at it and find ways to temper the more outrageous qualities of it. Why do we think to have a successful evening, you have to have Donald Trump as your guest of honor, for example, or Lindsay Lohan?”

Why indeed.

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.