Donald Trump is about to become the only president since 1981 to miss the White House Correspondents Dinner. The last was President Ronald Reagan. But he had a real excuse: he’d been injured in an assassination attempt.
Dean Obeidallah surmised Sunday in a CNN op-ed that Trump’s real reason is that he hates being laughed at. Obeidallah had suggested it would be Trump’s staff who’d spin the reason as the “dishonest media” but it turned out it was Trump himself who used this excuse.
This morning, Trump explained his reasons to Fox & Friends saying that “in light of the fact of fake news…I thought it would be inappropriate” to go to the WHCD. He insisted that while he has “great respect for the press” it would be better he didn’t go.
Makes all the sense in the world. Reminded that he had previously said “I can take hits when it’s justified,” Trump suggested that the hits are not justified.
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) February 28, 2017
“Honestly, if I do that, if that does happen and if I take a hit…But over the years, you make a mistake I fully understand why they hit you. But when they make stories up, when they create sources, cause I believe that sometimes they don’t have sources, you know the sources don’t exist, and sometimes they do have sources…but I believe that a lot of the sources are made up, a lot of the stories are made up, I believe a lot of the stories are pure fiction they just pull it out of air. I just thought in light of the fake of fake news and all the other things we’re talking about now I thought it would be inappropriate…Look, I have great respect for the press, I have great respect for reporters and the whole profession. With all that being said I just thought it would be better if I didn’t do the dinner.”
While Trump allowed for the theoretical possibility that he could be wrong and actually deserve “taking a hit” as he called it, he vehemently denied that he deserved any of the hits he has taken as president, which can only mean that he is completely deluded, or shades of Dr. Strangelove intends to ride his lies all the way to the end.
Donald Trump has no respect for the press. Actions speak louder than words and even his words are unequivocal as he berates and insults those who asks questions he doesn’t like.
Trump also allowed for the possibility that he might do the dinner next year, perhaps in his mind when the press has been contained and controlled or silenced altogether, but not this year.
This year he is pouting about the press doing what the press is supposed to do, as George W. Bush put it yesterday, holding the powerful to account because power is “addictive and corrosive.”
Trump is living proof of Bush’s warning. The press is reporting on the facts of his administration and Trump is acting like a child taken to task by the adults. There is literally nothing Trump does that cannot be explained most simply as the behavior of a petulant child, and that is precisely what we are seeing here.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.