The White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner on April 27th is just two weeks away, and with President Donald Trump poised to skip the gala for the third year in a row, all eyes are on the national media.
After years of attacks on the press corps, the White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) is continuing its overhaul of the annual scholarship fundraising dinner to elevate the business of news and to highlight the critical role of journalists in protecting the First Amendment and bringing accountability to government.
Chief Washington Correspondent for SiriusXM and president of the WHCA Olivier Knox recently told The Hill he “felt the dinner needed a reset, to be more serious, to put the focus back on journalism, on the job of chronicling a presidency and holding it to account.”
As part of the reset, the WHCA has invited author Ron Chernow to be the featured speaker at its annual dinner instead of going with a late-night TV host or comedian. Chernow has garnered wide acclaim for his biographies of business tycoons J.P. Morgan and John D. Rockefeller, and has written about Presidents and Founding Fathers, as well. His work “Washington: A Life” won the Pulitzer Prize for Biography, and his biography of Alexander Hamilton was turned into a hit Broadway musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda (Chernow served as historical consultant).
After learning the President was skipping the event again, comedian Michelle Wolf, whose controversial performance at the 2018 WHCA Dinner helped spur the latest reset, told Vanity Fair that President Trump “doesn’t have a big enough spine to attend.”
The President’s re-election campaign announced that he will hold a campaign rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin at the Resch Center the night of the dinner. The 2019 White House Correspondents’ Dinner will take place on Saturday, April 27th, at the Washington Hilton.
About the WHCA
Founded in 1914, the White House Correspondents’ Association exists to promote excellence in journalism as well as journalism education, and to ensure robust news coverage of the president and the presidency. The WHCA supports awards for some of the best political reporting of the past year, as well as scholarships for young reporters to promote vibrant journalism for years to come. The inaugural White House Correspondents’ dinner took place on May 7, 1921.