Sunday, May 10, 2009

President Barack Obama Enjoys a Fun White House Correspondents Association Dinner 2009

10 May 2009

US President Barack Obama had a good time at the annual White House Correspondents Association Dinner. 

The audience also had a good time especially when the President said, "In the next hundred days, I will strongly consider losing my cool (laughter).  Finally, I believe that my next hundred days will be so successful that I'll be able to complete them in 72 days (laughter) and on the 73rd day, I will rest (more laughter).  Except for the last one, the following video clips of the event are from youtube.com:

Comedian Wanda Sykes also had a chance to wow and rib-tickle the audience:

This last video clip is courtesy of msnbc.com featuring Countdown with Keith Olbermann:

The White House Correspondents Association (WHCA) has an interesting beginning founded on what proved to be an "unfounded leak: 

The White House Correspondents' Association was born on Feb. 25, 1914, after the White House let it be known that President Woodrow Wilson was interested in having an unprecedented series of regularly scheduled press conferences but was unsure how to pick the reporters to invite to these sessions. To the horror of regular White House reporters, a rumor leaked that the Congressional Standing Committee of Correspondents would be asked to do the picking.

Aghast at this intrusion on their turf, eleven reporters formed the WHCA, decreeing that its "primary object shall be the promotion of the interests of those reporters and correspondents assigned to cover the White House."

The leak proved unfounded, so the reporters dropped their guard. The WHCA lay dormant until 1920 when the organization held its first dinner. In 1924, Calvin Coolidge became the first of 14 presidents to attend the dinner.

Until World War II, the annual dinner was an entertainment extravaganza, featuring singing between courses, a homemade movie and an hour-long, post-dinner show with big-name performers. During the War years the dinner tradition continued, but the event was more subdued. A 1944 article in the Charlotte Observe reported: "The most complete turnout of the Nation's war leaders since Pearl Harbor ate unrationed duck and traded off-the-record political wisecracks with the Capital's press last night at the annual dinner of the White House Correspondents' Association. President Roosevelt, attending the only party outside the White House that he allows himself in wartime, sang loud when the entertainers called for audience participation, and laughed louder at some of the fourth term jokes which flew thick all evening."

The full WHCA history is found here in its website.

1 comment:

  1. The hint at a media bailout got my attention.

    Devoting more money to print media/newspapers won't change people's viewing habits.

    I have not picked up a newspaper in 2 years. I can get whatever I want news-wise from my laptop in seconds. Free and convenient.

    I would like to see an even balance between print/internet but the manner in which the news media has evolved has made any equilibrium and impossibility.



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