White House Correspondents' Association

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White House Correspondents' Association
White House Correspondents' Association logo.jpg
Abbreviation WHCA
Formation February 25, 1914; 100 years ago (1914-02-25)
Location Washington, DC
President Steven Thomma (McClatchy Newspapers)
Website 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.[1]

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.[2][3]

Executives[edit]

The WHCA elects four officers and five board members from within its ranks once a year.

  • 2013–2014 Board Members
    • Carol Lee, [Wall Street Journal, at large]
    • Scott Horsley, [NPR, radio]
    • Margaret Talev, [Bloomberg News, wire]
    • Major Garrett, [CBS News, television]
    • Olivier Knox, [Yahoo! News, periodicals]

Past Presidents[edit]

Year Name Employer
1914–20 W.W. 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
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 Cable News Network
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

White House Press Room[edit]

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[edit]

The WHCA's annual dinner, begun in 1920, has become a Washington, D.C., tradition and is usually attended by the President and Vice President.[1] Fifteen presidents have attended at least one WHCA dinner, beginning with Calvin Coolidge in 1924.[1] 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.[4]

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.[1] 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.

Many annual dinners were 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 Truman called the "uncertainty of the world situation."[5]

Awards[edit]

The Merriman Smith Memorial Award[edit]

Awarded for outstanding examples of deadline reporting.

Year Recipient Distinction Employer Notes & Ref
2000 Gary Nurenberg Broadcast KTLA-Tribune Broadcasting [6]
Jodi Enda Print Knight-Ridder Newspapers [6]
2001 Jim Angle Broadcast Fox News Channel [7]
Sandra Sobieraj Print Associated Press [7]
2002 Peter Maer Broadcast CBS News [8]
Ron Fournier Print Associated Press [8]
2003 Jim Angle Broadcast Fox News Channel [9]
David Sanger Print The New York Times [9]
2004 Mike Allen Print The Washington Post [10]
2005 Ron Fournier Print Associated Press [11]
Jackie Calmes Print The Wall Street Journal Honorable Mention[11]
2006 Terry Moran Broadcast ABC News [12]
Deb Riechmann Print Associated Press [12]
2007 Martha Raddatz Broadcast ABC News [13]
David Sanger Print The New York Times [13]
2008 Ed Henry Broadcast CNN [14]
Deb Riechmann Print Associated Press [14]
2009 David Greene Broadcast NPR [15]
Sandra Sobieraj Westfall Print People magazine [15]
2010 Jake Tapper Broadcast ABC News [16]
Ben Feller Print Associated Press [16]
2011 Jake Tapper Broadcast ABC News [17]
Dan Balz Print The Washington Post [17]
2012 Jake Tapper Broadcast ABC News [18]
Glenn Thrush, Carrie Budoff Brown, Manu Raju and John Bresnahan Print Politico [18]

The Aldo Beckman Memorial Award[edit]

Awarded for journalistic excellence.

Year Recipient Employer Ref
2000 Jeanne Cummings The Wall Street Journal [6]
2001 Steve Thomma Knight Ridder [7]
2002 Anne E. Kornblut The Boston Globe [8]
2003 Dana Milbank The Washington Post [9]
2004 David Sanger The New York Times [10]
2005 Susan Page USA Today [11]
2006 Carl Cannon National Journal [12]
2007 Kenneth T. Walsh U.S. News & World Report [13]
2008 Alexis Simendinger National Journal [14]
2009 Michael Abramowitz The Washington Post [15]
2010 Mark Knoller CBS News [16]
2011 Peter Baker The New York Times [17]
2012 Scott Wilson The Washington Post [18]

The Edgar A. Poe Memorial Award[edit]

