LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — President Trump tweeted Saturday that he was not going to attend the annual White House Correspondent’s dinner.
The tweet said, “I will not be attending the White House Correspondent’s Association dinner this year. Please wish everyone well and have a great evening!”
The annual event has become something of a Washington D.C. staple. In fact, reporters often refer to it as the “Washington Oscars” and “The Nerd Prom.”
Stars, politicians and news makers rub elbows at the no-holds-barred dinner usually with a headlining comedian roasting the president. In fact, in most recent years, media outlets try to out-do each other to see who can get the biggest names to sit at their table.
Trump attended the dinner in 2011 and was excoriated by then President Obama in a series of jokes about his hair, businesses and his being a birther.
“Now, I know that he’s taken some flak lately, but no one is happier, no one is prouder to put this birth certificate matter to rest than The Donald,” Obama said in 2011. “He can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter — like, did we fake the moon landing? What really happened in Roswell? And where are Biggie and Tupac?”
Trump didn’t attend in 2016 and Obama still lobbed a series of insults aimed at his successor.
President Trump bowing out of the dinner comes during a time where he has been openly hostile to the press calling the media “the enemy of the people.”
On Friday, the White House press office banned several outlets — including the LA Times, NY Times, Politico and CNN — from am off-camera briefing. The Associated Press announced they boycotted the event in solidarity.
The White House Correspondent’s Dinner has been held since 1921. Calvin Coolidge was the first president to attend in 1924. Every president since has attended at least once during their term. Ronald Reagan skipped the event his first year but he’d been shot several months earlier.
Prior to Trump announcing he wasn’t attending, several media outlets — namely the New Yorker and Vanity Fair — said they weren’t going either. Rumor also had it that the dinner was having trouble lining up an A-list comic to emcee the evening. Many noted the president had trouble also lining up A-listers for his Inauguration.
Former hosts have included Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Myers, Wanda Sykes, Larry Wilmore, Stephen Colbert, Drew Carey and Jon Stewart.
For more about the WHCA, click here.