The White House Correspondents’ Dinner was an often overlooked event until 2017, when the former guy was a newly sworn-in president and refused to attend – the first time an incumbent president missed the dinner since Ronald Reagan was recovering from an assassination attempt.
The message Trump was sending by not attending was clear – even if he said it was because the press was being mean to him – he doesn’t particularly care for freedom of the press and he has skin too thin to deal with the criticism that pretty much any world leader of a democracy has to deal with when they agree to the job. Unfortunately, after what happened in 2017, the Correspondents’ Dinner seemed to try to bow to Trump by inviting biographers and historians to speak rather than having a comedian host the event.
One of the many good things about the former guy no longer being in power, however, is that we have a president who isn’t afraid of the press and what they think of him and proudly took the stage on Saturday during the annual dinner where he poked fun at Republicans like Kevin McCarthy and Marjorie Taylor Greene, in what was one of the best lines of the evening.
In doing so, he reminded us that not only are Republicans fearful of the press, but they usually have incredibly thin skin despite the images of toughness they try to project. He’s giving a much overdue green light that we don’t need to respect their ideas as long as they’re reckless and out of touch with reality.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making