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

Year Recipient Employer Notes & Ref
2000 Sam Roe The Toledo Blade [6]
2001 Elizabeth Marchak, Dave Davis and Joan Mazzolini The Plain Dealer [7]
John Barry and Evan Thomas Newsweek Honorable Mention[7]
David Pace Associated Press Honorable Mention[7]
2002 Evan Thomas and Mark Hosenball, & Martha Brant and Roy Gutman Newsweek [8]
Staff The Seattle Times Honorable Mention[8]
Staff The Dayton Daily News Honorable Mention[8]
2003 Sean Naylor Army Times [9]
Staff South Florida Sun-Sentinel Honorable Mention[9]
Michael Berens Chicago Tribune Honorable Mention[9]
2004 Russell Corollo and Mei-ling Hopgood Dayton Daily News [10]
Christopher H. Schmitt and Edward T. Pound U.S. News & World Report Honorable Mention[10]
Michael Hudson Southern Exposure Magazine Honorable Mention[10]
Warren P. Strobel and Jonathan S. Landy Knight Ridder Honorable Mention[10]
Rod Nordland and Michael Hirsh Newsweek Honorable Mention[10]
Sami Yousafzai, Ron Moreau, and Michael Hirsh Newsweek Honorable Mention[10]
Fareed Zakaria Newsweek Honorable Mention[10]
2005 Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams The San Francisco Chronicle [11]
Donald Barlett and James Steele Time Magazine Honorable Mention[11]
2006 Marcus Stern and Jerry Kammer Copley News Service [12]
Staff Time Magazine Honorable Mention[12]
Russell Carollo and Larry Kaplow Dayton Daily News Honorable Mention[12]
2007 Joan Ryan The San Francisco Chronicle [13]
2008 Paul Shukovsky, Tracy Johnson, and Daniel Lathrop Seattle Post-Intelligencer [14]
2009 Michael J. Berens and Ken Armstrong The Seattle Times [15]
2010 Suzanne Bohan and Sandy Kleffman Contra Costa, California, Times [16]
2011 Michael Berens The Seattle Times [17]
2012 Matt Apuzzo, Adam Goldman, Eileen Sullivan and Chris Hawley Associated Press [18]

Dinner criticisms[edit]

The WHCD has been increasingly criticized as an example of the coziness between the White House press corps and the Administration.[19] 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.[19] The press corps, in turn, hobnobs with Administration officials, even those who are unpopular and are not regularly cooperative with the press.[19] Increasing scrutiny by bloggers has contributed to added public focus on this friendliness.[19]

After the 2007 dinner, New York Times columnist Frank Rich implied that the Times will no longer participate in the dinners.[20] Rich said that the event is "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."[20]

In recent years, the dinners have drawn increasing public attention each year as the entertainers draw more interest, and the guest list grows "more Hollywood".[3] 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."[3] This has led to an atmosphere of coming to the event only to "see and be seen."[3] 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.[21][22][23]

Performers[edit]

