President Donald Trump, who rescinded Former President Barack Obama's policy allowing members of the LGBTQ Community to use the restroom of their choice, announced on Saturday that he will not attend the White House Correspondence Dinner, nicknamed the "nerd prom," on April 29, 2017. Although he wished the attendees of the high-profile event "well" and told them to "have a great evening," (ABC News, 2/25/17), Trump's reasons for shunning the event seemed obvious to most observers, especially members of the national media. Since Trump took office in January, his relations with the media have deteriorated explicitly.

Trump's 'Fake News' allegations

Late last week the Trump Administration also banned major news media sources from attending White House press briefings, including CNN, Politico, the New York Times, BuzzFeed, and the Los Angeles Times. Trump alleged that those news outlets produce "Fake News" and quote unnamed, non-existent news sources.

Celebration of the First Amendment

The White House Correspondence Dinner, which has been attended by every president since Calvin Coolidge in 1924, is conducted as a "celebration" of the First Amendment. Under the First Amendment, the press is allowed the "freedom" to search for the truth, ask pertinent questions, and print the facts, no matter where they are found.

Although the press has been a thorn in the side of every president since Washington, the "freedom of the press" nevertheless has been honored by every president, with the possible exception of Richard Nixon, who had an "enemies list" that included the names of several well-known reporters and journalists. Although Nixon did ban CBS reporter Dan Rather from attending his press conferences, no president prior to Trump has ever banned entire news outlets from his press conferences.

It remains to be seen where this is going to lead and what the long term effects of this will be in terms of the exercise of the First Amendment.

FBI stands firm against Trump

Meanwhile, FBI Director Andrew McCabe refused last week to comply with Trump Administration requests to "clear the record" pertaining to a story published by the New York Times.

In that story, the infamous news source stated that Trump campaign officials had conducted regular, ongoing conversations with agents of the Russian government. McCabe, who revealed to the White House that much of the NY Times story was false, nevertheless refused to "clear the record" for the Trump Administration. McCabe's rationale was that it is not the job of the FBI to call "balls and strikes."

'Odds on favorite'

For now, Trump is refusing to attend the most noted annual media event in America and the American People have yet to decide if his move is a "ball" or a "strike." It would seem that the "odds on favorite" is not at all elusive in this case, that is, to everyone except Donald Trump.

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