Some call it the “Nerd Prom,” others call it the “Oscars of D.C.” Now, a new documentary by Patrick Gavin titled Nerd Prom: Inside Washington’s Wildest Week, explores the over-indulgent activities surrounding the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner.
Director Patrick Gavin appeared on NewsOne Now to discuss the film and the “misguided priorities” of the week’s events.
According to Gavin, the White House Correspondents Dinner started off with about 50 people and now about 2,600 attend the annual event. He said there are about two dozen parties that go on for a week, effectively shutting Washington D.C. down.
Gavin explained that most people know about the president’s dinner but, “They don’t know about how this has become our Super Bowl.”
“Growing up, when you would look in your text books and anytime you would see D.C., you would see the March on Washington or you would see a Vietnam protest — I mean, that’s the images of what this city is supposed to be about and now if you were to open up a textbook our biggest moment is this — which doesn’t reflect well on our town and I think we should probably try a little bit better.”
The White House Correspondents Dinner is actually supposed to be centered on raising money for scholarships and each year, they raise approximately $100,000. In the documentary, Gavin explains that the White House Correspondents Association pays their CEO – whose only job is to manage the annual dinner – more than they give out in scholarships.
Gavin told Roland Martin, host of NewsOne Now, “That ratio seemed bad to me.”
In the most recent tax filing, Gavin explains the ratio between scholarship funds awarded to students and the amount of money paid to the CEO of the event has fallen to $88,000.
The director of Nerd Prom said he took his findings to Charity Navigator, the nation’s leading charity analyst, and they said that “were we to rate them, we would have red flags all over the place.”
“On their tax form and their mission statement, one of two of their stated objectives are fighting for access for reporters and giving to the scholarship program. And really by any yardstick the fact that you’re paying only one employee more money than you give away to scholarships, that looks bad on the optics, it’s bad substance-wise, and it’s not helping as many kids as they could.”
Watch Roland Martin, Patrick Gavin, and the NewsOne Now straight talk panel discuss the new documentary Nerd Prom: Inside Washington’s Wildest Week in the video clip above.
Don’t miss Martin’s appearance in the film talking about the disproportionate amount of money being spent on the event verses money being donated for scholarships.
For more information and to watch the documentary visit www.nerdpromthemovie.com.
Subscribe to the “NewsOne Now” Audio Podcast on iTunes.
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