The White House Correspondents’ Dinner is a tradition that has been around since the early 1900s. The event is supposed to be a fun get-together where journalists and politicians socialize and poke fun at one another. In a political climate where reporters and elected officials are so often at odds, it is a refreshing change to see them enjoying a night of laughs together.
Unfortunately, President Donald Trump will not be attending this year. Whether it is setting aside differences, mingling with the media or being forced to actually laugh at himself — this sounds like Trump’s worst nightmare.
For the second year in a row, Trump plans to skip the Correspondents’ Dinner, presumably to spend more time on the golf course. The president is instead making his employees go in his place to absorb the blows.
Last year, Trump became the first president since Ronald Reagan to skip the dinner, but Reagan’s reason for not attending was that he was recovering from an assassination attempt at the time. When asked last year if he would attend in the future, Trump replied, “I would come next year, absolutely.” Add that to the list of promises he has not kept.
Regardless of the bogus reason he gives for not showing up, the truth of the matter is that Trump is afraid. This is a man who constantly riles against the press, knowing that most media organizations will not counter his statements in order to maintain their professionalism and objectivity. The one day of the year when members of the press are allowed to sit in a room and laugh at the president without consequences, Trump is too scared to show his face. He is much more comfortable when the fight is one-sided.
It is the same reason Trump mainly interviews with Fox News, where he knows his lies will encounter little questioning or opposition. It is the same reason he refused to participate in a debate with Megyn Kelly, who was one of the debate moderators on the campaign trail, because he was terrified that she would actually ask him another tough question. It is the same reason he hides behind a screen to fire his employees and attack those who speak out against him.
Trump is a coward. He is infuriated by criticism and petrified of being laughed at. He has shown time and time again his fear of facing any kind of pushback. This is the primary motive behind him sitting out the White House Correspondents’ Dinner once again, where Michelle Wolf will surely not hold back any punches.
This gutless no-show expands far beyond a simple dinner. If this president is so fearful of comedians, and the press going against him, he will have a hard time forming cordial relationships and agreements with the members of his government and other world leaders. With a potential meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un coming up in either the end of May or early June, it is highly questionable whether Trump will able to reach a compromise that would lead to denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula.
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