During the Kennedy Center Honors, people are expecting some laughs, some surprises, and more than a little grandstanding. It's one of those rare nights each year where people from all walks of life get together to celebrate artists and innovators from all walks. Throughout the evening, honorees' lives and works are explored and re-lived, with a little gentle ribbing thrown in for good measure.
Just check out Chris Rock go after Oprah in 2011, if you're looking for an example.
So, when Shirley MacLaine - a talented actress and well known kook - was honored with the prestigious award, people were expecting a few barbs at her expense. What the audience was not expecting was for the President to break the silence on Area 51, a first for any POTUS. Of course, don't go expecting photos of the crash landing to be hitting the front page of your paper any time soon.
The president broke the silence on America's UFO hot spot in about as underwhelming a way as possible, working the revelation into a joke aimed at Shirley MacLaine's expense: “Now, when you first become President, one of the questions that people ask you is what’s really going on in Area 51. When I wanted to know, I’d call Shirley MacLaine. I think I just became the first President to ever publicly mention Area 51. How’s that, Shirley?” the president quipped in reference to MacLaine's very public love affair with extraterrestrials.
So, technically, you can add another record to Barack Obama's resume. At this point it seems like he's just trying to break as many as possible before his time is up.
This simply continues the government's claim that Area 51 is nowhere special, beyond being a former test facility for experimental aircraft. The government is working so hard to convince the public that nothing is going on that it recently declassified the most famous army base in the world.
Of course, that doesn't necessarily mean there isn't a bigger secret lurking in the Nevada desert. After all, when has the American government ever declassified anything interesting? If there really are aliens in the government's basement, no way the documents that prove their existence are going to be casually released. What's more likely (assuming you believe the whole captured UFO theory, of course) is that the government has just moved the bodies to a better location. Perhaps there once was something fishy going on at Area 51, but you can bet that's not the case anymore. After all, it's hard to keep a secret when every nerd in a 1000 mile radius is taking time to park a lawn chair on your front lawn to wait for E.T. to show up.