Donald Trump is set to become the first POTUS to cancel attending the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in Over 30 Years.
The event that will be held on 29 April is a meeting point for journalists, celebrities and politicians – usually graced by the President, reports CNN.
But Trump has confirmed that he will not be part of the dinner after having constantly complained of fake news negatively targeting him.
This announcement has been made at a time when the relation between White House major media outlets hasn’t been all smooth.
Some of the media outlets he has from to time stood against include CNN, BBC, the New York Times and Buzzfeed – all of which were barred from an off-camera informal briefing on Friday. The briefing was done by White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.
Some few hours before the briefing, Donald Trump had held a strong attack on the media outlets accused of spreading fake news while citing unnamed sources. He termed the fake news “an enemy of the people.”
Trump took to his Twitter account to announce that he would not be part of the correspondents’ dinner.
“I will not be attending the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner this year. Please wish everyone well and have a great evening!” he wrote.
The New Yorker magazine and Bloomberg News are some of the media firms which have already cancelled their after-parties for 2017.
Different fractions have also called upon media houses to cancel their plans to attend the event.
‘A unifying dinner’
The annual dinner that is planned to take place on April 29 is usually hosted by a comedian who roasts media outlets and then allows the President time to crack his own jokes.
Some few hours after the President’s tweet, the White House Correspondents’ Association announced that they would still carry forth with the events’ preparation despite the President’s absence.
The association President Jeff Mason said via a statement that it had taken note of the President’s decision not to grace an occasion that has from time to time championed and will continue to champion for 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 2011 White House correspondents’ dinner
In 2011, Trump was part of the event during Barack’s reign and the former President took time to roast the current President.
The White House Correspondents’ Dinner dates back to 1921, with first POTUS to attending it being Calvin Coolidge in 1924. The dinner has so far been attended by 15 presidents.
Ronald Reagan became the first president to cancel attending the dinner in 1981, citing that he needed time to recover from a gunshot wound in a failed assassination attempt on his life some few prior to the set date.
But despite not attending physically, Reagan made a call and made some quick remarks.
“If I could give you just one little bit of advice,” Reagan quipped over the phone, “when somebody tells you to get in a car quick, do it.”
Most political experts believe it is his attendance of the 2011 dinner that he got the interest to join politics. During the campaign period last year, Trump said that he loved the dinner.