The annual White House Correspondent's Dinner is on Saturday, and it will be noticeably emptier than usual. President Trump will become the first sitting president in decades to voluntarily skip out on the event, news organizations like The New Yorker have cancelled their traditional sponsor parties, and comedian Samantha Bee is boycotting the dinner by hosting her own event at the same time. And based on his past comments, it's safe to guess that Last Week Tonight host John Oliver won't attend the White House Correspondents' Dinner.
"Who gives a sh*t?" Oliver told TMZ in February when asked about his opinion of Trump not attending the dinner. "There are thousands of things that are more concerning than ... him [Trump] not going to a dinner, which is kind of bullsh*t anyway.”
The dinner has historically been seen as an opportunity to celebrate the working relationship between the press and the president while raising money for journalism student scholarships. Trump's decision to skip the event, which he announced via Tweet, was interpreted by many as a sign of increasing hostility between the president and the media.
Oliver, however, doesn't share this view. "I don't care," Oliver said about Trump's absence, despite the fact that it breaks with decades of tradition.
Oliver went on to say that the controversy surrounding this year's White House Correspondents' Dinner has been significantly overblown. Still, the event will be unconventional to say the least, especially given that many members of the press will be boycotting the event in response to Trump's absence.
I don't think they should be spending their energy too much boycotting that than trying to find a way to intellectually wrestle with this administration. That whole event already has way too much focus on it. The White House Correspondents' Dinner is kind of an unearned celebration on both sides.
When asked if he would instead be attending fellow former Daily Show correspondent Samantha Bee's protest event "Not The White House Correspondent's Dinner," Oliver responded, "no."
Clearly, Oliver has no interest in giving any more attention to the WHCD than he thinks it is worth. As a late night host who regularly spends a full twenty minutes each week lambasting the Trump Administration's policy proposals — with no shortage of profanity — Oliver believes it's more important to focus on the issues that can significantly affect the country than on an elaborate dinner. That being said, I would bet Oliver probably won't be in attendance.