So Trump announced over the weekend that he’s skipping the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. That’s the one where everybody gets dolled up and kinda roasts each other but also kinda laughs and pretends like it’s all okay. Where all of Washington — from the elected officials to the media that covers them — gets sauced up and schmoozes and some people do standup routines. It’s good TV, sure, but it’s a perfect embodiment of EXACTLY what Trump campaigned against. He said he wanted to be the outsider, to change Washington, to expose its hypocrisy, to “drain the swamp,” to do things NOT the typical “this is what the guy before me did” way. He campaigned to run the executive branch HIS way — the Trump way.
He campaigned as the guy that’s seen Washington from the other side of the table and, therefore, knows its flaws. That’s taken advantage of those flaws. That’s laughed at and exposed those flaws. This move is right in line with Candidate Trump’s brand. Fuck schmoozing with Washington and media elite; fuck putting on a smile and a facade and tip-toeing around some fancy ballroom; fuck buttoning up tuxedos and pretending like you’re all best friends. There’s real work to do and the White House Correspondents’ Dinner isn’t top priority on that list. In fact it’s not even really on that list so Trump took it off.
He wasn’t alone in bailing and it isn’t one-sided. From Wash Post:
Vanity Fair, the New Yorker and Bloomberg canceled their parties, which usually draw celebrities. Comedian Samantha Bee announced in January that she was planning an alternative event on the same night for “journalists and non-irritating celebrities from around the world.” (Its tentative name: “Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.”)
The mainstream media has already begun to paint this as Trump blocking out the media. There’s some truth and concern to that in other moves the Trump Administration has made, but not in this. This I have no problem with. This I believe Trump likely would’ve skipped anyway and, had his presidency gotten off to a smoother start, been praised for. Like I said, it’s in line with political Trump’s brand — screw the establishment media and establishment politics, we’re a movement and we’re here to do it our way.
Whether you agree with that or not, you can’t blame him for skipping. Now let’s hope he gets some actual work done instead of just chilling in his robe watching Fox.
PS — But also a little surprised he doesn’t want to victory lap this room. Would be a pretty triumphant return from its 2011 condition.