CNN might not attend White House correspondents’ dinner
CNN might skip the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner in April, according to BuzzFeed News.
Two sources familiar with the matter told BuzzFeed the network is still “discussing internally” if staffers will be sent to the April 29 event at the Washington Hilton.
“We haven’t made a decision,” Matt Dornic, CNN’s vice president of communications, told The Hill on Friday.
MSNBC has also not decided whether to attend the event, a source familiar with the situation told The Hill.
In recent years, CNN has covered the event extensively, with reporters on the red carpet interviewing the celebrities and media stars in attendance. CNN anchors Don Lemon, Wolf Blitzer and Jake Tapper, among others, were on hand for last year’s event with former President Obama.
But CNN has been feuding with President Trump, who has repeatedly blasted the network’s coverage of his administration as “fake news.”
Vanity Fair and The New Yorker announced in January they would not be attending the dinner this year as a protest against Trump’s attacks on the press.
The dinner is traditionally attended by the president, first lady, senior administration officials, the White House press corps, and most major media outlets and publications, and is considered the biggest social event of the year for political Washington.
Major Garrett of CBS News confirmed earlier this month that his network will be attending the dinner.
“My outlet, CBS News, will participate this year and proudly so. If they back out now, organizations that attended last year ought to explain what is different about this year,” Garrett wrote in a Washington Post opinion piece on Feb. 10.
“Is it Trump? Or is it them? Skipping needlessly hands an evidentiary cudgel to Trump and his acolytes that reporters cannot and will not cover his presidency objectively,” Garrett added.
CNN is owned by Time Warner, as is TBS. It was announced last month that TBS’s Samantha Bee, host of “Full Frontal,” will be heading a counter-event to the event dubbed “Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.”
“We try to as much as possible raise awareness for causes we care about and this is no exception,” Bee said in a conference call following the announcement. “Obviously, the press is under attack.”
A host for this year’s correspondents’ dinner has not been announced. The role is typically filled by a comedian.