For the second year in a row, the White House Correspondents’ Association has called off its annual dinner. COVID-19 was given as the reason, as it was last year. Hundreds of journalists and people in the reigning administrations usually attend the dressy event, which includes speeches, the awarding of scholarships, and the honoring of journalists' work. The association will still announce award recipients for White House coverage, the Hill reports. "Dinner or not, we will spend the next few months celebrating and honoring the First Amendment, the remarkable journalism produced over the last year and the promising young reporters who will serve as the next generation in our ranks," the association wrote. The dinner will return on April 30, 2022, the group said, per Politico.
The president usually attends the event, but former President Trump boycotted the three during his term and told administration officials in 2019 to do the same. This would have been the first dinner of President Biden's administration. The idea of journalists partying with the people they cover makes some uncomfortable, and the New York Times is among the outlets that has pulled its employees out of the event, per the Washingtonian. And a comedy bit by Michelle Wolf in 2018 that drew widespread criticism led the association to drop the attempts at humor the next year, bringing in historian Ron Chernow to speak instead. Comedian Samantha Bee has held a competing event, called Not the White House Correspondents' Dinner. (Read more White House Correspondents Dinner stories.)