President Barack Obama used effusive praise and gentle humor in an attempt to smooth over his recently strained relationship with members of the “mainstream media” during the 128th annual Gridiron Club Dinner on Saturday evening in Washington, D.C.
“I am grateful for all the journalists who do one of the toughest jobs there is with integrity and insight and dedication — and a sense of purpose — that goes beyond a business model or a news cycle,” the Democratic White House occupant told approximately 650 invitation-only members of the press during the function at which TV coverage was not allowed.
Ironic that a dinner put on by the press would suppress video coverage. But then again, this was the liberal press getting together with Barack Obama, perhaps the leg thrills might have become a little more than that.
Instead, he stated that reporters “have risked everything to bring us stories from places like Syria and Kenya, stories that need to be told … how something that happens or doesn’t happen halfway around the world or here in Washington can have consequences for American families.”
These are extraordinary times … [and while] we’ll always have disagreements, I believe that we share the belief that a free press — a press that questions us, that holds us accountable, that sometimes gets under our skin — is absolutely an essential part of our democracy.