CNN's Brian Stelter claimed on Tuesday that Trump administration officials skipping the White House Correspondents' Dinner constituted an "attack against the media."
The Washington Times reported on Tuesday that Trump is going to skip the event, for the third year in a row, and that White House Cabinet Secretary Bill McGinley "announced that all Trump administration officials are being ordered to boycott the dinner."
"The president and members of his administration will not attend the White House Correspondents Dinner this year," a senior administration official told The Times on Tuesday. "Instead, Saturday evening President Trump will travel to Green Bay, Wisconsin where he will hold a campaign rally."
In a clip flagged by NewsBusters' Curtis Houck, Stelter made the remarks on "CNN Newsroom" with Brooke Baldwin.
"It is an awards dinner and a fundraiser," Stelter said. "In the past, presidents have shown up even if they were angry at the press at any given time and, importantly, it’s useful for White House aide to schmooze with reporters."
"It’s helpful for us to get to know our sources," Stelter continued. "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. Here’s what the Correspondents’ Association says. They said, basically, they don't mind either way and this event is about celebrating journalists and the First Amendment and so the show will go on. There is the statement about this weekend's dinner and dinners in the future."
"But look, it’s yet another example of what we’re seeing. This administration’s attack against the media takes many forms," Stelter concluded. "One form is the President having a rally this Saturday instead of attending the dinner and I do think it matters mostly because what it means about these tensions continuing to escalate. It makes you wonder, you know, there’s been all this talk in the Mueller report about the President making orders, making orders and then being ignored. Yesterday he told Kaitlan Collins nobody disobeys my orders and then what happens today? An order not to attend the dinner this weekend. Makes you wonder if that’s all a coincidence or not."
Stelter's spin, that Trump is attacking the media by not attending a media event, is dishonest at best as it ignores the overwhelming attacks Trump administration officials have faced from the media and the overwhelmingly negative coverage news networks, especially CNN, gives the administration on a daily basis.
Here are some of the responses that Stelter's comment elicited on social media:
"[email protected] thought the deplatforming of Alex Jones was a cause for celebration," The Blaze's Jon Miller tweeted. "For him to now talk about how Trump not attending some dinner is an 'attack against the media' and to suggest that it has anything to do with the first amendment is utterly hilarious."
"How did this guy ever get a show called 'Reliable Sources'?" Dan Bongino tweeted.
"TDS is a helluva condition," Benjamin Weingarten tweeted.
"No, it’s not," Ned Ryun tweeted. "Not even close."