The purpose being to demonstrate that despite differences, there is a common understanding that people of all stripes and political persuasions can disagree without being disagreeable. According to reports, the only President who missed the event before Trump was President Raegan when he was shot during an assassination attempt…but he did call in!
The Press advances a persistent narrative to make this President seem somehow out of touch with Washington traditions. Missing this diner, they cite, as yet another example. However, let’s examine the situation closer.
No President has experienced the level of outright hatred and distain on the part of the media like Donald Trump. No President has ever been ridiculed and derided the way this man and his family has. No President has had his former private life placed under a microscope like this man. Never a positive article in two years despite some substantial achievements. This defines an objective Press?
The economy is growing, manufacturing returning to American shores, unemployment at an eighteen year low especially among African/Americans, illegal immigration reduced, unfair trade laws under re-evaluation, our military strengthened, ISIS practically defeated, less regulations restricting businesses, taxes reduced, and a more assertive foreign policy that advances America’s interests, not those of a select group of billionaire globalists and elitists.
Furthermore, the issue of North Korea, which has plagued international relations since 1953 may actually find some resolution. At least an attempt is being made to solve this issue to ease some of the tension in the Far East. If this were President Obama, the media would be fawning over his wonderful achievement. Since it is Trump, the media continually questions his ability and knowledge about negotiating such an important matter.
Less we forget, President Obama was a community organizer in Chicago and a state and U.S. Senator lacking a distinguished record. Whereas, President Trump has spent his entire life negotiating extremely large and complicate contracts. Who is better qualified to negotiate one must ask. Also, consider the Iran deal!?!?
Getting back to the Correspondent’s Dinner. With these accomplishments under his belt one would think there might be some modicum of respect for the man… or at least for the nation his position represents. But no. This dinner, hosted by one Michelle Wolf, trying to make a name for herself ala Kathy Griffin, resorted to rude, crude, and vulgar attacks on the President, his family, and staff in a public “black-tie” setting that once represented the best the Press had to offer.
Trump is no angel. He has indeed resorted to attacks that are beneath the dignity of the office of President with some of his Tweets and speeches. He certainly is not articulate. It is too often difficult to defend the man… but the office demands respect and some of his achievements, as mentioned, are worthy of acknowledgement.
It was embarrassing to watch the Press Corps wallow in the filth she spewed with direct, vicious, uncouth, and offensive attacks, not intellectually calculated humorous barbs. C-Span radio cut off the event’s live feed for fear of FCC violations on decency.
Is there any wonder why President Trump refused the invitation? Who would volunteer to sit quietly by and endure such brutal personal assaults? Putting it simply, it was mean spirited bullying from a want-na–be comic trying to make a name for herself to sell her Netflix show.
Responsible members of the media should have walked out in protest. Demonstrating that this has gone too far. But they did not. That sat and enjoyed the character assassination. Which says more about them then they may care to acknowledge. By doing so they further diminished their own low stature… if that is even possible.
Therefore, it is safe to say that if a one hundred years old tradition of Washington civil discourse has been destroyed, the fault lies with the media, not the President. The press has lost all sense of objectivity, civility, and touch with reality in their quest to discredit this President. They have allowed their personal passions to eclipse their responsibility to the American people.
The question is…what happens next year? Trump was proven right to skip this dinner. He has every justification to skip the next. It was a public, personal character assassination… an ambush. Will this long honored tradition die? Or, will it continue as it once did with respect and friendly banter. The ball is now in the Press’s corner. They have to guarantee this will never happen again if they seek to revive the Correspondent’s Dinner. Otherwise, it sadly dies.
They have a duty and responsibility to inform. That means criticizing the President when required. They are not supposed to be his promoters. But neither should they lead the opposition.
What they fail to realize is that it is they, and not the President who is suffering most from these attacks. Trump will be gone in time and another President will occupy the office. But the damage done to the media will remain. They have sacrificed their credibility on the altar of political
“Trust, like the soul, once gone, never returns.” The Press should be mindful of this going forward. They are killing themselves in their unbridled attempts to bring down this President. The White House Correspondent’s Dinner established another new low for them.
At some point, responsible members of the Press have to step forward and say “enough is enough.” America faces some daunting problems around the world and the world itself is in turmoil. We cannot afford to continually undermine our leadership because some elitists refuse to accept the fact that Hillary Clinton lost the election. She lost… get over it…accept it… move on, even if she can’t!
The stakes are too high for such foolishness. The Fourth Estate is too important for it self-immolate as it is doing.
Ron Chapman is an award winning columnist. He is a businessman and history professor and resides in Chalmette Louisiana