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To commemorate that, Trump will hold a rally in Harrisburg, PAa state that went red for him, despite President Obama winning it by a decisive 5.4 percent in 2012. His choice to hold this event during the Correspondents Dinner is a clear finger in the eye of the media establishment, intended to reinforce the principle articulated by White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders that This wasnt a President that was elected to spend his time with reporters and celebrities. It is also a strategy that is clearly trying to reinforce the narrative that the people and the media are two separate and distinct constituencies, with often competing interests. Trump wont have a difficult time achieving that goal for two important reasons. First, confidence in the media sits at historic lows, with the most recent Gallup poll tracking the issue showing that just 32 percent of Americans trust the media a great deal or fair amounta record in the 44 years they have asked this question. Second, the White House Correspondents Dinner suffers from the same sort of optics problems that plague entertainment industry awards shows, and the increasing number of celebrities in attendanceand the introduction of red carpet arrival coverage only amplifies animage of fancy, out-of-touch elites who dont care about regular people. Though many Americans like to watch these types of events on television, they are quick to recoil when things get too preachy. This years Oscars ceremony saw its ratings sink to their lowest levels since 2008, and though a clear reason hasnt been identified, it is worth noting that the coverage leading up to the Oscars focused a great deal on what the political overtones of the event would be. Its perfectly reasonable to suspect that part of this decline can beattributed to viewers finding it unconscionable to have to sit through lectures from people in gowns and tuxedos that are worth more than their cars. The White House Correspondents Dinner has been subject to a great deal of criticism over the years, and is often described as embodying the tongue-in-cheek classification of Washington as Versailles on the Potomac. Trumps snub of this years event has renewed suchcriticisms . There is even derision among reporters inside the beltwayAndrew Beaujon, senior editor of The Washingtonian said of the dinner that if Trump manages to kill it he will have finally accomplished something of substance. Perhaps some of the most ironic comments on its excess and lack of seriousness came from vocal dinner critic Tom Brokaw, commenting in 2013 , Why do we think to have a successful evening, you haveDonald Trump as your guest of honor, for example, or Lindsay Lohan? In an even more comedic plot twist, Brokaw praised Trump in February, saying his first Congressional address was easily the most presidential hes been. Whether its because Trumpisnt attending the dinner, or because he is president in the first place, White House Correspondents weekend here in DC will look a lot different than it normally does.

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