I call BS on the White House Correspondents Association

The White House announced today that President Trump will not attend the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner April 28 and that he will send his press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, in his place. Trump also turned down an invitation to last year’s dinner.

As Marjory Stoneman Douglas’ Emma Gonzalez said, I call BS.

Donald Trump has called the media the “enemy of the people.” He constantly calls the press “fake news.” He has said that so often that there is a good chunk of this country that believes that the mainstream media make up stories out of whole cloth. And, there is a good chunk of authoritarian leaders of other countries who not only are using the term “fake news,” they are taking actions against the media. Trump’s approach to the “lying” media has given those leaders the opening to jail or hurt reporters. Trump has threatened that here.

And, Ms. Sanders lies daily to the media on behalf of her boss. I call BS on that too.

The only “fake news” coming out of this Administration is when its appointees open their mouths.

The Correspondents’ Association should not have invited Trump to its dinner. And it should not accept Sanders as a White House representative. I never thought I’d say that neither the President of the United States nor his press secretary should attend this dinner. It had been one of the highlights of the year when I worked in DC. And that’s before having Fawn Hall as a guest opened the doors to A-list celebrities taking the spots normally used by a real reporter. Those A-listers won’t be there this year because they do not support in any way this President.

The dinner once was an event where reporters could invite those they cover, hear a comedian tell jokes about everyone, hear the President make self-deprecating remarks and have nice dinner and drinks. This President wouldn’t know a self-deprecating remark if he said it himself.

When you have a President and his chief spokesman lying daily. When you have Cabinet members like the Environmental Protection Agency’s Administrator Scott Pruitt and others lying about spending money on big raises for their staffs, or defending first-class travel on the taxpayers’ dime or chartering a jet for a one-hour trip that cost $25,000 well, to quote Emma again, I call BS.

The association should not have invited Trump to its dinner. Let’s not pretend this is about good will. It isn’t. Trump doesn’t respect good will. He respects strength. I know, respect the office — and I do. But I do not respect Donald Trump nor do I respect his spokesman who lies from that podium every time she stands behind it. I wouldn’t invite her either — and to hell with trying to establish good relations with a White House that only wants good relations if you compliment the President daily, worship the ground he walks on, and, in effect, bow down to the Emperor who, thank goodness, is wearing clothes.

I call BS.

Former deputy White House press secretary (Reagan and Bush 41) and former head of communications at Republican Natl Committee. My blog: bjaycooper.com.

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