The White House Correspondents’ Dinner, Washington’s prestigious gala, was back on Saturday evening in the American capital after the pandemic and the Trump years, when the president’s self-mockery and support for the press were not really up to date. fashion.
With Joe Biden on stage and comedian Trevor Noah as emcee, the White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) has revived a tradition that dates back to 1924 and in which every president since 1980 has participated – except Donald Trump.
“I am very happy to be here tonight with the only group of Americans whose popularity rating is lower than mine”launched Joe Biden in the preamble.
About 2,500 people in evening dress, journalists and their guests, were expected for the two unmissable stages of the famous dinner: the president’s speech, expected to be funny and full of satire on himself, and that of the comedians, who will pin also Joe Biden.
Before going on stage, President Biden told Trevor Noah that, “Unlike Moscow, he was free to mock the president without risking arrest.”
Alongside Trevor Noah – host of the popular show The Daily Show – Kim Kardashian and also British comedian James Corden, who opened the evening via a video. Negative Covid-19 tests were required of guests to attend the gala and masks were not required – as is the case in most of Washington.
“A Horrible Plague”
Washington’s political and media elite remembers the Obama years, especially in 2011, when he targeted Donald Trump for his taste for conspiracy theories. This year, Joe Biden did not hesitate to crush Trump. “We had a horrible plague followed by two years of Covid”, he said. “Imagine if my predecessor had come to this dinner this year: it would have been a real hit if he had. »
In addition to glitter and humour, the dinner was also serious and intended to convey a strong message in favor of freedom of the press. The war in Ukraine was also on people’s minds. “I’ve always had respect for the press, but I can’t tell you how much I admire” journalists sent to Ukraine, Joe Biden said recently.
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. »