Credo Action

Tell the media: Skip Trump’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner

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The petition to major media outlets reads:

"Donald Trump has declared war on journalism, a free press, and the truth. Do not normalize his presidency and elevate his dangerous and unconstitutional actions by attending the 2017 White House Correspondents’ Dinner."

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    Tell the media: Skip Trump’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner

    Donald Trump is waging a war on the First Amendment and the basic rights of a free press. Whenever the media reports the truth about his dangerous actions, Trump calls it “fake news,” calls his lies “alternative facts,” and declares the media is deliberately misleading the public. He blacklists reporters and outlets he doesn’t like, and his chief strategist Steve Bannon recently told the media to “keep its mouth shut.”

    On Friday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer went as far as to exclude major mainstream media outlets, including The New York Times, the BBC and the Los Angeles Times, from his daily press briefing.1

    This is a chilling propaganda campaign by the Trump administration, and journalists have an obligation not to normalize his presidency, especially when their institution and our constitution are under daily attack. But the press plans to normalize Trump this April when members of the media elite and Hollywood celebrities converge on Washington for the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

    This year’s dinner celebrating Trump’s presidency is antithetical to a free and fair press. Reporters and media outlets should boycott it.

    Tell the media: Skip Trump’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

    “Nerd Prom,” as Washington insiders affectionately refer to it, has morphed into a week-long event in the nation’s capital where journalists hobnob at fancy events with celebrities and lawmakers, blurring the line between the government and an independent press.

    By attending the dinner and other events celebrating the current presidency, the media is not only tacitly ignoring the attacks on their own accurate reporting, but also the myriad disgraceful and unconstitutional actions already taken by Trump and his administration. This presidency is not normal and the press should be holding Trump accountable, not rubbing elbows with him and his staff.

    Pressure on the media is already having an effect. Publications including The New Yorker and Vanity Fair have announced that they will not host their glitzy galas this year, and CNN is reportedly still deliberating internally over whether or not it will participate.2 Comedian Samantha Bee will host an alternative event to raise money for the Committee to Protect Journalists.

    We must keep up the pressure to ensure Trump’s dinner isn’t attended by any respectable media outlet.

    Tell the media: Skip Trump’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

    Thanks for all you do.

    References

    1. Margaret Sullivan, “Cancel dinner plans. Send ‘nerd prom’ to the history books.,” The Washington Post, Feb. 5, 2017.
    2. Steven Perlberg, "CNN Is Considering Skipping White House Correspondents’ Dinner, Buzzfeed News, Feb. 23, 2017.