I’ve been teaching law students the glories of the First Amendment for two decades. It is among my favorite stretches of class, to drill into them that the genius of a free press, combined with the rights of free expression and association as well as religious freedom, is truly the decisive factor that drives American creativity and protects its political debate.

Is it really impossible to find some speaker of amusing disposition who can elevate an evening rather than leave it trashed and stained? Because if the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner and its wrap-up “keynote” define the First Amendment for the layman, he or she will care very little if it is actually curtailed, actually someday threatened, which it has not been and should never be.