With Joe Biden on stage and comedian Trevor Noah as emcee, the White House Accredited Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) hopes to return to a tradition that dates back to 1924 and in which every president since 1980 has participated – except Donald Trump.
About 2,600 people in evening dress, journalists and their guests, will be present for at least two obligatory stages: the speech of the president, expected as funny and full of satire on himself, and that of the comedians, who will also pin Joe Biden .
Will be present, in addition to Trevor Noah – host of the popular show The Daily Show – Kim Kardashian and British comedian James Corden, who will open the evening via a video.
Washington’s political and media elite remembers the Obama years, especially in 2011, when he targeted Donald Trump for his taste for conspiracy theories.
Once in power, the Republican president had shunned each of these gala evenings, he who regularly attacked journalists, “the enemies of the people”. During the last edition, in 2019, neither president nor even comedian was present.
This time, Joe Biden will be present to “demonstrate his support for a free press”, according to his spokesperson Jen Psaki, and “he will be on the menu, as he likes to say” comedians.
With the Covid-19, the presence of the 79-year-old president is questioned by some, his vice-president Kamala Harris having tested positive last week. He will wear a mask except when speaking, the White House said.
In addition to the glitter, the dinner will also be serious with the war in Ukraine.
“I have always had respect for the press, but I cannot tell you how much I admire” the journalists sent to Ukraine, Joe Biden recently declared.
WHCA President Steven Portnoy of CBS radio said it was time to return to tradition with an evening dedicated to the great journalists of history, awards for those of today and tribute “to colleagues who died on the ground in Ukraine.”
And, he adds, “there could also be a few surprises.”