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.[24]
1945 Frank Sinatra, Danny Thomas, Jimmy Durante, Fanny Brice, Danny Kaye, and Garry Moore shared hosting duties.[25]
1953 Bob Hope[26]
1954 Milton Berle, The Four Step Brothers,[27] Jaye P. Morgan, The McGuire Sisters, and Irving Berlin performed. Berlin performed an original song, "I Still Like Ike," to honor President Eisenhower.[5]
1956 James Cagney emceed; Nat King Cole, Patti Page, and Dizzy Gillespie performed.[28]
1961 The Peiro Brothers (jugglers), Julie London, Dorothy Provine, violinist Mischa Elman, opera singer Jerome Hines[29]
1962 Peter Sellers, Gwen Verdon, Richard Goodman, and Benny Goodman shared hosting duties.[25]
1963 Merv Griffin emceed; Barbra Streisand performed.[30]
1964 Duke Ellington, the Smothers Brothers[5]
1968 Richard Pryor[25]
1969 The Disneyland Golden Horseshoe Revue[31]
1975 Danny Thomas[5]
1976 Bob Hope emceed and Chevy Chase performed.[32] 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 Weekend Update.[32]
1983 Mark Russell[33]
1984 Rich Little[34]
1987 Jay Leno[35]
1988 Yakov Smirnoff[36]
1989 Jim Morris (Bush impersonator)[37] Garry Shandling made a surprise appearance.[38]
1990 Jim Morris[39]
1991 Sinbad[40]
1992 Paula Poundstone Poundstone was the first solo female host.[41]
1993 Elayne Boosler[42] This was the first year that the dinner was televised on C-SPAN.
1994 Al Franken
1995 Conan O'Brien, Bill Maher
1996 Al Franken
1997 Jon Stewart[43] Norm MacDonald delivered a "Weekend Update" parody.
1998 Ray Romano
1999 Aretha Franklin[25] NBC's Brian Williams performed a skit.
2000 Jay Leno Outgoing 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
2003 Ray Charles President George W. Bush decided to eschew a comedian that year, given the recent declaration of war in Iraq.[44]
2004 Jay Leno
2005 Cedric the Entertainer First Lady Laura Bush also performed some jokes.
2006 Stephen Colbert Colbert performed his television satire of a right-wing cable television pundit.[45] 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."[46] Steve Bridges also performed a Bush impersonation.[47] 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."[48]
2008 Craig Ferguson 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.[49]
2009 Wanda Sykes
2010 Jay Leno Leno hosted for the fourth time, more than any other individual in the dinner's history.[50] Leno had been chosen several weeks before his controversial Tonight Show conflict,[51] and his use of recycled jokes was noted by critics.[52]
2011 Seth Meyers[53][54]
2012 Jimmy Kimmel
2013 Conan O'Brien[55]
2014 Joel McHale[56]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Unfounded Leak Leads to Modern WHCA by George Condon, former president of the WHCA". White House Correspondents' Association. Retrieved August 20, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENTS' ASSOCIATION OFFICERS AND BOARD". WHCA. Retrieved August 20, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d Joe Strupp, Incoming WHCA Prez: Next Year's Dinner Will Not Be 'Politically Correct' , Editor and Publisher, April 25, 2007
  4. ^ WHCA History
  5. ^ a b c d "White House Correspondence Dinner: 25 Memorable Moments," National Journal, by Julia Edwards, April 27, 2011
  6. ^ a b c d "The 2000 WHCA Awards". White House Correspondents' Association. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f Smith, Mark. "WHCA Names 2001 Award Winners". White House Correspondents' Association. Retrieved April 23, 2011. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f Smith, Mark. "WHCA Names 2002 Award Winners". White House Correspondents' Association. Retrieved April 23, 2011. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f Smith, Mark. "WHCA Names 2003 Award Winners". White House Correspondents' Association. Retrieved April 23, 2011. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i Smith, Mike. "WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENTS’ ASSOCIATION NAMES 2004 AWARD WINNERS". White House Correspondents' Association. Retrieved April 23, 2011. 
  11. ^ a b c d e Mills, Doug. "WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENTS’ ASSOCIATION NAMES 2005 AWARD WINNERS". White House Correspondents' Association. Retrieved April 23, 2011. 
  12. ^ a b c d e f Compton, Ann. "WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENTS' ASSOCIATION NAMES 2006 AWARD WINNERS". White House Correspondents' Association. Retrieved April 23, 2011. 
  13. ^ a b c d Whiston, Julia. "White House Correspondents' Association Names 2007 Award Winners". White House Correspondents' Association. Retrieved April 25, 2011. 
  14. ^ a b c d WHCA. "WHCA 2008 JOURNALISM AWARDS". White House Correspondents' Association. Retrieved May 1, 2011. 
