During the annual White House correspondents’ dinner held this Saturday night in Washington, US President Joe Biden laughed about the criticism he has received in his 15 months in office and launched attacks on his predecessor, Donald Trump, as well as the Republican Party and members of the press.
“I’m extremely excited to be here tonight with the one group of Americans more disliked than me,” Biden remarked, speaking to a crowd of 2,600 people that included journalists, government officials, and celebrities.
Since 1924, the White House Press Correspondents Association (WHCA) has welcomed presidents for an annual black-tie dinner, albeit because to the covid-19 pandemic, it was canceled in 2020 and 2021.
In any case, the appointment had not been completed in previous years because Trump did not attend any of the events during his presidency.
in opposition to the media
“Consider what would have happened if my predecessor had attended this year’s dinner. That would have been a wonderful coup, wouldn’t it? “slipped Biden, the first president in six years to accept the invitation.
It would have been “a great hit” if Trump had attended the dinner, according to Biden. EPA/Bloomberg photo by Jim Lo Scalzo
“There’s nothing I can say about the GOP that Kevin McCarthy hasn’t already placed on record,” he joked regarding the rival GOP.
He also went after Fox News. “Because of COVID, I know there’s a lot of debate regarding whether we should come together here tonight. We’ve come to demonstrate the country that we’ve recovered from the pandemic. Everyone must also show that they have had their vaccines and boosters.” Biden stated the following.
“It’s as simple as contacting your favorite Fox News reporter. They’ve all shown up. Boosted and vaccinated, “Added he.
When he realized that the previous few years had been difficult, his remarks became more serious. She mourned, “We had a dreadful disease followed by two years of covid.” Moreover, praised journalists who covered Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and warned of “a poison flowing through our democracy… with disinformation on the rise.”
“In this century, your free press is more crucial than ever,” Biden added. The luncheon also honored journalists who had risked their lives in combat zones.
Biden appears to be in a good mood.
With the pandemic’s ups and downs, some have questioned the 79-year-old president’s presence, especially when his Vice President Kamala Harris tested positive for the virus last week. Biden did not wear a mask despite skipping the lunch as a precaution.
“The good news is that now you can annoy the president of the United States,” the Trump said as he introduced comedian Trevor Noah, who will be in charge of the event’s animation. “And, unlike (what would happen in) Moscow,” he said, “you won’t go to jail.”
The president of the United States with comedian Trevor Noah. Al Drago/REUTERS/Al Drago
Noah began his statement by expressing his gratitude for the opportunity to host the “nation’s most distinguished event.” That didn’t make him any less acerbic, though: “I was perplexed as to why me, but they explained that when there’s a multiracial African guy next to you, you receive your best popularity ratings.”
“Since you’ve taken office, things have gotten a lot better, you know, petrol prices have gone up, rent prices have gone up, and food prices have gone up. Everything is fine, “Not without irony, the comic said.
Before the epidemic, the last WHCA banquet was held in 2019, and Trump did not attend. The former president’s press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, was irritated by comic Michelle Wolf’s quips the year before.
President of the WHCA, CBS radio employee Steven Portnoy, said it was time to return to tradition with an evening dedicated to history’s great journalists, honors for today’s journalists, and a homage “to the comrades who died in Ukraine.”
With contributions from the Associated Press and the AFP.