How To Watch The White House Correspondents' Dinner In 2018 (Even If Trump Isn't There)
Journalists, celebrities, politicians and other assorted media figures will flock to Washington D.C. on Saturday night for the White House Correspondents' Dinner, the annual political event sometimes referred to as the "nerd prom." If you'd like to tune into the festivities, here's how to watch the 2018 White House Correspondents' Dinner in real-time.
If you have access to the internet, the WHCD is mere clicks away: C-SPAN and YouTube will both be streaming it for free. Here's the C-SPAN link and the YouTube link to the event. Just get yourself a laptop, desktop, smart TV or any other device capable of streaming live video from the Internet and you'll be good to go. Both streams begin at 9:30 p.m. ET on April 28th.
It's tradition for the incumbent president to attend the WHCD for some good-natured ribbing by whichever comedian is hosting the event, in this case Daily Show alum Michelle Wolf. President Trump, however, will skip out on the event for the second year in a row, explaining earlier in April that he's boycotting it because "the press is so bad."
"It’s so fake, it’s so made up," Trump told WABC radio. “So I just think I want to get it straightened out with the press before I do it."
The White House Correspondents' Association, which hosts the dinner, said in a statement that although Trump won't be in attendance, the president "will actively encourage members of the executive branch to attend and join us as we celebrate the First Amendment."
"In keeping with tradition, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders also will represent the administration at the head table," the WHCA added. "The April 28 dinner celebrates award-winning reporting, scholarship winners and the vital role of the First Amendment and the free press in American democracy."
It's important to remember that despite its name, the White House Correspondents' Association and the dinner it hosts have no official ties to the White House itself. The WHCA is an independent body that represents journalists who cover the White House, raises money for scholarships and generally advocates for a free, open press.
"The WHCA's mission is to ensure a strong free press and robust coverage of the presidency by advocating for access to the president, White House events and administration officials," the association explains on its website.
Given that mission statement, it's not hard to see why Trump refuses to attend the event, as he's been consistently hostile to the press since taking office (and was so during the campaign as well). A month after taking office, he called CNN, the New York Times, NBC News, ABC News and CBS News — that is, all of the biggest mainstream media outlets — "the enemy of the people," and subsequently booted some of those news organizations from White House press briefings. In October, he mused on Twitter that it might be "appropriate to challenge their License," though it's unclear what licenses he was referring to. He later said that his administration will "take a strong look" at the possibility of changing libel laws to make it easier to prosecute reporters.
The WHCD is sometimes referred to as "nerd prom," given that it's populated largely by wonky, policy-focused journalists. However, it's recently become just as popular of a destination for Hollywood celebrities looking to hobnob with the political elite, leading some to argue that the "nerd prom" moniker should be retired. Recent dinners have been attended by George Clooney, Kim Kardashian, Zooey Deschanel and others.
Although it's unknown which celebrities will be attending this year's dinner, comedian Kathy Griffin announced that she'll be one of them. (Griffin drew controversy in 2017 for holding a prosthetic of Trump's decapitated head.) Instead of attending the dinner, Trump will be holding a campaign rally in Michigan that same night — as he similarly did last year, in Pennsylvania.