The White House Correspondents Dinner is an annual event hosted by the White House Correspondents Association (WHPA), an organisation founded in the early 1900s which is made up of members of the press who cover White House proceedings.
The annual dinner was first held in 1921 and has grown into a Washington DC tradition which brings the presidency and press together. It has also become known for its numerous roasts and hilarious banter – often targeted at those in office. Just last year, the 2016 Correspondents Dinner featured President Barack Obama telling a few jokes about the man who would become his successor.
That same dinner delivered this unforgettable moment – the mic drop heard around the world.
Now, it is Donald Trump’s turn to face the press at this dinner – or so we thought. The US president took to Twitter to announce that he would not be attending this year’s dinner, becoming the first president in 26 years to skip the event.
Jeff Mason, president of the WHCA, has responded to Trump’s comments, pretty much stressing that business will carry on as usual.
“The WHCA takes note of President Donald Trump’s announcement on Twitter that he does not plan to attend the dinner, which 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.
“We look forward to shining a spotlight at the dinner on some of the best political journalism of the past year and recognizing the promising students who represent the next generation of our profession.”
However, it wasn’t just the WHCA who had something to say about Trump bowing out of this event. His tweet spawned several replies, most of which mocked him for ostensibly avoiding a platform where he is likely to be mocked, as is the tradition of the event.
Several others flocked to their timelines to roast The Donald. One guy suggested Donald might have been intimidated by on ongoing rap beef by rapper Remy Ma who has released a diss track targeting Nicki Minaj.
Others simply pointed out the irony of a public figure who loves the limelight and eschews political correctness, avoiding an irreverent press event.
This guy offered a helpful suggestion regarding a potential replacement. Alec Baldwin has done an excellent job portraying Trump in Saturday Night Live skits. Surely, doing this live at an event would be a walk in the park.
There was another category of responses that simply expressed gratitude that Donald would not be at the event.
Yet another camp went down the psychic route, by either postulating regarding Trump’s alternative plans on the night of the dinner or predicting his future.
Of course, this rundown of Trump roasts would not be complete without a nod to those who referenced The Great Trump Takedown of 2016.
With Donald Trump being the butt of so many jokes long before the dinner itself, one can only wonder how far guests at the event will go to roast the Commander-in-Chief. We’ll all have to wait until April 29 to find out.