Maybe it’s the general mood, or the optics of partying with politicians at a time when the White House’s relationship with the WH press corps is tempestuous, but two Condé Nast properties, The New Yorker and Vanity Fair, will not be contributing this year to the blitz of parties that surround the White House Correspondents’ dinner on either end. The New Yorker won’t be hosting its traditional W Hotel pre-party, and Vanity Fair is leaving Bloomberg as the solo host of the coveted after-party they usually jointly sponsor.
For correspondents’ dinner weekend, Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter will have gone fishing in Connecticut, as he told The New York Times in an email. Although not the first time Vanity Fair has sat out the dinner/partying, his particular reasons for missing out this year were twofold. “Trump,” and also, “the fish.” Carter’s feud with President Trump runs long and deep, preceding this election by a few decades.
If it is only these two publications that drop the partying this year, it will be a barely noticeable disappearance in a sea of parties (and bodies) that already represent an overwhelming array of options, as well as an ultimately uncomfortable nexus of journalists, politicians and celebrities all drinking under the same fancy roofs. If it is part of a larger trend, it may not be such a bad thing for all the partying to end and for the WHCA dinner weekend to concentrate on its original purpose of doling out scholarships, recognizing achievement among its peers and promoting press freedom.