White House Correspondents’ Dinner returns after 2-year hiatus


The White House Correspondents’ Dinner returned Saturday night after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. President Biden delivered remarks, marking the first time in six years the sitting president attended the event as former President Donald Trump did not attend while he was in office.

“Just imagine if my predecessor came to this dinner this year, now that would have been a real coup if that occurred,” Mr. Biden said during his remarks.  

Mr. Biden concluded his remarks on a serious note, saying, “With disinformation massively on the rise, where the truth is buried by lies and the lies live on as truth, what’s clear, and I mean this from the bottom of my heart, that you the free press, matter more than you ever did in the last century.”

Earlier this week, the president said the event was to “celebrate the press.”

“Think of what the American press has done,” Mr. Biden said Thursday. “The courage it’s taken to stay in this war zone. The courage it’s taken to report every single day. I’ve always had respect for the press, but I can’t tell you how much respect I have, watching, watching them in these zones where they’re under fire, risking their own lives to make sure the world hears the truth. Imagine if we weren’t getting that information. It would be a different world. It would be a different circumstance.”

President Biden arrives for the White House Correspondents’ Association gala at the Washington Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C., on April 30, 2022.

NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images

The annual dinner is the main source of revenue for the White House Correspondents’ Association, which comprises hundreds of journalists from print, broadcast, digital and radio. Proceeds from the dinner also go toward scholarships for promising journalism students. Professional journalism awards are also given out at the dinner. 

In another return to past tradition, a comedian — Trevor Noah of “The Daily Show” — hosted for the first time since Michelle Wolf‘s 2018 monologue that skewered and shocked Washington’s elite. After Wolf’s set, the correspondents’ association announced historian Ron Chernow would deliver remarks in 2019.

Some celebrities, notably Kim Kardashian and Pete Davidson, were among the approximately 2,600 in attendance this year.

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