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Biden Honors First Amendment at White House Correspondents’ DInner

President Joe Biden addressed the White House Correspondents’ Dinner last night in our nation’s capital. He opened with serious comments on the importance of the free press:

A free press is a pillar, maybe the pillar, of a free society, not the enemy. Thomas Jefferson wrote… were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate to prefer the latter.

…You make it possible for ordinary citizens to question authority, and yes, even to laugh at authority without fear of intimidation. That’s what makes this nation strong. So tonight, let’s show ourselves and the world our strength not just by the example of our power but by the power of our example.

…After all, I believe in the First Amendment, not just because my good friend Jimmy Madison wrote it… [President Joe Biden, remarks at 2023 White House Correspondents’ Dinner, transcribed from C-SPAN video, 2023.04.29].

…and the Comedian-in-Chief was off to the races.

…You may think I don’t like Rupert Murdoch. That’s simply not true. How dislike a guy who makes me look like Harry Styles?

You all me old? I call it being seasoned. You say I’m ancient? I say I’m wise. You say I’m over the hill? Don Lemon would say that’s a man in his prime.

…I want everybody to have fun tonight, but please be safe. If you find yourself disoriented or confused, it’s either you’re drunk or Marjorie Taylor Greene.

…I love NPR, because they whisper into the mic like I do.

But not everybody likes NPR. Elon Musk tweeted that NPR should be defunded. Well, the best way to make NPR go away is for Elon Musk to buy it.

…This dinner is one of the two great traditions in Washington. The other one is underestimating me and Kamala.

…After his reëlection as Governor, [Ron DeSantis] was asked if he had a mandate. He said, “Hell, no, I’m straight.”

Y’all keep reporting my approval ratings as 42%. But I think you don’t know this: Kevin McCarthy called me and asked me, “Joe, what the hell’s your secret?”

…It’s great the cable news networks are here tonight: MSNBC owned by NBC/Universal, Fox News owned by Dominion Voting Systems.

Last year your favorite Fox News reporters were able to attend because they were fully vaccinated and boosted. This year, with that $787 million settlement, they’re here because they couldn’t say no to a free meal.

And hell, I’d call Fox News honest, fair, and truthful, but then I could be sued for defamation.

…I hope the Fox News team finds this funny. My goal is to make them laugh as hard as CNN did when they read the settlement. But then again, CNN was like, “Wow! They actually have $787 million?” [President Biden, 2023.04.29]

After the comedy, the President returned to his serious theme of the importance of a free and honest press:

Ida B Wells once said… “The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon the wrongs.”… That’s the sacred charge of a free press.

…The truth matters. As I said last year at this dinner, a poison is running through our democracy and parts of the extreme press. Truth buried by lies, and lies living on as truth, lies told for profit and power, lies of conspiracy and malice repeated over and over again, designed to generate a cycle of anger and hate and even violence, a cycle that emboldens history to be buried, books to be banned, children and families to be attacked by the state, the rule of law and our rights and freedoms to be stripped away, elected representatives of the people… expelled from statehouses for standing for the people.

I’ve made clear that we know in our bones, and you know it too, our democracy remains at risk. But I’ve also made it clear as I’ve seen throughout my life, for each and everyone of us to preserve our democracy.

…At this inflection point in our history, let us commit that we’ll be a nation that will embrace light over darkness, truth over darkness, and finally, finally, finally, restore the soul of the nation [President Biden, 2023.04.29].

Hear, hear, President Biden.

32 Comments

  1. LCJ 2023-04-30

    No President has had less time answering questions from the press in modern history.
    None. Zero.

  2. Edwin Arndt 2023-04-30

    The one about Lemon made me laugh.

  3. Tom 2023-04-30

    yeah, funny guy but still a drone president who kills at will…when does the insanity stop?

  4. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2023-04-30

    Kills at will? I think you’re thinking of the previous guy who reinstated the federal death penalty.

    President Biden kills at the mic. He takes time to prepare genuinely funny and intelligent remarks, and his remarks last night were both. His predecessor just bumbles around at the mic spewing whatever thoughtless insults pop into his narrow mind.

