Palin has never attended the "nerd prom" herself, but in 2011 she showed up at both the Vanity Fair and MSNBC after-parties. Her daughter, Bristol, went to the dinner while Palin spoke to a group of antiabortion activists.
"I choose life," over the party, Palin said in her speech. "You really see evidence of that influence out there of — you know — the celebrity, how the news is, and the political arena, and how it all kind of meshes together.
In 2009 the then-governor was scheduled to attend (as a guest of Fox News) but canceled her plans due to emergency flooding back in Alaska. Her husband Todd attended in her stead.
Longtime NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw has also criticized the dinner, saying the star-studded event sends a message of "‘We’re Versailles. The rest of you eat cake.’”