tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN April 27, 2015 2:00pm-4:01pm EDT
white house correspondents dinner held at the washington hilton. they are about a half hour behind schedule at this point but that is kind of typical. as you can see, a lot of people were not in their seats prior to the president entering the room, so they are about a half hour behind, but c-span will be with the program all night. after they are finished eating dinner that is when you will hear from the president and cecily strong. you saw her a minute ago talking with mrs. obama. 2600 people in the ballroom. this is c-span's live coverage. if you want to see some of our behind-the-scenes coverage you can follow us on twitter @cspan is the handle. you can make comments on facebook.com/c-span.
white house correspondents dinner. we are talking about the night before the big event. is the speech ready and finalized? cecily: it is just about there. i probably will be making changes up until i am done speaking. i am sure why i am sitting there i will add things and during, who knows? if my brain works during the speech i may even do some tweaks during it. >> how many times have you practiced and what is your practice routine? cecily: i was just in l.a. so i have been using friends out there as my audience, my test audience, so reading through things and see what works. i practice with them. i practiced with my dad last night. >> you said your dad has a really loud laugh. did you get some loud last from him? cecily: i did. i was kind of speed reading it
because i want those real last him him too. >> how are you prepared for tomorrow night? cecily: i do not know that i am prepared mentally, but i have a great group of writers that i working with here with me now. we had a couple meetings where we sort of talked about what we want to write, and some ideas of what we wanted to hit. then we had a few joke reads and because we had this two week hiatus on the show, i have been in atlanta and l.a. so there has been a lot of back-and-forth, me doing edits, them doing edits it has been a daily thing. >> are these "saturday night live" writers? cecily: they are, and one is from fallon. >> did you put this group together? cecily: yes. >> why did you think, let me get this group together? cecily: i knew i wanted to work
with them and they were a big part of seth's. he had such a good show so why not use his people. i was nervous they would not say yes but lauren asked some people and they are more likely to say yes to lauren. >> did seth give you any advice? cecily: just a little bit mainly just about having a lot of jokes and self editing. he sent me a sweet text today to say he was very proud and excited for me. >> is he watching? cecily: i assume, he better. >> why did she say yes and how did you get the call? cecily: i got the call through my dad who said he had gotten e-mail from his friend christi
who is inviting me to the dinner. it was confusing, and i thought it meant he was going to go and she said he was going to speak so i assumed he was going to do a panel or something on pr. he said, are you going to go, are you going to do it? he sent me that e-mail and it took us at the office like three days to even find out that it was real. then once i heard it was real, i was hoping it was on a work week so i could easily say no but i'm so grateful. >> are you nervous? cecily: i am very nervous. >> why is that? cecily: i think i have just heard from anyone who has gone before her thought of going before that it is a tough room and it is hard to win in that room so a lot of comedians, that is not an ideal situation for you. i thought, it is such an amazing opportunity that that is greater
to me, that overshadows the bad. >> every thought about you have the audience in the room and then you have the audience at home watching, and how do you thread that needle? cecily: i will find out, i guess tomorrow. i come from live theater so i'm used to that they will have the camera on me i hope so i cannot miss that part up, i hope. >> did your dad give you any advice? he is a former associated press reporter. cecily: no. i am always threatening, you want me to say that, you really want me to say that? >> any jokes that you want to share with us? cecily: that are my dad's? >> that, or for tomorrow night. cecily: no. >> is anything off-limits?
cecily: no, even if something is a little bit lighting, i would rather it be just funny. i think mean her jokes are just not as, i think you can hear it in a crowd when the joke is not working because it is mean. sometimes you can sneak little jabs in their but they are funny. >> topics, hillary clinton, all these 2016 republican contenders. cecily: we may mention hillary we may mention the republican contenders. i do not know. >> what topics? cecily: because there is this big election coming, so that is huge. there are people that you can poke fun of in that, in general news. i think the contenders will be a pretty good joke. >> and the president, how does he factor into what you say? cecily: he is so funny.
