President Trump was 'the elephant not in the room' at the White House Correspondents' Dinner

Host, comedian Hasan Minhaj speaks on stage during 2017 White House Correspondents' Association Dinner
(Image credit: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

The White House Correspondents' Dinner carried on in President Trump's absence Saturday evening, and Reuters' Jeff Mason, president of the White House Correspondents' Association, took the occasion to push back against Trump's "fake news" accusations. "We are not fake news, we are not failing news organizations, and we are not the enemy of the American people," Mason said. "Freedom of the press is a building block of our democracy. Undermining that by seeking to delegitimize journalists is dangerous to a healthy republic."

The dinner's host was The Daily Show's Hasan Minhaj, who did address free speech — "Only in America can a first generation Indian American Muslim kid get on this stage and make fun of the president!" — but spent much of his time skewering the absent Trump, "the elephant not in the room."

"Trump is liar-in-chief, and remember, you guys are public enemy No. 1," Minhaj said. "You are his biggest enemy. Journalists. ISIS. Normal-length ties. And somehow, you're the bad guys."

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Full Frontal's Samantha Bee held a competing event, "Not the White House Correspondents' Dinner," addressing similar themes. Watch Minhaj's full speech below. Bonnie Kristian

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Bonnie Kristian

Bonnie Kristian was a deputy editor and acting editor-in-chief of TheWeek.com. She is a columnist at Christianity Today and author of Untrustworthy: The Knowledge Crisis Breaking Our Brains, Polluting Our Politics, and Corrupting Christian Community (forthcoming 2022) and A Flexible Faith: Rethinking What It Means to Follow Jesus Today (2018). Her writing has also appeared at Time Magazine, CNN, USA Today, Newsweek, the Los Angeles Times, and The American Conservative, among other outlets.