Trump won’t attend White House correspondents’ dinner

From my CNN news feed:

President Donald Trump announced on Twitter on Saturday that he will not attend this year’s White House correspondents’ Dinner.

“I will not be attending the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner this year,” the President tweeted. “Please wish everyone well and have a great evening!”

Here’s the damn tweet:

There’s no more information than this. I can’t recall any other President skipping this dinner, which of course is a lighthearted but sarcastic affair, with comedians and others taking the podium to make fun of the President.

Trump, of course, is a narcissist, and narcissists can’t take criticism, especially when they’re sitting there having to listen to it. And this expresses further disdain for the press, which I find reprehensible in a democracy.

Stay classy, Donald!

120 Comments

  1. Diana MacPherson
    Posted February 25, 2017 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    Darn. We could have seen a narcissistic rage when someone robbed him.

  2. BobTerrace
    Posted February 25, 2017 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    The sad-excuse-for-a-human-being-in-chief is a coward.

  3. jeffery
    Posted February 25, 2017 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    Trump’s already proven that he’s a liar;
    He’s already proven that he’s a petty, vindictive little man;
    He’s already proven that he’s too lazy to be properly informed on important issues-
    -and now, he’s proven what I’ve suspected for a long time:
    That he, at heart, is a big, bullying COWARD……

  4. Simon Hayward
    Posted February 25, 2017 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    Every president since it started has attended at least one (it says here) but it’s only been the last 30 or so years that they always go. Last misses were Nixon, ’72, Carter, ’78 and Reagan, ’81 – although Reagan had just been shot so he had a good opt out.

    It may have been his roasting by Obama at this event a few years ago that brought him out….there’s a chilling thought.

  5. Filippo
    Posted February 25, 2017 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    Wikipedia reflects some criticism of the Dinner. Awards and entertainment were apparently the emphasis prior to 1983, prior to the POTUS being the object of derisive face-to-face comedy.

    If Trump must needs attend the event, perhaps he should minimize his narcissism and maximize his masochism and ability to pretend he enjoys being the object of derisive comedy.

    I’m reminded of Lyndon Johnson’s description of being President: “It’s like being a mule out in a hailstorm – you just have to stand there and take it.”

    • BobTerrace
      Posted February 25, 2017 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

      This joker is too childish to stand and take it. He HAS to have a nasty comeback for every perceived slight like the incoherent rant against the Israeli journalist.

      • Posted February 25, 2017 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

        But if he attended, it would give him far more people to ban from his… presence.

  6. Gregory Kusnick
    Posted February 25, 2017 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    This is probably a smart move by Trump (or his handlers). The dinner is a no-win for him; he was humiliated by Obama the last time he went, and if he stands up there and tries to match Obama’s wit at the podium, he’ll be humiliated all over again. There’s just no upside to it for him; he can only come out looking even more ridiculous than he already does.

    • Diane G.
      Posted February 25, 2017 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

      Agree.

      • Mike
        Posted February 26, 2017 at 6:15 am | Permalink

        But he doesn’t see himself as ridiculous,he see’s himself as this Titan of Business, and the best President that’s ever been, while everyone else with half a brain see’s this giant Baby who needs his pacifier 24/7, reminds me of this female character in the Just William
        books by Richmal Crompton called Violet Elizabeth, who when denied some treat would threaten to”scweam and scweam and scweam” until it was given to her.lol

        • Diane G.
          Posted February 27, 2017 at 3:02 am | Permalink

          Well, yes. 🙂 Trump probably frames the decision to boycott the dinner in terms of not deigning to dine and put up with the lying liberal crooked press. Still, it ends up being a smart move for all the reasons Gregory suggests, and I’m sure some of T’s advisers see it exactly that way too.

  7. Jim Knight
    Posted February 25, 2017 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    Class? Trump? Two words that do not go together…

    • darrelle
      Posted February 25, 2017 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

      Indeed. Trump is a perfect example of what “nekulturny” looks like. Just look at the tasteless bling of any of his diggs. I guarantee that Putin has little to no respect for Trump. He probably thinks of him as a nekulturny bufoon that he has a good chance of being able to manipulate to his advantage.

    • Jonathan Wallace
      Posted February 27, 2017 at 6:21 am | Permalink

      Yes – “stay classy” implies that he was classy in the first place. I detect a note of irony in our host’s comment.

