White House Correspondents’ Dinner : Tradition and Transition

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The 2024 White House Correspondents’ Dinner, fondly dubbed the “Nerd Prom,” is set to unfold on Saturday, April 27, within the illustrious halls of the Washington Hilton. Over its 103-year history, this event has morphed into an eclectic convergence of political heavyweights, media luminaries, and even Hollywood’s brightest stars. This year, the mantle of comedic eminence falls upon Colin Jost, co-anchor of Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update, who joins an esteemed lineage of humorists that includes Darrell Hammond, Jay Leno, and Stephen Colbert, among others. Yet beyond the glitz and laughter, the dinner remains a solemn tribute to the sanctity of the First Amendment, with proceeds dedicated to bolstering the endeavors of the White House Correspondents’ Association and supporting journalistic excellence through scholarships and accolades.



Notably absent from the gala is the specter of former President Donald Trump, who broke tradition by eschewing attendance during his tenure, save for a solitary appearance in 2011 as a private citizen. However, President Biden is anticipated to grace the occasion for the third time since assuming office, perpetuating a custom observed by every president since Calvin Coolidge in 1924. C-SPAN’s venerable coverage of the dinner, an institution since 1988, has captured memorable moments spanning presidencies and societal shifts. Even during the tumult of the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced a hiatus in 2021 and 2022, the essence of the dinner endured, albeit in altered forms.



Beyond its glamorous veneer, the White House Correspondents’ Dinner serves as a bastion of journalistic integrity and democratic ethos. It symbolizes the enduring alliance between the press and the presidency, underscored by a commitment to transparency, accountability, and unfettered discourse. As the nation grapples with evolving challenges and paradigms, the significance of this annual gathering transcends mere revelry, embodying the resilience of democratic institutions amidst the vicissitudes of history.



In the corridors of the Washington Hilton, amidst the clink of glasses and the raucous laughter echoing through the halls, lies a poignant reminder of the enduring power of words. It is a testament to the indomitable spirit of a free press, a beacon illuminating the path towards a more informed and enlightened society. As Colin Jost takes center stage, wielding wit as his weapon, he not only entertains but also reaffirms the immutable bond between laughter and liberty, reminding us that in the face of adversity, humor remains an indispensable ally.


Bénédicte Lin – Brussels, Paris, London, Seoul, Bangkok, Tokyo, New York, Taipei, Hong Kong
Bénédicte Lin – Brussels, Paris, London, Seoul, Bangkok, Tokyo, New York, Taipei, Hong Kong
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