Brian Lowry sees the flap over Louis C.K. and the Radio and Television Correspondents Assn. as indicative of the times. The comic pulled out after Fox News host Greta Van Susteren proposed a boycott — calling the FX star a "pig" — based on some of his tart tweets regarding Sarah Palin.

Lowry writes, "The real soul-searching needs to be conducted by those who cling to continuing gatherings such as the D.C. dinners, hiding behind charitable endeavors to justify their existence, when access and tradition appear far more germane to their emotional investment in the events. There are ways to raise money, after all, which don't require MSNBC and Fox News grudgingly breaking bread in the same banquet hall.

"It's easy to see why some within the media still embrace the 'We're all in this together' mentality fostered by laying down arms for a single evening. In doing so, though, they've not only created a source of discomfort within their ranks but set up a near-impossible scenario for entertainers venturing into these settings."

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