"Lots Of People Just Come Anyways, They Won't Take No For An Answer"

Illustration for article titled "Lots Of People Just Come Anyways, They Won't Take No For An Answer"

That's embattled White House social secretary Desiree Rogers talking about party crashers - in July. Before everyone decided she was a combination of Icarus, Marie Antoinette and Goody Good, and Maureen Dowd got the chance to be adorably witty!


Here's the whole quote, from BizBash coverage of a Creative Coalition-hosted Q&A with Rogers:

When asked what she does with event crashers, Rogers replied (to much laughter), that she's begun adding an extra table, row, or bench to every event she produces, as each time she found extra people would show up in hopes of gaining entrance. "Lots of people just come anyways, they won't take no for an answer," she said. "Finally I just said, 'Alright, come on in, it's no use kicking you out.'"

What a difference a few months makes: "hysterical witch-hunting" is, apparently, the new "much laughter." Because if you thought the finger-pointing (and gleeful references to Rogers' finery) was over, someone didn't get her "Weekender," in which the Times devoted a thorough "Styles" piece to analyzing the social secretary's fall under the rather meta guise of examining media scrutiny (a la Robin Givhan), and Maureen Dowd attempted (unsuccessfully, but none the less smugly for all that) to equate Rogers and Tiger Woods as fellow "perfectionist high-achievers brought low."(What, she couldn't work in the "Cougar Cruise" while she was at it?) Never mind that she'd already done a snarkfest on Rogers a few days ago.

Wrote an outraged Amanda Marcotte on XX (and she wasn't even talking about Dowd's description of Rogers "sashaying around and posing in magazines as though she were the first lady, rather than a staffer whose job is to stay behind the scenes and make her bosses look good"), "I fail to see what her larger-than-life personality, strong self-esteem, and love of fashion has to do with this story. When taken in along with the shaming of Rogers for falling down on the job, this kind of coverage stinks of smacking down a black woman for the crime of being "uppity."" For that matter, did no one else find Dowd's final flippant salvo - "Now all we have left to look up to is Derek Jeter" - bizarre? As what? A minority in a position of authority? Someone representing a team "brand?" (Oddly, in the hundreds of commenter euconia I read, no one mentioned this, although someone did mention that, in fact, Jeter wasn't that great, and another wit had the wherewithal to include a laborious parody of "Tyger, Tyger.") We get it: Obama has disappointed a lot of people. Others have always hated him. Here's a scapegoat, who embodies a lot of what people can't stand but can't justify hating, and the glee is palpable. The irony, of course, is that this takes the teeth out of any legit criticism - the high-handedness of refusing to agree to a hearing, or the necessity of seeking liability in any security breach, has been pretty much lost in the shuffle.

Getting back to that July interview, Rogers' closing words seem ominously prophetic and saddening:

We don't want to be stale, we don't want to be boring. We don't want to repeat things over and over. This first year we are really trying to lay the foundation, to set the standard.


And, of course, so is everyone else.

White House Social Secretary Desirée Rogers On Conga Lines, Crashers, And Why She's Avoiding Sit-Down Dinners [BizBash]
How Not To Cover The Desirée Rogers Story [XX]
The Spotlight's Bright Glare [NY Times]
The Lady And The Tiger [NY Times]


I'm starting to think the party crashers were sent by Senator Inhofe and Sarah Palin to cause a media storm and distract us from Copenhagen and health care.