White House Correspondents' Association weighs changes to dinner format

White House Correspondents' Association weighs changes to dinner format
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The White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) is gathering feedback and contemplating possible changes to its annual dinner following criticism about Saturday’s event. 

Olivier Knox, who will take over as the WHCA president this summer, told CNN on Monday that discussions are underway to address members’ concerns about the annual gala. 

“As somebody who has said for a very long time that the dinner should be ‘boring,’ that is to say focused on journalists and the work of good reporters, I am very open to suggestions about how to change it,” Knox told CNN’s Brian Stelter. 


Comedian Michelle Wolf caused an uproar in Washington after she delivered a searing 20-minute set that took aim at President TrumpDonald John TrumpHR McMaster says president's policy to withdraw troops from Afghanistan is 'unwise' Cast of 'Parks and Rec' reunite for virtual town hall to address Wisconsin voters Biden says Trump should step down over coronavirus response MORE, Vice President Pence, Ivanka TrumpIvana (Ivanka) Marie TrumpTrump luxury properties have charged US government .1M since inauguration: report Ivana Trump: Ivanka could 'definitely' be first female president The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Trump's West Coast campaign swing MORE, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the media, several Democratic politicians and others.

Trump labeled Wolf "filthy," and called for an end to the dinner, at least in its current form.

Several journalists, conservative commentators and ex-Trump administration members also criticized Wolf, arguing she had gone too far in her remarks about Sanders in particular. The WHCA issued a statement Sunday night that said Wolf's routine "was not in the spirit" of the group's mission.

Other media figures, however, have defended Wolf, arguing that she did what she was hired to do in roasting the current administration.

Knox, on Monday, did not appear to entertain the idea of getting rid of the event entirely, noting that it serves as a source of revenue for the WHCA. However, he said there is growing support for hosting an event that does not have an entertainer. 

“My goal is for the center of gravity of the dinner to be reporters — not the president, not the comic,” Knox said.

He added that the association has received feedback from many members, though there hasn’t been a formal survey to get feedback on the dinner.