White House Correspondents' Association

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White House Correspondents' Association
White House Correspondents' Association logo.jpg
Abbreviation WHCA
Formation February 25, 1914; 103 years ago (1914-02-25)
52-0799067[1]
Legal status 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization[1]
Location
Coordinates 38°53′52″N 77°03′18″W / 38.897776°N 77.055130°W / 38.897776; -77.055130Coordinates: 38°53′52″N 77°03′18″W / 38.897776°N 77.055130°W / 38.897776; -77.055130
Jeff Mason (Reuters)[2]
Steven Thomma[2]
Revenue (2015)
$366,481[3]
Expenses (2015) $311,090[3]
Employees (2015)
0[3]
Mission To promote excellence in journalism and educate the public about the field of journalism and the process of reporting about the White House.[3]
Website www.whca.net

The White House Correspondents' Association (WHCA) is an organization of journalists who cover the White House and the President of the United States. The WHCA was founded on February 25, 1914, by journalists in response to an unfounded rumor that a Congressional committee would select which journalists could attend press conferences of President Woodrow Wilson.[4]

The WHCA operates independently of the White House. Among the more notable issues handled by the WHCA are the credentialing process, access to the President and physical conditions in the White House press briefing rooms.[5][6] Its most high-profile activity is the annual White House Correspondents' Dinner, which is traditionally attended by the president and covered by the news media.

Association leadership, 2016-2017

The current leadership team of the White House Correspondents' Association includes:[5]

Table of association presidents

Year Name Employer
1914–20 William Wallace Price The Washington Star
1921–22 Frank R. Lamb The Washington Star
1922–23 J. Russell Young The Washington Star
1923–24 E. Ross Bartley Associated Press
1924–25 Isaac Gregg The Sun
1925–26 George E. Durno International News Service
1926–27 John Edwin Nevin The Washington Post
1927–28 John T. Lambert Universal Service
1928–29 J. Russell Young The Washington Star
1929–30 Wilbur Forrest New York Herald Tribune
1930–31 Lewis Wood The New York Times
1931–33 Paul R. Mallon syndicated columnist
1933–34 George E. Durno International News Service
1934–35 Francis M. Stephenson Associated Press
1935–36 Albert J. Warner New York Herald Tribune
1936–37 Frederick J. Storm United Press Associations
1937–38 Walter J. Trohan Chicago Tribune
1938–40 Earl Godwin The Washington Times
1940 Felix Belair Jr. The New York Times
1940–41 Thomas F. Reynolds United Press Associations
1941–42 John C. O'Brien The Philadelphia Inquirer
1942 John C. Henry The Washington Star
1942–43 Douglas B. Cornell Associated Press
1943–44 Paul Wooten The Times-Picayune
1944–45 Merriman Smith United Press Associations
1946–47 Edward T. Folliard The Washington Post
1947–48 Felix Belair Jr. The New York Times
1948–49 Ernest B. Vaccaro Associated Press
1949–50 Robert G. Nixon International News Service
1950–53 Carlton Kent Chicago Sun-Times
1953–54 Robert J. Donovan New York Herald Tribune
1954–55 Anthony H. Leviero The New York Times
1955–56 Laurence H. Burd Chicago Tribune
1956–58 Francis M. Stephenson Daily News
1958–59 Marvin Arrowsmith Associated Press
1959–61 Garnett D. Horner The Washington Star
1961–62 William H.Y. Knighton Jr. The Baltimore Sun
1962–63 Robert Roth Philadelphia Bulletin
1963–64 Merriman Smith United Press International
1964–66 Alan L. Otten The Wall Street Journal
1966–67 Robert E. Thompson Hearst Newspapers
1967–68 Frank Cormier Associated Press
1968–69 Carroll Kilpatrick The Washington Post
1969–70 Charles W. Bailey II Minneapolis Tribune
1970–71 Peter Lisagor Chicago Daily News
1971–72 John P. Sutherland U.S. News & World Report
1972–73 Edgar A. Poe The Times-Picayune (New Orleans)
1973–74 Ted Knap Scripps Howard Newspapers
1974–75 James Deakin St. Louis Post-Dispatch
1975–76 Helen Thomas United Press International
1976–77 Lawrence M. O'Rourke Philadelphia Bulletin
1977–78 Paul F. Healy Daily News
1978–79 Aldo Beckman Chicago Tribune
1979–80 Ralph Harris Reuters
1980–81 Robert C. Pierpoint CBS News
1981–82 Clifford Evans RKO General Broadcasting
1982–83 Thomas M. DeFrank Newsweek
1983–84 James R. Gerstenzang Associated Press
1984–85 Sara Fritz Los Angeles Times
1985–86 Gary F. Schuster CBS News
1986–87 Bill Plante CBS News
1987–88 Norman D. Sandler United Press International
1988–89 Jeremiah O'Leary The Washington Times
1989–90 Johanna Neuman USA Today
1990–91 Robert M. Ellison Sheridan Broadcasting
1991–92 Charles Bierbauer CNN
1992–93 Karen Hosler The Baltimore Sun
1993–94 George E. Condon Jr. Copley News Service
1994–95 Kenneth T. Walsh U.S. News & World Report
1995–96 Carl P. Leubsdorf The Dallas Morning News
1996–97 Terence Hunt Associated Press
1997–98 Laurence McQuillan Reuters
1998–99 Stewart Powell Hearst Newspapers
1999–2000 Susan Page USA Today
2000–01 Arlene Dillon CBS News
2001–02 Steve Holland Reuters
2002–03 Bob Deans Cox Newspapers
2003–04 Carl Cannon National Journal
2004–05 Ron Hutcheson Knight Ridder
2005–06 Mark Smith Associated Press TV and Radio
2006–07 Steve Scully C-SPAN
2007–08 Ann Compton ABC News
2008–09 Jennifer Loven Associated Press
2009–10 Edwin Chen Bloomberg
2010–11 David Jackson USA Today
2011–12 Caren Bohan Reuters
2012–13 Ed Henry Fox News
2013–14 Steven Thomma McClatchy
2014–15 Christi Parsons Tribune Media
2015–16 Carol Lee Wall Street Journal
2016–17 Jeff Mason Reuters
2017–18 Margaret Talev (elect)[7] Bloomberg
2018–19 Olivier Knox (elect)[8] Yahoo News
2019–20 Jonathan Karl (elect)[9] ABC News

