While I enjoyed representing conservatives during CNN coverage of the White House Correspondents’ Dinner on Saturday, I was disappointed that the marquee political event didn’t offer the country a unifying, positive message to transcend our differences. I understand that, yes, satire can be hilarious and incisive, but sadly the dinner’s lead performer Michelle Wolf offered none of those.
I understand why President Trump skipped the event and instead hosted a rally in Washington, Mich., because he has been the target of overwhelmingly negative press coverage, according to the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
It makes sense Trump would connect with his base instead of hobnobbing in Washington, D.C., with Champagne and ball gowns in the heart of the swamp. In the name of unifying the country, I hope that over time the media will realize the need for greater ideological diversity and tolerance in how it represents conservatives. Because right now, the tilt is overwhelmingly to the left.
Republicans and conservatives can manage the press and preserve their legacy. President Reagan is one of the most revered modern presidents, and as Brian Stelter at CNN wrote, “The last president to miss the correspondents’ dinner was Ronald Reagan in 1981 — because he was recovering from an assassination attempt. Reagan still called in by telephone.”
Perhaps if there is a media detente in the future, POTUS will attend the dinner during his presidency. Even if he doesn’t, the broader need for a more balanced media ecosystem will continue.
If the media, who chose Wolf as their ambassador, want to understand Trump supporters, this isn’t the way to go. That said, contra some rhetoric that we heard from Hillary Clinton, Wolf can redeem herself.