The White House Correspondents’ Dinner is an annual celebration of the news media by the news media. This year’s dinner, scheduled for Saturday night, will feature President Obama as well as Saturday Night Live’s Seth Meyers.

Among the many news outlets participating in this year’s dinner will be NPR, the tax-subsidized news organization which has come under heavy criticism over the past year from scandal after scandal.

Doug Heye of US News & World Report has the story:

“… As Washington prepares to celebrate, well, itself at the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner, where media organizations try to out-do each other by planting celebrities at their $2,500 tables, taxpayer-subsidized and donor-supported NPR is no exception. Joining NPR staff will be Ambassador Susan Rice as well as three All Songs Considered favorites, Annie Clark, who records under the nom de plume St. Vincent, Talking Heads founder David Byrne, and R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe.

Which raises the question: In a time when, NPR’s budget is under scrutiny, is hosting rock stars at a swank dinner the sign NPR officials want to send? And, is promoting new recordings of musical artists–be they starving or sated–something the government should even subsidize in the first place?”

If NPR has the cash to participate in glitzy Washington events, perhaps it’s time for Congress to test former NPR VP Ron Schiller’s prediction that “in the long run [NPR] would be better off without federal funding.”