Daily Wire editor emeritus Ben Shapiro mocked the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner (WHCD) on Monday for revealing why Americans can’t — and shouldn’t — trust the cozy relationship between big media and politicians.
“The WHCD is perhaps the best example of why Americans feel alienated by the Washington DC elite class – all of whom are supposed to be checks and balances on one another, but who are actually all part of the same blob,” Shapiro wrote in a Twitter thread.
The annual White House Correspondents Dinner was held Saturday evening in Washington, D.C., with journalists from major networks such as CBS and Fox News partying alongside numerous Republicans and Democratic leaders, including President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. The event also featured stars from sports, Hollywood, fashion, and elsewhere, such as actress Chrissy Teigen and WNBA star and former Russian prisoner Brittany Griner.
Biden attended for the second year in a row after the dinner was canceled in 2020 and 2021 because of COVID-19. Former President Donald Trump shunned the event for three years amid his adversarial relations with major media outlets in New York and Washington.
Shapiro took aim at some of the more blatant examples of what he dubbed the “blob” culture on display at the event.
“Hey look, it’s Joe Biden openly joking about the fact that he takes no questions – and the press are laughing uproariously as they give an award to a ‘journalist’ who writes sop pieces about him! Hey look, there’s [Republican National Committee chairwoman] Ronna McDaniel hanging with [Democratic National Committee chairman] Jaime Harrison!”
Hey look, it’s Joe Biden openly joking about the fact that he takes no questions — and the press are laughing uproariously as they give an award to a “journalist” who writes sop pieces about him! Hey look, there’s Ronna McDaniel hanging with Jaime Harrison!
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) May 1, 2023
The journalist Shapiro referenced was Matt Viser of The Washington Post. The White House Correspondents Association, which hosts the WHCD, awarded Viser the Aldo Beckman Award for Overall Excellence in White House Coverage for his coverage of Biden, specifically Viser’s coverage of Biden’s faith.
“The judges said Matt Viser stood out among his competitors for work that went beyond the humdrum of covering the managed events of the presidency and the White House. Viser captured the spirit of Joe Biden, particularly with stories about the president’s brother and how his Catholic faith influenced his strategic vision of the office,” said Karen Travers, the White House correspondent for ABC News who announced the award.
At #WHCD, @WashingtonPost’s @mviser gets award for how he “captured the spirit of Joe Biden, particularly with stories about the President’s brother and how his Catholic faith influenced his strategic vision of the office.” pic.twitter.com/8FIzfAgflp
— Brent Baker 🇺🇦 (@BrentHBaker) April 30, 2023
Biden’s devotion to his Catholic faith often comes into question when he touts his support for policies such as abortion, gay marriage, and sex-change surgeries for minors. The contradictions between Biden’s politics and the tenets of his professed religion have been minimized in Viser’s stories.
“Biden is arguably the most observant president in decades, and his faith is a core part of his identity. He rarely misses Mass. He crosses himself in public. He quotes scripture, he cites hymns and he clutches rosary beads ahead of key decisions,” Viser wrote of Biden in a June 2021 report, which characterized Biden’s views as part of a “church battle between traditionalists and reformers.”
The WHCA award was the target of some mockery and criticism online.
“His faith you say? Just reflect on how the press treated VP Pence when it was revealed his wife was a teacher at a Christian school,” Hudson Institute senior fellow Rebeccah Heinrichs said. “It was like every newsroom discovered orthodox Christian views and lost their minds. But the faith of the president ‘overseeing’ the most anti-orthodox Christian secular admin in the nation’s history? charming.”
New York Post columnist Miranda Devine added: “Washington Post, speaking truth to power,” with a laughing emoji.
Viser also reported on the president’s relationship with his brother, James, and some of James’ business deals and work with the president’s son, Hunter.