This year’s White House Correspondent Dinner is shaping up to be a significantly quieter affair after years of growing in prominence and popularity. Vanity Fair and the New Yorker have both cancelled their celebrity parties and Time Magazine and People Magazine have announced that they are cancelling their joint party. The three parties were known for being popular with celebrities.
The White House Correspondents Dinner’s true intention is to raise money for and then award scholarships. However, the Dinner has become popular with comedian masters of ceremonies and celebrity guests. The one night affair has also become a weekend of parties and the Dinner has been broadcast on CNN for the past few years, previously relegated to only on C-SPAN. The Dinner has been criticized recently for having journalists get cozy with the people they report on, but the show has largely gone on. However, the election of President Donald Trump caused more concern as the President typically makes an appearance. There were calls to cancel the dinner, but the White House Correspondents Dinner declined to do so. President Trump eventually announced that he would not attend.
“This year we have decided to focus on supporting the White House Correspondents Association, which plays a crucial role in advocating for the broadest possible access for the press at the White House,” Alan Murray, Time Inc.’s chief content officer, said in a statement.
Time journalists will still attend the dinner, but People Magazine will not attend. People will make a donation to the WHCD, however.