Is this a good thing or are they scared?
The White House Correspondents Dinner is a longstanding tradition that is a reminder of how important the relationship between government and the journalism that holds it accountable is. The event has also foregrounded comedy as a way to make political change or at least break the ice by bringing every one down to the lowest possible level, roast-style.
Next year, though, the main speaker at the event will not be a comedian, it will be historian and presidential biographer Ron Chernov. The dinner is invariably left-leaning in its comedy, so perhaps the people who plan it have realized that the incessant personal attacks on Trump through comedy do nothing but fan his flames, so they've opted for a "history lesson." The chair of the WHCD, Olivier Knox, said that he's been receiving uncountable suggestions on how to change the event, which he distilled as:“No entertainer. No comic. A serious speaker. Maybe a musician. Maybe don’t televise it.” Michelle Wolf, last year's speaker, was not happy about the announcement:
Somebody was very happy about it, though:
Ron Chernov, the speaker at next year's event had this to say about it:
The White House Correspondents’ Association has asked me to make the case for the First Amendment, and I am happy to oblige. Freedom of the press is always a timely subject and this seems like the perfect moment to go back to basics. My major worry these days is that we Americans will forget who we are as a people and historians should serve as our chief custodians in preserving that rich storehouse of memory. While I have never been mistaken for a stand-up comedian, I promise that my history lesson won’t be dry.