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With about two months to go before the annual dinner, this year’s edition of White House Correspondents’ Dinner weekend is shaping up to be just as light on glitzy parties as last year, when several of the most prominent bashes were canceled as a nod to the frosty relationship between the White House and the press.
Representatives for Vanity Fair and Bloomberg confirmed that, like last year, the brands will not be co-hosting a party this year. A spokeswoman for The New Yorker said the magazine’s once-renowned party, canceled last year, isn’t happening this year either.
Time and People magazines are also not bringing back their party, which wasn’t held last year. The odds of the Time/People bash coming back from the dead became even more remote when then-parent company Time Inc. was formally acquired by Meredith Corp, an Iowa-based company that’s not known for throwing glamorous parties.
With all the cancellations, last year’s biggest party thrown by a national media company was MSNBC’s post-dinner bash. But the top spokesman for MSNBC declined to comment when asked if the network will throw the party this year.
CNN, though, confirmed that the network will once again put on a brunch the morning after the dinner. A spokesman for BuzzFeed said the company has not decided yet on whether it will host another party this year. Last year, BuzzFeed drew a capacity crowd on the night before the dinner.
Last week, comedian Michelle Wolf was announced as the featured entertainer for this year’s dinner, which is thrown annually by the White House Correspondents’ Association.
Interest in the 2018 dinner hinges in part on whether President Trump attends. On Feb. 19, The Daily Mail reported that Trump would attend the dinner, but that report turned out to be premature. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said at the time that a decision has not yet been reached on whether her boss will attend and sit for a potential grilling at his expense.
There was a consensus last year that the 2017 dinner weekend might have just been an off year. “I think it’s less Hollywood this year, but you know, it ebbs,” Greta Van Susteren told The Hollywood Reporter the night before last year’s dinner.
But with the party slate remaining light, it appears that last year’s festivities may just be the new normal, at least as long as Trump is president.
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