Highs, lows, & history: 2022 White House Correspondents’ Dinner


Zenil Koovejee

The 2022 White House Correspondents’ Dinner was celebrated in grand fashion.

Zenil Koovejee, Staff Writer

On April 30th, President Biden attended the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner, taking the time to celebrate the right to free press and democracy with hilariously funny moments in between.

“The White House Correspondents’ Dinner is important, because it gives people the opportunity to voice their opinions in a light-hearted way,” said Natalie Fan (‘23). 

After being in a state of hiatus for the past two years due to the increasingly dangerous nature of the pandemic, the 2022 White House Correspondents’ Dinner occured in full display. The night saw more than 2500 guests and featured a multitude of prominent TV journalists from varying news organizations around the country. 

“I think it is important that multiple news outlets such as CNN and FOX attend the Correspondents’ Dinner just to make sure that the public has multiple perspectives and ideologies represented throughout the media,” said Brandon Correia (‘23). 

Alongside President Biden was South African comedian Trevor Noah, who, with his unique perspective and witty nature, poked fun at Washington’s political elite while also concomitantly shedding light on the peculiar state of affairs grappling the country.  

“Trevor Noah’s performance at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner was amazing. Every single joke that he said was just top-notch. He was a great asset to Joe Biden,” said Owen Short (‘24). 

Leaving no politician or news reporter unscathed from his hilariously-crafted comments, Noah poked fun at Democrats and Republicans alike, particularly making fun of Senator Joe Manchin for his recent voting record. 

“The real reason that it’s such an honor to be here tonight is that we all get to be in the same room as the most powerful man in the United States. So let’s give it up for Joe Manchin, everybody,” said Trevor Noah during the event. 

The first White House Correspondents’ Dinner was held in 1920, and in 1924, President Calvin Coolidge became the first sitting leader to attend. It has since been organized by the White House Correspondents’ Association, ultimately becoming a long-standing tradition in American politics. 

“I think the White House Correspondents’ Dinner should continue happening in the future, because it does provide an outlet for the people of the nation to see the President in a new light,” said Short.

Despite being a political continuity for the past century, the White House Correspondents’ Dinner has also been periodically canceled due the numerous political crises that have arisen over the years (in 1970, for example, the dinner was put on hold as a result of the Watergate scandal).

“I think [the White House Correspondents’ Dinner] has been canceled in the past, because when there are a lot of very important political things that are going on, it is not the best to have something funny and silly. So, we should be taking some things seriously,” said Fan

At its core, the White House Correspondents’ Dinner is a celebration of free speech. With laughs, smiles, and heart, it emphasizes the importance of American values and is ultimately symbolic of a possible triumph over political differences.

“I think it’s important that we take certain current events light-heartedly since they’re always very serious. It’s kind of relieving to see some light-hearted stuff –something funny,” said Fan