Ron Ch­er­now to speak at cor­re­spon­dents’ din­ner

The Standard Journal - - ENTERTAINMENT - By Dar­lene Su­perville

The White House Cor­re­spon­dents’ As­so­ci­a­tion an­nounced last week that Pulitzer Prize-win­ning au­thor Ron Ch­er­now will ad­dress its an­nual din­ner next year, break­ing from its tra­di­tion of fea­tur­ing an en­ter­tainer fol­low­ing the push­back over co­me­dian Michelle Wolf’s sharply anti-Trump per­for­mance last time.

At a time of in­creas­ingly tense re­la­tions be­tween Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump and the White House press corps, Ch­er­now said the as­so­ci­a­tion asked him to “make the case for the First Amend­ment and I am happy to oblige.”

He’ll also share his per­spec­tive on Amer­i­can pol­i­tics and his­tory at the April 27 event in Wash­ing­ton, said Olivier

Knox, the as­so­ci­a­tion’s pres­i­dent.

“As we cel­e­brate the im­por­tance of a free and in­de­pen­dent news me­dia to the health of the repub­lic, I look for­ward to hear­ing

Ron place this un­usual mo­ment in the con­text of Amer­i­can his­tory,” said Knox, chief Wash­ing­ton cor­re­spon­dent for Sir­iusXM.

Ch­er­now said “free­dom of the press is al­ways a timely sub­ject and this seems like the per­fect mo­ment to go back to ba­sics.”

“My ma­jor worry these days is that we Amer­i­cans will for­get who we are as a peo­ple, and his­to­ri­ans should serve as our chief cus­to­di­ans in pre­serv­ing that rich store­house of mem­ory,” he said. “While I have never been mis­taken for a stand-up co­me­dian, I prom­ise that my his­tory les­son won’t be dry.”

The shift away from a comic comes about six months af­ter Wolf’s na­tion­ally tele­vised per­for­mance at the last din­ner at­tracted at­ten­tion for the neg­a­tive barbs she di­rected at Trump, his daugh­ter Ivanka, press sec­re­tary Sarah Huck­abee San­ders and coun­selor Kellyanne Con­way.

Re­ac­tion to the se­lec­tion of Ch­er­now, who in the past has crit­i­cized Trump, ap­peared largely pos­i­tive on Twit­ter — but Wolf was an ex­cep­tion.

“The @whca are cow­ards,” she tweeted. “The me­dia is com­plicit. And I couldn’t be prouder.”

Ron Ch­er­now

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