The mainstream media’s latest supposed scandal revolves around Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s dinner parties, decrying them as “elite taxpayer-funded dinners” with political leaders, titans of industry and celebrities.
Yet when President Obama hosted a slew of fancy dinners during his second term, press coverage was quite favorable.
The Washington Free Beacon’s Andrew Stiles has more:
“At Dinner Tables, a Restless Obama Finds an Intellectual Escape,” read the New York Times headline in July 2014. The article describes a series of late-night dinner gatherings with business leaders and celebrities that offered “a glimpse into a president who prefers intellectuals to politicians, and into the rarefied company Mr. Obama may keep after he leaves the White House.”
Attendees at these dinners included filmmaker Ken Burns, actress Jada Pinkett Smith, Bono, architect Renzo Piano, and members of “Italy’s intellettuali.” Many of the guests, according to the Times, “have been financial supporters of Mr. Obama’s campaigns.” And yet the article, for some reason, does not mention any concern—from “officials” or otherwise—about the use of taxpayer dollars to finance these intimate gatherings with campaign donors.
Instead, the article contains numerous quotes praising Obama’s intellectual curiosity. “It keeps him fresh,” said White House adviser Valerie Jarrett. “It gives him new ideas to think about.” Piano, recounting a recent dinner party with Obama at a 15th-century manor surrounding the U.S. ambassador’s residence in Rome, told the Times: “He is a curious man, and even the president of America is sometimes struggling to explore, to understand, to search.”
Obama was president, of course, while Pompeo is merely the secretary of state. Perhaps that explains the difference in coverage. Or maybe Pompeo’s guests weren’t as fashionable. What else could explain it?