The party is over, at least in Washington.
What if the White House Press Corps gave a correspondents’ dinner and only correspondents came? It looks like that’s what’s going to happen Saturday night, and the world is a better place for it.
President Trump will snub his third straight correspondents’ dinner, and for good measure he has ordered his staff to stay away in droves. There’s no professional comedic entertainment planned — praise the Lord! — and Beltway journalism’s “night of nights” is reportedly not generating the usual interest in extravagant suites, day spas, or even other dinners. WHCD-related demand is flaccid, say those in the know.
It turns out that a tux-and-tantrum media circus that neither President Trump nor George Clooney would be caught dead attending generates about as much buzz as Congressman Eric Swalwell’s presidential campaign roll-out.
The journalistic forebears of today’s crop of hysterical conspiracy theorists are said to be pleased with the WHCD’s veer away from celebrity hubris and humor more appropriate for a Dean Martin Roast. This staid old school is fine with the Washington Fourth Estate’s annual self-aggrandizement-fest going under the radar.
What does an individual like Jim Acosta do when left to prattle and allude surrounded only by colleagues who can’t stand him? It is not a pretty picture.
A look back at recent dinners past yields mixed results.
President George W. Bush often had the room in stitches. We’re left to wonder how many zingers he wrote himself, and how many were written by Dick Cheney. Who can forget the night he admitted to rock’s Prince of Darkness, “Hey Ozzy, Mom loves your stuff.”
President Obama was funny during his monologues, too. From a conservative perspective, how much better for the United States had he opted for a career in comedy, perhaps as a family-friendly, non-profane version of Chris Rock.
Then that fateful night, 2011, SNL back-bencher Seth Meyers, with Donald Trump in attendance, saying about the future president, “I thought he was running as a joke.”
Trump didn’t laugh that night, but boy did he get the last one.
Finally, the woman we can credit with single-handedly ending the WHCD’s association with Marilyn Manson’s “beautiful people,” comedienne and abortion-monger Michelle Wolf. The woman whose repugnant and uncivilized performance in 2018 probably ensures that “edgy” will never again get a seat at the Washington Hilton.
The party is over, at least in the District of Columbia.
It has moved, and will be celebrated at a Trump 2020 rally at the home of the NFL’s Packers: Green Bay, Wisconsin. The president is going where the love is, and leaving the festering cauldron of haters and coup enablers to sit on their hands and contemplate how completely they have failed the American people. The Russian Hoax has turned the tide on this dinner, this culture, this mutation of the First Amendment’s ideological underpinnings. The New York Times is trying to play catch-up, with new scrutiny of the Steele dossier, but it’s too late. Trump Incorporated has left the building.
Why call Trump’s Wisconsin hoedown the White House Correspondents’ Rally? Two reasons: it was the Washington iteration that inspired it, and, though the big shots won’t be there, their remote operators will. They’ll be filming and reporting on the presidential countermeasure which aims a dead-eye spotlight back at people who have not rested in their attempts to smear a president and overturn an election. Trump is bypassing them altogether, again, taking his message of wealth, strength, safety, and greatness into the heartland that elected him.
Will he point to the phalanx of cameras and field reporters with the damning finger of opprobrium, as he did during the campaign and has done since his election? Will he call them out for their lies and fakery? Probably. But here’s the thing.
He doesn’t have to. Very little that the leftist Washington Press Corps says—with some exceptions—is believed anymore.
The elitist Beltway scribes and talking heads have made their own bed, and their only hope in a center-right, fair-minded nation is to pivot on the Monday following this year’s moribund dinner. The journalistic professionals who allowed the worst scandal in our history to go uncovered while perpetrating a grand and grotesque lie need to get to work rebuilding their credibility.
If they persist with their hatred and bigotry, President Trump will be long out of office before they are ever trusted again. It is a very long road back.