WASHINGTON — This city’s biggest party is turning into the must-miss event of the year.
The Trump administration said on Tuesday that the entire White House staff would skip next month’s White House Correspondents Dinner as a gesture of solidarity with President Trump, a severe critic of the news media who has already said that he will not attend.
Mr. Trump’s snub will signify the first time since the 1970s that a president has skipped the event, a celebrity-laden fixture of the Washington social calendar that is usually meant to symbolize comity between politicians and the press.
But the absence of the entire White House staff — including the press secretary, Sean M. Spicer, along with cabinet secretaries and powerful advisers — may be unprecedented in the dinner’s history, and it comes with tensions between journalists and the administration at a fever pitch.
In a statement on Tuesday, Mr. Spicer said the decision was fueled by the administration’s displeasure with how Mr. Trump had been treated by the press.
“The staff is standing in solidarity with the president, who has been treated unfairly,” Mr. Spicer wrote. “We hope, including the president, that things improve and we can attend next year.”
Major publications like Vanity Fair, The New Yorker and Bloomberg News have already canceled their usual parties held on the weekend of the dinner, which in recent years attracted boldface names from Hollywood and New York. Those moves were welcomed by some critics who chafe at the cozy atmosphere at the dinner, where reporters and the politicians they cover mingle and mock one another.
Supporters of the event say the evening is meant to celebrate the…