The White House Correspondents’ Dinner is an opportunity for the press in Washington to poke some fun at the President, and for his part the president is supposed to take it with good humor, and then poke back a bit in his own talk. It’s like a toned-down version of a Friar’s Club roast.
President Pumpkin knows he’s in for the same treatment as every other President in this annual ceremony, and has decided to skip it. This is the first time since 1978 the President will have been absent. Even in 1981, Reagan phoned in a talk from his convalescent bed – he was recovering from being wounded in the assassination attempt.
The White House Correspondents Association president, Jeff Mason, announced that the dinner would be held anyway. He said that the dinner “…has been and will continue to be a celebration of the First Amendment and the important role played by an independent news media in a healthy republic.” [emphasis mine] There you have a big clue to why Pumpkin is giving it a miss: that whole First Amendment thing is not at all to his liking, no, not one bit.
But also, the fragility of his ego won’t allow him to listen to the joking with any good humor. And the deadly seriousness of his adversarial position toward the legitimate press expresses as outright hostility to any media outlet that refuses to play stenographer to his propaganda.
I do, however, like this idea for how to fill the major gap in the program. After all, the President’s talk will not be heard.