“Historically presidents have felt that it’s important to send the signals, both to Americans and to the rest of the world, that they support this sort of quintessential part of American democracy, the First Amendment,” correspondents association president Margaret Talev said on CNN Saturday morning.
Trump evidently believes it’s politically advantageous to snub the affair and hold a rally instead. “Big crowd tonight, will be live on T.V.,” he tweeted on Saturday morning.
He likes the contrast — pictures of journalists at a fancy party on one side, pictures of his supporters cheering for him on the other side.
No doubt, the weekend full of media-related festivities can seem excessive. But there’s a long tradition of the executive branch recognizing — even begrudgingly — the role of the press in a democratic society.