White House Press Room

The WHCA is responsible for assigning seating in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room in the West Wing of the White House.

White House Correspondents' Dinner

The WHCA's annual dinner, begun in 1921,[10] has become a Washington, D.C. tradition and is traditionally attended by the president and vice president.[4] Fifteen presidents have attended at least one WHCA dinner, beginning with Calvin Coolidge in 1924.[4] The dinner is traditionally held on the evening of the last Saturday in April at the Washington Hilton.

Until 1962, the dinner was open only to men, even though WHCA's membership included women. At the urging of Helen Thomas, President John F. Kennedy refused to attend the dinner unless the ban on women was dropped.[11]

Prior to World War II, the annual dinner featured singing between courses, a homemade movie, and an hour-long, post-dinner show with big-name performers.[4] Since 1983, however, the featured speaker has usually been a comedian, with the dinner taking on the form of a roast of the president and his administration.

The dinner is a scholarship benefit for gifted students in college journalism programs.[citation needed]

Many annual dinners have been cancelled or downsized due to deaths or political crises. The dinner was cancelled in 1930 due to the death of former president William Howard Taft; in 1942, following the United States' entry into World War II; and in 1951, over what President Harry S. Truman called the "uncertainty of the world situation."[12] In 1981, Ronald Reagan did not attend because he was recuperating after the attempted assassination on his life the previous month.[13] Donald Trump eschewed the 2017 dinner in favor of a political rally in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Dinner criticisms

