The White House Correspondents Dinner (WHCD) is an annual affair that raises funds to provide scholarships for gifted journalism students. In past years it has featured notable comedians who often skewer both the press and the politicians who attend the event. The President of the United States is almost always in attendance. However, Donald Trump has been a no-show for two years in a row.
The last president to decline to attend was Ronald Reagan. But he had a pretty good excuse. He was recovering from the bullet wounds of a would-be assassin. Trump’s reason for snubbing the event is pure cowardice. For years Trump has whined about comedians making jokes at his expense. His skin is so thin that it needs a coat of orange primer before he can go out in a light breeze. And many of the targets of his
animated anus (sorry, that was the auto-correct) animus have been comedians that deigned to make him the butthead of their jokes. From Rosie O’Donnell to Bill Maher to Stephen Colbert to Jon Stewart, and so many more, Trump has devoted an incredible amount of time on maligning them personally and professionally.
Trump has focused particular attention on the past guest comedians of the WHCD. The routine by Seth Meyers in 2011 (video below) really set him off, and some say contributed to his decision to run for president as some sort of perverse revenge. But it was last year’s comic, Michelle Wolf, who brought out Trump’s inner (and outer) petulant child. Wolf did a brilliantly cutting monologue that burned both Trump and his surrogate, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who showed up in his place.
The controversy generated by Wolf’s routine has now caused the WHCD to announce that they will not have a comedian next year. It’s a pathetically weak response to controversy by an organization that is supposed to stand for freedom of speech. Instead they will feature a historian, Ron Chernow. And this news has pleased Donald Trump to no end. He even tweeted about:
So-called comedian Michelle Wolf bombed so badly last year at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner that this year, for the first time in decades, they will have an author instead of a comedian. Good first step in comeback of a dying evening and tradition! Maybe I will go?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 21, 2018
First of all, Trump needs to be corrected, again. Wolf bombed so badly that she got her own TV show on Netflix. Poor thing. And she had an epic reply to Trump’s petty criticisms:
— Michelle Wolf (@michelleisawolf) November 21, 2018
Nevertheless, Trump is so thrilled with the WHCD’s decision to host an author that he is hinting that he might actually attend this year. Or more accurately, threatening. Because no one really wants him to be there. His presence would be a disruption wherein he would demand all of the attention and then complain about it afterwards. However, Trump might be sorely disappointed if he musters the gumption to attend. Chernow is not exactly one of the Trump-fluffers that populate Fox News. He has some pointed opinions about Trump that could very well make their way into his presentation. According to Politico:
“During the 2016 election campaign, Chernow said he was disturbed by Trump’s campaign and feared that Americans ‘can forget who we are as a people and succumb to historical amnesia.’
“‘Make no mistake about it, when the past is scrubbed clean and American history becomes a blank slate, Donald Trump or any other demagogue can come along and write upon it whatever the hell he wants. And that disturbs me most of all,’ he said in a video posted on Facebook. ‘Please, please, please folks, don’t let it happen here.'”
A dinner affair with the press is not an especially good fit for this president who hates the media with a passion. And the journalists present surely would object to sitting next to a bloviating ignoramus who just tried to ban a CNN reporter, Jim Acosta, from the White House, and insulted three African-American journalists. As a result of those confrontations, Trump has now issued a decree to “govern the conduct of journalists,” something the press corps certainly won’t tolerate. In addition, Trump’s siding with the murderers in Saudi Arabia who killed and dismembered a Washington Post correspondent and American resident, Jamal Khashoggi, can’t sit well with an organization committed to the welfare of journalists.
However, the prospect of Trump attending the dinner could have a brighter side. It might be worth it to see Trump grimace through twenty minutes of a historian bashing his disrespect for the First Amendment and his Stalinist rhetoric about the media being “the enemy of the people.” The camera picking up his reactions to Chernow’s academically reinforced criticisms could be funnier than any of the comedians that might have been on the bill. Because there is one thing that hurts Trump even more than Melania laughing at his trouser toadstool (h/t Stormy). And that’s looking like a fool. But unfortunately for him, that ship of fools has sailed. And Trump has to eventually accept the fact that “The whole world is
watching laughing. At him.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.