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Sunday, May 1, 2011

White House Correspondents' Association,WHCA Dinner

White House Correspondents' Association (WHCA) is an organization of journalists who cover the White House and the President of the United States. The WHCA was founded in 1914 by journalists in response to an unfounded rumor that a Congressional committee would select which journalists could attend press conferences of President Woodrow Wilson. Among the issues handled by the WHCA are press access to the President and physical conditions in White House press briefing rooms.


The WHCA elects four officers and five board members from within its ranks once a year.
2010-2011 Officers
David Jackson of USA Today, President
Caren Bohan of Reuters, Vice President
Steve Scully of C-SPAN, Secretary
Doug Mills of The New York Times, Treasurer
2010-2011 Board Members
Carol Lee, Wall Street Journal
Michael Scherer, Time Magazine
Julie Mason, Politico
Don Gonyea, NPR
Ed Henry, CNN

WHCA Dinner

The WHCA's annual dinner, begun in 1920, has become a Washington, D.C. tradition and is usually attended by the President and Vice President. Thirteen presidents have attended a WHCA dinner, beginning with Calvin Coolidge in 1924. The dinner is traditionally held on the evening of the last Saturday in April at the Washington Hilton.
Prior to World War II, the annual dinner featured singing between courses, a homemade movie and an hour-long, post-dinner show with big-name performers." In recent years the featured speaker has often been a comedian, with the dinner taking on the form of a roast, especially of the President.
In several recent years, the dinner has fallen shortly after major national events and tragedies, such as the Oklahoma City bombing, the Siege at Waco, Texas, the Columbine shooting, and the Virginia Tech Massacre, thus dampening the spirit of the event.
Dinner criticisms
The WHCD has been increasingly criticized as an example of the coziness between the White House press corps and the Administration. The dinner typically includes a skit, either live or videotaped, by the sitting President in which he mocks himself, for the amusement of the press corps. The press corps, in turn, hobnobs with Administration officials, even those who are unpopular and are not regularly cooperative with the press. Increasing scrutiny by bloggers has contributed to added public focus on this friendliness.
After the 2007 dinner, New York Times columnist Frank Rich implied that the Times will no longer participate in the dinners.Rich said that the event is "a crystallization of the press's failures in the post-9/11 era" because it "illustrates how easily a propaganda-driven White House can enlist the Washington news media in its shows.
In recent years, the dinners have drawn increasing public attention each year as the entertainers draw more interest, and the guest list grows "more Hollywood. The attention given to the guest list and entertainers often overshadows the intended purpose of the dinner, which is to "acknowledge award-winners, present scholarships, and give the press and the president an evening of friendly appreciation. This has led to an atmosphere of coming the event only to "see and be seen. This usually takes place at pre-dinner receptions and post-dinner parties hosted by various media organizations, which are often a bigger draw and can be more exclusive than the dinners themselves. Other journalistic organizations have been excluded from the event altogether.
Past Presidents
Year Name Employer
2009–10 Edwin Chen Bloomberg
2008–09 Jennifer Loven Associated Press
2007–08 Ann Compton ABC News
2006–07 Steve Scully C-SPAN
2005–06 Mark Smith Associated Press TV and Radio
2004–05 Ron Hutcheson Knight Ridder
2003–04 Carl Cannon National Journal
2002–03 Bob Deans Cox Newspapers
2001–02 Steve Holland Reuters
2000–01 Arlene Dillon CBS News
1999–2000 Susan Page USA Today
1998–99 Stewart Powell Hearst Newspapers
1997–98 Laurence McQuillan Reuters
1996–97 Terence Hunt Associated Press
1995–96 Carl P. Leubsdorf Dallas Morning News
1994–95 Kenneth T. Walsh U.S. News and World Report
1993–94 George E. Condon Jr. Copley News Service
1992–93 Karen Hosler Baltimore Sun
1991–92 Charles Bierbauer Cable News Network
1990–91 Robert M. Ellison Sheridan Broadcasting
1989–90 Johanna Neuman USA TODAY
1988–89 Jeremiah O'Leary Washington Times
1987–88 Norman D. Sandler United Press International
1986–87 Bill Plante CBS News
1985–86 Gary F. Schuster CBS News
1984–85 Sara Fritz Los Angeles Times
1983–84 James R. Gerstenzang Associated Press
1982–83 Thomas M. DeFrank Newsweek
1981–82 Clifford Evans RKO General Broadcasting
1980–81 Robert C. Pierpoint CBS News
1979–80 Ralph Harris Reuters
1978–79 Aldo Beckman Chicago Tribune
1977–78 Paul F. Healy New York Daily News
1976–77 Lawrence M. O'Rourke Philadelphia Bulletin
1975–76 Helen Thomas United Press International
1974–75 James Deakin St. Louis Post-Dispatch
1973–74 Ted Knap Scripps Howard Newspapers
1972–73 Edgar A. Poe New Orleans Times-Picayune
1971–72 John P. Sutherland U.S. News and World Report
1970–71 Peter Lisagor Chicago Daily News
1969–70 Charles W. Bailey II Minneapolis Tribune
1968–69 Carroll Kilpatrick Washington Post
1967–68 Frank Cormier Associated Press
1966–67 Robert E. Thompson Hearst Newspapers
1964–66 Alan L. Otten Wall Street Journal
1963–64 Merriman Smith United Press International
1962–63 Robert Roth Philadelphia Bulletin
1961–62 William H.Y. Knighton Jr. Baltimore Sun
1959–61 Garnett D. Horner Washington Star
1958–59 Marvin Arrowsmith Associated Press
1956–58 Francis M. Stephenson New York Daily News
1955–56 Laurence H. Burd Chicago Tribune
1954–55 Anthony H. Leviero New York Times
1953–54 Robert J. Donovan New York Herald Tribune
1950–53 Carlton Kent Chicago Sun-Times
1949–50 Robert G. Nixon International News Service
1948–49 Ernest B. Vaccaro Associated Press
1947–48 Felix Belair Jr. New York Times
1946–47 Edward T. Folliard Washington Post
1945–46 Joseph A. Fox Washington Star
1944–45 Merriman Smith United Press Associations
1943–44 Paul Wooten New Orleans Times-Picayune
1942–43 Douglas B. Cornell Associated Press
1942 John C. Henry Washington Star
1941–42 John C. O'Brien Philadelphia Inquirer
1940–41 Thomas F. Reynolds United Press Associations
1940 Felix Belair Jr. New York Times
1938–40 Earl Godwin Washington Times
1937–38 Walter J. Trohan Chicago Tribune
1936–37 Frederick J. Storm United Press Associations
1935–36 Albert J. Warner New York Herald Tribune
1934–35 Francis M. Stephenson Associated Press
1933–34 George E. Durno International News Service
1931–33 Paul R. Mallon syndicated columnist
1930–31 Lewis Wood New York Times
1929–30 Wilbur Forrest New York Herald Tribune
1928–29 J. Russell Young Washington Star
1927–28 John T. Lambert Universal Service
1926–27 John Edwin Nevin Washington Post
1925–26 George E. Durno International News Service
1924–25 Isaac Gregg New York Sun
1923–24 E. Ross Bartley Associated Press
1922–23 J. Russell Young Washington Star
1921–22 Frank R. Lamb Washington Star
1914–20 W.W. Price Washington Star