The WHCD has been increasingly criticized as an example of the coziness between the White House press corps and the administration.[14] The dinner typically includes a skit, either live or videotaped, by the sitting president in which he mocks himself, for the amusement of the press corps.[14] The press corps, in turn, hobnobs with administration officials, even those who are unpopular and are not regularly cooperative with the press.[14] Increasing scrutiny by bloggers has contributed to added public focus on this friendliness.[14]

After the 2007 dinner, New York Times columnist Frank Rich implied that the Times would no longer participate in the dinners.[15] Rich wrote that the dinner had become "a crystallization of the press's failures in the post-9/11 era" because it "illustrates how easily a propaganda-driven White House can enlist the Washington news media in its shows."[15]

In recent years, the dinners have drawn increasing public attention, and the guest list grows "more Hollywood".[6] The attention given to the guest list and entertainers often overshadows the intended purpose of the dinner, which is to "acknowledge award-winners, present scholarships, and give the press and the president an evening of friendly appreciation."[6] This has led to an atmosphere of coming to the event only to "see and be seen."[6] This usually takes place at pre-dinner receptions and post-dinner parties hosted by various media organizations, which are often a bigger draw and can be more exclusive than the dinners themselves.[16][17][18]

Performers

Year Performer(s) Notes
1944 Bob Hope, Fritz Kreisler, Gracie Fields, tenor Pedro Bargas, Fred Waring, Elsie Janis, Ed Gardiner, Nan Merriman, Robert Merrill, and NBC musical director Frank Black with a 40-piece orchestra.[19]
1945 Frank Sinatra, Danny Thomas, Jimmy Durante, Fanny Brice, Danny Kaye, and Garry Moore shared hosting duties.[20]
1953 Bob Hope[21]
1954 Milton Berle, The Four Step Brothers,[22] Jaye P. Morgan, The McGuire Sisters, and Irving Berlin performed. Berlin performed an original song, "I Still Like Ike," to honor President Eisenhower.[12]
1956 James Cagney emceed; Nat King Cole, Patti Page, and Dizzy Gillespie performed.[23]
1961 The Peiro Brothers (jugglers), Julie London, Dorothy Provine, violinist Mischa Elman, opera singer Jerome Hines[24]
1962 Peter Sellers, Gwen Verdon, Richard Goodman, and Benny Goodman shared hosting duties.[20]
1963 Merv Griffin emceed; Barbra Streisand performed.[25]
1964 Duke Ellington, the Smothers Brothers[12]
1968 Richard Pryor[20]
1969 The Disneyland Golden Horseshoe Revue[26]
1975 Danny Thomas[12]
1976 Bob Hope emceed and Chevy Chase performed.[27] When President Ford rose to speak, he pretended to fumble, and began his speech with "Good evening. I'm Gerald Ford and you're not"—a reference to Chase's catchphrase from Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update.[27]
1983 Mark Russell[28]
1984 Rich Little[29]
1987 Jay Leno[30]
1988 Yakov Smirnoff[31]
1989 Jim Morris (Bush impersonator)[32] Garry Shandling made a surprise appearance.[33]
1990 Jim Morris[34]
1991 Sinbad[35]
1992 Paula Poundstone Poundstone was the first solo female host.[36]
1993 Elayne Boosler[37][38] This was the first year that the dinner was televised on C-SPAN.
1994 Al Franken[39][40]
1995 Conan O'Brien, Bill Maher
1996 Al Franken[41][42]
1997 Jon Stewart[43][44] Norm Macdonald delivered a Weekend Update parody.
1998 Ray Romano
1999 Aretha Franklin[20] NBC's Brian Williams performed a skit.
2000 Jay Leno[45] President Bill Clinton also mocked himself in the short film President Clinton: The Final Days, which depicted him as a lonely man closing down a nearly deserted White House, riding a bicycle, and learning about the Internet with the help of actor Mike Maronna.
2001 Darrell Hammond
2002 Drew Carey[46]
2003 Ray Charles President George W. Bush decided to eschew a comedian that year, given the recent invasion of Iraq.[47]
2004 Jay Leno
2005 Cedric the Entertainer First Lady Laura Bush also performed some jokes.[48][49]
2006 Stephen Colbert[50] Colbert performed his television satire of a right-wing cable television pundit.[51][52] Several of Bush's aides and supporters walked out during Colbert's speech, and one former aide said that the President had "that look that he's ready to blow."[53] Steve Bridges also performed a Bush impersonation.[54] See also: Stephen Colbert at the 2006 White House Correspondents' Association Dinner.
2007 Rich Little David Letterman appeared by video with a Top 10 list of "favorite George W. Bush moments."[55]
2008 Craig Ferguson[56] Like his Late Late Show monologues, Ferguson appeared to go off script and started improvising new jokes. It was noted that President Bush had difficulty understanding Ferguson's Scottish accent.[57]
2009 Wanda Sykes[58]
2010 Jay Leno[59] Leno hosted for the fourth time, more than any other individual in the dinner's history.[60] Leno had been chosen several weeks before his controversial Tonight Show conflict,[61] and his use of recycled jokes was noted by critics.[62]
2011 Seth Meyers[63][64][65] Both President Barack Obama and then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates were seen laughing at Meyers' jokes about the government's apparent inability to track down Osama Bin Laden, even though they were a day away from the operation to assassinate him.

