WHCD Party Invites: Independent Journal Review Made a Yearbook

And your high school mug might be in it.

Taking the White House Correspondents Dinner’s nerd prom moniker to its logical end, the Independent Journal Review, in partnership with Tinder and Rock the Vote, is giving the guests at its Thursday party the ultimate end-of-high-school artifact: a yearbook with all the fixins.

The 50-page hardcover book will feature photos of Washington journalists and politicians in their youthful, potentially awkward splendor, as well as superlatives and a message from the principal/dean, Bob Schieffer.

The idea came out of a post Independent Journal Review writer Dave Jorgenson wrote before the Independent Journal Review/ABC News debate in February, featuring yearbook photos of some of the presidential candidates. This led executive editor Michelle Jaconi to suggest giving all the candidates the high school-years treatment. And then they decided to go bigger.

Staffers got into character for the project, forming a yearbook committee that met weekly, recruiting Schieffer as principal. In the place of photo shoots with draping, roses held across the chest and strategic head tilts, there was reporting. The committee spent hours getting those photos any way they could: from the journalists themselves, by checking the yearbook collections of local libraries across the country, and, on occasion—asking parents to give up the goods.

Many were happy to oblige. “High school librarians and journalist moms of all ages, races and persuasions immediately got the concept that bringing people together to laugh at their younger selves might just help this town of ours,” Jaconi tells FishbowlDC.

The point is not to shame, but to humble and humanize, something that will be needed this weekend, with its celebration of power, access and status. “We like to peel back the curtain on all the scripted pomp to show the vulnerable and flawed—and more importantly, relatable—angle to politicians and journalists alike,” Jaconi tells us.

The invite-only party starts tomorrow at 8:00 p.m. at the W Hotel.

Being Independent Journal Review, there is of course a video.