CNN will boycott this year’s White House media Christmas Party because of President Donald Trump’s repeated criticism of the network, a spokesperson confirmed Tuesday.
The event, which is scheduled for Friday at 2:00 p.m. EST, is typically a chance for members of the press to mingle with White House staff in a less aggressive setting than press conferences.
“CNN will not be attending this year’s White House Christmas party,” a CNN spokesperson said. “In light of the President’s continued attacks on freedom of the press and CNN, we do not feel it is appropriate to celebrate with him as his invited guests. We will send a White House reporting team to the event and report on it if news warrants.”
Trump has described CNN as “fake news” and the “enemy of the American people.” A Harvard study in May documented the network’s anti-Trump bias and found that while the President dominated news coverage in his first 100 days, that coverage was almost entirely negative — with 93 percent of CNN’s coverage critical of the Trump administration.
Sensitivity is reportedly high at the network over its increasingly damaged reputation following an array of fake news blunders, which include the manipulation of quotes, selectively editing videos, and the publication of fake news stories. In June, three employees resigned following a Breitbart News investigation into a false hit piece on President Donald Trump and his associates.
On Sunday, Trump attacked the network again for “[representing] our nation to the world very poorly,” and later proposed a “fake news trophy” for their political coverage.
We should have a contest as to which of the Networks, plus CNN and not including Fox, is the most dishonest, corrupt and/or distorted in its political coverage of your favorite President (me). They are all bad. Winner to receive the FAKE NEWS TROPHY!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 27, 2017
Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders celebrated the news that CNN would not be attending, describing it as “Christmas [coming] early.”
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) November 29, 2017