It's about time! Dana Milbank has finally said publicly what his colleagues at The Washington Post were saying privately: his newspaper's courtship of birther Donald Trump is an embarrassment. Ever since it was announced that Washington's most-respected newspaper formally invited The Donald to the White House Correspondents' Dinner we've pecked and prodded our peers at the Post for comment. Doesn't it feel icky? Many declined to comment. One who did gestured at the uncomfortable truth. "If I took the White House Correspondent's Dinner any more seriously than the Trump candidacy than it would bother me. But I don't," said Post columnist Charles Krauthammer. "I understand where the question comes from, but the guy is at the top of the polls. He's No. 1," said another source who asked to remain anonymous. This morning, however, one day before the event, Milbank broke his silence.
On Thursday, the Washington Post editorializes that Donald Trump has been campaigning on “bogus” issues and that he should “cease and desist.” An article in the news pages the same day reports that the great orange charlatan’s “simply wild speculation” has “almost no basis in fact.”
Then, on Saturday night, Post reporters and editors, in black-tie finest, go to the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner to host their invited guests, including. . . Donald Trump.
So that makes two Washington Post columnists who are queasy at their paper's dinner date: On Twitter last Sunday, columnist Ezra Klein called the paper's invitation to Trump "embarrassing."
The Post editorial and the newspaper story Milbank mentions were both published after we took a casual glance at their coverage on Tuesday and noted it was rather soft. Is the Post doing some last-minute compensating? Who knows. After Trump's escapades finally resulted in their intended moment of national embarrassment and the President showed the country his birth certificate, we asked the Post's PR if the Trump invite was still on.
Thank you for your e-mail.
We have nothing to add to what's already been reported.
Post spokesperson Kris Coratti gave a little more to Gawker's Jim Newell, saying "As far as I know, yes," Trump is still invited. “Donald Trump is a fascinating figure to Washington,” said Coratti in an article earlier this week.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.