Back in February, President Trump indicated that he was not inclined to attend the White House Correspondents’ Dinner and endure a few hours of mockery, lecturing by dung-flinging monkeys, and ritual humiliation. He probably felt that he went through that during the campaign when he didn’t have a choice and there was no reason to go through it again, this time voluntarily.

The organizers retaliated in a petty sort of way by inviting a sorta Muslim (Muslim enough for the purposes of the organizers, anyway, though not so Muslim as to actually be so observant as to offend their sensibilities) comedian named Hasan Minaj to “headline” the event.

Following Trump’s victory in November, Minhaj said he’d viewed the candidate’s December 2015 call to temporarily block Muslims from entering the United States as “instantly disqualifying,” and argued that “open racism should just be a deal-breaker.”

In January, Minhaj ripped Trump’s travel ban on seven majority-Muslim countries, along with the Republicans and commentators who said during the campaign that a ban on Muslims wouldn’t actually happen if Trump were elected.

“What the fuck?” he said. “So we ARE getting banned?”

In a statement Tuesday, Minhaj said “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!”

“Now more than ever,” he continued, “it is vital that we honor the First Amendment and the freedom of the press.”

Because a free press really isn’t free unless everyone agrees with everything they say and thinks they are wonderful. (As an aside, never until this year have I heard people who claimed to be Republicans, much less conservative, say that the president criticizing the press is an attack on freedom of the press. I have no idea where this numbskullery comes from other than the roiling bowels of Trump HatredTM)

It is never wise to engage Donald Trump in a battle of one-upmanship where pettiness is the winning criteria.

That’s right. Next Saturday night, as Hasan Minaj takes the stage to do his one-man hate festival to the applause of the impartial and unbiased White House press corps, Donald Trump will be holding a rally. This is counterprogramming on an epic scale. In fact, many of the people who would be at the correspondents’ dinner will now be in Harrisburg, PA, covering a Donald Trump rally instead of feasting on Trump.

Your move, White House press corps.