Shortly after President Barack Obama arrived on the stage for the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner, the band began to play the National Anthem.
First Lady Michelle Obama was seen singing every word as the band played. Everyone on stage including CBS News correspondent Major Garrett, White House spokesperson Josh Earnest and President Barack Obama proudly held their hand over their heart as the anthem played.
Then CNN cameras panned the crowd, showing dinner attendees with their hand over their heart — except for one woman who was buried in her cell phone.
In a lot of ways I have more respect for Andrews, who blew off any protocol associated with the National Anthem, than I do for those who mimed obeisance to tradition. If there were more than a dozen people in attendance who actually care about American and who don’t seen the Star Spangled Banner as an ugly reminder of the racist white guys who, along with inventing civilization, founded this nation. Does anyone think either Obama has any love for America or its traditions? I didn’t think so. Does anyone believe any measurable number of the media figures present see patriotism or duty or honor as anything more, in the words of Colonel Nathan Jessup, than a punchline? Me neither.
When Twitter began commenting on this faux pas, Andrews doubled down on disrespect:
Apparently someone saw me on TV “texting” during the dinner. FTR I was taking notes. On my phone. Because it’s 2015. #WHCD
— Helena Andrews (@helena_andrews) April 26, 2015
Because, you know, patriotism is so 1776 and the National Anthem is so 1814.