The Edgar A. Poe Memorial Award
Awarded for excellence on a story of national or regional significance.
Year Recipient Employer Notes & Ref
2000 Sam Roe The Toledo Blade
2001 Elizabeth Marchak, Dave Davis and Joan Mazzolini The Plain Dealer
John Barry and Evan Thomas Newsweek Honorable Mention
David Pace Associated Press Honorable Mention
2002 Evan Thomas and Mark Hosenball, & Martha Brant and Roy Gutman Newsweek
Staff The Seattle Times Honorable Mention
Staff The Dayton Daily News Honorable Mention
2003 Sean Naylor Army Times
Staff South Florida Sun-Sentinel Honorable Mention
Michael Berens Chicago Tribune Honorable Mention
2004 Russell Corollo and Mei-ling Hopgood Dayton Daily News
Christopher H. Schmitt and Edward T. Pound U.S. News & World Report Honorable Mention
Michael Hudson Southern Exposure Magazine Honorable Mention
Warren P. Strobel and Jonathan S. Landy Knight Ridder Honorable Mention
Rod Nordland and Michael Hirsh Newsweek Honorable Mention
Sami Yousafzai, Ron Moreau, and Michael Hirsh Newsweek Honorable Mention
Fareed Zakaria Newsweek Honorable Mention
2005 Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams The San Francisco Chronicle
Donald Bartlett and James Steele Time Magazine Honorable Mention
2006 Marcus Stern and Jerry Kammer Copley News Service
Staff Time Magazine Honorable Mention
Russell Carollo and Larry Kaplow Dayton Daily News Honorable Mention
2007 Joan Ryan The San Francisco Chronicle

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