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The nerve! Obama snubs media that wanted to roast him

March 18, 2009 |  5:24 am

Few groups take themselves more seriously when making fun of others taking themselves seriously than journalists, especially many in the species that inhabits Washington.

There are fewer of them these days, but that hasn't diminished the fervor with which they celebrate their place and their access to high-powered people who come to the banquets at least to pretend to enjoy the mocking of their pretensions.

Think months of work and rehearsals -- an amateur roast full of in-jokes with the students making fun of the principal, the assistant principals and select faculty, with everyone in formaA Swamp like what Washington once wasl wear and the principal called on to give a responding roast that's humorous and written by someone else, which everyone pretends to ignore.

One of these annual occasions is this weekend, the Gridiron Club. And media executives and celebrities are flying in to Washington for the big event. It's really exciting. Trust them.

Except for one thing: This year, for the first time since Grover Cleveland was president (which is before Joe Biden entered the Senate and even before the Cubs' last World Series win), the president of these United States will not attend.

Repeat: Not.

Barack Obama's first Gridiron as chief executive, and he's blowing off the media.

At first, the excuse was spring break with the girls back in Chicago, which isn't sunny Disney World. But the Washington media, which thinks Pennsylvania is pretty far west, could maybe accept family time at home.

But then the real reason emerged: Obama's going to be at Camp David, which isn't very far away at all from Washington and the ballroom and all those people dressed up with no celebrity president to see and talk later about having seen.

In his stead, Obama's sending Vice President Joe "How the %&*# Are Ya" Biden. He'll recite the funny remarks, and there'll for sure be one in there about the absent boss. Our colleague, Clarence Page, one of the more sage and savvy members of the capitol corps, explains in more detail with history over in the Swamp.

-- Andrew Malcolm

No need to dress up to register here now for automatic alerts via Twitter on each new Ticket item. You can sign up in your jammies for all we care.

Photo: A swamp like what Washington once was. Credit: Associated Press

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