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tv   Washington This Week  CSPAN  April 26, 2015 3:00am-5:01am EDT

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year , the speaking program will begin at about 9:30 p.m. eastern time. we will place more interviews, show you more behind-the-scenes stuff, and watch the whole process live. it is 9:30-ish. when the speaking portion begins, we will be live as well.
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>> you are watching live coverage of the white house correspondents' dinner. as we continue to show you a little bit behind the scenes of what is happening at the dinner. we talked to margaret carlson. he said he was "time." is now with "bloomberg view." both critique the white house correspondents' dinner.
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>> the dinner has grown beyond its original purpose, to put journalists together with officials and politicians to get to know each other in an informal setting. the cast of "duck dynasty," have nothing to do with politics -- mind you, i would be devastated if i couldn't go to the dinner. the best thing they could do is to get rid of the excess, where we spent more on valet parking then scholarships for aspiring journalists. >> my big take away it's not
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against parties that don't invite me to events or celebrities, to me, the critique is washington in general. i do not mind if the dinner exists. what i mind is that it is our super bowl. whose fault is that? they bear some responsibility for it. they have done a good job to encourage journalists. they have some responsibility, but my issue is with the level of prominence given to this event. that is the fault of everybody in washington. if things like climate change rallies or tea party rallies
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were more important, i would have no problem with this dinner. it's just a dinner. i totally get that. to me, it's just so prominent. one response i have gotten from washingtonians is that, sure it's our super bowl, it's a not so great event, it's so what? who cares? this is washington. you know, people are so conditioned in this town to our biggest event being this is just shocking to me. it's a level of pessimism that i don't think gets us anywhere. reporters and politicians of have a 10% approval rating. for us to say sure, the rest of
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the country hates us, it just as to that. we should take pride in how we are viewed outside this town. we have to. we are here to represent others. for people in this town to say this is not working, unless some worry about it. but people in this town should care about how they are perceived outside. that was a criticism that was depressing. >> that was margaret and patrick talking about some critiques of the white house correspondents' dinner. she is a woman you see talking with the president from time to time. one of the things that the correspondents' association does his hand out scholarships.
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she talks about some of the efforts she made to bring the dinner more in line with the actual mission. >> i wrote a letter saying please invite your correspondents to the dinner. it's a democracy right? we cannot tell people who to invite. a lot of cougars -- news organizations took that to heart. they may sure that they have correspondents at the dinner. we encourage that, we like that. it's a news organization, is their right to do that. all we can do is encourage them to get in the spirit. >> if you want to see some comments being made on the
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dinner, you can like us on facebook and you can join the conversation, or you can tweet @cspan. #whcd. this is live coverage of the 2015 white house correspondents' dinner. this "will begin in about 20 minutes. -- this speaking program will begin in about 20 minutes. they are still bringing out the main course. might be running a little bit late this evening.
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>> you were watching the head table, the president having his dinner this evening at the white house correspondents' dinner. here is the menu. terinne of crab meat, a salad of baby oak and mango paprika-rubbed filet halibut and a tray of desserts, with coffee and tea. they have been serving the dinner for the last 20 minutes. they should finish around 9:30. that is when the speaking program should the end. when it comes to the dinner, we talked about what goes into picking some of the ingredients. >> the menu is unique every year. we look to source local
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ingredients from within 150 miles. we are interested in what is going to serve well in a ballroom, knowing the time constraints and the schedule, it involves secret service timing the show timing of the event. it is about what holds well, what will move quickly, and will be fresh in front of guests. >> day of, how early does the steps are preparing? >> the staff begins preparing a day or so in advance. there are some ingredients we are working on advanced -- stocks and things like that. they are on-site at 4:00 in the morning, beginning the final preparation process. >> live coverage of white house correspondents' dinner on c-span.