  8. Harrison
    Posted February 25, 2017 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    I’m going to make a bet right now that Trump will refuse to attend the inauguration of his successor.

    • Hempenstein
      Posted February 25, 2017 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

      He won’t last that long.

      • GBJames
        Posted February 26, 2017 at 8:05 am | Permalink

        Unless he dies first, he’ll still have the opportunity to not attend his successor’s inauguration.

  9. Randy schenck
    Posted February 25, 2017 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    And the news media will really be sad. Now if Trump could have it at his place, down in Florida and make the rules…

    The one institution that Trump cannot buy is the press. It’s going to be a long 4 years Donald.

  10. Ullrich Fischer
    Posted February 25, 2017 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    “Trump” will be there all right, if not in person then as a (hopefully black for maximum offense) actor from SNL playing him.

    • Karen Bartelt
      Posted February 25, 2017 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

      Just use Alec Baldwin.

      • Walt Jones
        Posted February 26, 2017 at 10:12 am | Permalink

        Or Leslie Jones.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted February 26, 2017 at 11:56 am | Permalink

        Ha ha – didn’t some article accidentally use Alec Baldwin’s as Trump? I remember seeing the headline but didn’t look too closely. I think it would great to send Alec Baldwin. I’d do it if I were Trump, but if I were Trump, I wouldn’t be such a doofus; I’d just not want to go because introversion.

  11. tubby
    Posted February 25, 2017 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    Ehhh.. he’s so thin skinned it’s probably for the best, narcissism aside. Besides, it’s probably a good bet that he’ll be watching it and furiously tw**ting away.

    • Harrison
      Posted February 25, 2017 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

      He may not be able to resist doing so, but it would definitely give the press the upper hand if, after having made a public stink about not going, he still watched the event and livetweeted.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted February 25, 2017 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

        He didn’t make a public stink about not going, did he? Certainly not in that tweet, anyway. If there’s a stink it must have been made by someone else.

        I agree that if he can refrain from tweeting about it, that’s probably the wisest thing.

        cr

        • Filippo
          Posted February 26, 2017 at 4:54 am | Permalink

          I wonder if any of the press feel “cheated” because they’re not going to get to face-to-face deride him, which they already had fair opportunity to do when he attended a couple of years ago when Obama himself got in a few digs at him.

          • infiniteimprobabilit
            Posted February 26, 2017 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

            Could be. And after all, since that occasion, he’s built up a small mountain of ammunition for them…

            cr

  12. BJ
    Posted February 25, 2017 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

    It’s just so pathetic. The man can’t take even the slightest hint of criticism.

    Remember when Colbert stood right next to GWB and the first lady for 28 straight minutes and absolutely mocked them viciously? That was one of the bravest moments in comedy. I still fondly recall it. That was no ordinary White House Correspondents’ Dinner, and while, for someone else, I might say that perhaps they’re worried that’s what will happen, we all know Trump just can’t take any criticism at all, full stop. It doesn’t matter how polite and comedic it is. If you’re not actively praising him, you better not be near him because his ego is just that fragile.

    • pali
      Posted February 25, 2017 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

      My favorite was when W and the W impersonator gave speeches together, with W intentionally repeating a number of his usual mispronunciations (nucular, etc.) while the impersonator mocked him for it. Had to give W props for that – it showed a decent ability to laugh at himself and acknowledge his flaws.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted February 25, 2017 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

        Yeah, W did have a good sense of humour and, in his own way, could be charming.

        • harrync
          Posted February 25, 2017 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

          Yep, like ‘”No weapons over there.” More laughter. Then another picture of Bush searching in his office: “Maybe under here.”‘ Yep, started a pointless war, a few hundred thousand dead. Really funny. But to me, the main thing Colbert exposed was the spinelessness of the press. The TV audience thought he was great; the press at the event gave him a cold reception.

          • BJ
            Posted February 26, 2017 at 11:27 am | Permalink

            The press were too afraid to laugh. To laugh at the President in his presence, and to laugh at themselves for their incompetence and callous disregard for investigative journalism and truth.

          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted February 26, 2017 at 11:52 am | Permalink

            I didn’t say he wasn’t a doofus or that he wasn’t responsible for the world we have today, or the deaths he caused. You can still be all those things and call Putin “Pootie poot” to his face & call Berlusconi “Shoes”.

