Today is actually a pretty busy day in the political media world, as there is the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner in Washington, D.C. and President Donald Trump‘s campaign-style rally in Pennsylvania. (Trump let it be known in February that he would be skipping the dinner this year.)
But that’s not all. Earlier this year, comedian Samantha Bee announced that she was going to hold her own event today — the Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.
Heading into the taping of the show, the Full Frontal host spoke briefly with MSNBC’s Ali Vitali and explained what her goal was regarding this event.
“We routinely dismantle Trump on our show,” Bee stated. “We don’t really feel the need to do that too much tonight. I mean, that’s our show right now.”
She continued, “But we do need to celebrate the journalists who make our show possible. So that’s really why we are throwing a party for them. I hope they show up!”
Bee seems to be reiterating what she noted in an interview with Vulture earlier this week when she explained that this event wouldn’t just be an anti-Trump roast, stating that “we are just here to celebrate the freedom of the press.”
This flies in the face of what Bee said when she first discussed the gala in late January. At that time, she pointed out that the reason for the bash was to “ensure that we get to properly roast the president.”
Of course, when she first planned this event, the president had not yet stated that he would not be attending the WHCD, so that definitely could have changed her view on the direction of this special, something she alluded to in the Vulture interview.
In an interview with Lena Dunham, Bee said the partial inspiration for this program was Newt Gingrich, who had said that he didn’t see a need for a White House press corps. Concerned that the WHCD may not happen, she thought, “Why don’t we have a dinner just to make sure something happens on the night?”
As of this posting, Bee’s event is already underway and includes a lot of surprises that we won’t ruin ahead of time. The Not the White House Correspondents Dinner airs on TBS tonight at 10 pm ET.
Watch the clip above, via MSNBC.
[image via screengrab]
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