It shouldn’t come as a surprise that President Donald Trump will again skip the White House Correspondents Dinner and that press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will sit in his place April 28.
Trump avoided the event last year as well and was excoriated by former President Barack Obama at the 2011 dinner.
“The White House has informed us that the president does not plan to participate in this year’s dinner but that he will actively encourage members of the executive branch to attend and join us as we celebrate the First Amendment,” White House Correspondents’ Association President Margaret Talev said in a statement Friday.
As journalist Patrick Gavin showed in his “Nerd Prom,” documentary, the dinner had devolved from its respectable roots into a clubby, elitist clique.
While it’s true that the First Amendment protects speech that disparages or satirizes any White House occupant, Trump has been the target of unprecedented, overwhelmingly negative press coverage, according to the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
“Six of the seven U.S. outlets in our study — CBS, CNN, NBC, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post — are among those he’s attacked by name,” the Harvard report said. “All six portrayed Trump’s first 100 days in highly unfavorable terms.
CNN and NBC’s coverage was the most unrelenting—negative stories about Trump outpaced positive ones by 13-to-1 on the two networks. Trump’s coverage on CBS also exceeded the 90 percent mark. Trump’s coverage exceeded the 80 percent level in The New York Times (87 percent negative) and The Washington Post (83 percent negative).”
Given the hostility by the mainstream media, it’s no wonder that Trump is staying from a crowd that’s lost touch with many Americans’ interests.