U.S. President Donald Trump will not be attending the correspondents’ dinner that marks his 100th day in office. As opposed to the black-tie dinner, the President chose to hold a rally in Pennsylvania to speak to the same people who sent him to office. Analysts say that Trump may have launched his bid for the presidency at the dinner which he chose not to attend.
In the midst of heightened tensions with the media in early February, Donald Trump announced that he would not be attending the White House correspondents’ dinner Saturday night. This essentially made him the first President since Ronald Reagan to miss the event. However, Reagan missed it to nurse injuries from an attempted assassination. Despite not being part of it, he sent his message by phone.
Trump’s campaign-like rally is being held in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, one of the states he wasn’t expected to win. The main aim of this rally is to remind his ardent supporters that he has kept his campaign promises.
I group of actors in Washington
Just some minutes into his speech, Trump took the opportunity to castigate the media, telling of how thrilled he was to enjoin his supporters far from Washington.
“A large group of Hollywood actors and Washington media are consoling each other in a hotel ballroom in our nation’s capital right now… They are gathered together for the White House correspondents’ dinner without the President,” he said.
The event was from the onset marked by Trump’s absence from the dinner, with White House Correspondents’ Association President Jeff Mason receiving standing ovation for his declaration that the media isn’t an enemy of the people – watering down Trump’s first attack to the press.
He said that the night looked different but the event’s values remained unchanged. The main reason for this gathering is to celebrate the press and not the presidency, he declared.
As much Trump is skipping this opportunity to mingle and tell jokes with the media, which he has constantly lambasted as fake news, his final lap to 100th day in office has seen him conduct more sit-in interviews since swearing in.
His administration has been hugely marked by rising tensions between the presidency and news organizations.
News Organizations cancel event
But long before Trump cancelled his attendance to the event, some news organizations had already withdrawn from it. Among the first ones to do so are Vanity Fair and Bloomberg, which holds a star-studded after party while The New Yorker announced that it would not host its customary pre-party that would have happened on Friday.
The dinner got public attention for attracting A-list celebrities but its main purpose is to raise money for journalism scholarships. As many celebrities and the President skipped the event, most media companies chose to invite journalism students to be their guests instead of celebrities.
Trump last attended the event in 2011 when he was a reality-TV star who had just joined politics by being part of the “birther” movement calling on former President Barack Obama to release his birth certificate. That night Trump was on the receiving end of jokes by comedian Seth Meyers and Obama himself.