Bigwigs like the New Yorker, Vanity Fair and Bloomberg have all nixed their bonus boozy affairs during White House correspondents’ dinner weekend, but one media organization isn’t backing out.
On Tuesday, BuzzFeed, the media company that includes a legit news division in addition to those listicles you can’t help but share on Facebook, sent out invitations to their annual also-ran affair. This year’s theme? The “it’s complicated” relationship between the fourth estate and the executive mansion.
As in past years “Red, White and Banned” will take place at the same time as the correspondents’ dinner, making it more of an alternative to the main event as opposed to the traditional pregame receptions and after-parties that other media organizations throw during that weekend.
“It’s been quite a year of politics and reporting, amirite?” reads the invitation for the April 29 event. According to BuzzFeed, the party is “for those who plan on skipping this year’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner but still want to celebrate great journalism. Free booze for a free press!”
The event’s name, of course, is a wink to the White House press briefing that BuzzFeed (along with several other media outlets) was banned from in February. According to a company rep, the organization expects hundreds to show up for free boozefest and BuzzFeed will be donating to the White House Correspondents Association’s scholarship programs.
Since 2013, BuzzFeed has annually hosted a separate event, presumably because the relatively new kid on the news block couldn’t secure one of the coveted tables at the Washington Hilton. Too bad, because that very year the organization served as a punchline to one of President Barack Obama’s barbs.
“I remember when BuzzFeed was just something I did in college around 2 a.m.,” Obama joked from the podium in 2013.
For the following three years, BuzzFeed hosted a full-on party, a quiet dinner for journos (and model Chrissy Teigen) and a “pregame” reception at their Washington HQ.
But despite the cancellations from the old media institutions, this year BuzzFeed’s alternative booze fest will get some stiff competition from TBS and Samantha Bee, who is hosting the “Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner” also on April 29.