Do you remember what were you doing on the evening of May 1st, 2004? Well, it is a date that was important to Clay Aiken. That was the night Clay attended the White House Correspondents Dinner. It must have been an exciting night for Clay as he attended both the dinner and the famous Bloomberg reception held the same evening. With all his food allergies, I hope he was able to eat at the dinner.
The annual White House Association’s Correspondents (WHCA) Dinner was held last night and hosted by Seth Meyers, the Week-end Update anchor on Saturday Night Live. It was held at the Washington Hilton Hotel.
The WHCA dinner has become a significant media event in its own right. The tickets to the Correspondents Dinner are highly coveted. The glitzy event attracts an eclectic mix of Hollywood celebrities, government officials, political figures, and, of course, journalists. Known as Washington’s prom, every president since Calvin Coolidge has attended the dinner.
A big name comedian hosts the evening. In the last few years, the hosts have been Wanda Skyes, Craig Ferguson, and Jay Leno. But the signature moment is when the President has an opportunity to mock himself and the media who cover him every day.
The WHCA is an organization that represents reporters and journalists who cover the President and the White House.
This year, four reporters were named winners of three of journalism’s most prestigious awards, and were honored at the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner. The association also gave out more than $100,000 in scholarships for journalism students.
The WHCA dinner event did not really take off until the 1920s and has been a staple of the Washington social calendar ever since. Believe it or not, women – who were members of the association, were not allowed to attend the dinners until 1962.
That changed when, at the prodding of Helen Thomas of UPI, President John F. Kennedy said he would not attend the dinner unless the ban on women was dropped.
Some of the people on the red carpet last night included rapper Cee Lo Green, Paula Abdul, Scarlett Johansson, Sean Penn, and Donald Trump.
The following video shows some great footage of Clay Aiken when he attended the dinner in 2004.