All work and no play makes interns a dull breed. Even though internships are the perfect opportunity to buckle down and experience working in the real world, that doesn't mean a little fun can't be had. Just take the White House interns' prank in the White House's Economic Report of the President as an example. Who's to say political figures can't take a joke?
On Tuesday, March 19, the Associated Press (AP) reported that the credits of the Economic Report of the President, a 700+ page report that took over a year to complete, features some interesting, but familiar, names, and ones which I'm guessing aren't actually roaming the West Wing. According to the AP, the likes of Batman (Bruce Wayne), Spider-Man (Peter Parker) and his Aunt May, Captain America (Steve Rogers), Monty Python alum John Cleese, Jabba the Hutt (as J.T. Hutt, which is subtle, guys), and others are listed in the report's credits as being among the current class of White House interns. Talk about impressive. The AP credited Martha Gimbel, research director at Indeed.com, as being the first to spot the joke. From all of us who use Twitter, a big thank you for adding a little sparkle to an otherwise dreary Wednesday.
While some might have thought the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) wouldn't be pleased about these names being added in the 2019 report, it looks like it's just the opposite. On March 19, CEA took to Twitter to address the fictional names being added to the report, and had an epic response to the interns' prank. They wrote,
Thank you for noticing, our interns are indeed super heroes! We’ve thought so all along, but we knew it'd take a little more to get them the attention they deserve. They have made significant contributions to the Economic Report of the President and do so every day at CEA.
The CEA shared another tweet the same day dismissing rumors that the report went unchecked. According to the CEA, the interns themselves are a part of the fact-checking team, and the report went through numerous edits before it was finalized. So, it turns out that even the White House has some sense of humor when the occasion calls for it.
This isn't the first time staff have had some fun while making the report. In 2018, the names James T. Kirk and Jean-Luc Picard from Star Trek also appeared as apparent CEA workers. That's a star-studded list, you have to admit.
Despite the humor, the White House intern class has been criticized in the past. In March 2018, the White House shared a photo of its 2018 class of interns, and immediately were called out for its lack of diversity. In response to the class photo, Former Deputy Secretary of Labor Chris Lu took to Twitter to note the huge difference between the Trump administration's intern class compared to former classes, noting that it was heavily white, with only three African American interns out of 206. Elite Daily reached out to the White House for comment on the lack of diversity among the interns at the time, but did not hear back.
The lack of diversity is kind of glaring, given the fact that a huge portion of the United States consists of non-white individuals — per the U.S. Census Bureau, only about 62 percent of the U.S. population identifies as non-Latinx white. The millennial generation in particular is even more diverse, with "new minorities" such as Hispanic, Asian, or multiracial individuals comprising a full half of adults age 18-34 in 2015, per the Brookings Institute. Just, apparently, not comprising the White House intern class.
Politics is a serious game, but leave it to the younger generation to find some humor even in dark times.