        • BJ
          Posted February 26, 2017 at 11:29 am | Permalink

          He did have a good sense of humor, and I never thought he was a bad person at heart (unlike the current POTUS). I think he ran a terrible administration and was controlled by some truly awful and, in some cases, even evil people, but GWB himself is most likely a good person with a good heart who made consistently terrible choices and mistakes.

          • Pali
            Posted February 26, 2017 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

            That’s long been my take on him as well.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted February 27, 2017 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

            I’m not sure how funny Dubya was personally, but he had the ability to laugh at himself, I’ll give him that — and that goes a long way in my book.

            The total inability to see folly and humor in one’s own actions (as is the case with Trump) is, I think, a key indicator of psychopathology.

    • Dave
      Posted February 26, 2017 at 9:55 am | Permalink

      Remember when Colbert stood right next to GWB and the first lady for 28 straight minutes and absolutely mocked them viciously?

      Yes, loved it but, at the same time, couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

      • BJ
        Posted February 26, 2017 at 11:26 am | Permalink

        I know, right? It was absolutely shocking. I was breathless the entire time. And the looks on the faces of the President and First Lady just became more and more steamed until they looked like they were going to get up and run away for the last fifteen minutes.

  13. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted February 25, 2017 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    I do have to say that this tweet was polite. “Please wish everyone well and have a great evening”.

    Given that we (justifiably) criticise his tweets when he says something unfortunate, I think we should acknowledge it when he does display good manners.

    cr

    • GBJames
      Posted February 25, 2017 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

      How bad are things when the generous comment is “Trump was polite!”?

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted February 25, 2017 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

        Oh, I agree.

        Mind you, I could never quite understand why any President felt it incumbent on him to put up with an hour of being derided to his face. I suppose most of them felt obliged to in order to show that they could take a joke as well as the last Prez. But I always thought it a bit bizarre.

        On the whole, I think the Donald took the wisest course in the circumstances. If he can avoid tweeting about the evening at all it will probably be the best thing he could do – though he may find that too hard to resist.

        cr

        • GBJames
          Posted February 25, 2017 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

          “Donald” and “wisest” don’t fit comfortably in the same sentence.

      • Posted February 27, 2017 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

        I’ve heard that some experts in psychopathy think it can be dangerous teaching psychopaths the “forms” of morality. Since they are often intelligent, it allows them to “pass” easier.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted February 26, 2017 at 10:50 am | Permalink

      The Donald was being sarcastic there. He actually hopes they all choke on chicken bones.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted February 26, 2017 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

        I think we should only infer sarcasm where it is obvious. I see no sign of it in that tweet.

        Now Trump may be secretly hoping they all do choke, but if so he’s kept it to himself, so I think we should take his tweet at face value.

        (Note I’m not a Trump fan, next time he does something reprehensible I’ll be criticising it like the rest, but I don’t think this is that time).

        cr

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted February 26, 2017 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

          Wow, we’re really grading Trump on a curve here. Now we’re giving him credit for the type of insincere politeness the folks on Capitol Hill engage in a dozen times a day by the time the gavel falls for the noon recess.

          Plus, Trump’s basket of deplorables must be sorely disappointed. They sent him to Washington, DC, precisely because he’s crude and vulgar and eschews such phony political politesse.

          • infiniteimprobabilit
            Posted February 27, 2017 at 1:50 am | Permalink

            Aw, c’mon. Aren’t we in danger of getting into the mindset where nothing he does can ever be right?

            (I hadn’t expected ever to be defending the Trump, frankly. I just don’t think not-attending the press’s party matters compared with, well, the things that do matter)

            cr

            • GBJames
              Posted February 27, 2017 at 7:09 am | Permalink

              This dinner has been a political/cultural ritual since 1920. Only one president has missed it to my knowledge… Ronald Reagan while he was recovering from being shot in an assignation attempt. “Not attending the press’s party” kind of trivializes the situation. But it is in many ways like skipping out on a State of the Union address. It, too, isn’t a technical obligation of government. And if one wanted to do so you could maybe refer to it as “Congress’ party”.

              Trump deserves plaudits when he does something honorable. So far, IMO, he has done nothing to deserve any. A polite refusal to attend this function when he has no good reason to stay away is nothing but his way to give the finger to the 4th Estate.

  14. Kevin
    Posted February 25, 2017 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    I hope he still gets roasted and he sits in a bathtub crying himself silly somewhere in one of his hotels.

