This year, the White House Correspondents’ Dinner won’t have the President there to speak at their annual event, but the WHCD has picked a comedian to host. From the Daily Show on Comedy Central, the key speaker will be Hasan Minhaj. It always helps at the dinner if the host also knows politics and the power players in Washington DC as well as comedy, so picking the Daily Show’s lead correspondent makes complete sense.
Jeff Mason, WHCA president said, “I am thrilled that Hasan will serve as our featured entertainer at this year’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner.” He added, “Hasan’s smarts, big heart and passion for press freedom make him the perfect fit for our event, which will be focused on the First Amendment and the importance of a robust and independent media.”
The annual dinner always turns into a fancy roast where both the Commander-in-Chief and the press corp that cover him all get skewered. However this year, there’s one downer. President Trump won’t be attending. The Cry Baby-in-Chief tweeted that he would not be there and reportedly said his time could be better spent working for the American people. A common thought is that he’s still ass hurt from the merciless verbal beating he took at the 2011 White House Correspondents’ Dinner by host Seth Meyers and President Barack Obama. The President declining the invitation is also believed to be because of his more than contentious relationship with the press or as he calls it, “Fake News”.
Hasan Minhaj used one of Trump’s favorite Twitter words to address the fact that the President wouldn’t be attending. He said, “It is a tremendous honor to be a part of such a historic event even though the president has chosen not to attend this year. SAD! Now more than ever, it is vital that we honor the First Amendment and the freedom of the press.”
After it was first tweeted that the President wouldn’t be at the WHCD, several news agencies started to pull their galas including Vanity Fair, the New Yorker and Bloomberg which all canceled their parties. And when it looked like the night might not happen at all, Samantha Bee from Full Frontal announced that she will be hosting Samantha Bee’s ‘Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner’ special on TBS.
The dinner is more than a comedy roast, it’s also an evening where “proceeds fund the organization and go toward scholarships and awards aimed at promoting aspiring journalists and recognizing excellence in the journalism profession.” Handing out the awards at this year’s Correspondents’ Dinner will appropriately be iconic newspaper men Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, the Washington Post reporters responsible for bringing down President Nixon. Their investigation into the White House “Watergate” cover-up was documented in the Post and in their book, “All the President’s Men“.
Hasan Minhaj will have some experience besides the Daily Show when he hosts the WHCD. Last year, he hosted the Radio and TV Correspondents Association’s Dinner. Plus, in a bit of on-the-nose casting, Minhaj who is Muslim will be hosting the year that President Trump’s failed Muslin bans are sure to be a very hot topic.
The White House Correspondents’ Dinner will be Saturday, April 29th. You can watch coverage of the dinner at 9:30pm on C-SPAN.
I will not be attending the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner this year. Please wish everyone well and have a great evening!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 25, 2017