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>> as we have been showing you all night we have been interviewing patrick about the amount of scholarship money -- that is part of the speaking program you will hear. he has some specific critiques about scholarship programs, and christi parsons, this year's president of the correspondents association, responded. >> the reaction has been mixed. it is a love letter to the work
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they do, the last nine minutes is an analysis of the struggles white house reporters face, and why we should support them. there's a part in the film in which i point out that the executive director gets paid more than a giveaway and scholarships for it every year. they don't like that. i stand by my viewpoint being a bad ratio. the leading auditor and charities, they found it troubling. they have quibbles with it. if you say this is a scholarship on the tax form it says that scholarship is the primary objective. to have your only employee make
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more than you give out scholarships, it looks bad and i think they should do more. if they want to help kids to go to college. that is one thing they have quibbled about. before the dinner, they sent out an e-mail sort of in response to the film. that aside, most of them have been supportive. >> did they give you a financial breakdown? after the movie came out, it supports the theory even more. the executive director gets paid -- the giveaway $130,000 in scholarships. in 2013, the director got paid
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$130,000 and a giveaway key thousand dollars. -- $80,000. the gap is getting worse, not better. i think the amount you giveaway should be double. >> she really is the heart and spirit of the organization devoted to fighting for openness and transparency at the white house, we are not a fund-raising organization, we are just journalists. i do think most would become people with us on fund-raising and asking corporate sponsors to contribute money to our dinner. $100,000 isn't nothing, it's just an amount that flows in because we run a tight operation, we don't spend all the money we take in. we think it is supportive of our mission to give it to scholarships, to aspiring
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journalists. we are not a fund-raising organization, we are devoted to fighting for openness and transparency at the white house. >> the white house correspondents association sent a letter saying, we award 100,000 scholarships to college journalists. scholarship awards have increased tenfold in recent years, and the board is proud of that. we regularly explore other ways to make meaningful contributions to aspiring young journalists. we have created an endowment fund to protect our ability to continue funding scholarships at a high level in the future. that is from the white house correspondents association. that letter was a breakdown of the expenses from last year's dinner. they got about a million or so dollars and the total income
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from the dinner turned out to be some hundred $81,000. the hotel itself costs about $411,000. the entertainer costs about $10,000. those at some of the expenses they have for this dinner.
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>> lots of interesting tweets at #whcd. this is from jill. this is live coverage of the white house correspondents' dinner. we caught up with the correspondent at brunch this morning associated with the dinner and talked to her about the whole feeling and the whole noise around this event.
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>> april, as a correspondent what do you think of the hoopla h? april: there is a lot of attention around the dinner. it's about the fact that we award spectacular journalists at the white house. the dinner is about us, and we work so hard during the year. this is really a hard job. it's 99% work. april: this is our convention.
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we are going to have fun for three days ago back to work. i don't have any celebrities this year. i've met a lot of nice people here. thank you. >> and that woman in the red dress is april on the floor of the white house correspondents dinner. this is c-span's live coverage of the speaking portion of the program, where you will hear from cecily strong and president obama. it should begin in -- anytime. we will be live throughout.
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[captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015]
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>> as we mentioned, there are a lot of tweets. we want to show you some here. you can see it there.
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is jamie landis to -- lannister sitting one table from me? yes. this is also from the washington post. and finally stephen buckley is his name. it is exactly why the public is turning away from the mainstream media. the media should not be friends with politicians. that is stephen buckley, who indicates that he is getting a phd in political science. c-span's live coverage of the white house correspondents dinner.
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>> cecily strong will be one of the few women. christi parsons of the tribune company talked about that issue. christi: they used to do musical acts, a juggling act at some point -- that was a long time ago. since the association started having comedians, she is the fourth one to have done that. i don't know why it is always a late-night white guy? it is important to have different perspectives
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represented on a podium mic that. she is funny sharp, and she will bring them down to size a little bit. that is part of the fun. >> that guests are being told to take their seats because the program will begin shortly. as you see, nobody is listening. everybody is socializing and visiting. it may begin shortly, and we will be live with it all night. again, if you want to follow is, make comments, like us on c-span -- on facebook at or follow us on twitter. this is c-span's live coverage of the 2015 weiss house -- white house correspondents dinner. -- correspondents dinner.
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>> ladies and gentlemen, police take your seats to the program will begin shortly.
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>> ladies and gentlemen, lee's welcome christy parsons. [applause] christi: thank you. thank you, everyone. welcome to our dinner. take your seat, if you would. we would like to get started. i want to welcome all of you to the 89th annual white house correspondents association dinner. [applause]
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i think of this as a rite of spring, a time when we recommit ourselves as a group publicly to the common purpose and that brings us all together, the fight for openness, transparency, and press freedom for ourselves and people everywhere. [applause] it is my honor to serve as your president. thank you. [applause] i want to begin by recognizing an important colleague who is with us or tonight. teacher gress the -- peter is one of three al jazeera journalist who spent 400 days in prison in egypt for the crime of practicing journalism.