  5. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2023-04-30

    President Biden joked about exactly that low-press-access allegation in his remarks. He’s able to poke fun at himself.

    President Biden has not done as many press conferences as I would like, but what is your definition of “modern history”, LCJ? The American Presidency Project at UC Santa Barbara says Biden is averaging 10.2 press conferences per year, while Reagan averaged 5.8 and Nixon averaged 7.0. Trump averaged 22 per year, but he never said anything reliable, intelligent, or Presidential at any of them.

  6. Richard Schriever 2023-04-30

    LCJ – YOU have had ZERO time answering questions from the press. NONE.

  7. Richard Schriever 2023-04-30

    LCJ – what’s that old biblical trope about the splinter and the log?

  8. Mark Anderson 2023-04-30

    The Republicans in the audience were glad its free, their leaders don’t like to pay for their common sense breakfasts after the bill has arrived.

  9. Mark Anderson 2023-04-30

    Cory, Trump likes to hear himself talk and since facts were out the window it’s lucky it was only 22.

  10. Donald Pay 2023-04-30

    Anyone who thinks Biden is “sleepy,” would get a different impression watching his presentation last night. He’s got a good delivery for those jokes. He’s just about up to Obama’s standards in joke-telling. He also had the right mix of zingers for others and self-deprecating humor. It is certainly refreshing after the hateful Trump years.

    I was pretty young when JFK was President, but what I remember is he mixed a lot of humor into his press conferences. Not all of them, of course. It’s hard to find humor in the Cuban missile crisis. Biden should try more humor in his presentations. For a while now Presidents only speak to the press and public when there is some tense situation to explain or explain away. He should have a couple comedy writers on his staff, and pop out now an then to do some standup.

  11. LCJ 2023-04-30

    Dick Shriever, I have been interviewed many times on all types of media. I have always answered all questions and follow up questions. I have never walked out of an interview or pretend I did not hear a question. I never had had puppet masters usher me away because I started talking about unrelated topics because I don’t. You are supporting a fraud. Also not one thing he said was humorous at all. No way he should be allowed another term. Better off nominating RFK JR. He would rip Sleepy in a debate. Sorry, I forgot there will be no debates as per DNC. Why do you suppose that is, Dick?

  12. larry kurtz 2023-04-30

    Listening to Republicans supporting RFK, Jr. is at least as noxious as us touting Rhonda Santis over that other jack o’ lantern filled with raw sewage who poops his pants and lives in Florida.

  13. grudznick 2023-04-30

    Know who was funny? Gerald Ford. Now there was a funny guy.
    Mr. Uncle Joe “sleepy” President Biden is kinda funny.

  14. tara volesky 2023-04-30

    Larry, you disappoint me. RFK jr. exemplifies the classical Democrat. He is his Father’s Son. He will arrest the emergence of corporatism of the corrupt merger of corporate and state power. Example……SD. If Biden really believes in Democracy and the 1st Amendment he should have no problem debating in the primary. I hope you believe in what the Kennedy’s and George McGovern stood for. The problem with Kennedy is he is too honest and fights for the little guy instead of Wall Street.

  15. grudznick 2023-04-30

    Listen to the pretty lady, Lar.

  16. tara volesky 2023-04-30

    You are such a perv Grudz, lol, but you are 100% correct. Presidential candidates should not be censured or canceled. That’s a crime against the people. Larry, why would you support President Warp Speed and big pharma and medical. Comparing Trump to Kennedy is like comparing a country church to a Cathedral. Trump can’t tie Kennedy’s shoes. The DNC needs to give up the control and get back to Democratic principles. The DNC and mainstream media are in bed together. Just look who their advertisers are. It’s all about money and control. That’s why I am a Kennedy Democrat.

  17. Anne Beal 2023-04-30

    FYI it was Obama who ordered the executions/assassinations of Anwar and Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, both US citizens, and Abdulrahman was only 16 years old. Neither had been tried or convicted in a court of law. So much for due process. Anwar was hit Sept 30, 2011, and Abdulrahman was hit Oct 14, 2011. Nawar al-Awlaki was his 8 year old sister, also born in the USA, who was killed during a raid ordered by Trump on Jan 29, 2017, although she was not the target.

