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The White House Correspondents’ Association has announced that comedian Hasan Minhaj will host the organization’s annual dinner on April 29.
The Daily Show correspondent said he looks forward to the event and mocked Donald Trump for refusing to attend.
“It is a tremendous honor to be a part of such a historic event even though the president has chosen not to attend this year. SAD! Now more than ever, it is vital that we honor the First Amendment and the freedom of the press,” said Minhaj in a statement.
“I am thrilled that Hasan will serve as our featured entertainer at this year’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner,” said Jeff Mason, WHCA president and White House correspondent for Reuters. “Hasan’s smarts, big heart and passion for press freedom make him the perfect fit for our event, which will be focused on the First Amendment and the importance of a robust and independent media.”
Mason continued, “The White House Correspondents’ Dinner, which U.S. presidents have attended for decades, supports the work of the WHCA. Proceeds fund the organization and go toward scholarships and awards aimed at promoting aspiring journalists and recognizing excellence in the journalism profession.”
Trump has said he plans to skip the event, making him the first sitting president to do so since Ronald Reagan missed the dinner after being shot in an assassination attempt. (Reagan instead called in to the event.) White House staff said they will also not be attending, in “solidarity” with Trump.
In January, before Trump said he wouldn’t attend the WHCA event, Samantha Bee revealed she will emcee an event called “Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner” on the same evening. Proceeds will benefit the Committee to Protect Journalists.
The dinner is usually the biggest Washington, D.C. social event of the year, with multiple celebrities and outlets attending. Even before Trump said he refused to attend outlets were speaking about boycotting it, due to Trump’s strained relationship with the media.
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