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he is here with us tonight partly because of the advocacy of the white house. thank you, mr. president. [applause] theater, which you stand and be welcomed by this audience? -- peter, would you stand and be recognized by this audience? [applause] peter and his colleagues are out of prison, but they are still in the midst of the retrial. they are not free to practice journalism in egypt or in the region. peter was able to sneak a letter out of prison and get it into the hands of journalists in africa . they immediately mobilized a
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campaign. journalists everywhere joined in. peter believes that is partly why he is here tonight. he told me something this week. he said, it is so important for us to hold together. let's also take a moment now to remember our color makes -- our colleagues. [applause] tonight, jason is imprisoned in iran. he is of prime -- comprising -- in prison for collecting information about internal and foreign policies. that is also known as practicing journalism. [applause]
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we welcome his brother, a tireless advocate for the release of his brother. [applause] he is seated tonight with the washington post. would you police stand and be welcomed by this crowd? [applause] i hope you feel tonight the support in this room for your family and your brother. we hold together with jason. [applause] you can show your support for jason by going to and signing a petition that calls
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for his release free jason. [applause] i plan at this point to stop and ask all of you to take a moment to pay silent tribute to colleagues who have died in the service of journalism. today's terrible earthquake in nepal reminds us so often that the newsweek cover involves the suffering of others. let us for a moment remember our colleagues and also those victims of disasters natural and human caused, who too often are the subject of our stories. thank you.
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i know that each journalist in this room tonight shares a passion to live up to the calling and is committed to standing there watching. i date does not go by when somewhere we in the press are not fighting with government officials over the issue of media access. this dinner -- [applause] this dinner is a celebration of our ability to respect each other while we do this, while we fight to defend the first amendment and protect its essential role in our democracy. [applause] at this time, i would like to recognize those who so faithfully keep that watch. i want to take a moment and introduce you. as i do, police stand --
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correspondents' dinner stand and remain standing. please stand. [applause] everyone who has ever been elected to our board, please stand. [applause] everyone who has been elected to our board, please stand. all of you who cover the beach today, intend the briefings stand and the recognized. [applause] all of you have -- who have ever cover the the beach, attended briefings, served in the pool volunteered for a committee or working group, stand up and the recognized.
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[applause] if you are a member of the working press, stand and be recognized. [applause] finally, tonight's scholarship recipient, we hope you will stand and keep watch with us today. please stand and be recognized. [applause] ladies and gentlemen, the past, present, and future white house press corps. [applause] please turn your attention to the screen for a video tribute to board very special colleagues who retired in the past year. they have carried our banner high and in spite of colleagues for decades. [video clip]
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>> so many mornings i would come in before sunrise and just and there in the driveway and look at the building and say, i can't believe i'm covering the white house. >> you walked onto the driveway and the was a chill, and you're looking around, i never thought it would be here. >> the news breaks of the white house. the world watches. >> and compton, abc news, white house. >> ann compton with the president. >> at times of great crisis, covering the white house is trying to drink from a fire hose, there is so much coming at you. >> i started at the white house on march 17, and on march 19 we were at war. i remember just thinking this is
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history. i'm not going to see anything like this again. >> it was christmas day 1991, let the kids at home opening the package is on christmas morning and stood on the white house lawn all day long as the calgary job declared the soviet union with resolve. it changed the face of the planet, and to have been there and cover that, and be there when the president flew back from kent david on christmas night to address the american people, that day was history. >> joe biden comes out, beaming from ear to ear. >> being in grant park when barack obama was elected president of the united states was a turning him -- moment for the entire country and a kid was never going to cover the white
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house and always wondered if he would ever see a black president. >> president obama made clear the efforts to build a more perfect union. >> he talks about barack obama's election, but to cover it as it might reporter, to cover the inaugural of black president is something i never thought would happen. it was almost more than i could do with emotionally. >> yes sir. >> the birds are chirping, the sun is out, the flowers are blooming, he calls me after several others and calls me for a question. i said, thank you, mr. president and good morning. he said, that's what i like. i started to interrupt and ask my question, and then he says --
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the press corps lord, and all i could think of was, mr. president, just let me get my question out. [applause] [laughter] >> traveling with the president can bring surprises. president clinton's trip to the great. reef -- great barrier reef, and it president -- presented president clinton with a baby koala named chelsea. there we were standing around president clinton and he thrusts this quality me and says, you want to touch it? it is really soft. [laughter] >> in dublin ireland with the president and the north american summit, fox news. peter and i were in tokyo, and
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the first president bush got sick and the start reporters were out to dinner with marlon is water. peter and i were the only ones in the press room when the reports came in, and we broke the story. >> when you come the white house, you know there is a doomsday scenario, a kind of nuclear nightmare that the government, the white house, and those of us who have to be prepared. when i saw the face of the president of the united states and his chief of staff, he whispered, america is under attack. >> freedom itself was attacked this morning by a faceless coward. >> i give credit to the white
