It’s wrong to think of them as an industry, or even as an institution. They’re a middle-school style clique, whose members’ chief goal is to perform for the approval of other clique members.
The White House Correspondents’ Association held its annual dinner Saturday night. Who knew? With President Trump and all senior members of his administration staying away, the event passed unnoticed. But Emily Zanotti has an account:
President Donald Trump announced several weeks ago that he would not appear at the annual event…for the third year in a row. For the first time, however, the president said all senior members of the White House staff will “boycott” the event.
That decision came after [Sarah] Huckabee Sanders endured cruel taunts at the hands of last year’s featured speaker, comedian Michelle Wolf. Fearing no Trump administration associate could show up at the WHCA dinner without being personally attacked, despite a longstanding tradition of good-natured ribbing between the press and the president through dueling speeches, the White House simply stopped RSVPing to the event.
Good for them. In response, the Correspondents’ Association dispensed with the usual “comedian.”
The White House Correspondents’ Association responded by making swift changes to the event’s lineup, substituting historian Ron Chernow for the expected comedy act, but it did not tempt the White House back to the dinner.
Interesting that with the White House not in attendance, the Association saw no point in hiring a comedian. Instead, the event turned gloomy.
President of the White House Correspondents’ Association, Olivier Knox, first delivered what Grabien News termed a “dark sermon” on the state of the First Amendment and the all-encompassing fear journalists who cover the president are now feeling.
Fear? Oh, please. Reporters and editors pretend to believe that the First Amendment is somehow in danger from the Trump administration, but they know better. Their real complaint is that the president has used his own right of free speech to expose their mendacity.
“I don’t want to dwell on the president,” Knox said. “This is not his dinner. It’s ours, and it should stay ours. But I do want to say this. In nearly 23 years as a reporter, I’ve been physically assaulted by Republicans and Democrats, spat on, shoved, had crap thrown at me. I’ve been told I will never work in Washington again by both major parties.”
Apparently being physically assaulted, spat on, shoved, threatened, etc. didn’t scare Knox. But Trump does?
“And yet I still separate my career to before February 2017 and what came after,” he continued. “And February 2017 is when the president called us the enemy of the people. A few days later my son asked me, ‘Is Donald Trump going to put you in prison?’ At the end of a family trip to Mexico he mused if the president tried to keep me out of the country, at least Uncle Josh is a good lawyer and will get you home.”
So we are to understand that journalists’ “fears” are based on the musings of small children? Needless to say, the Trump administration has not imprisoned any journalists, nor could it.
Ron Chernow joined in the gloom:
Historian Ron Chernow, perhaps best known for his biography of Alexander Hamilton which inspired the hit musical, also delivered a dark and ominous speech, comparing Trump’s relationship with the press to that of past presidents.
“George Washington felt maligned and misunderstood by the press, but he never generalized that into a vendetta against the institution,” Chernow told the audience.
Unlike Washington’s immediate successor, John Adams, who actually did jail a journalist.
Chernow then cautioned the audience to continue to report on the White House’s factual errors, lest the White House be allowed to whip the people into a frenzy for political gain — as though the press, which just spent the last 22 months pursuing an ultimately non-existent Trump-Russia election conspiracy, was blameless.
What chutzpah! Just about every liberal journalist in America should cover himself in sackcloth and ashes, repent, and take a vow of silence for at least the duration of the Trump administration.
“H.L. Mencken once warned of a political system that would ‘keep the populace alarmed by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.’ We simply cannot allow the press to become an imaginary hobgoblin exploited for political gain.”
Got that? Our “mainstream” press, which has long been biased but is now virtually demented, is an “imaginary hobgoblin.” Keep telling yourselves that, reporters. No one else is listening.