I’m not complaining about the Kimmel jokes – I’m fair game. I’m complaining about the revenge element. It reminds me of O’Reilly #nerdprom
— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) April 29, 2012
Now how on earth did the White House Correspondents Dinner get to be tagged “Nerd Prom”?
This yearly ritual gives wonkish politicos and the journos who cover them a chance to dress up and listen to POTUS tell jokes, while rubbing elbows with a smattering of celebrities. It is the kind of place where Arianna Huffington tells these hilarious anecdotes:
“I remember last year when we had Scarlett Johansson, and suddenly I see her running. I said, ‘Where are you going?’ She was out of breath, and she said, ‘I saw Bernie Sanders,'” Huffington continued. “And everybody was running after Scarlett, and she was running after Bernie Sanders, because she’s a big fan of his. It’s really that kind of company. That’s the fun part of the night. “
Dear lord. Such fun!
Now we get that people enslaved to the dull but essential world of Washington politics don’t get out much. So the WHCD is definitely a social highlight of the year…and certainly obsessed over as some kind of humorous political barometer. But “Nerd Prom,” you see, is a term that was coined maybe a decade or so ago on the Warren Ellis Forum to refer to the San Diego Comic-Con. We’re not exactly certain who came up with it—many credit Kelly Sue DeConnick—but it was certainly popularized by Ellis himself. And used to refer to SDCC for quite a while.
And now Washington has co-opted it! Come on now, Keith and Arianna. It’s not “Nerd Prom” inside the Beltway. It’s “WONK PROM.”
This year’s elite celebs were a couple of Kardashians and Lindsay Lohan. Nothing nerdy there. In fact, we’d say that while the WHCD might ASPIRE to the nerdly wonders of seeing Peter Mayhew, Harley Quinn, Stormtroooper Elvis, Kevin Smith, and Mark Evanier all wandering around trying to find a sandwich…to that we say…IN YOUR DREAMS, Wonk Prom.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.