What if they threw a White House Correspondents’ Dinner and nobody came?


The White House Correspondents' Dinner is still scheduled for April, it's unclear who will attend given the press' contentious relationship with President Trump. (Associated Press / REX / Shutterstock / WWD)
The White House Correspondents’ Dinner is still scheduled for April, it’s unclear who will attend given the press’ contentious relationship with President Trump. (Associated Press / REX / Shutterstock / WWD)
The show must go on, but who’s to say if it’ll be any fun?

Two high-profile publications have pulled out of planning their typical White House Correspondents’ Dinner-related activities, just a day after it was confirmed the dinner is indeed still happening.

Natalie Raabe, director of communications for the New Yorker, confirmed to The Times that it was canceling its usual kickoff party held at the W Hotel.

Vanity Fair is also pulling its participation in an exclusive after-party co-sponsored by Bloomberg L.P.

“We’ve taken a break from the dinner in the past,” Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter told the New York Times before indicating that he personally would be spending the weekend fishing.

Vanity Fair has opted not to sponsor the party in previous years,and when asked about this year’s event, Carter, who has been locked in a war of words with President Trump for years, cited the sitting president.

“And the fish,” Carter quipped.

The hullabaloo around this year’s dinner coincides with the new president’s contentious and often openly hostile relationship with press outlets, some of which he has deemed “fake news,” “very dishonest” and “lying, bad people.”

White House Correspondents’ Assn. President and Reuters White House correspondent Jeff Mason released a statement Thursday confirming that the dinner would take place as planned.

“We’ve received some queries about the 2017 White House Correspondents’ Dinner, which will be the first since the new administration took office,” Mason said. “The White House Correspondents’ Association will hold its annual dinner on April 29 at the Washington Hilton.”

“This year, as we do every year, we will celebrate the First Amendment and the role an independent press plays in a healthy republic,” Mason continued. “We will also reward some of the finest political reporting of the past year while using our scholarship program to highlight and support up-and-coming journalists who are the future of our profession.”

The dinner will already face stiff competition as far as entertainment goes, with Samantha Bee announcing Monday that she would be hosting the ” Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner ” the same night, with proceeds going to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

There is further the question of whether President Trump will even attend this year’s dinner, which typically includes a celebrity host roasting the president and his administration.