Jimmy Kimmel Will Get Political Hosting White House Correspondents Dinner

By Katey Rich 2011-11-01 07:53:34
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The annual White House Correspondents Dinner is usually a time for the President to kick back casually with the members of the press who cover him every day, and since President Obama took office that's generally been the case. But the event is probably most famous in recent years for the time Stephen Colbert hosted in 2006, fully in character as his right-wing talk show persona but still getting in some withering jabs at then-President George W. Bush, as with this reference to Tuesday, September 11 in 2001: "Events can change; this man's beliefs never will. He believes the same thing Wednesday as he did Monday. No matter what happened Tuesday."

Understandably, the dinners since then have veered away from controversial hosts even under the Obama administration, and this year again they're going with someone a little more cuddly than provocative. Deadline reports that Jimmy Kimmel, late-night talk show host and genial funnyman, has been selected to host this year's dinner, which will take place on April 29 next year. I mean, just look at how the guy responded to the news: “I look forward to being a part of the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner. I love dinner.” I mean, this guy is funny, but he's also not someone who will cruelly mock Obama for the many failures of his administration the way Colbert did for Bush.

Because, as much as our politicians need to be taken to task for the general disaster that is American government right now, the White House Correspondents Dinner is rarely the time to do it. Colbert's performance was an astonishing example of speaking truth to power, not to mention soldiering through a routine that was clearly bombing, but I think you only get away with it once-- the more hosts that choose the dinner as a political platform, the less likely it is the Presidential administrations will allow themselves to be teased, even gently. Kimmel has accepted an invitation to become the court jester for the evening, and it's hard to imagine him not taking that opportunity to be, well, very nice and very funny. It's what they hired him for.
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