he may tell a bunch of jokes that i am planning on telling but i have to feverishly scratch out. >> will you channel any of your snl characters? cecily: not really, it is really just heightened version of myself here. >> what is your background? tell your audience about your background. cecily: i come from chicago grew up doing a lot of theater. i think i did my first play when i was eight and i did a lot of chicago theater. i got my bfa in theater from cal arts. i decided i wanted to go that route, so i moved back to chicago to study at second city and i/o. i was touring with second city and performing at il, and didn't -- and did a showcase at i/o. at the end of the summer i was in new york. >> what was your parents'
influence? cecily: my mom was always very supportive, especially theater, and my dad was interested but i think getting snl really was exciting for him and at this, i think there could not be anything better for my dad. this is his world, he is so excited. >> will he be there? cecily: yes, he will be there. >> have fun. cecily: i will. definitely afterwards i will. announcer: cecily strong will follow the president tonight in speaking lineup she will be the last person you hear from. she is the comedian this evening. the comedian is chosen by the white house correspondents association and primarily by the president of the white house correspondents association. this year, that person is c hristi parsons from the tribune company. christi: everybody gives you
their opinions but that is one responsibility that. to the white house correspondents association president i have been thinking about it for a long time. the last dose copresidents let me watch their process a little bit, so i was pretty sure what i wanted to do. i want it to be a chicago when. i just like midwestern humor. she is a funny nice girl who says very cutting things in such a heartland kind of way. after you are cracking up and you realize, wait a minute, she just kind of sliced me up. i think that will be a cool thing to see from the podium. announcer: that was christi parsons, talking about why she chose sisley strong to be this year passed comedian. -- this year passed comedian --
this year's comedian. you can make a comment on our facebook page, facebook.com/c-span. there is the president having a conversation at the head table having a little bit of a nosh. they usually do not eat very much at the head table but the 2600 guests, this is what they are having. a terrine of jumbo lump crab meat. smoked pre-guy rubbed filet -- paprika rubbed full a along with alaskan halibut that is seared, and a tapas of assorted desserts, and that is what is being fed to the 2600 guests this evening, $300 a ticket.
only journalists, credentialed by the white house correspondents association are allowed to purchase tickets to this dinner. all the celebrities, all the politicians, everyone else you see there is a guest of somebody of the correspondents association live coverage from the washington hilton hotel watching our guests eat. [indiscernible]
advance, directly after the previous year cost dinner. we start the week following the dinner, we will have our action or -- after action notes, talk about what worked well for that dinner, what we will do slightly differently for the next dinner and it begins there. later in the year, the association will have their tasting and selection committee decide on the menus and that happens about two months in advance. as a team we meet maybe one week out and talk about the actual logistics of this year's dinner with the focal points are. we have a pre-shift meeting the day of the dinner so what is a year-long process. >> we have a tasting. we have had it there many years, and they are very, very good to us there. they go out of their way. unlike what you may have read in the paper from one of our guests
about rubber chicken, have never had chicken and we actually have very, very good food. they offer us for instance, three salads, three entrees three desserts, and we pick and choose. we had our president, our incoming president, and our two outgoing board members every year. they are the ones who work on the food section -- selection. announcer: c-span's live coverage of the white house correspondents dinner. there is a person who plays a press secretary on tv. she is an invited guest. she could not get a ticket even though she plays one on tv, she could not get a ticket herself. you have to go through a news organization or get invited iran news organization.
a lot of celebrities here tonight. since the 1980's, it has become in a sense of competition and a chance for hollywood folks to get together with washington folks. it has become an entire weekend. it begins on friday night and goes through sunday night, different events, different organizations sponsor different events. we showed you different interviews from the garden brunch which three very prominent washington women put together. it used to be held at tammy hadad's house but it got so big they hold that katharine graham's former house in georgetown. there is a rock the vote political party. political sponsors a party. people in time have a cocktail party. the new yorker has a party. lots of post parties after this
dinner. this dinner has just become the centerpiece of an entire washington political celebrity social weekend. if you have any comments about this type of activity -- and there are a lot of comments being made on our facebook page -- you can join us or like us on facebook facebook.com/c-span make a comment and join the conversation. you can also follow us @cspan and you can follow the #whc white house correspondents dinner. and you can see the comments put out by other people. the program itself should begin in five, 10 minutes or so.
