“The end of the Republic has never looked better.”
“Next year, someone else will be spending in this spot, and it’s anyone’s guess who she will be.”
Whatever happens this November, President Barack Obama’s speech at his final White House Correspondents’ Dinner in Washington, D.C., last night makes clear that the White House will be at least 50% less cool next year.
Senator Bernie Sanders skipped South Dakota’s McGovern Day Dinner in Sioux Falls last night in favor of the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. The Sanders campaign sent a professional comedian to represent Sanders in Sioux Falls; Senator Sanders heard a sharper, funnier speech in Washington.
The President of the United States acknowledged Senator Sanders’ presence. “I am hurt, though, Bernie, that you’ve been distancing yourself a little from me. I mean, that’s just not something that you do to your comrade.”
The remarks of the President of the United States begin at 7:40 in this video:
In a serious conclusion, President Barack Obama then praised the journalistic ideals of Dakota Free Press:
At home and abroad journalists like all of you engage in the dogged pursuit of informing citizens and holding leaders accountable, and making our government of the people possible. And it’s an enormous responsibility. And I realize it’s an enormous challenge at a time when the economics of the business sometimes incentivizes speed over depth, and when controversy and conflict are what most immediately attract readers and viewers. The good news is there are so many of you that are pushing against those trends and as a citizen of this great democracy, I am grateful for that.
For this is also a time around the world when some of the fundamental ideals of liberal democracies are under attack and when notions of objectively and of a free press and of facts and of evidence are trying to be undermined or in some cases ignored entirely. And in such a climate it’s not enough just to give people a megaphone. And that’s why your power and your responsibility to dig and to question and to counter distortions and untruths is more important than even ever.
Taking a stand on behalf of what is true does not require you shedding your objectivity. In fact, it is the essence of good journalism. It affirms the idea that the only way we can build consensus, the only way that we can move forward as a country, the only way we can help the world mend itself is by agreeing on a baseline of facts when it comes to the challenges that confront us all. So this night is a testament to all of you who have devoted your lives to that idea, who push to shine a light on the truth every single day [President Barack Obama, remarks to White House Correspondents’ Dinner, Washington, D.C., 2016.04.30].
Thank you, Mr. President.