April 6, 2017

Watergate reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein will reunite this year at the annual White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner to give a speech defending “a free and independent press,” the association announced Thursday.

The pair are the biggest guests booked so far for a generally star-studded event that has yet to announce a host in the wake of President Trump’s announcement that he will break with decades of tradition and skip the dinner.

“No one is better suited to speak about the importance of a free and independent press than Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein,” read a statement from White House Correspondents’ Association President Jeff Mason, who is also a White House correspondent for Reuters. “We are delighted they accepted our invitation to present these prestigious awards.”

The planning for this year’s dinner has been in flux for months. Several regular fixtures, including The New Yorker and Vanity Fair, announced during to the runup to the dinner that they would not attend. Then, President Trump backed out of the event and White House staffers announced they wouldn’t go in a show of solidity with the president.

Also new this year is a similar event being held on the same night by comedian Samantha Bee, who is calling her celebration “Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.”

In an email to Poynter, Mason said the association hasn’t yet announced an entertainer but hinted more news on that front was forthcoming.

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Benjamin Mullin is the managing editor of Poynter.org. He previously reported for Poynter as a staff writer, Google Journalism Fellow and Naughton Fellow, covering journalism…
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