Each year the president attends the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. The last time a president skipped the event was 36 years ago and that was Ronald Reagan who had a pretty good excuse. He was shot.
Trump feels equally wounded by the slightest quip or question to his authority. He has decided to pass on the event after spending weeks attacking the media as “fake news” and claiming a free press is the “enemy of the American people.” It will not be as safe and friendly as CPAC.
Trump has been roasted before on Comedy Central. In that event he got to approve of the jokes. He can take a beating about his hair. What he can’t stand is having his wealth questioned, or his policies, and the fact that he’s just really lousy at his job. He doesn’t know how to president. Since the dinner is hosted by an A-list comedian, I’m sure his incompetence will be a frequent subject among the many to choose from (taxes, Steve Bannon, Putin, Russia, immigrants, travel ban, etc.).
The president gets the opportunity to fire back, but Donald Trump is no Barack Obama, or Ronald Reagan, or Bill Clinton. Even George W. Bush survived with stale jokes. Trump on the other hand can barely read. During the campaign Trump and Hillary Clinton both attended the Al Smith dinner where they told jokes. Trump read his in a very bored monotone style, and he was booed. He was booed by priests.
There’s a lot of debate whether the press should even continue the tradition of the dinner, often referred as the “Nerd Prom.” There are legitimate questions over whether journalists should be mingling with politicians and celebrities. Several news outlets have pulled out and canceled their planned before and after parties. Some over the conflicts of interest, but most over Trump. Why should the press hobnob with a jerk who doesn’t just insult them, but is attempting to destroy them?
Did you hear the one about the president who can’t take a joke? That’s because he is one.
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