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History Channel marks WH correspondents’ association 100th

  • McClatchy Washington Bureau
  • Published Monday, April 28, 2014, at 1:39 p.m.
  • Updated Monday, April 28, 2014, at 3:17 p.m.

President Barack Obama and Bill Clinton will be among those appearing in a HISTORY Channel produced video to mark the 100th anniversary of the White House Correspondents’ Association.

A screening of the video, created and produced by HISTORY, will be among the highlights of the WHCA’s annual White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner on Saturday.

The video chronicles the origins of the WHCA in 1914, and its evolution during the last 100 years. The organization says it will “examine how today’s journalists on this historic assignment share the spirit of the WHCA’s earliest members, still tirelessly pushing for access to the President and members of the administration amid the challenges of a modern media landscape.”

The annual dinner, which dates to 1921 and itself merits extensive news coverage, is traditionally attended by the President and First Lady, as well as many other senior government officials and members of the press corps. Joel McHale, star of the NBC series Community, will be the entertainer headlining this year’s event.

“I’m thrilled that A+E Networks and the History Channel have partnered with the WHCA to generously create and produce a very special video to mark our centennial celebration,” WHCA President Steven Thomma said. “Our annual dinner always includes a lot of laughs and often features entertaining videos. But as we looked ahead to our 100th year, I wanted something different and couldn’t think of a better partner than the History Channel to bring this vision to life. With our experience at the White House and their deep experience and creativity working with historical content, we’ve worked together to tell the story of the Association, including its regrettable chapters and its proud principles. The video will be a very special part of the dinner.”

Interviews with Obama, Clinton, key historians, press secretaries such as Marlin Fitzwater, Mike McCurry, Dana Perino and the dinner’s past and current celebrity hosts will demonstrate how the association has expanded its activities since its inception. “At the core of the WHCA, meanwhile,” the group says, “is the same commitment to maintaining independent news coverage of the President and to nurturing the next generation of journalistic excellence through its scholarship program.”

Nancy Dubuc, president and CEO of A+E Networks, called it an “honor” to work with the WHCA on the video.

“We often point out that history is in our DNA,” she said. “But being entrusted to tell the official story of this celebrated organization, which itself has documented the country’s great political stories of the past century, reaffirms that we’ve been doing our job well and that others have taken notice. We couldn’t be more excited about forming this special partnership.”

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