President Donald Trump will be in Wisconsin tonight hosting a rally, but a few miles to the east, the annual White House Correspondents Association dinner is being held, starting at 9:30 PM ET/6:30 PT.
It’s the third year in a row Trump has skipped the festivities, which traditionally used to mark an uneasy truce in the adversarial relationship of politics and media. That changed when Trump took office, and hit rock bottom in 2018, when comedian Michelle Wolf delivered a presentation that was roundly criticized for its crude language and vulgarity.
The dinner also has drawn fire for its Hollywood treatment of people who should be serving the public instead of their own egos, particularly since the dinner is intended to honor scholarship winners and fund journalism awards.
But the WHCA group heard the criticisms and did something about it. Instead of a comedian, this year will be hosted by American presidents and statesmen biographer Ron Chernow, whose biography of Alexander Hamilton inspired the hit Broadway musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda.
The program will also honor journalists from The Atlantic, The Washington Post, Fox News and Reuters.
C-SPAN will live-stream the event on its website. YouTube usually archives the dinner and has live streamed in the past, but has not announced any plans for live coverage this year.
Late last year, Trump reacted to the announcement of Chernow’s hosting duties.