It's time to end the White House Correspondents' Dinner

The dinner was a good idea at its inception back in 1920. After all, we Americans rather like the idea that our presidents aren’t royalty, and we take pride in the fact that we are allowed to poke fun at them (I don’t recall many Castro roasts). But maybe it’s the growing mean-spiritedness of contemporary humor, or maybe it’s the nature of the problems facing the country and the world, but the whole thing comes off as sort of—if you’ll pardon a technical term—icky. Besides which, we don’t need these dinners to see the “lighter side” of our presidents. Between the tweeting and the talk shows, there’s no shortage of opportunities for our leaders to show us just how funny they are. Frankly, I wouldn’t mind having more chances to see how serious they are.

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