    • Posted February 25, 2017 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

      Well, on second thought .. I think it would be MUCH more painful for him if he’s not mentioned at all. Not once.
      The rest of his clique and cabinet .. sure.
      But if Trump would not be mentioned, I’m fairly sure that would have an absolutely devastating effect on him.
      I mean, yes he has a thin skin, but he’s also a narcissist who craves attention.

      • Diane G.
        Posted February 25, 2017 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

        Oooh, so true! 😀

      • RPGNo1
        Posted February 26, 2017 at 1:37 am | Permalink

        I agree. A narcissist whishes to be the center of attention at all times. It would be the greatest punishment to turn a blind eye to him at the dinner.

        • veroxitatis
          Posted February 26, 2017 at 5:20 am | Permalink

          Yes. Perhaps all the jokes should be about members of his Administration and none about him.
          More seriously, let us hope that in time to come he will suffer the Roman fate of Damnatio Memoriae.

          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted February 26, 2017 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

            Ha ha! The worst fate for a narcissist. When I read that, I remembered an emperor who had a hate on for his brother, I want to say it was Galba who had the hate, & he smudged out his face on some wall painting & it just cracks me up when I see it, here 2000 years later because it seems so petty.

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted February 26, 2017 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

          They also like to be around influential, powerful people so sit him at the kiddy table with wieners for the dinner. 😀 We

    • eric
      Posted February 25, 2017 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

      It’s not as comedic to roast someone who isn’t there and doesn’t want to be roasted. That can end up sounding just plain mean. So while I’m absolutely certain they’ll rage a bit on The Donald, I hope his absence will push the invited acts to cast a broader net than they would usually do.

      • Filippo
        Posted February 26, 2017 at 5:05 am | Permalink

        The Washington press corps, itself an apotheosis of humility, shrew-like may have to turn its attention to itself a bit at this event.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted February 26, 2017 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

      “I hope he still gets roasted and he sits in a bathtub crying …”

      Would it be wrong to hope he takes a toaster in the tub with him?

      • Diane G.
        Posted February 28, 2017 at 1:10 am | Permalink

        Oh, c’mon–this is Trump. Surely it’d be a hair dryer.

  15. Randy schenck
    Posted February 25, 2017 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    Narcissism does not usually come with a sense of humor and the humor can never be about them. Everything else is about them but not that.

  16. enl
    Posted February 25, 2017 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    Polite bow-out. I wonder who wrote it? On the other hand, I won a dollar. I bet a co-worker he wouldn’t go. Another dollar would be due if he just hadn’t shown up.

    • Posted February 25, 2017 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

      Yes. I suspect all the “near” polite / coherent tweets are done by someone else. How would we really know?

  17. Diane G.
    Posted February 25, 2017 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

    Win win, perhaps. The press can get even more caustic in his absence; meanwhile the administration can send Pence & the comics can rib him as well–certainly plenty there to ridicule.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted February 25, 2017 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

      What else is a Veep good for?

      cr

      • Diane G.
        Posted February 25, 2017 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

        :D. There is that. (Waits for someone to post the “bucket of warm piss” story…)

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted February 26, 2017 at 11:31 am | Permalink

          They ain’t makin’ ’em like John Nance Garner anymore.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted February 26, 2017 at 11:26 am | Permalink

        Attending funerals … ah, but then we repeat ourselves with the WHCD.

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted February 26, 2017 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

          (Actually, if I can answer my own question: Opening shopping malls, and half-hoping someone shoots the President 😉

          cr

  18. Posted February 25, 2017 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

    Reblogged this on The Logical Place.

  19. Posted February 25, 2017 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

    Devil’s advocate here re Trump snubbing the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. The day before he twitted that he wouldn’t be coming, he gave a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). I watched as much of it as I could stomach, which included his complaining (not to say whining) about the media misrepresenting what he’d said about them earlier:

    “A few days ago, I called the fake news ‘the enemy of the people’–and they are.  They are the enemy of the people. . . . In fact, in covering my comments, the dishonest media did not explain that I called the fake news the enemy of the people–the fake news.  They dropped off the word ‘fake.’  And all of the sudden, the story became, the media is the enemy.”

    And how was this reported in the press? The headline in USA Today, covering the speech, reads: “Trump again calls media ‘enemy of the people.’” My local paper, The Oregonian, has a front page piece that states “Trump used his CPAC speech to repeat his claim that journalists are ‘the enemy of the people.’” What he’d actually said, ad nauseam, was “I am only against the fake news media or press
    –fake, fake. They have to leave that word.”