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house and the chief of staff for saying we will keep one reporter on that plane. i think it was a very important moment for the independent media to be there to assure the whole world how this doomsday scenario was unfolding, and the president was saved, and the country had not been brought to its knees. >> through it all, these reporters fought for access to the commander in chief. >> what strikes me about access is now there are so many reporters, so many news organizations, the media universe is so fractured, so splintered, that to accommodate all of them, i think the white house tendency is to push all personal contact with the president and all personal eyewitness to what he is doing back writer and father. >> the media may be fractured
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but the different branches of the media have consolidated. there are fewer newspapers, pure radio networks, fewer outlets contributed to the white house press corps. there was a time when we had our own -- we put pan am out of business. those days are gone. in a way, i think that gives the white house cover for going past is using social media to essentially bypass the filter. >> and now the torch has been passed. >> it has been a time of great reflections as retirement, and a time of great reflection leading up to the decision to retire on our own terms, and i left the white house the same way i came in, always wondering what with
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the people in my hometown want to know about this particular event that are was covering, and i think that's really what every reporter, no matter what be they are on, has to keep in mind, that you have to make these things relevant, have to put them in context, you've got to make it understandable and meaningful. >> thank you for making it understandable and meaningful. [applause] christi: peter window, and roger, which you please stand and be recognized? [applause]
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thank you for putting that video together. [applause] now it is time to honor this year's white house correspondents color. i would like to invite the first lady to the podium. she has been committed to the scholarship presentations every year since 2009, and i know each years winners appreciate the time with her, perhaps more than the tuition assistance we give them. [laughter] and now i would like to invite a bulldog reporter to this podium to present the award. [applause]
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[laughter] [applause] >> i was going to thank mrs. obama anyway, but i'm going to thank you again very much, mostly for your support of the scholarship program. the central purpose of our group home as everybody here knows is to promote the reporters who cover the white house and give robust access so that we can do world what is going on. a very nice side project of hours, one of the best parts is the scholarship program because
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it really is a wonderful kind of example of continuity from what we are gathered here to do to passing this on to young people who are going to pick up our legacy and run with it and be our future. this year we have a phenomenal group. they are from all over the world. we have scholars from egypt first-generation americans, such a diversity of talent from video, digital, writing, sports. without further ado, we would like to introduce this your scholars. as i call you names, please come for trade you get to do both. from howard's university, jordan henry of spring valley, new york. [applause]
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-- of east orange, new jersey. [applause] brandon montgomery of south carolina. [applause] our recipients of the scholarship from adele university, northwestern university of >> of chino, california. -- of chino california. from columbia university sarah
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of cairo, egypt. [applause] from the university of missouri of columbia, we have seven scholarship winners. there we go. cameron from austin, texas. [applause] abby johnson from huntsville texas. [applause] john o'connor from missouri. [applause] travis hartman from brooklyn new york. [applause] lauren from ontario, canada. [applause]
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elizabeth from bellbrook, ohio. [applause] meredith from cleveland, ohio. [applause] from northwestern university, ezra of chicago. [applause] from the university of california at berkeley -- from west covina, california. [applause] from the university of maryland naomi harris of upper marlborough, maryland. [applause]
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and from our newest scholarship partner, the george washington university, mariana sotomayor from florida. [applause] with that, let's give our scholarship recipients again a big round of applause. [applause] and thanks again to mrs. obama for her support of our scholarship program. [applause] christi: thank you margaret and thank you again to the first
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lady for your support. [applause] now i am honored tonight to present this year's winners of the white house correspondents association journalism awards. these awards are among the most prestigious in our field, and i would like to thank ellen for coordinating the judging. thank you. and to all of you who participated as judges. please turn your attention to the screen for a presentation about the members of the white house press corps who are among this year's winners. [video clip] >> the aldo beckman award is for in-depth reporting on the white house. the entry was really outstanding in that regard. >> he has this unique ability to inject history and context into breaking news stories, even as
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they are unfolding. >> reporting about iraq was amazing, the graveyard of american ambition. >> he was covering george w. bush's presidency, and so when he wrote about iraq, he could talk about not only what happened in the obama and illustration, but he could also look back. >> the singular ingredient that separates him is that sense of depth and perspective that is unusual. it seeing the white house and the president and wider aperture. >> he was able to provide readers with insight into why things were happening. that made them a clear winner. caption content and accuracy. visit] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] caption content and accuracy. visit] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] >> it was 8:00 on a friday night. most of the reporters have gone home. all of a sudden, there was dispersed of commotion.
