WASHINGTON — During his speech on Saturday night at the dinner hosted by the White House Correspondents Association, Vice President Joe Biden committed to continue working toward the release of any Americans who are considered to be wrongfully incarcerated overseas.
During the course of the annual event, Vice President Biden brought up the predicament of Evan Gershkovich, a reporter for the Wall Street Journal who had been arrested in Russia on March 29 on suspicion of espionage.
“Free press is a pillar, maybe the pillar, of a free society — not the enemy,” Biden said, refuting the perspective of the administration that came before him.
Gershkovich is one of several Americans who are being held on what United States officials believe to be fraudulent charges that were brought against the inmates in order to transform them into what Vice President Joe Biden referred to as “political pawns” and “human beings as bargaining chips.”
He also mentioned Paul Whelan, a former United States Marine who is currently serving a sentence for espionage in Russia despite the fact that he disputes the charge, as well as Austin Tice, another former United States Marine who has been kept captive in Syria since 2012 after going there to work as a freelance writer.
“We’re keeping the faith for Austin,” stated the President of the company. “We are not throwing in the towel.”
Brittney Griner, a professional basketball player who was detained in Russia for the most of the year 2022 and then liberated in December as part of a prisoner swap with the United States of America, was acknowledged by Vice President Joe Biden as a special guest at the event.
In the instance of Gershkovich, both his company and the government of former Vice President Joe Biden have refuted claims that he worked as a spy for the United States. And on April 10th, the State Department determined that Gershkovich was being held in violation of his constitutional rights.
“Tonight our message is this,” said Vice President Joe Biden: “Journalism is not a crime.”
According to a senior official at the White House, the president has a “unwavering commitment to bring home wrongfully detained journalists and other Americans.”
Roy Wood Jr., a correspondent for “The Daily Show,” was this year’s comedic performer. He spoke about his father’s own work as a journalist and as a co-founder of radio’s National Black Network. Wood Jr. is also a comedian.
Since Barack Obama in 2016, when he was still in office, a sitting president did not attend the program until it was held in 2018.
During his speech at the 2022 dinner, Vice President Biden joked about himself and the media for a little under fifteen minutes.
As Vice President Joe Biden began his speech, he made a light-hearted remark by saying, “I’m really excited to be here tonight with the only group of Americans with a lower approval rating than I have.”
In his remarks from the previous year, Biden emphasized how vital it is to have a free press.
In the previous year, Vice President Joe Biden was quoted as saying, “What’s clear — and I mean this from the bottom of my heart — that you, the free press, matter more than you ever did in the last century.”
The White House Correspondents’ Association was founded in 1914, which is considered to be the beginning of the illustrious dinner’s long and illustrious history. In 1921, the association held its inaugural dinner, which is what started the custom of doing it annually. However, it wasn’t until 1924 that the President of the United States, who at the time was named Calvin Coolidge, began attending.
Comedians usually serve as the event’s hosts and make jokes about the government and the media during their sets.
One of the most memorable moments that took place at a White House Correspondents’ Dinner took place in 2011, during Joe Biden’s tenure as Vice President. Both Barack Obama and comedian Seth Meyers took the opportunity to criticize Donald Trump, who was present at the event.
Meyers said this while Trump looked on and seemed unamused by what was going on. “Donald Trump has been saying that he will run for president as a Republican,” Meyers continued. “Which is surprising, given that I had just assumed he was running as a joke,” the speaker said.
During his time in office, Trump did not attend a single dinner held for White House correspondents.
After comedian Michelle Wolf delivered a scathing routine at the 2018 White House Correspondents’ Dinner that took aim at the Trump administration, President Trump tweeted that “the White House Correspondents’ Dinner is DEAD as we know it.”
The next year, the organization decided to go in a different direction and have historian Ron Chernow give a speech rather than a comic.