While US President Donald Trump skipped the White House correspondents' dinner on Saturday, April 28, for the second time in as many years, White House Correspondents' Association President Margaret Talev trashed efforts made by elected officials to belittle journalism, the Hill reported.
One of Talev's aims was the president, undoubtedly.
"We reject efforts by anyone, especially our elected leaders, to paint journalism as un-American, to undermine trust between reporter and reader, or to cast doubt on the relevance of fact and truth in the modern age," the Hill quoted Talev, also a White House correspondent for Bloomberg, as saying at the event.
She said it was not about the business of protecting journalism as a business since the business has done well in the last few years. She said it was more about safeguarding a "pillar of American democracy", the report added.
Trump refused to join the dinner, the second time since he took office in January 2017, and instead attended a rally in Michigan where he, among other things, blasted reporters as "very, very dishonest".
At the correspondents' dinner, however, Trump's Republican Party did not exhibit any dissent against the journalists as House Speaker Paul Ryan in a pre-recorded message asked journalists to challenge elected officials and show greater transparency and accountability, the report added.
However, though Trump skipped the dinner and blasted the media and his opponents in another Washington in Michigan, there were voices that defended his move.
People who backed Trump's decision
When the media asked former White House press secretary Sean Spicer about Trump's decision, he said he did the right thing as he thought the president had his way of celebrating the First Amendment and freedom of speech. He said coming to a party did not mean much, the Washington Post reported.
Former White House chief economic adviser Gary Cohen also said that Trump made no mistake by avoiding the dinner as did current White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Kellyanne Conway, counsellor to Trump, the report added.