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the white house is evacuated. >> as they came back in, he got the official word that no big deal, a fence jumper. he said, no, this is not normal. >> he had a secret service contact who told him that the fence jumper had made it across the white house lawn and into the white house itself. >> that instinct, quickly working to sources to find the female white house official who could confirm what really happened, set his reporting apartheid -- reporting apart. >> josh got on top of it. you feel very comfortable knowing that josh is on the story, because he knows the story will be covered well. ♪ >> jim breaking the story from
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miami. good morning. >> this it is a historic day between united states and cuban. >> there's no better feeling when you turn on the tv at 8:45 a.m. and jim is breaking the story. >> jim not only broke the news, he followed the story throughout the day while traveling from havana. it was amazing reporting. >> jim, who broke the story from computer -- cuba tonight. >> a rare sense of optimism. for the first time, there seems to be hope that a country so close and distant will become a country close. >> because of his decision to move to where the news was, he had video that nobody else had a picture is worth a thousand words, and he had the pictures nobody else had. >> this was after years of work.
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cultivating sources, so it was no surprise at all the gym would win this award. [applause] christi: congratulations to those three, and to all of this year's winners. thank you jordan and abc news for putting that video together. [applause] and now to present the awards he's a writer broadcaster welcome him to the podium. [applause] >> i have the answer to the burning question that all of you are asking yourselves. who am i wearing. [laughter] brooks brothers is the short answer. for the photographers, the long answer is this, free jason. [applause] there are more of these buttons available. i urge you to get one.
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let's work this case as best we can. i also want to do something that is all the program. christi persons, our spectacular president, gave a rousing -- call to arms, and many of us stood justifiably and applauded all of us who cover the or have covered the, christi parsons you are an exceptional leader of this board. i am honored to work with you. stand and be recognized. [applause] you saw the video, we will get to the award winners in a moment. there's another award that honors excellent to news coverage of significant national or regional nature.
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the 2000 -- $2500 award, we have two winners, one group from the wall street journal, gary feels -- field, john, rob, coulter jones. [applause] our judges said this about their series called america's rap sheet. they said it explored the roots and consequences of a country's current policing crisis, illuminating the dysfunction of the system that contributes to the disenfranchisement of our most honorable citizens. though award winner, ladies and gentlemen, a round of applause please. [applause]
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when there -- we are waiting for the next award winner. that would be the washington post. [applause] i think we all know what she is getting this award for. breaking news coverage of problems within the secret service that our judges found to be compelling and illuminating for many reasons. carol leoni, congratulations. [applause] you saw the video. it has been around since 1970, they award honors excellent and reporting about the white house under breaking news pressure. josh lederman of the associated press. [applause]
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i'm delighted to say that there is a broadcast component to the ward. the recipient, as you saw in the video, abc's jim allen. [applause]
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before we hand out this last award, i really want to hear cheer from the new york times table. i really want to hear it now. peter maker of the new york times, ladies and gentlemen. [applause] one last round of applause for these outstanding journalists. [applause]
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christi: thank you, major. and now what is by tradition our only toast of the evening. i first started covering barack obama in 1997. that is when he showed up at the illinois statehouse to take his seat in the illinois senate. my keen political intuition kicked in right away. i was one of the first to see it. if you work hard and really applied himself, he could go all the way. he could one day be mayor of the city of chicago. [laughter] [applause] he -- keep shooting for the stars. it's a big job. a lot has changed since then. for one thing, he is much harder to get on the phone. [laughter] it is harder to get an interview one-on-one until tonight. [laughter]
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mr. president, we appreciate your presence here, and we recognize that your information of the importance of the free and adversarial press. [laughter] [applause] ladies and gentlemen, police joining, raise a glass and the toast, to the president of the united states of america. the podium is yours. [applause] >> the president often criticized for his caution is now doing things his own way. he's trying to deal with china. we will see how far he can take it. ♪ i don't care i don't care
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i don't care i don't care ♪ ♪ [laughter] [applause] pres. obama: good evening. welcome to the white house correspondents' dinner, a night when washington celebrates itself. [laughter] somebody has to do it. [laughter] and welcome to the fourth quarter of my presidency. [laughter] it's true, i -- [laughter] that was michelle cheering. [applause] [laughter] the fact is i feel more loose and relaxed than ever.
