This year, the White House Correspondents' Dinner started as usual: President Barack Obama arrived and he and perfectly-styled First Lady Michelle Obama stood as the Marine Corps Band played the national anthem. But then the worst thing ever happened. Or, at least, that's what you would think if you were following updates about the dinner on Twitter. A woman was caught texting during the national anthem by the news cameras. Update: The woman texting was Helena Andrews, a reporter for the Washington Post, who tweeted a response and revealed herself shortly after Twitter broke into a frenzy.
Sure, the woman in question was at an event that's being televised across the country, and sure, it was a moment that Americans generally honor with respect as part of a longstanding U.S. tradition. But come on — like any of us have never whispered during an important speech, been caught laughing at an inappropriate moment, or texted when we probably shouldn't have. Maybe don't throw your patriotic stones unless you're a perfect, always-respectful patriot?
Twitter, meanwhile, let this woman have it as though she had stamped on the American flag up on the stage beside Obama — when, really, she could've been checking in on her family, updating someone she worked for on the status of the dinner, or any other reasonable and important action that might require a quick text.
Instead of laughing about the awkward moment and letting her off the hook, Twitter users skewered her, speculating that she might be fired from her job and calling for her name to be released on Twitter.
Come on, guys. Let's not skewer someone for taking a moment to check in with somebody about something that she, and only she, has the right to deem "important enough."
Andrews has since tweeted a response, and her reason for texting makes total sense.
Image: Getty Images