What do you get when you put the President of the United States, the First Lady, massive amounts of celebrities, designers and politicians, in the same room as the press? You get the annual White House Correspondents’ Association Gala, that’s what. This past Saturday, May 9th, news makers, and the people who report on them, gathered at the Hilton Hotel in Washington D.C. for the charity fundraiser dedicated to raise money for the fight against hunger and journalism scholarships for deserving students.
The White House Correspondents’ Association was founded in 1914, and is an organization of journalists who cover the President of the United States. The Gala which raises money for journalism scholarships, was first begun in 1920 and is considered one of Washington’s most valued traditions.
At this years gala President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle were in attendance, along with prominent names in media and politics including: Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher, Tyra Banks, Alicia Keys, Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City, and Narciso Rodriguez. The evenings entertainment was actress/comedian Wanda Sykes who poked fun at former VP candidate Sarah Palin and Republican Rush Limbaugh.
But the real showstopper of the evening was indeed President Barack Obama who took jabs at his administration, the Republican rivals he often faces, and even himself and the first 100 days of his presidency.
“I believe that my next 100 days will be so successful, I will be able to complete them in 72 days —and on the 73rd day I will rest.”
Though the mood of the evening was lighthearted, President Obama took a somber tone when addressing the reporters in the room, speaking about the financial struggles the newspaper and magazine industries have been battling as of late.
“Across the country, there are extraordinary, hardworking journalists who have lost their jobs in recent days, recent weeks, recent months,” he said. “I know each newspaper and media outlet is wrestling with how to respond with these changes…Not every ending will be a happy one.”
Though the country is in financial turmoil, the White House Correspondents’ Association is still dedicated towards raising money to fuel the education of future political journalists. Many scholarships were given out that night to deserving journalism students from schools such as Columbia University in New York, and Howard University in Washington D.C. to name a few.
We believe that diversity and disadvantage should be no barrier to talent. And at a time of immense turmoil in our industry, we believe that the next generation of political journalists—wherever and however they work—should maintain the highest standards. These scholarships are our, and your, commitment to those goals.
To learn more about the scholarship fund and the annual gala, please visit The White House Correspondents’ Association website.
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