Samantha Bee to Host Alternative White House Correspondents’ Dinner
Amid calls to abolish the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner under the Trump administration, Samantha Bee is providing the Plan B the media so desperately needs this morning. On Saturday, April 29, the Full Frontal host will emcee the “Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner” in Washington, D.C.
“We’re really doing this,” said Bee in today’s press release. “This is not a joke.”
The event, which will take place the same night as the White House Correspondents Association’s annual dinner, promises to welcome journalists and “non-irritating celebrities” from around the world, and will benefit the Committee to Protect Journalists.
“We were talking out loud about whether we thought the White House Correspondents’ dinner would change during a Trump presidency, or if it would even exist,” Bee told the New York Times. “And then we thought, ‘Why don’t we just do one, just to do it in the way that we would want it done if we were hosting it?’”
The actual White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner is sure to be an awkward affair this year, given President Trump’s open hostility to the press. Trump recently told the CIA that he considers his administration at “war with the media,” and both the president and his chief strategist, former executive chair of the right-wing website Breitbart News Steve Bannon, have called the media the “opposition party.”
The WHCA Dinner hasn’t exactly been a barrel of laughs for Trump in the past. Both President Obama and host Seth Meyers skewered Trump at the 2011 banquet for promoting “birtherism”—false claims that Obama was not born in America. And if her weekly take-downs of the president are any indication, we expect Bee will give Trump a proper roasting at her event.
While details haven’t been confirmed yet, the Times reports that the “Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner” will likely air on TBS sometime this spring.