  15. ^ a b c d WHCA. "WHCA 2009 JOURNALISM AWARDS". White House Correspondents' Association. Retrieved May 1, 2011. 
  16. ^ a b c d WHCA. "WHCA 2010 JOURNALISM AWARDS". White House Correspondents' Association. Retrieved May 1, 2011. 
  17. ^ a b c d "White House Correspondents' Association Announces Recipients of the 2011 Awards". White House Correspondents' Association. Retrieved April 28, 2012. 
  18. ^ a b c d "2012 WHCA Journalism Awards". White House Correspondents' Association. Retrieved April 28, 2012. 
  19. ^ a b c d Joe Strupp, WHCA Prez Defends Dinner Amid Criticism Of 'Coziness' and Rich Little, Editor and Publisher, April 24, 2007
  20. ^ a b Rich, Frank. All the President’s Press, The New York Times, April 29, 2007.
  21. ^ Libby Copeland and Dana Milbank, The In-Crowd Steps Out: After the Correspondents' Dinner, Parties Are Icing on the Cake, The Washington Post, April 23, 2007.
  22. ^ Taking Names, The Washington Times, April 23, 2007
  23. ^ Ashley Parker, Celeb-Watching at the Correspondents Dinner, The Caucus blog, The New York Times, April 22, 2007
  24. ^ "Big Names Abound at Press Banquet", The Charlotte Observer, March 6, 1944
  25. ^ a b c d National Journal, "White House Correspondents' Dinner Hosts Through the Years."
  26. ^ Library of Congress Eisenhower Archives, retrieved October 29, 2012
  27. ^ “Colored People in Majority,” Baltimore Afro-American, March 2, 1954; [Jet Magazine], March 25, 1954
  28. ^ "White House Correspondents Dinner Hosts to President," The Toledo Blade, May 25, 1956
  29. ^ Julie London Archives, retrieved October 28, 2012
  30. ^ Barbra Streisand Archives, retrieved October 29, 2012
  31. ^ Disneyland Line, April 25, 1969
  32. ^ a b Humor played big role in Ford's persona, a December 2006 Deseret News article via findarticles.com
  33. ^ "History of the White House Correspondents' Dinner - History in the Headlines," History Channel, retrieved October 29, 2012
  34. ^ At the start of his 2007 dinner speech, Little stated that he had previously hosted in 1984, but "had to wait until everybody died" before he was invited back.
  35. ^ Leno to Host White House Correspondents Dinner for Fourth Time
  36. ^ Remarks at the Annual White House Correspondents Association Dinner, from the website of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library
  37. ^ "Impressionist Jim Morris began his Bush bit in silence – just moving his head, sort of stammering, trying to get some words out. The president [Bush], watching Morris do his inarticulate-thing, started laughing hard, and finally held his big white dinner napkin over his face." The Washington Post – also Coverage By the Seattle Post-Intelligencer's Joel Connelly http://www.seattlepi.com/archives/1989/8901120012.asp
  38. ^ C-Span Video Clip from April 25, 1989 (replayed at the 2002 dinner)
  39. ^ Comedian Bush-Whacks All the President's Mien, The Los Angeles Times, by Frank Rizzo, October 15, 1990
  40. ^ "The comic genius brought in to entertain at the association's 77th annual black-tie dinner by Sheridan Broadcasting Company's Robert Ellison, the first and only Black president of the elite organization, brought down the house with hilarious quips and jokes about Bush's less than impressive fishing skills." Jet Magazine, May 20, 1991.
  41. ^ Paula Poundstone's home page
  42. ^ The Inescapable Squareness of Washington’s ‘Nerd Prom’, by Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, April 28, 2012
  43. ^ 1997 White House Correspondents' Dinner – C-SPAN Video Library
  44. ^ TIME Magazine list of Bush-era WHCD hosts
  45. ^ 2006 White House Correspondents dinner at Google Videos (Adobe Flash video)
  46. ^ Inside Washington: Skewering comedy skit angers Bush and aides U.S. News & World Report
  47. ^ Steve Bridges obituary, March 3, 2012
  48. ^ Bush Doesn't Joke at WHCA Dinner Due to Virginia Tech Killings—But Rich Little Says 'Nuts', an Editor & Publisher article
  49. ^ [1]
  50. ^ Horowitz, Jason (May 2, 2010). "'Healthy' relations on display at White House Correspondents' Association Dinner". The Washington Post. 
  51. ^ de Moraes, Lisa (January 22, 2010). "Jay Leno will headline the White House Correspondents Dinner". The Washington Post. 
  52. ^ Leno Whcd Jokes Recycled – Hillary Frey & Alexander Trowbridge | Politico Click
  53. ^ White House Correspondents' Association DinnerC-SPAN
  54. ^ Obama's Poker Face: President Reacts to Bin Laden Joke at Correspondents' Dinner
  55. ^ "Conan O’Brien to headline 2013 White House Correspondents Dinner". The Daily Caller. Retrieved 20 February 2013. 
  56. ^ Strecker, Erin (February 14, 2014). "Joel McHale to headline 100th White House Correspondents' Dinner". Entertainment Weekly. CNN. Retrieved February 14, 2014. 

External links[edit]