Samantha Bee to Emphasize the Necessity of a Free Press with “Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner” Event


With current hideous American extremes come refreshing counter-movements: united by Trump’s sexism, his administration’s quest to undermine reproductive rights, and a bevy of intersectional issues, America saw its estimated biggest-ever day of protest; with the executive orders that were a roundabout Muslim Ban, America — only one miserable week later — saw people pouring into airports around the country to protest. And now, with the White House Correspondent’s Dinner set for April 29, there’s promise of a simultaneous “Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner,” courtesy of Full Frontal host Samantha Bee. Sure, it’s small compared to these other forms of counterbalancing resistance, but it certainly perpetuates a healthy trend of at least equalling every awful thing Trump does by attempting its greater opposite.

A press release sent around today announced the event, which is set to take place at Washington, D.C.’s Willard Hotel, and will welcome “journalists and non-irritating celebrities from around the world.” Bee said in a statement, “The evening is sure to bring plenty of surprises, music, food, and laughter—and if you’re not careful you just might learn something. Specifically, you’ll learn how screwed we’d be without a free press.”

The press release also emphasizes — with a rhetorical half-wink — that the fact that it falls on the same night as the actual correspondents’ dinner and is being called the “Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner” is just a matter of “incredible coincidence.” Though this statement is obviously somewhat cheeky, there’s some seriousness to it as well. As the Washington Post notes, “If the event was billed as explicitly anti-President Trump, many journos would likely shy away for fear of appearing biased.” But if the whole thing exists within the framework of advocating the importance of a free press, that’s hardly something any journalist (well, perhaps any non-Breitbart journalist) would debate.