    Well, apparently they don’t, because they just went ahead and left it out again!

    For the life of me, I can’t fathom why journalists don’t think they have plenty of ammunition by just citing Trump accurately. Be that as it may, this goes beyond sloppy journalism; it borders on vendetta.

    So yes, Trump is a narcissist and perhaps a coward, but I can understand why he might not want to attend a dinner put on by an organization of journalists. In his shoes, I wouldn’t either.

    • Pliny the in Between
      Posted February 25, 2017 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

      Maybe they’ve just wised up and refuse to recirculate his dishonest memes, such as calling any reporting that isn’t foxfawning fake.

    • eric
      Posted February 25, 2017 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

      For the life of me, I can’t fathom why journalists don’t think they have plenty of ammunition by just citing Trump accurately.

      I think they’re just putting two and two together. When Trump blasts out that CNN is fake news on one day, and then a few days later says Fake News is the enemy of the people, CNN is not “misquoting” Trump when they write that he’s saying CNN is the enemy of the people. And that same train of logic holds true for most of the mainstream media.

      I think we can drop the “he didn’t say that!” act. His many consistent comments about the mainstream media I think amply demonstrate that he’s talking about them (among possibly other sources) when he goes off the rails on ‘fake news.’

      • Simon
        Posted February 26, 2017 at 3:31 am | Permalink

        Perhaps they should stick to reporting the relevant facts and leaving the audience to put two and two together. Editorial should be easily distinguishable from factual reporting. I’m sure Fox news had the same justifications for interpreting Obama’s motives. IOKWWDI is not a good rule to live by.

    • Simon
      Posted February 26, 2017 at 3:21 am | Permalink

      The media are about as objective as a carnival fortune teller. The so-called liberal media are every bit as bad, and arguably more underhanded than the likes of Fox. As our host is wont to report, there are no shortage of liars for the cause of anti-westernism who see verifiable facts as obstacles to be countered by denying the existence of an objective reality and by the use of magic dictionaries.

      To me, Trump appears more like a wounded child than an evil dictator. He appears very thin skinned and eager for praise, a mix of astuteness and bumbling incompetence. His presidency thus far has been plagued by naive mis-steps and almost desperate boasts about how smoothly things are running. He could have been written by Mike Judge. The press have revealed their biases, malice and incompetence in their reaction to him. Trump is correct in much of his criticism of them. They display a level of dishonesty and hyperbole that serves to justify the conviction of his fans that he is indeed the anti-establishment figure out to drain the swamp. The liberal media have revealed themselves to be almost as thin-skinned as Trump in their squeals about how he is ‘marginalising’ them. What does that even mean? Their job is to honestly report facts as they see them, and they don’t need Trump to do that. Without the hysterical, overblown language and lily gilding employed by the anti-Trump faction, his shortcomings would be starkly obvious. The signal is being drowned by noise.

      • Pliny the in Between
        Posted February 26, 2017 at 10:24 am | Permalink

        “They display a level of dishonesty and hyperbole that serves to justify the conviction of his fans that he is indeed the anti-establishment figure out to drain the swamp.”

        Can you point us to verifiable sources on this dishonesty and hyperbole?

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted February 26, 2017 at 10:59 am | Permalink

          While he’s at it, maybe Simon could provide a source for the mainstream media’s being “anti-western.”

    • mudskipper
      Posted February 26, 2017 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      This is Trump’s exact tweet:

      The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!

      So he is absolutely calling the mainstream media fake news and absolutely calling it the enemy of the people.

      • Posted February 26, 2017 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

        With all due respect, mudskipper, you and Eric are missing the point. An honest and accurate report of Trump’s tweet would be, “Today Donald Trump tweeted that ‘the FAKE NEWS media’ is ‘the enemy of the American people,’ identifying ‘FAKE NEWS media’ as the NY Times, NCB News, ABC, CBS, and CNN.” What is neither honest nor accurate is to report, “Today Donald Trump called the mainstream media the enemy of the people.” And it goes beyond dishonest or inaccurate to repeat this verbatim in reporting on a speech in which Trump explicitly complained about leaving out “FAKE NEWS.”

        As Simon suggests above, a journalist’s job is to report the facts and then determine, or let the audience determine, if they add up to four; not to determine that four is the desired answer and report only facts that support this.

