President Trump skipped the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in 2017 and skipped it again earlier this year, when comedian Michelle Wolf was the featured entertainment. In the wake of her controversial performance, the event’s organizers have made a big change.
In a release posted to Twitter Monday morning, the White House Correspondents’ Association announced author and historian Ron Chernow as the speaker for next year’s event, set for April 2019. And although the organization’s president, Olivier Knox (who, full disclosure, previously worked for Yahoo News), mentioned the expectation that Chernow will discuss the “importance of a free and independent news media,” many are arguing that this choice is an example of the exact opposite.
— Michelle Wolf (@michelleisawolf) November 19, 2018
Already people are praising Wolf’s tweet for speaking “truth to power” at the past dinner, and likely making the administration worried about putting another entertainer on stage.
Did you break the White House Press Dinner, Michelle? I think you did.
— Bravery is Contagious 🍩 (@EBlumberg11) November 19, 2018
Michelle, I loved your speech last year and thought you did exactly what the media was supposed to do for the previous year: Speak truth to power. They failed, and continue to do so. Be very proud!
— Todd A Moore (@G33KFR34K) November 19, 2018
The act of removing a comedian by the WHCA is akin to cowering to the bullies in the WH. What next? Oh wait…taking away press credentials….
— Bosco's Mom (@boscosmom14) November 19, 2018
You’ve given up on freedom of speech. Congrats!
— banjelope (@banjelope) November 19, 2018
way to cave to the lunatic, humorless right.
— Jeremy Wein (@thismyshow) November 19, 2018
Others are happy about the change, saying that a historian is the perfect person to present the irony between the current administration and America’s values. Some have even pointed out that Wolf’s comment about the media being “complicit” is just adding to Trump’s attack of the press.
Why do you have to say inflammatory things like "The media is complicit" in a time when the media is already under siege from those in power? The press has held Trump accountable more than other institutions in recent years and we should support them, instead of tearing them down
— Jennifer Jancke (@JanckeJennifer) November 19, 2018
@realDonaldTrump is a threat to our democracy with his constant attacks of the press & his attempts to undermine their credibility.I think a historian is the perfect person to invite to the dinner to stress the dangerous place we find ourselves in the context of American history.
— M. Stein (@MStein2016) November 19, 2018
Still, some people are holding out hope that Chernow can maintain the tradition of satirical entertainment that the dinner has featured for decades.
Yeah, but Chernow’s Aaron Burr impression really kills
— Brian Cullen (@Not_a_RussiaBot) November 19, 2018
Cuz that would be….LIT…
— Robert Moses (@RobertMosesIII) November 19, 2018
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