President Obama and Meyers also mocked then-Celebrity Apprentice host Donald Trump's role as the face of the birther movement. Trump would go on to be elected President of the United States five years later in the 2016 United States presidential election. Journalists that were present at the dinner say that being mocked by President Obama and Meyers led him to decide to run for President of the United States, but Trump would later deny this, saying that he had been considering running for President for many years prior to the dinner.[66]

2012 Jimmy Kimmel[67][68][69]
2013 Conan O'Brien[70][71][72]
2014 Joel McHale[73][74]
2015 Cecily Strong[75][76] Keegan-Michael Key made a guest appearance as President Obama's "anger translator",[77] Luther, a recurring character from the Comedy Central show Key & Peele.[78]
2016 Larry Wilmore[79][80] Wilmore delivered a controversial, searing routine targeting the president, elite media, lobbyists, politicians, and celebrities. At the end of the speech, Wilmore ended his set by thanking President Obama for having been the country's first black President and finished his speech by calling him "my nigga" on live television. This remark sparked controversy among the media, calling it disrespectful.[81]
2017 Hasan Minhaj[82][83] President Donald Trump did not attend the dinner.[84][85]

Washington Post journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein presented awards and spoke about the importance of the First Amendment.[85][86]

Gallery

President Bill Clinton (right) with television actor Mike Maronna (left) celebrating a successful online purchase in a comedic short film recorded for the 2000 Dinner. 
President George W. Bush (left) with Bush impersonator Steve Bridges in character (right) at the 2006 Dinner. 
President Barack Obama (left) with sketch comedian Keegan-Michael Key in character as "anger translator" Luther (right) at the 2015 Dinner. 
President Barack Obama ending his final Correspondents' Dinner speech with a mic drop at the 2016 Dinner. 

Awards

The Merriman Smith Memorial Award

See footnote.[87]

Awarded for outstanding examples of deadline reporting.

Year Recipient Distinction Employer Notes & Ref
2000 Gary Nurenberg Broadcast KTLA-Tribune Broadcasting [88]
Jodi Enda Print Knight-Ridder Newspapers [88]
2001 Jim Angle Broadcast Fox News Channel [89]
Sandra Sobieraj Print Associated Press [89]
2002 Peter Maer Broadcast CBS News [90]
Ron Fournier Print Associated Press [90]
2003 Jim Angle Broadcast Fox News Channel [91]
David Sanger Print The New York Times [91]
2004 Mike Allen Print The Washington Post [92]
2005 Ron Fournier Print Associated Press [93]
Jackie Calmes Print The Wall Street Journal Honorable Mention[93]
2006 Terry Moran Broadcast ABC News [94]
Deb Riechmann Print Associated Press [94]
2007 Martha Raddatz Broadcast ABC News [95]
David Sanger Print The New York Times [95]
2008 Ed Henry Broadcast CNN [96]
Deb Riechmann Print Associated Press [96]
2009 David Greene Broadcast NPR [97]
Sandra Sobieraj Westfall Print People magazine [97]
2010 Jake Tapper Broadcast ABC News [98]
Ben Feller Print Associated Press [98]
2011 Jake Tapper Broadcast ABC News [99]
Dan Balz Print The Washington Post [99]
2012 Jake Tapper Broadcast ABC News [100]
Glenn Thrush, Carrie Budoff Brown, Manu Raju and John Bresnahan Print Politico [100]

