WHCA Weekend: Cocktail Parties, Media Jams and Even a Playboy Event

michelle wolf the daily show
Courtesy of Comedy Central

WASHINGTON — The White House Correspondents Dinner has for years been about much more than the event itself: News organizations, internet firms and Washington power players have for years held their own fetes on days and nights surrounding the dinner.

This year is no exception. The arrival of Donald Trump’s administration to Washington also marked the end of some long-time parties, like a New Yorker bash and a Time-People party, but others have started. This year, Playboy is sponsoring an after-dinner “No Tie” party, hosted by Cooper Hefner, at a downtown D.C. location. The media outlet said it will mark its commitment to the First Amendment and a free press.

Other highlights of the weekend:


Bytes and Bylines — Allen Gannett, Eric Kuhn, John McCarthy, Susanna Quinn and Jon Steinberg host their annual event, along with Cheddar, this year at the residence of Ireland’s ambassador to the U.S., Daniel Mulhall.


Jordan Klepper at the Post —  The Comedy Central host is in conversation with Jonathan Capehart at the Washington Post, the latest in the Washington Post Live series. 9 a.m., Post headquarters.

Skullduggery Live Podcast —  Yahoo News editor in chief Daniel Klaidman and chief investigative correspondent Michael Isikoff do a special video taping of the Skullduggery podcast, with guest Sen. Mark Warner and a roundtable with the New Yorker’s Susan Glasser, the Washington Examiner’s Byron York and CNN’s Jim Sciutto. 9 a.m., Newseum.

White House Correspondents Jam — Chuck Leavell and Kevin Bacon and the Bacon Brothers perform, along with Lester Holt and the Rough Cuts and other media-figures with their own groups. John Roberts of Fox News emcees, and the host is Mother Nature Network. 7 p.m., The Hamilton Live.

Right to Bear Arts — The Creative Coalition hosts its annual event tied to promoting the arts and arts funding, with sponsors including Ovation channel. The organization’s president, Tim Daly, is expected, along with actors such as Alyssa Milano and Richard Schiff. 8 p.m. Mayflower Hotel.

Capitol File party — The lifestyle magazine hosts a cocktail reception with expected guests Kathy Griffin, Jose Andres and Alyssa Farah, press secretary for Vice President Mike Pence. 7 p.m. The Kreeger Museum.

A Toast the the First Amendment — RealClearPolitics hosts a reception with the National Restaurant Association, Beer Institute, and Distilled Spirits Council. 6 p.m., National Restaurant Association.

A Celebration of America’s Journalists — United Talent Agency honors Michelle Wolf, who will entertain at the dinner and is one of its clients, along with a slew of news personalities. Mediaite cohosts. 9 p.m. Fiola Mare.


Garden Brunch — Tammy Haddad, Hilary Rosen and others host their annual pre-dinner event, now in its 25th year. Military veterans and their families will be honored. 11 a.m., Beall-Washington House.

WHCA Dinner — President Trump is not attending this year’s dinner, but others in the administration will be there. Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will sit at the head table. As has been tradition, a host of news outlets will host pre-dinner cocktail receptions.

The After Party — Comcast and NBCUniversal host a post-dinner bash for NBC and MSNBC. 11:30 p.m., Art Museum of the Americas.


Correspondents’ Brunch — Thomson Reuters hosts its annual event at the Top of the Hay. 11 a.m., Hay-Adams Hotel.

Hangover Brunch — CNN hosts its annual post-dinner breakfast/lunch, which usually draws a big crowd and features various amusements. Last year, the event had a carnival/circus theme, and one performer swallowed long knives. 10 a.m., Longview Gallery.