        • Pliny the in Between
          Posted February 26, 2017 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

          I think many of us don’t imagine such a limited role for good journalism. Good journalism provides synthesis and a greater appreciation of an event in the broader context of events. Trump and the Republicans are good at sound bites and meme generation. When the president paints criticism and legitimate questions about his demonstrably false statements (ex. large numbers of protesters being payed), questionable actions and conflicts of interest as ‘fake news’ it’s not the press that needs to defend itself or reinforce his bait and switch tactics.

          If all they can do is ‘report exactly what is said’, who reminds people about the past such as when Ted Cruz accuses democrats of obstructionism, he had personally tied an anchor chain to the ship of state for the last several years?

          Repeating lies isn’t journalism.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted February 26, 2017 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

          You’re straining at gnats here, mirandaga. The five news outlets Trump cited are about as mainstream as mainstream gets. Plus, both Trump and Cardinal Bannon have elsewhere referred to “the news media” — without qualification or limitation to any specific outlets — as “the opposition party.” Moreover, Trump can cite no stories by the named outlets that were wrong, let alone that constitute “fake news.”

          It also takes some industrial-strength hypocrisy for Trump to accuse anyone else of “fake news.” Trump and his minions are the ones who pushed the stories that Ted Cruz’s father helped assassinate JFK, that Barack Obama “founded ISIS,” and that Hillary Clinton ran a child prostitution ring out of pizza parlor basement, among many other bogus stories.

          • Posted February 26, 2017 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

            Ken, I’ll grant you that reporting Trump to have said that the media is the enemy of the people when he actually said that fake news is the enemy of the people is a gnat compared to some of Trump’s whoppers. But unless we hold, say, the NY Times to a higher standard of truth than we hold Trump, we’re in real trouble.

            • GBJames
              Posted February 27, 2017 at 7:00 am | Permalink

              I’d say that a “higher standard of truth” would include context. Ken is right, you are straining at gnats. Here is Trump’s original tweet. Note the specific news organizations listed as examples of “fake news”.

              • Posted February 27, 2017 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

                I should probably let this go since I’m clearly alone and I hate being in the position of having to defend this idiot. Still. . . .

                “Note the specific news organizations listed as examples of ‘fake news’.”

                I do note them, and I note that they are just that–examples. I also note that they are in parentheses–hence, parenthetical–which means that they can be removed from the sentence without changing the essential meaning. Finally, I note that “FAKE NEWS” is in all caps, which means that it’s supposed to get special emphasis.

                So the essence of Trump’s statement, in context, is that the FAKE NEWS media is the enemy of the people. This is a statement that I, and I’m guessing you and Ken, would agree with, though we might well challenge Trump’s examples of what constitutes “FAKE NEWS media.” I, and I’m guessing you and Ken, would NOT agree with the statement as reported in the press–namely, that the news media is the enemy of the people.

                This fact alone demonstrates my point–that the press distorted Trump’s meaning and that this is sloppy journalism. That they repeated their wording verbatim when Trump called them on it goes beyond sloppy; it’s dishonest.

                Gnat or not, this seemed to me worth pointing out.

              • GBJames
                Posted February 27, 2017 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

                Well, we know exactly what Trump means by FAKE NEWS. He told us. That term is Trump’s shorthand for the NYTimes, Washington Post, CNN, and NBC. There’s nothing to be gained by pretending that maybe, just maybe, he’s means something different from “The NY Times, et. al, are enemies of the people.” The only person I can see distorting Trump’s meaning is you! (Not said as an insult, but this really is a pretty clear situation.)

        • Diane G.
          Posted February 28, 2017 at 12:19 am | Permalink

          “Today Donald Trump called the mainstream media the enemy of the people.”

          I can’t see how that isn’t a perfect summary of the tweet. And, no, you don’t have to repeat once more how you think the “FAKE NEWS” modifiers are so all-fired important. He specified news orgs that are the epitome of the MSM and called them the enemy of the people.

          What if I said, “the STUPID president is ruining our nation?” Would it not also be true that I said and meant “the president is ruining our nation?”

          • Posted February 28, 2017 at 8:33 am | Permalink

            “The only person I can see distorting Trump’s meaning is you! (Not said as an insult). . .”

            No offense taken, GB. Thanks to all for putting up with me.

