The New York Times has apparently decided that social gatherings of the press and the political elite, a long tradition in Washington, D.C., no longer meet the newspaper's sponsorship standards. The final straw, apparently, was this year's annual White House Correspondents' Association dinner.
Columnist Frank Rich wrote on Sunday, "After last weekend’s correspondents’ dinner, The Times decided to end its participation in such events. " The timing of this announcement is intriguing. There was no controversy at the event this year, as comedian Rich Little hosted the event. Last year Stephen Colbert didn't generate much in-house laughter, but as the Times' columnist points out, created considerable buzz outside the Beltway.
The Times' influence on news in general is well documented. In an age where the line between newsmakers and news generators is blurring, this will be an interesting case study to see if the Gray Lady can move news organizations to generate a more black and white distinction between the two.