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those joe biden shoulder massages are like magic. [laughter] you should try one. oh, you have. [laughter] i am determined to make the most of every moment i have left. after the midterm elections, my advisors ask me, mr. president do you have a bucket list? i said well, i have something that rhymes with bucket list. [laughter] [applause] take executive action on immigration? bucket. [laughter] regulations? bucket. it is the right thing to do. [laughter]
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and my new attitude is paying off. look at my cuba policy, the castro brothers are here tonight. [laughter] welcome to america. what's up question mark -- up? the castro's are from texas? hello. anyway, being president is never easy. i still have to fix a broken immigration system, issue veto threats, negotiate with iran, all while finding time to play golf five times a day. [laughter] [applause] it is no wonder that people keep pointing out how the presidency has aged me. i look so old john boehner has
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invited benjamin netanyahu to speak at my funeral. [laughter] meanwhile, michelle has not aged a day. [applause] i asked her what her secret is. she says, fresh fruit and vegetables. it is aggravating. [laughter] [applause] the fact is though at this point , my legacy is finally beginning to take shape. the economy is getting better. nine and death in 10 americans -- nine in 10 americans have health coverage.
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you no longer have to worry about losing your insurance if you lose your job. you are welcome, democrats. [laughter] [applause] look, it is true that i have not managed to make everybody happy. six years into my presidency, some people say i am arrogant and aloof condescending. some people are so dumb. [laughter] no wonder i don't mingle. that's not all people say about me. a few weeks ago, dick cheney says that he thinks i am the worst president of his lifetime. which is interesting, because i think dick cheney is the worst president of my lifetime. [laughter] [applause] quiet a coincidence.
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[laughter] i mean everybody has something to say these days. mike huckabee recently said people should not join our military until a true conservative is elected president. think about that. it was so outrageous, 47 ayatollahs wrote is a letter trying to explain to my huckabee how our system works. [laughter] it gets worse. just this week, michele bachmann -- actually predicted that i would bring about the debacle and of days. -- the biblical in the days. [laughter] now that is a legacy. [laughter] that's big. i mean, lincoln, washington, they did not do that. [laughter]
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in fact, i have to put this aside and stay focused on my job. because for many americans this is still a time of deep uncertainty. for example, i have one friend just a few weeks ago she was making millions of dollars in year and she is now living out of a fan -- van in iowa. [laughter] meanwhile, back here in our nations capital, we are dealing with the challenges. i'm happy to report that the secret service thanks to excellent reporting by white house correspondents, they are really focusing on some of the issues that have come up, and they finally fitted out a foolproof way to keep people off my lawn.
