After a few zingers aimed at himself, his wife, Joe Biden and the GOP leadership and potential presidential candidates, Pres. Obama closed with a few words about the importance of free media and the dangers journalists face to tell the stories no one wants told:
“I’ve got faith that the journalists in this room will do their part for the people affected by this disaster by reporting on their progress and letting the rest of America know when they will need more help.
“Those are stories that need telling and that’s what all of you do best, whether its rushing to the site of a devastating storm in Alabama or braving danger to cover revolution in the Middle East.
“In the last months, we’ve seen journalists threatened, arrested, beaten, attacked and in some cases even killed simply for doing their best to bring us the story, to give people a voice, and to hold leaders accountable.
“And through it all, we’ve seen daring men and women risk their lives for the simple idea that no one should be silenced, and everyone deserves to know the truth. That’s what you do. At your best, that’s what journalism is. That’s the principle that you uphold.
“It is always important, but it’s especially important in times of challenge, like the moment America and the world is facing now.
“So I thank you for your service and the contributions you make. And I want to close by recognizing not only your service but also to remember those that have been lost, as a consequence of the extraordinary reporting that they’ve done over recent weeks. They help, too, to defend our freedoms and help democracy to flourish.”