coverage on c-span of the white house correspondents dinner. the only place that you can see gavel-to-gavel coverage of the dinner from the red carpet arrivals all the way through the end, including the dinner itself. as we continue to talk to a little bit nine the scenes of what is happening at the dinner, we talked with two credits, margaret carlson who has attended the dinner in the past and was with time, often on cnn, and now with bloomberg view as a panelist. and patrick -- both critique the white house correspondents dinner. here they are talking. margaret: the white house correspondents dinner has grown so outsized far beyond its original purpose, which was to put journalists together with
public officials and politicians to get to know each other in an informal setting. it is now a new low, just inviting famous people who are just infamous, like the cast of "duck dynasty," who have nothing to do with washington or our politics, really. mind you, i would be devastated if i could not go to the white house correspondents dinner as a piece of theater, but the best thing the president of the association could do would be to get rid of the wretched excess where we spend more on valet parking than they spend on scholarships for aspiring journalists. patrick: my big takeaway, which we try to convey in the film, it is not a hit job against parties who do not invite me to there is thence. it is not a hit job to celebrities. to me, the big critique of my
film is washington in general. i do not mind that this dinner exists. what i mind is that it is our super bowl, that is the problem to me. whose fault is that? it is not the association's fault. they bear some responsibility for it. they run the red carpet which is a big contributor. they have until 2013, done a great job -- my issue is really with the level of prominence we have given this event, and that is everyone in washington's fault. if this dinner were number seven on the list of really great things that happen in this town and the first seven were a climate change rally, a tea party rally, a passionate moment of testimony on capitol hill, if that was what got everyone in this town's juices going, i
would have no problem with that. to me, it is just that it is just so prominent and that it is also a little bit ugly. one of the threads of response i have gotten to this film from washingtonians is, sure, it is our super bowl sure it is this not so great event, but so what? who cares? this is washington. people are so conditioned to that people have been so conditioned in this town to our biggest event in a gross one and not caring, is just shocking to me. it is a level of cynicism that i do not think gets us anywhere. reporters and politicians in this town both have a 10% approval rating. for us to say, sure, the rest of the country hates us, sure, our biggest event of the year adds to that, and who cares?
we should take pride in how we are viewed outside of this town. we are supposed to represent others. for people to say what we have here is not working but do not worry about it, with a 10% approval rating it is a problem. people in this town should care about how they are perceived outside, so that is one criticism that really was just depressing, i thought. announcer: and that was margaret carlson and patrick gavin talking about some of the critiques of the white house correspondents dinner. christi parsons is the woman you have seen talking with the president from time to time in our live coverage tonight. one of the things that the correspondents association does his hand on scholarships and she talked with us about some of the efforts she had made to bring the dinner more in line with the actual mission. christi: i wrote a letter to the
membership this year saying, hey, everyone, please invite your white house correspondence to their annual spring dinner. it is a democracy. we cannot tell people who to invite to their dinner. a lot of news organizations did take that to heart and have made sure that their white house correspondents are at the dinner and seated in their most prominent seats, and we encourage that, we like that. if a news organization decides to go another direction, really it is their right to do that. all we can do is encourage them to get in the spirit of the dinner, which is celebrating white house correspondents. the way you do that is to bring them with you. announcer: if you want to see some of the comments being made about the dinner, pro con etc., you can like us on facebook, they spoke.com/c-span, and you can join the conversation that way or you can
tweet, @ also interesting comments all over the board at those two sites. this is c-span's live coverage of the 2015 white house correspondents dinner. the speaking program is due to begin in about 20 minutes or so, but as you can see from some of the shots we have been showing you, they are still bringing out the trays of hell a bit -- halibut and full a, main course part of the meal. you might be running a little bit late this evening. [indiscernible]
menu. terrine of jumbo lump crab meat. smoked paprika rubbed for lay -- filet, halibut, and assorted dessert. they have been serving the dinner here for the last 20 minutes or so. they should finish right around 9:30 and that is when the speaking program will begin. when it comes to the dinner, we talked with hilton general manager about what goes into picking some of the ingredients and putting this dinner together. steve: the menu is very unique every year. we are looking to source local ingredients as much as possible but honestly, we are really interested in what is going to
serve well for 2600 people in a ballroom, and knowing the time constraints and the schedule. it involves secret service timing, the show timing of the event, and all of that. the kitchen begins a day in advance. the day of, they are on-site about 4:00 a.m. beginning that final preparation process. >> live coverage on c-span.
did an interview with a person who has a new documentary about the white house correspondents' dinner, and we talked about the amount of scholarship money. a handout scholarships. he had some specific critique about the program, and then christie parsons, who is this year's president of the white house correspondents association, responded. >> reaction -- has been mixed. the film is a love letter to the work they do. the last nine minutes is an analysis of the struggles that reporters face on a daily basis and why we should support them.
