President Donald Trump has cancelled this year’s White House holiday party with the press, according to a Fox News report.
Howard Kurtz reported Thursday that the long-running tradition — in which members of the media attend a Christmas party at the White House to mingle and cheese for photos with the president — would not go ahead this year.
The annual Christmas-season gathering was a significant perk for those covering the White House, as well as other Washington reporters, anchors and commentators, and New York media executives would regularly fly in for the occasion. At its peak, the invitation-only soirees grew so large that there were two back-to-back events, one for broadcast outlets and one for print organizations.
But the biggest fringe-benefit was the picture-taking sessions, in which the president and first lady would patiently pose with guests and briefly chat with them in front of a Christmas tree, with the White House sending out the photos — copies of which were invariably sent home to mom. This would take a couple of hours, with long lines snaking across the building’s first floor. Bill Clinton even posed for pictures with journalists days after he was impeached.
Trump held the party last year, but did not pose for photos with journos. Instead he descended a staircase into the room and gave brief remarks.
Kurtz does note that the White House is holding other holiday parties, to which “favorable” media is invited:
While dropping the media party, the White House is in the midst of a full panoply of other parties this holiday season. Selected media people generally favorable to Trump, including a few Fox News hosts, have made those guest lists.
Read the report here.
[Photo by Olivier Douliery/ Abaca Press]
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