  20. Posted February 25, 2017 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    The worst thing you can do to an authoritarian demagogue is to ridicule him (or her) in a public setting. The Emperor fears having someone point out that he has no clothes. He has always performed in front of audiences he could control or knew would be friendly. He doesn’t have the ability to laugh at himself which is a very dangerous trait in a POTUS. He HAS to be in control or he doesn’t want any part of an event.

    Jimmy Cater was the last POTUS who intentionally turned down attending the WHCA Dinner in 1978 citing exhaustion. He did attend the previous year, his first in office. Richard Nixon missed the 1972 dinner but had his wife Pat speak for him. Nixon attended the first three dinners while in office. Hell, Nixon even returned in 1973, after Woodward and Bernstein picked up an award for their Watergate reporting. That took some balls which Trump doesn’t possess. No other POTUS has missed attending the WHCA Dinner in its history.

    Trump and his apologists love to dish it out but it is clear that their Dear Leader can’t take it.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted February 25, 2017 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

      Just like how Putin got rid of some comedy show at the beginning of his reign because it made fun of his “get them in he toilets” remark about terrorists. Narcissists ate all alike!

      Here’s an article about comedy in Putin’s Russian.

      • Diane G.
        Posted February 25, 2017 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

        Well, that’s depressing. Certainly shows just how powerful political humor can be, however; what a threat to the self-styled strongmen of various nations (not mentioning any names…).

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted February 26, 2017 at 11:31 am | Permalink

          “Political satire — afflicting the comfortable since the days of Jonathan Swift”

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted February 26, 2017 at 11:43 am | Permalink

          I keep thinking of V for Vendetta where they kill Stephen Fry for making political jokes. Well, not the real Stephen Fry but the character he played, however you could see how the real Stephen Fry could get killed. I always saw myself as someone who has a problem with authority. I respect rules but enforcers bother me. It’s why I knew I’d never make it in the armed forces – it just isn’t me. I’m all about open, honest communication & then mockery when it doesn’t work out that way. I’m sure this has NEVER come across on this site. 😀

          • infiniteimprobabilit
            Posted February 26, 2017 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

            Oh, I’m pretty sure it has come across on this site. 🙂

            I feel the same way, except that I also detest rules that are obviously silly or being misapplied.

            Auckland Airport used to be a horrible example of a building designed for the convenience of its administration and with no regard for the comfort of passengers or people waiting. After an hour of standing around waiting for some visitor to get through customs, I would be in a mood where I was dreading that one of the wandering security guards might speak to me, in which case I would either have to be polite (which would make me feel degraded) or I could tell him just what I thought of his airport, which would not have had good consequences.
            (The airport’s improved since, or I’ve mellowed, or something. Still, I’ve not encountered the TSA yet (and probably never will).

            cr

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted February 26, 2017 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

        Maybe that’s the key to the Trump-Putin bromance — a shared sense of no-humor.

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted February 26, 2017 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

          I can see them wearing matching outfits already, just like Putin & Berlusconi. I wonder if Berlusconi will get jealous.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted February 26, 2017 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

            Berlusconi probably digs Trump’s moob cleavage.

  21. Karen Bartelt
    Posted February 25, 2017 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    Why not invite the most recent former POTUS, and then have Alec Baldwin as a stand-in for Scrotus?

  22. Posted February 25, 2017 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

    Donald Trump is also right wing populist.

    • Dave
      Posted February 26, 2017 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      You mean fake populist.

      • Posted March 29, 2017 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

        No, he is real populist in right wing.

  23. Ken Kukec
    Posted February 26, 2017 at 12:04 am | Permalink

    Given the way Barack Obama absolutely eviscerated Trump at the 2011 White House Correspondents Dinner, for the Donald to return there now would be like George Foreman going back to Zaire, or Bill Buckner to Shea Stadium, or Napoleon taking another trip to Waterloo.

  24. Craw
    Posted February 26, 2017 at 3:56 am | Permalink

    The premise of this post is that the media attendees would make “lighthearted” fun of Trump. I think that is absurd. I think it is entirely clear that the press would not honor that part of the implicit bargain which underlies a “roast”, and would be anything but “lighthearted.” You are criticizing Trump for not accepting the good faith of those who will not act in good faith. Even a narcissist should not be blamed for that.

    • Matthew North
      Posted February 26, 2017 at 5:28 am | Permalink

      Nonsense, all presidents are made fun of at the WHCD. Trump is just afraid of looking foolish. Which is ironic because he can’t help but look foolish simply by being himself.