there is a part of the film that i point out where the association's associate rector gives -- associate director gets more money than they give out in scholarships every year. it is not just my opinion. the leading auditor or analyst for charities, i interviewed them, they found it troubling. i respect their opinion. if you say this is a scholarship dinner, if you say this is station -- on the tax form it says that scholarships is one of the primary object gives. -- objectives. to have your only employee make more than what you give out in scholarships looks bad. if they want to help kids go to college, or grad school -- that is the one thing that they have quibbled about.
they sent us a huge e-mail, in response to the film, to clarify their finances. that aside, i would say most of them have been very supportive of the indexend takeaway. >> have they given you a financial breakdown? >> at is all public, and after the movie came out, i got their latest which supports the theory more. on the 2012 form they gave out $130,000 in scholarships. in 2013, the director got paid $130,000, and they gave away $80,000. the gap is getting worse, not better. i have no problem with the executive director getting paid
as much as she deserves him up but i think they should give away at least double. >> she does guard the heart and spirit of our organization. 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 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 from the dinner turned out to be some hundred $81,000. the hotel itself costs about $411,000. the entertainer costs about
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. >> 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. 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.
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 ph.d. in political science. c-span's live coverage of the white house correspondents dinner.
>> 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 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 facebook.com/c-span or follow us on twitter. this is c-span's live coverage of the 2015 weiss house -- white house correspondents dinner. -- correspondents dinner. >> ladies and gentlemen, police
>> ladies and gentlemen, please welcome christy parsons. 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. i think of this as a rite of spring, a time when we recommit ourselves as a group publicly to the common purpose that brings us all together, the fight for openness, transparency, and press freedom for ourselves and
people everywhere. it is my honor to serve as your president. thank you. i want to begin by recognizing an important colleague who is with us or tonight. peter is one of three al jazeera journalists who spent 400 days in prison in egypt for the crime of practicing journalism. he is here with us tonight partly because of the advocacy of the white house. thank you, mr. president.
peter, would you stand and be welcomed by this audience? peter and his colleagues are out of prison, but they are still in the midst of their 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 worldwide 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 colleagues. tonight, jason is imprisoned in iran. he is in prison for the crime of collecting information about internal and foreign policies. that is also known as practicing journalism. we welcome his brother, a tireless advocate for the release of his brother. ali is seated tonight with "the
washington post." would you please stand and be welcomed by this crowd? ali, i hope you feel tonight the support in this room for your family and your brother. we hold together with jason. you can show your support for jason by going to change.org and signing a petition that calls for his release, change.org, free jason.
i planned 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 that so often that the news we cover involves the suffering of others. so let us for a moment remember our colleagues and also those victims of disasters, natural and human caused, who too often are the subjects of our stories. thank you. i know that each journalist in this room tonight shares a passion to live up to the calling and is committed to standing theie watch.
a day does not go by when somewhere we in the press are not fighting with government officials over the issue of media access. this dinner -- 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. 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, i would like for you to stand.
all past presidents of the association, please stand. everyone who has ever been elected to our board, please stand. everyone who has been elected to our board, please stand. all of you who cover the beat today, attend the briefings, stand and be recognized. all of you who have ever cover -- covered the beat, attended briefings, served in the pool, volunteered for a committee or working group, stand up and the -- be recognized. if you are a member of the working press, stand and be recognized. and finally, tonight's
scholarship recipient, we hope you will stand and keep watch with us one day. please stand and be recognized. ladies and gentlemen, the past present, and future white house press corps. please turn your attention to the screen for a video tribute to four very special colleagues who retired in the past year. they have carried our banner high and inspired their colleagues for decades. [video clip] >> 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 a kid from illinois is 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. >> when news breaks of the white house, the world watches. >> ann 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. and i remember just thinking this is history. i'm not going to see anything like this again. >> it was christmas day, 1991, left the kids at home opening
the packages on christmas morning and i stood on the white house lawn all day long as the gorbachev job declared the soviet union was dissolved. it changed the face of the planet, and to have been there and cover that, and be there when the president flew back from camp 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 point moment for the entire country and a kid was never going to cover the white house and frankly always wondered if he would ever see a black president. >> president obama made clear the effort to build a more perfect union.
