In case you’d forgotten (full disclosure: we certainly had), the annual White House Correspondents Association dinner, known in D.C. circles as #NerdProm, is set for this weekend.

The big differences this year from last, of course, are that 1) Donald Trump is now president, and 2) he’s skipping it. Last spring’s dinner was one big (and somewhat early) going away party for Barack Obama, who ended his stand-up routine with his now famous mic drop, although we think that was topped by the late Carrie Fisher arriving on the red carpet with actor Tom Hiddleston and her dog, Gary Fisher.

Neither Washington nor Hollywood has been in a partying mood since November, and some of the star-studded pre- and after-parties were canceled months ago.

Judy Kurtz writes today at The Hill that the whole event is clouded by a “weirdness factor” this year.

Kurtz writes:

With just days to go before the annual dinner, D.C. is usually dusting off the red carpets for a flood of VIPs about to descend on the nation’s capital. But with President Trump declining to attend this year’s 103rd installment, the star power largely MIA and several news outlets nixing their usual bashes, regulars say the “weirdness” factor surrounding the black-tie dinner is high.

All of which leads to one overarching question: who the hell cares?

President Trump recently announced he’ll be holding a rally in Pennsylvania the night of the dinner, which is quite the troll move, and one we can get behind.

Parties or no parties, journalism students will still receive their scholarships, and WHCA president Jeff Mason insists “the main thrust of the dinner is focusing on the First Amendment,” which is great news, seeing as how many universities can’t seem to grasp the idea of free speech on their campuses.

Our only suggestion is that dinner-goers pass around a collection plate to send Howard Dean to a remedial class on the Bill of Rights.

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