      • Craw
        Posted February 26, 2017 at 8:58 am | Permalink

        You think it’s nonsense to doubt the press comments about Trump would be “lighthearted “?

  25. Marilee Lovit
    Posted February 26, 2017 at 4:56 am | Permalink

    Trump’s campaign to cast the media as the enemy of the people is alarming and a danger to our democracy.

    • Craw
      Posted February 26, 2017 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      Lese majeste against for profit corporations like CNN!

  26. Posted February 26, 2017 at 5:01 am | Permalink

    I think in his case it’s just as well. This is not a President that we can have a “lighthearted but sarcastic affair” with. His administration’s policies intentionally hurt people and the environment….and that’s no joke.

  27. Matthew North
    Posted February 26, 2017 at 5:23 am | Permalink

    He’s not attending for one reason and one reason only, he’s afraid of being made fun of mercilessly and looking like a butthurt little boy in front of the whole world. He’s infamous for his thin skin and lack of a sense of humor. This isn’t some slap in the face to the Press. This is pure cowardice.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted February 26, 2017 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

      Sometimes cowardice and wisdom coincide.

      I wouldn’t accuse the Donald of cowardice here. I’m sure he’s perfectly capable of attending and ‘returning fire’, just it would be a disaster if he did. I don’t think he’d be capable of attending and keeping his mouth shut and just taking it, obviously he’s aware of this too.

      cr

      • GBJames
        Posted February 26, 2017 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

        It is cowardice. He’s attended twice before and knows how he’ll be ridiculed. He has no sense of humor and consequently zero chance of “returning fire”. He’s a thin skinned narcissist who would need something beyond 3rd grade bully-bluster to be able to handle it.

        He’s a coward. I don’t say that as an insult to him but because he is driven by fear and can only respond by acting tough. That’s a coward’s point of view.

  28. Matthew North
    Posted February 26, 2017 at 5:38 am | Permalink

    “I’ll show em’. I’m not attending that thing. I’m The President now. No one should be able to make fun of me!” “Boo hoo!”

  29. jay
    Posted February 26, 2017 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    Even though Trump has a fairly low approval rating, I saw a survey which found that the media ranked FAR lower.

    I know of at least one woman who was motivated to vote for him by the blatant dishonesty of the press (like the ‘mocking the disabled reporter’ snippet–when she watched the full video it was obvious that Trump had been similarly gesturing all evening before the interaction… a detail the the WP somehow ignored for months afterward)

    Not sure he should play up to them.

    [Obama had contempt for the press (obvious from the statements of Ben Rhodes) and considered them useful idiots]

    • Harrison
      Posted February 26, 2017 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      This is similar to approval ratings for Congress.

      People hate “Congress.” But they like and approve of their representative/Senator. At least when they’re the same party. This is why incumbency is so high which seems to make no sense just looking at the approval rating for Congress in toto.

      Similarly people distrust “the media,” but thing whatever rag they read or spin channel they watch is completely reputable.

      • GBJames
        Posted February 26, 2017 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

        I only like/approve of one of my senators. The other one I detest.

    • Ken Phelps
      Posted February 26, 2017 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      “…when she watched the full video it was obvious that Trump had been similarly gesturing all evening before the interaction… …”

      Bull.
      Shit.
      Trump actually says “you’ve got to SEE this guy” before launching into his caricature. Comparing the very specific movements he makes following that statement to his general palm-waving histrionics is laughable, particularly in the context of the multiple layers of lies he was layering on top of his original lie about Muslims in New Jersey at the time.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted February 26, 2017 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      “I know of at least one woman …”

      Jeez, that sounds like one of those “anonymous sources” Trump was railing against at CPAC (even though the he and his White House use them all the time.)

      So, by our president’s standards, we should disregard your assertion completely.

  30. Ken Kukec
    Posted February 26, 2017 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    Trump is skipping the WHCD because he knows he’d bomb there.

    What’s expected from a president at the dinner is a bit of self-deprecating humor. Trump is utterly incapable of self-deprecation. (He’d rather stand before the media and open an artery than say something that might diminish his brand.) He’s also utterly incapable of humor in any traditional sense.

    Occasionally, the Donald will stumble across a funny line when ridiculing his ubiquitous enemies. But he’s never related an amusing anecdote, let alone told anything that resembles an actual “joke.”


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