>> peter talks about barack obama's election, but to cover it as a black reporter, to cover the inaugural of black president is something i never thought would happen, 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 -- >> mr. sunshine, they call you.
>> and the press corps lord, and all i could think of was, mr. president, just let me get my question out. >> traveling with the president can bring surprises. president clinton's trip to the great. the great barrier reef, and it presented president clinton with a baby koala named chelsea. there we were standing around president clinton, and he thrusts this koala to me and says, you want to touch it? it is really soft. >> in dublin, ireland, with the president and the north american summit, fox news. peter and i were in tokyo, and the first president bush got sick, and the star reporters were out to dinner with marlon fitzwater. peter and i were the only ones in the press room when the
reports came in, and we broke the story. >> when you cover the white house, you know there is a doomsday scenario, the kind of nuclear nightmare that the government, the white house, and those of us who have to be prepared for. and 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 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 that the president was safe, 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 that 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's tendency is to push all personal contact with the president and all personal eyewitness to what he is doing back farther and father. >> the media may be fractured, but the different branches of the media have consolidated. fewer radio networks, fewer
outlets contributing to the white house press corps. there was a time when we had our own press charter. 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 us using social media to essentially bypass the filter. >> and now the torch has been passed. >> it has been a time of great reflections since 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 would the people in my hometown want to know about this particular event that i 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. christi: peter, wendell, and roger, which you please stand and be recognized? thank you for putting that video together.
now it is time to honor this year's white house correspondents scholars. i would like to invite the first lady, michelle obama, to the podium. she has been committed to these scholarship presentations every year since 2009, and i know each year's winners appreciate the time with her, perhaps more than the tuition assistance we give them. and now i would like to invite a bulldog of a reporter to this podium to present the award.
>> 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, as everybody here knows is to promote the reporters who cover the white house and robust access so that we can tell the world what is going on. a very nice side project of ours, one of the best parts is the scholarship program, because 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. 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 year's scholars. as i call you names, please come forward. from howard university, jordan henry of spring valley, new york. [indiscernible] of east orange, new jersey.
from the university of missouri at columbia, we have seven scholarship winners. here we go. cameron from austin, texas. abby johnson from huntsville texas. john o'connor from missouri. travis hartman from brooklyn lauren from ontario, canada. elizabeth sheldon from bellbrook, ohio. meredith from cleveland, ohio.
from northwestern university ezra kaplan of chicago. from the university of california at berkeley, gabriel sanchez from west covina california. from the university of maryland, naomi harris of upper marlborough, maryland. and from our newest scholarship partner, the george washington university, mariana sotomayor from tampa, florida.
with that, let's give our scholarship recipients again a big round of applause. and thanks again to mrs. obama for your support of our scholarship program. christi: thank you, margaret and thank you again to the first lady for your support. 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. peter baker's entry was really outstanding in that regard. >> he has this unique ability to inject history and context into breaking news stories, even as they are unfolding. >> his reporting about iraq was
amazing. he called it 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 administration, 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. >> it was 8:00 on a friday night. most of the reporters had gone home. all of a sudden, there was burst of commotion. >> the white house is evacuated. as they came back in, he got the official word that no big deal just a fence jumper. he said, no, this is not normal.
>> he got an email from 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, then quickly working his sources to find the female white house official who could confirm what really happened set his 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 miami. good morning. >> this it is a historic day between united states and cuban. >> there's no better feeling than when you turn on the tv at
8:45 a.m. and there jim is breaking the story. >> jim not only broke the news he followed the story throughout the day while traveling to havana. it was amazing reporting. >> jim, who broke the story from cuba tonight. >> a rare sense of optimism. for the first time, there seems to be hope that a country so close and distant will soon 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 jim had the pictures nobody else had. >> this was the result of years of work. cultivating sources, so it was no surprise at all that jim would win this award. christi: congratulations to
those three and to all of this year's winners. thank you, jordan and abc news for putting that video together. and now to present the awards, broadcaster., welcome him to the podium. he is major garrett. >> i have the answer to the burning question that all of you are asking yourselves -- who am i wearing? brooks brothers is the short answer. for the photographers, the long answer is this -- free jason. there are more of these buttons available. i urge you to get one. let's work this case as best we can. i also want to do something that is off the program. christi persons, our spectacular
president, gave us a rousing call to arms, and many of us stood justifiably and applauded, all of us who cover the beat or have covered the beat. 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. it is a $2500 award, we have two