If you were unaware that the annual White House Correspondents Dinner has come and gone, you are not alone.  Compared to last year — when the absence of President Trump and the tasteless and humorless pillaring of the President and White House staffers made headlines for days afterward – the 2019 event was barely noticed beyond the Beltway.

This is not only as it should be, but what the Dinner had been for decades before it was taken over by Hollywood.

During my time in D.C., I had the pleasure of attending the Dinner.  That was back in the late-1960s and early 1970s.  It was an important political and social even for the Washington political and press communities – but it received very little reporting in the rest of the country.

While much was made of President Trump’s declining his invitation to participate, it was never a “must attend” for presidents.  Some attended sometimes, but not all that often.  In fact, most presidents were AWOL when it came to the dinner – although not because of the friction that has marked the relationship between Trump and the major news media.

Previous dinners were more of a private social event to allow members of the press corps and the politicians they cover to mingle in a friendly setting.  There was always a bit of a comedic roast, but not with the Partisan viciousness that has arisen since the Trump election.  Mostly it was good-spirited pokes at the pomposity of the press and the politicians – what is better known as self-effacing humor.

The event changed dramatically during President Obama’s administrations.  He brought a glitzy Hollywood glamour not seen in Washington since President Kennedy’s days of Camelot.  In fact, it is arguable that it was Hollywood that helped destroy the purpose and the reputation of the Dinner – two things the White House Correspondents Association hoped to correct this year.

Rather than make the event a platform for the biased and nasty comedy of Michelle Wolfe — last year’s featured celebrity – the Dinner sponsors chose historian and author Ron Chernow – author of the biography of Alexander Hamilton that was the inspiration for the popular Broadway production.

It was a move that would assure minimal humorous content.  Chernow promised to deliver a few knee-slappers but proved that humor is an art form in which historians are relatively unskilled.  The best he could elicit from the audience was an occasional round of polite chuckles.

The association took away what Hollywood had brought to the event – the iconic red carpet.  Oh yeah, there was still a red runway, but it was not lined by cameras, entertainment reporters and gawkers.  If there were those exaggerated poses in front of a multi-labeled advertising backdrop, not may photos of the posers to be seen in the next morning news reports – largely because there was very little reporting on the event … period.

The Association was smart in toning down the event.  He had become weaponized by a biased media to attack their political adversaries – specifically President Trump, Vice President Pence, the White House Staff, the Cabinet, congressional Republicans, conservative Supreme Court Justices, FOX News, conservative icons and millions of Americans who do not share the media’s political perspective.

One can only hope that the White House press corps – and the media outlets they represent – and follow the lead of the White House Correspondents’ Association and restore a bit of unbiased civility and integrity to the profession in general.

So, there ‘tis.

By Larry Horist

So, there ‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.

2 thoughts on “The White House Correspondents’ Dinner as it used to be”
  1. I feel Hollywood & public should be completely eliminated! If it’s WHITEHOUSE CORRESPONDENCE DINNER, then the focus should be focused on just that with respect to the President & family, VP & family & Whitehouse staff! Keep it simple & unbiased! And since CNN, MSNBC & NBC have no good thing to report EVER, omit them as well!
    Obama destroyed that as well? Hollywood life is ALL he & she dreamed of!

  2. What i don’t understood is in reality how you are not really much more smartly-favored than you may be right now. You’re so intelligent. You recognize thus significantly in terms of this topic, made me in my opinion imagine it from so many various angles. Its like women and men don’t seem to be fascinated until it is one thing to do with Lady gaga! Your personal stuffs excellent. At all times deal with it up!

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