This just in:
I will not be attending the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner this year. Please wish everyone well and have a great evening!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 25, 2017
Gee, that’s too damn bad. But you can bet the assembled journalists and Hollywood stars will have a fine old time bashing the president, without his being able to bash back.
WHCA president Jeff Mason said 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.”
“We look forward to shining a spotlight at the dinner on some of the best political journalism of the past year and recognizing the promising students who represent the next generation of our profession,” he added. The WHCA typically invites the president and members of his staff. A comedian is brought in to roast the commander in chief, who then delivers lighthearted remarks.
Trump attended the dinner in 2011, where he was repeatedly mocked and teased by then-President Obama. Trump chose to skip the dinner during the 2016 presidential campaign, despite receiving a number of invites from the media. Many have speculated that Trump’s appearance at the 2011 dinner fueled his desire to enter the political arena.