For years those of us in the media who have dedicated our careers to honest, fair coverage of both political parties have sat back in shame and disgust as many of our colleagues prostrated themselves at the feet of power in Washington, D.C., via the annual White House Correspondents Dinner, an affair even seasoned establishment journalist Tom Brokaw can’t stand to attend (so he doesn’t).
“But I think any organization…has to have a kind of self-policing instinct and what we’re doing with that dinner, as it has been constituted for the past several years, is saying, ‘We’re Versailles. The rest of you eat cake,’” Brokaw has said about the dinner. His breaking point was when someone dragged actress Lindsay Lohan, who is habitually entering some rehab program or another, to the affair in 2013. “She became a big star at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Give me a break.”
Now, the shoe is on the other foot. The other half of this disgraceful melding of political power with the media, the president of the United States, is opting out of the affair in what appears to be Donald J. Trump’s latest backhand to a wholly corrupt and ideologically-driven Washington media establishment. (RELATED: In the 1930s, Adolf Hitler arrested and executed ‘fake news’ journalists who rightfully claimed that Jews were being exterminated)
“I will not be attending the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner this year. Please wish everyone well and have a great evening!” Trump tweeted on Saturday. Once again, our president fully understands what is and is not truly important in his quest to – dare I say it? – Make America Great Again.
As The Hollywood Reporter noted, Trump’s decision to skip the WHCD follows a White House decision earlier in the week to exclude The New York Times, CNN, Politico and Buzzfeed News from a press gaggle.
The National Sentinel reported on that freeze out:
The princelings of the so-called “mainstream media” still don’t seem to understand a couple of things since Donald J. Trump ascended into the Oval Office January 20: They are not the purveyors of influence and public opinion they thought they were, and this White House has had it with the false narratives and fake news reporting so many of them live on.
The dinner, which is scheduled for April 29, has become little more than a ‘show’ and an amazingly tone-deaf display of just how symbiotic the establishment media has become with the people they are supposed to cover (and expose, unbiasedly). But White House Correspondents’ Association President Jeff Mason (yes, there really is a White House Correspondents’ Association, and it really does have a president) is still trying to pretend that this event is important to people other than the attendees when he said in response to Trump’s bowing out that the dinner “has been and will continue to be a celebration of the First Amendment and the important role played by an independent news media in a healthy republic.”
If you haven’t tweeted “LOL!” and “ROFL!” back at Mason yet, here’s your chance.
The founding fathers would be disgusted by so many things today if they were somehow reincarnated and could see what we’ve done with the nation they birthed (and that would go for both sides of the political spectrum, though conservatives are generally much bigger defenders of constitutional originalism), but what has happened to “the media” in America would certainly be high on their list.
They enshrined freedom of the press in the very first amendment to the Constitution because they knew that a free press was the only way to hold to account those elected to office. (RELATED: #SaveNaturalNews White House petition blasts through 40,000 signatures as internet outrage against Google censorship explodes everywhere)
Ben Franklin was among the most prolific defenders of this principle. He once said, “If all printers were determined not to print anything till they were sure it would offend nobody, there would be very little printed.”
John Adams, our second president, said, “The liberty of the press is essential to the security of the state.”
Thomas Jefferson, our fourth president, noted: “Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”
Clearly, these great men, these magnificent architects of the freest form of government ever devised, wanted the “free press” to afflict the comfortable, and comfort the afflicted. Obviously, then, they envisioned a more adversarial relationship between the media and elected officials (not just Republicans).
Trump ditching the WHCD is less an affirmation of the founders’ principles behind a free and independent media than it is a message to the corrupt media establishment that, to him, there are much more important things for the country than dining with the enemy.
But that’s okay too.
J.D. Heyes is a senior writer for NaturalNews.com and NewsTarget.com, as well as editor of The National Sentinel.