On the heels of President Donald Trump reportedly telling his administration to skip the insufferable liberal lovefest that is the White House Correspondents' Dinner, CNN's Brian Stelter moaned that Trump not attending the annual event is an "attack against the media."
Stelter — host of the network's "Reliable Sources" program — sat in during "CNN Newsroom" Tuesday and listened to host Brooke Baldwin's introductory pitch: "Say what you will about 'the press.' This is an event that honors the First Amendment."
As you might expect, Stelter knocked that softball toss for extra bases with that rat-a-tat-tat, 1930s sports announcer delivery of his:
Yes, that's what it's about. It's an awards dinner and a fundraiser. In the past, presidents have always shown up even if they were angry at the press at any given time, and importantly it's useful for White House aides to schmooze with reporters. It's helpful for us to get to know our sources. There's some value in these sorts of festive events, but it is, as you said, another example of a tradition at least being put on pause during the Trump age.
'Attack against the media'
But Stelter went deeper than that, adding to Baldwin that Trump skipping the dinner — as he's done in past years — is "yet another example" of "the administration's attack against the media." He added that such attacks take "many forms," one of them being Trump's choice to hold a rally instead of going to the dinner — again, something he's done in years past.
"I do think it matters mostly because of what it means about these tensions continuing to escalate," Stelter added.