President Donald Trump has canceled the annual White House holiday party for Washington, D.C., area correspondents.
“The annual Christmas-season gathering was a significant perk for those covering the White House, as well as other Washington reporters, anchors and commentators, and New York media executives would regularly fly in for the occasion,” Fox News reported on Thursday.
“At its peak, the invitation-only soirees grew so large that there were two back-to-back events, one for broadcast outlets and one for print organizations.”
FNC’s media analyst Howard Kurtz recounted that reporters got to roam the White House bringing a family member, friend or colleague with them, making it a prized invitation.
The biggest fringe benefit was the picture taking at the White House, including with the president and first lady.
The party also consisted of fine fare such as lamb chops, crab claws and elaborate desserts.
Kurtz argued Trump’s decision is not shocking, given his contentious relationship with many in the media.
The president has repeatedly called “fake news” the “enemy of the people,” though he says he supports the First Amendment. He claims all he wants is fair and accurate coverage.
CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta is perhaps the most emblematic of the purveyors of fake news as Trump sees it. The White House pulled his press pass last month, but restored it a little over a week later following litigation in federal court.
CNN contributor April Ryan tweeted she never planned to attend Trump’s Christmas party anyway.
“FYI, I had never planned to attend the White House Christmas party last year or this year. Why break bread with folks who hate you & call you names? (@PressSec & @realDonaldTrump) That is not the Christmas spirit I know. I feel sorry for those who wanted to go and can’t. SAD!” she wrote.
Ryan — who is Washington bureau chief for American Urban Radio Networks — contended in an Op-Ed in The Washington Post last month that the reason the president doesn’t treat her with respect is because she is a black woman.
New York Times Washington, D.C., reporter Glenn Thrush tweeted regarding the canceled holiday party: “It was a nice event — and in general benefitted the WH more than the press in a ‘see-Pfeiffer-or-Rove-isn’t-always-an-a\hole’ kind of way. I suspect Trump doesn’t want to do it because he can’t control the kind of reception he’d get.”
It was a nice event — and in general benefitted the WH more than the press in a ‘see-Pfeiffer-or-Rove-isn’t-always-an-a\hole’ kind of way. I suspect Trump doesn’t want to do it because he can’t control the kind of reception he’d get https://t.co/oiW9NHOCUz
— Glenn Thrush (@GlennThrush) December 13, 2018
Fox Business Network’s Lou Dobbs questioned in a tweet, “Why should @realDonaldTrump invite hateful Anti-Trump left wing media tools into the White House?”
In a more light-hearted tone, columnist Holly Figueroa O’Reilly tweeted, “FINALLY, the leader of the War on Christmas surfaces. Who radicalized him? The Grinch?”
Kurtz noted, while the Christmas party specifically for the media has been canceled, there will be “full panoply” of other holiday parties at the White House to which selected media have been invited.
In addition to canceling the media Christmas party, Trump since taking office, unlike recent previous presidents, has declined to attend the annual White House Correspondents Dinner, which takes place each spring.
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