White House Correspondents Dinner: Trevor Noah


For the first time in three years, the White House Correspondents Dinner was able to host the actual president of the United States, making it all the more memorable. According to the White House Correspondents’ Association, the dinner “honors distinguished print and broadcast journalists for excellence in overall coverage of the White House” and “recognize outstanding students and young journalists.” However, there has been controversy surrounding this event because it allegedly shows the closeness of the press with the presidency and may distort genuine, truthful news. Additionally, with the invitation of the most elite and powerful people, the event becomes more “Hollywood-focused” instead of raising money for the young journalists who are making a difference. Regardless, the obvious pinnacle of the whole ordeal was the guest speaker: Trevor Noah. Here are a few highlights from the night.

  1. Ron DeSantis
    1. “Trump said he won the election but everyone was just able to look at the numbers and see that he was wrong. That’s why Ron DeSantis is one step ahead; first, you ban the math textbook, then nobody knows how to count the votes.”
    2. “We got Shepard Smith and so many other huge talents who can no longer be mentioned in Florida public schools…I see you Ron DeSantis!”
  2. Joe Biden
    1. “I was a little confused about ‘why me?’ but then I was told that you get your highest approval ratings when a biracial African guy is standing next to you.”
    2. “Ever since you’ve come into office things are really looking up: you know, gas is up, rent is up, food is up…”
    3. “NO president in my memory has given more marginalized groups opportunities. And I’m talking about women, the LGBTQ community, the Taliban.”
    4. “This is truly the golden era of conspiracy theories—whethe”r it’s the right wing believing Trump can still win the 2020 election or the left believing Joe Biden can still win the 2024 election.”
    5. “Be careful leaving here tonight as we all know this administration doesn’t handle evacuations very well.”
  3. Mitch McConnell
    1. “Senator McConnell, don’t you think it’s strange that you and the devil have never been in the same place at the same time? Don’t you think that’s strange? Well, I guess when you go to hell you’ll find out for yourself.”
  4. New York Times
    1. “You know, it’s actually crazy how you guys have been attacked for everything from your investigation into Trump’s taxes, your reporting on the pandemic, and yet, the biggest death threats that you received is because there were two L’s in the Wordle that day.”
  5. Fox News
    1. “They actually have really good journals, it just depends on when you watch. Fox News is sort of like a waffle house; yeah, it’s relatively normal in the afternoon but as soon as the sun goes down, there’s a drunk lady named Janine threatening to fight every Mexican who comes in.”

For around 25 minutes, Trevor Noah managed to poke fun at (perhaps with a twinge of truth) journalists, news stations, politicians, and celebrities present in the room. However, he ended on a positive note, reminding the audience that although the people in the room may have some serious flaws, the purpose of the event is to honor and celebrate the truth. By referring to journalists and reporters as “bastions of democracy,” Trevor Noah challenges us all, not just the audience, about the power of the freedom to voice the truth.

About the Author

Irene Park
Irene (she/her) is a junior at IMSA and lives in 1502. She is a staff writer for the Acronym and spends her free time running a sex ed non-profit organization, which you should go follow on Instagram @thesexed_initiative :))

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