Since the beginning of his 2016 campaign, President Donald Trump has always held an animus toward the press, frequently lambasting them as ‘the enemy of the people,’ and sowing immense distrust of journalists among his base.
As recently as Friday morning, he took to Twitter to continue his pattern of demonizing the press.
The press is doing everything within their power to fight the magnificence of the phrase, MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN! They can’t stand the fact that this Administration has done more than virtually any other Administration in its first 2yrs. They are truly the ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 5, 2019
Today, he confirmed that, yet again, he won’t be attending the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Before Trump’s inauguration, it was traditional for the President to attend the yearly dinner, using good-natured jokes and commendations to remind the public of the need for a free press in order to hold public officials accountable.
However, Trump has created such an openly hostile environment toward the press that he’s yet to show his face at the occasion.
This year will be no different, he confirmed to reporters.
When asked whether he will attend the White House Correspondents' Dinner or hold a rally, Pres. Trump says "I'm gonna hold a rally," calling the dinner "so boring and so negative."
— ABC News (@ABC) April 5, 2019
“The dinner is so boring and so negative…I like positive things.”
Trump said he’d be holding a 2020 campaign rally instead.
While the dinner has traditionally employed comedians as hosts in the past. However, after Michelle Wolf’s controversial set at last year’s dinner, the White House Correspondents Association decided that this year’s host would be historian Ron Chernow.
Though Trump accused the dinner of being “negative,” many pointed out that Trump’s rhetoric plays a part in the dynamic he’s decrying.
His idea of "positive" seems to be saying negative things about people who disagree with him.
— Rochelle Dolim (@MariposaX) April 5, 2019
Gosh I wonder if he’ll talk negatively about the WHCD during his rally
— Brett Hansen (@hitman131313) April 5, 2019
He’s saying something is “too negative?” 🤯
— Stephanie Hoversten (@StephanieHover1) April 5, 2019
Positive things like your rallies? That makes me laugh.
— edebe49 (@edebe49) April 5, 2019