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-- finally figured out a full proof way to keep people off my lawn. [laughter] it works. it's not just fence jumpers some of you know that a few months ago a drunk crash landed. that was serious. don't worry. we have installed a new state-of-the-art security system. [laughter] you know what question mark let me set the record straight. i see joe sometimes -- i teased joe sometimes, but he has been at my site for seven years. i love that man. [applause] he's not just a great vice president, he is a great friend. we have gotten so close they won't service pizza in indiana anymore. -- serve us pizza in indiana
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anymore. [laughter] i want to thank our host for the evening, the incredibly talented sicily strong -- cicily strong. [applause] she impersonates cnn anchor, which is surprising. usually the only people in president journalists on cnn are journalists on cnn. [laughter] abc is here with some of the stars from his new comedy, blackish. [applause] it's a great show, but i should give abc fair warning, being blackish only makes you popular for so long. [laughter]
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there is a shelf life to that. [laughter] as always, the reporters here have had a lot to cover over the past year. on the east coast, one big story with the brutal winter. the polar vortex -- they renamed it msnbc. [laughter] of course, let's face it, there is one issue on every reporters 1 -- mind you that is 2016. we have seen some missteps. jeb bush identified himself as hispanic in 2009. you know what question mark i understand. it is an innocent mistake and it reminds me when i identified myself
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president obama: ted cruz said that denying the existence of climate change made him like galileo. [laughter] now that's not really an apt comparison. galileo believed the earth revolves around the sun. ted cruz believes it revolves around ted cruz. [laughter] i want to point out -- when a guy who has his face on a home poster cause you self-centered you know you have a problem. the narcissism is creeping up a little too high. [laughter] meanwhile, rick santorum announced he would not attend a same-sex wedding of her friend or loved one. gays and lesbians responded that's not going to be a problem.
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[laughter] [applause] don't sweat that one. donald trump is here. still. [laughter] anyway it's amazing how time flies. soon the first presidential contest will take place, and i cannot wait to see who the koch brothers pick. marco rubio, rand paul, ted cruz, jeb bush, scott walker, who will finally get that read rose. the winner gets a billion-dollar war chest. the runner-up gets to the
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bachelor on the next season of "the national or." but seriously a billion dollars from just two guys. does that feel a little excessive? it's almost insulting to the candidates. thwe koch brothers think they need to spend a billion dollars to get people to like one of them. i know i have raised a lot of money, too. in all fairness, my middle name is hussein. what's their excuse? [laughter] [applause] the trail hasn't been easy for democrats, either. hillary's e-mails got her in trouble. frank lee, i thought her private
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instagram would cause more problems. [laughter] hillary kicks things off by going completely unrecognized at a chipotle. not to be outdone, mark o'malley went completely unrecognized at a mark o'malley campaign intent. -- campaign event. bernie sanders might run. i like ernie, he's interesting guy. some folks want to see a pot smoking socialist in the white house. we could get a third obama term after all. [laughter] [applause] it could happen. i want to close a more serious note.
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i often joke about me and the press. what they say doesn't bother me. i'm a mellow sort of guy. that's why i invited luther, or anger translator, to join me tonight. [laughter] luther: hold on to your lily-white butts. president obama: traditions like this dinner are important. luther: i mean, really. why am i required to come to it? do you really want to do this? president obama: we count on the
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press to shed light on the most important issues. luther: and we can terrify old white people. [laughter] ridiculous. and thank you so much for the wall-to-wall ebola coverage. we were one step away from "the walking dead." that was awesome. by the way, you don't have ebola. president obama: i appreciate the work that you do. luther: ya'll remember when we had that whole in the gulf of mexico? and i plugged that? which obamas katrina was that one?
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i can't remember. president obama: protecting democracy is more important than ever. the donor who gave ted cruz $6 million was exercising free speech. luther: speech like this, i just wasted $6 million. [laughter] president obama: hillary will have to rage huge sums of money too. luther: oh, yeah. she gonna get that money. [laughter] [applause] she is coming to westoros. watch out. president obama: it creates problems for democracy. we need to stay focused on big
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challenges, like climate change. luther: california is bone dry. it looks like -- ya'll think bradley cooper came here to talk to a judge? he needs a glass of water. [laughter] president obama: the science is clear. nine out of the 10 hottest years ever were in the past decade. rising seas, violent storms. luther: this he does, sweaty people on the train stanking it up, it's just nasty. president obama: every scientist says we need to act. the pentagon says it is a national security risk.
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we have elected officials throwing snowballs in the senate. it is crazy. luther: it's ok, i got this. president obama: what kind of shortsighted, irresponsible -- luther: whoa, whoa. [laughter] [applause] luther: all due respect sir, you do not need an anger translator, you need counseling. i and out of here, man. [laughter] [applause]
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president obama: luther, my anger translator and ladies and gentlemen. [applause] now that i have that off my chest. investigative journalism explanatory journalism, journalism that exposes corruption injustice, and gives voice to the marginalized, the voiceless. that is power. is a privilege. it is as important to america's trajectory, to our values and ideals, than anything we can do in elected office. we were member journalists we lost over the past year. journalists like james foley,
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murdered for nothing than trying to shine a light in the world's darkest corners. [applause] we remember the journalists unjustly imprisoned around the world. [applause] for nine months, jason has been in prison for nothing more than writing about the hopes and fears of the iranian people. his brother is here tonight, and i have told them personally we will not rest until we bring him home to his family, safe and sound. [applause] these journalists do their work as so much more than a profession, and indispensable pillar of society.
