The White House Correspondents' Association dinner stands as a beacon of free speech and the power of journalism, infers Michael M. Grynbaum of the New York Times. He writes that particularly under a president who has derided the mainstream media, the event allowed journalists to band together in solidarity. The event highlights journalism’s role in holding the government accountable, which is needed to prop up democracy, suggests Grynbaum. The fact that comedians, in this year’s case an Indian-American Muslim host, can take digs at the country’s most powerful man demonstrates America’s commitment to freedom of speech.
Elitist, self-congratulatory and out-of-touch, the The White House Correspondents' Association dinner no longer serves any purpose, believes Ross Barkan of the Guardian. He implies that the event, which initially funded scholarships and underscored journalistic accountability, has become a glitzy, celebrity-filled party that serves to make media giants feel important. Barkan claims that the American standard of journalism has fallen dramatically, resulting in the media exporting its own worldview rather than challenging itself. In his opinion, the event should be discontinued, as the US media don’t deserve to be celebrated this way.