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The annual White House Correspondent’s Dinner, when politicians and journalists meet to laugh at each other and hand out awards, is tomorrow night. However, Tom Brokaw will not be there this year, because he has had enough with the Hollywood stars who attend, particularly Lindsay Lohan.
In an interview with Politico, the former NBC News and Today Show anchor said that Lohan’s presence was the breaking point for him.
“The breaking point for me was Lindsay Lohan,” Brokaw, who was a vocal critic of the event last year as well, said. “She became a big star at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Give me a break.”
According to TMZ, the troubled Liz & Dick actress was a guest of Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren last year. A week after the event, he went on Meet The Press to complain about how it had lost its dignity just by Lohan being there. He said that it was “time to rethink” the purpose of it.
“One of the reasons that I wanted to raise it on Meet the Press — and I told [host] David [Gregory] beforehand, ‘I’m going to look for an opportunity to do that,’ is that we were at a point in Washington where the country had just kind of shut down on what was going on within the Beltway,” he told Politico today.
Later in the interview, Brokaw said that he isn’t trying to drastically change the event, but hopes that his criticism will force the press corp to look at their event critically. “I’m not going to stay on their back about it,” he said. “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?”
However, Brokaw does like some Hollywood celebrities, suggesting that Homeland’s Claire Danes or George Clooney would make great guests. “Claire Danes is not someone I’m talking about. She’s a big deal. And you can bring in George Clooney, he loves to come there. He’s a serious guy in Hollywood. But it’s gone down-market, in my judgment, in too many ways.”
This year’s event will be hosted by comedian Conan O’Brien.