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Correspondents' dinner lacks glitter without Trump

Associated Press logo Associated Press 4/29/2017 By JOCELYN NOVECK, AP National Writer
In this combination photo, Hasan Minhaj attends the 75th Annual Peabody Awards Ceremony on May 21, 2016, in New York, left, and Samantha Bee attends the IWC Schaffhausen Tribeca Film Festival event on April 20, 2017, in New York. On Saturday, April 29, Minhaj will host the annual White House Correspondents' Dinner in Washington while Bee will be hosting the "Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner" in Washington. (Photo by Evan Agostini, left, and Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File) © The Associated Press In this combination photo, Hasan Minhaj attends the 75th Annual Peabody Awards Ceremony on May 21, 2016, in New York, left, and Samantha Bee attends the IWC Schaffhausen Tribeca Film Festival event on April 20, 2017, in New York. On Saturday, April 29, Minhaj will host the annual White House Correspondents' Dinner in Washington while Bee will be hosting the "Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner" in Washington. (Photo by Evan Agostini, left, and Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)

The annual dinner of the White House Correspondents' Association is taking place without its traditional star.

FILE - In this April 30, 2016 file photo, President Barack Obama speaks at the annual White House Correspondents' Association dinner at the Washington Hilton in Washington. The annual White House Correspondents' Association dinner — traditionally the most-glittery night on the Washington social calendar, where A-list celebrities sprinkle their stardust as coveted guests of media organizations — will have a different vibe this year. So as opposed to last year, when guests at President Barack Obama's final dinner included Watson, Washington and Helen Mirren, this year's big stars seem to be Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.(AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File) © The Associated Press FILE - In this April 30, 2016 file photo, President Barack Obama speaks at the annual White House Correspondents' Association dinner at the Washington Hilton in Washington. The annual White House Correspondents' Association dinner — traditionally the most-glittery night on the Washington social calendar, where A-list celebrities sprinkle their stardust as coveted guests of media organizations — will have a different vibe this year. So as opposed to last year, when guests at President Barack Obama's final dinner included Watson, Washington and Helen Mirren, this year's big stars seem to be Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.(AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

This year the president of the United States, Donald Trump, has decided to stay away from an event in which he would be a prime target of biting humor.

FILE - In this combination photo, actresses Helen Mirren, from left, Kerry Washington and Emma Watson appear at the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner in Washington on April 30, 2016. The annual White House Correspondents' Association dinner — traditionally the most-glittery night on the Washington social calendar, where A-list celebrities sprinkle their stardust as coveted guests of media organizations — will have a different vibe this year. So as opposed to last year, when guests at President Barack Obama's final dinner included Watson, Washington and Helen Mirren, this year's big stars seem to be Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File) © The Associated Press FILE - In this combination photo, actresses Helen Mirren, from left, Kerry Washington and Emma Watson appear at the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner in Washington on April 30, 2016. The annual White House Correspondents' Association dinner — traditionally the most-glittery night on the Washington social calendar, where A-list celebrities sprinkle their stardust as coveted guests of media organizations — will have a different vibe this year. So as opposed to last year, when guests at President Barack Obama's final dinner included Watson, Washington and Helen Mirren, this year's big stars seem to be Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

That's dulled the glitter emanating from celebrities who usually come to the Saturday night dinner as guests of media outlets. Absent a busload of big names, the event is focusing on the First Amendment and the crucial role of the press in a democracy.

There will be, as usual, a comedian emceeing the event, which will air on C-SPAN: Hasan Minhaj, of "The Daily Show."

A president hasn't declined to attend since Ronald Reagan in 1981, though he was recovering from an assassination attempt.

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