We might have seen this one coming.
Donald J. Trump announced today he won’t attend the annual White House Correspondents Dinner, an event that attracts noted journalists, assorted celebrities and politicians — and usually features a blistering bit of self-deprecation and jabs at others from the president of the United States.
It’s a whole lot of fun for those who attend. At least it’s supposed to be fun.
Trump, though, will forgo the event. “I will not be attending the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner this year. Please wish everyone well and have a great evening!,” Trump wrote on Twitter.
Is anyone surprised? Really? I didn’t think so. Trump, after all, has labeled the media the “enemy of the people.” Why would he want to mingle with such “dishonest” individuals and organizations?
The president has gone on the warpath against the mainstream media, going so far as to ban certain media organizations from attending routine White House press briefings. He has called them “fake news” outlets. He has accused the media of making stories up, of hiding their sources and attribution.
It is all — if I may borrow a term — “unpresidented” of the president to say these things about the media.
However, the White House Correspondents Dinner has been notable at many levels for many years. Perhaps the most notable event occurred in 2011, when then-President Obama joked about Trump — who was in the audience — concocting all sorts of conspiracy theories, starting with whether the president was born in the U.S. of A. Trump, at the time a mere real estate mogul and reality TV celebrity, took the ribbing stone-faced
What we didn’t know at the time, of course, was that earlier that day Obama had approved the commando mission to kill Osama bin Laden, who was holed up in a Pakistan compound. The president carried on as if he didn’t have a care in the world.
The dinner, which occurs on April 29, will no doubt include plenty of barbs tossed at the president from the podium.
I’m willing to consider taking bets on whether Trump unloads via Twitter in response when they start flying at him. That shouldn’t surprise anyone, either.