President Trump will probably stay away from this year's White House Correspondents Association dinner, but the show must go on. And who will have the chance to headline the event on April 29? Well, that would be The Daily Show's Hasan Minhaj, a comedian who happens to be Muslim and the son of Indian immigrants. Quite fitting, right?
In a press release about the dinner, the Daily Show's senior correspondent made a tongue-in-cheek reference to the president's Twitter style and talked about the importance of the First Amendment.
"It is a tremendous honor to be a part of such a historic event even though the president has chosen not to attend this year. SAD!" he said. "Now more than ever, it is vital that we honor the First Amendment and the freedom of the press."
Jeff Mason, the president of the Correspondents Association and a White House reporter for Reuters, made the announcement on MSNBC's Morning Joe Tuesday. He said that this year's dinner will be "different" without the president there, and added that Minhaj "brings comedy chops, but he also brings heart ― and I think that we’re going to see that at this dinner."
"I was not looking for somebody who is going to roast the president in absentia; that’s not fair and that’s not the message we want to get across," he said. "I was looking for somebody who is funny and who is entertaining, because I want the dinner to be entertaining, but who can also speak to the message that the whole dinner is going to speak to: the importance of the free press."
In a statement, Mason says the event "will be focused on the First Amendment and the importance of a robust and independent media."
Trump was famously the butt of jokes from President Barack Obama at the 2011 dinner. He announced in February that he wouldn't attend the dinner this year.