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i want to give a toast to them. i raise a glass to them and all of you for the words of the american foreign correspondents' dorothy thompsons. it is a way to liberty is exercised that determines whether liberty itself survives. thank you for your devotion and exercising liberty and telling our american story. god bless you, god bless the united states of america. [applause]
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christi: let me take a moment to acknowledge several people whose assistance and friendship has been so valuable during this year. i want to thank the people sitting at the head table the eight members of the board. they fight hard every day at the white house to do their jobs with excellence in to help you do yours. [applause] i especially want to thank carol lee. nobody fights harder than carol. she is a fierce advocate for press freedom and she will be your president next year. [applause] i want to acknowledge our
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incredible executive director, julia. julia, thank you for keeping this association's heart in the right place for so many years. [applause] thank you, george, our lawyer. for your insightful counsel and devotion to our core mission of fighting for openness and transparency. i think the tribune publishing bureau for their support especially david. and my white house colleague kathleen hennessey. i think the visionary editors. all of us are fortunate to work
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for weiss, corporate leaders attribute publishing. finally, my family visiting from alabama and tennessee. i say high to my dad who is watching this on fox news. [laughter] and my family right here in washington d.c. let me introduce our next speaker, cecily strong. [applause] like the president and the first lady, she is from chicago. she came through second city comedy, and is now one of the most recognized members of the saturday night live cast. she is no stranger to political journalism or it her father was an ap bureau chief in the illinois statehouse. i'm sure that tonight, he is a
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proud father. bill, welcome. [applause] at last year's dinner, steve drew attention to the increasing diversity of the white house press corps area tonight, we strike a blow for diversity and political commentary. i don't know why, but women almost never serve in a position that cecily assumes tonight. it is about time. [applause] cecily, i gladly welcome you to this podium. [applause] cecily: feels right to have a woman follow president obama doesn't it? good evening, i am cecily strong.
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you may know me from "saturday night live," or as the ethnically ambiguous girl from every college brochure. i am a mash-up of all the people in hillary's announcement video. [laughter] i'm also the first straight women to host this in 20 years so, we finally made it, straight people. where my heterosexuals at, huh? [laughter] just because i am a woman doesn't mean i'm going to go easy. i'm going to go easy on you people the government brain is smaller. [laughter] i feel very lucky to be here. last year's host, joel mchale, proves that speaking at this dinner is an amazing opportunity that can take you from starring on a show on nbc all the way to
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starring on that same show, but on yahoo! [laughter] i took amtrak here. it was way more luxurious than i thought. did you know they have massage seats available? all you have to do is sit in front of joe biden. those hands don't get tired, somehow. i hope everybody enjoyed dinner. we try to get pizza to cater this event, but they hired a rumor that party frank might be here, so thanks a lot, barney. we should of had that world famous indiana pizza. i can make that joke about indiana because i am from illinois. [laughter] the white house correspondents dinner is a chance for all of you to unwind, relax, and left as soon as you notice someone slightly more powerful than you laughing. [laughter]
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just so weird to be up. since i'm only a comedian, i'm not going to try to tell you politicians how to do politics or whatever. that's not my job. that would be like you guys telling me what to do with my body, i mean, can you imagine? [laughter] [applause] tonight's event is being broadcast on c-span. to viewers watching at home hello. to most viewers watching at home on c-span, meow. [laughter] if you don't know how to find c-span, you just press the guide button on your remote, and hit page up into your thumb cramps up. i just wanted your camera check. ok camera one.
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and that's it. [laughter] it is great to be here at the washington hilton. it's something is something of a prostitute might say to a congressman. the washington hilton, you guys. man, if these walls could talk they would probably say, clean me. it's crazy to think that our president is right here in the ballroom of the washington hilton. it's even crazy to think that our vice president is right now and the ball pit washington chucky cheese. but seriously, the washington hilton is great. i bet that, when the president walks in his on the bellhop's, he thought, so


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