The Aldo Beckman Memorial Award

See footnote.[87]

Awarded for journalistic excellence.

Year Recipient Employer Ref
2000 Jeanne Cummings The Wall Street Journal [88]
2001 Steve Thomma Knight Ridder [89]
2002 Anne E. Kornblut The Boston Globe [90]
2003 Dana Milbank The Washington Post [91]
2004 David Sanger The New York Times [92]
2005 Susan Page USA Today [93]
2006 Carl Cannon National Journal [94]
2007 Kenneth T. Walsh U.S. News & World Report [95]
2008 Alexis Simendinger National Journal [96]
2009 Michael Abramowitz The Washington Post [97]
2010 Mark Knoller CBS News [98]
2011 Peter Baker The New York Times [99]
2012 Scott Wilson The Washington Post [100]

The Edgar A. Poe Memorial Award

See footnote.[87]

Awarded for excellence on a story of national or regional significance.

Year Recipient Employer Notes & Ref
2000 Sam Roe The Toledo Blade [88]
2001 Elizabeth Marchak, Dave Davis, and Joan Mazzolini The Plain Dealer [89]
John Barry and Evan Thomas Newsweek Honorable Mention[89]
David Pace Associated Press Honorable Mention[89]
2002 Evan Thomas, Mark Hosenball, Martha Brant, and Roy Gutman Newsweek [90]
Staff The Seattle Times Honorable Mention[90]
Staff The Dayton Daily News Honorable Mention[90]
2003 Sean Naylor Army Times [91]
Staff South Florida Sun-Sentinel Honorable Mention[91]
Michael Berens Chicago Tribune Honorable Mention[91]
2004 Russell Corollo and Mei-ling Hopgood Dayton Daily News [92]
Christopher H. Schmitt and Edward T. Pound U.S. News & World Report Honorable Mention[92]
Michael Hudson Southern Exposure magazine Honorable Mention[92]
Warren P. Strobel and Jonathan S. Landy Knight Ridder Honorable Mention[92]
Rod Nordland and Michael Hirsh Newsweek Honorable Mention[92]
Sami Yousafzai, Ron Moreau, and Michael Hirsh Newsweek Honorable Mention[92]
Fareed Zakaria Newsweek Honorable Mention[92]
2005 Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams The San Francisco Chronicle [93]
Donald Barlett and James Steele Time magazine Honorable Mention[93]
2006 Marcus Stern and Jerry Kammer Copley News Service [94]
Staff Time magazine Honorable Mention[94]
Russell Carollo and Larry Kaplow Dayton Daily News Honorable Mention[94]
2007 Joan Ryan The San Francisco Chronicle [95]
2008 Paul Shukovsky, Tracy Johnson, and Daniel Lathrop Seattle Post-Intelligencer [96]
2009 Michael J. Berens and Ken Armstrong The Seattle Times [97]
2010 Suzanne Bohan and Sandy Kleffman Contra Costa Times, California [98]
2011 Michael Berens The Seattle Times [99]
2012 Matt Apuzzo, Adam Goldman, Eileen Sullivan and Chris Hawley Associated Press [100]

See also

References

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External links

  • White House Correspondents' Association
  • White House Correspondents' Association Dinner complete coverage at C-SPAN
  • Barack Obama Roasts Donald Trump At White House Correspondents' Association Dinner
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