President Trump recently announced via Twitter that he will not be attending the annual White House correspondents dinner.
The historical dinner, hosted by the White House Correspondents’ Association, has taken place since 1921. It has served as a satiric outlet for both sitting presidents and journalists alike. In addition, all proceeds from the lofty ticket sales go toward scholarships and awards that recognize aspiring and accomplished journalists.
Trump refuses to participate due to his belief that the media has treated him poorly, and he claims to be offended. Although Trump may feel putoff by the media, it’s no excuse to sit out on this historic charity event, which he attended many times as a civilian.
Since 1981, no president has ever missed the White House Correspondents Dinner. Ronald Reagan was the last to miss the dinner due to his recovery from a recent assassination attempt.
Even though he was unable to attend, Reagan still made an effort to participate in the dinner by delivering messages by phone to the attendees.
Although Trump hasn’t had a recent near-death experience, he apparently can’t bear the thought of sitting in a room with the same journalists and media companies who have been reporting the supposed “fake news” about him. Therefore, he believes he is justified in breaking this 37 year tradition.
Some might argue that Trump’s decision to sit out the dinner is a valid decision because of all the “heat” he’s been getting from the media, but this is no excuse.
It needs to be made clear that the major news companies have done nothing but present the facts to the public. But even though they’re just doing their job, Trump doesn’t like how these facts make him look to the public.
Trump doesn’t like being presented in poor light, which really means Trump doesn’t like being presented as who he is. And in attempts to defend himself from this horrid bullying from the media, Trump has claimed to be a victim by making statements such as: journalists are “the enemy of the American people” and they deliver nothing but “dishonest” news.
But this isn’t the case. A large majority of journalists and reporters don’t have the opportunity to express their opinions when detailing the news, and it is a responsibility of many media workers to keep their political stance out of the way so they can present facts objectively to their audience.
Not to mention, one of the most important responsibilities of a journalist is to practice proper ethics. For the president to imply the news they report isn’t true is discrediting and disrespectful.
Let’s just pretend for a moment that the media has been making false accusations about him. Trump should still tame his ego and attend this event. This is not just some fancy dinner. This is not a dinner about about the president, even though most of the jokes will be aimed at the position.
This event is about supporting and celebrating journalists, and more importantly, journalism students, the truth bearers of the future.
For Trump to let his ego get in the way of something so important makes it clear, once again, that he doesn’t deserve the honor of being president. As President of the United States, one should be able to set all emotions aside and recognize the significance of events such as this.
If Trump can’t take the heat resulting from his actions, then maybe he should change the way he acts. In other words, if Trump can’t stand the heat, he needs to get out of the kitchen. We have too much on the stove, and people are getting hangry.
Kailey is a senior journalism major.