  18. Anne Beal 2023-04-30

    Tara, you are nuts. The entire Kennedy political machine was always about graft. They figured out they could get elected by promoting themselves as champions of the downtrodden masses, using people to acquire power and wealth.

    RFK Jr is a moron who thinks vaccines cause autism. If his last name weren’t Kennedy nobody would pay any attention to him at all.

  19. tara volesky 2023-04-30

    So Anne, I am assuming that you migrated to SD from MA, that would make you a Kennedy Democrat? He’s all for Justice and would support you on your comment above.

  20. tara volesky 2023-04-30

    Anne, I think they practiced what they preached or they wouldn’t have been assassinated like Lincoln and MLK. Why did they end up dead if they were part of the political machine? You can always tell a Republican, but you can’t tell them much.

  21. larry kurtz 2023-05-01

    Good morning, Tara. Joe is hardly my first choice to be our nominee next year but there are going to be states that won’t even have Mr. Kennedy on the ballot — New Mexico might be among them as will other blue states. Republican Secretaries of State will sh!t all over themselves to make mischief on the Democratic ticket, though.

  22. P. Aitch 2023-05-01

    First choice is “The Hick”. No; not some backwater haybilly. USA Senator John Hickenlooper. Hick won’t challenge Joe Steady, though. Too much class for that.

  23. larry kurtz 2023-05-01

    Honestly? I’m terrified the GOP will assassinate our POTUS and VPOTUS then install the Republican Speaker of the House who would name Herr Trump his Veep then step down.

  24. M 2023-05-01

    Wow Tara, I’d rather see you in a political office rather than on the golf course.

    There is no respect for education, experience, and expertise within the Republican mind any longer. They have so sense of humor, can’t joke about themselves, but love to belittle people instead.

    Their reptilian brains can’t see problems let alone solve them and they refuse to help their “fellow man” if they are in poverty, have health problems, are not white, and feminine.

    They also think they are better than everyone else and blame laziness for all the social ills they have not suffered. Most of them are unhappy and lash out at others because they either drink a great deal of Bud, have marital problems, their kids have moved to blue states, they can’t sell their house to get the hell out of S.D. so they don’t have to work 2-3 part time jobs for 25 hours a week or all of the above.

    Just a general profile after a 30 year observation. Republicans tend to be pessimistic while Democrats are more optimistic.

  25. LCJ 2023-05-01

    Independent, Larry. Independent. Pay attention.

  26. larry kurtz 2023-05-01

    Nobody is independent. That label needs to be changed in every state constitution to unaffiliated.

  27. grudznick 2023-05-01

    I’m with my good friend Lar, there.

    We might think to change references to the Democrat party too, as they have become nearly as irrelevant as we Libertarians, according to Mr. Lawrence, who typed:

    The party has been stuck in neutral, with some slips into reverse, for several years now. It holds no statewide offices, hasn’t won a statewide race since 2008 and hasn’t won a gubernatorial race since 1974. Republicans hold supermajorities in both legislative chambers.

    We can be sure he is not just trying to get the Libbie’s goats, he is speaking from the heart of hisownself.

  28. P. Aitch 2023-05-02

    BIDEN CAKEWALK IN 2024
    Who among us believes, or even thinks maybe, Republicans can beat Democrats, Independents, and Unaffiliateds with this joke of a platform?
    ~ TODAY’S CBS NEWS POLL:
    In 2024 Republicans Prefer A Candidate Who
    Challenges Woke Ideas – 85%
    Opposes Any Gun Restrictions – 66%
    Says Trump Won In 2020 – 61%
    Makes Liberals Angry – 61%
    If you think Republicans stand a chance you’ve been around too many SoDakers for way too long.

  29. leslie 2023-05-03

    LCJ — is vicious. “Dick, I,I,I, always, many, fraud, rip, independent, puppet master, Sleepy.” Parrots too much Fox “news”—LCJ

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