TBS Slates Alternative White House Correspondents' Dinner

TBS' Samantha Bee will be hosting an alternative banquet April 29, Not the White House Correspondents' Dinner, to the annual roast of the President, and presidential roast of the media, that has usually drawn a huge Hollywood contingent, from the cast of House of Cards to Steven Spielberg and George Lucas.

President Donald Trump has not waited for the dinner to roast the media, which he has consistently slammed as biased and out to delegitimize his election. Over the weekend he suggested the New York Times was fake news, as he has CNN, and said it should either be remade or folded.

The TBS dinner will be held at the Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C. The real White House Correspondents' Association dinner will be the same night uptown at the Hilton Hotel.

The event will air on TBS and the proceeds will go to the Committee to Protect Journalists, "whether they like it or not," said Bee. "We're really doing this," Bee said in a TBS release. "This is not joke."

But Bee did aim a few jokes at the famously thin-skinned 45th President's harangues at the media. "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."

As recently as Monday, Trump echoed his aide Steve Bannon labeling the media his opponents, tweeting: "Where was all the outrage from Democrats and the opposition party (the media) when our jobs were fleeing our country?" He also said both the NYT and Washington Post were dishonest with dwindling readership and subscribership.

TBS was feeling their pain and said the dinner would be an opportunity to "welcome journalists and non-irritating celebrities from around the world," adding: "We suspect some members of the press may find themselves unexpectedly free that night, and we want to feed them and give them hugs."

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.