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White House Correspondents’ Dinner Moves to August

The nerd prom will have to wait

The 2015 dinner. Photograph by Dan Swartz.
Coronavirus 2020

About Coronavirus 2020

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The 2020 White House Correspondents’ Dinner will take place on August 29 instead of April 25. The White House Correspondents’ Association announced the change Monday. Both the event’s scheduled host, Kenan Thompson, and its featured entertainer, Hasan Minhaj, were able to accommodate the new date, the association wrote in a press release.

The annual event brings together a supposedly oppositional press with the people it covers for a weekend of boundary-blurring that delights many and makes some rather uncomfortable. (I am among the skeptics, though Washingtonian has purchased a table for several iterations of the dinner.) For years, the purported purpose of the dinner, to raise money for scholarships, has led to stagnant donations even as the event became more popular. President Trump‘s unwillingness to attend the dinner has reduced its luster somewhat, and the association bashed its 2018 speaker, Michelle Wolf, saying her monologue was “not in the spirit” of the group’s mission.

The following year the association hired Alexander Hamilton biographer Ron Chernow for what the New York Times–which does not send its journalists to the dinner–characterized as a “subdued” sequel. Should the coronavirus pandemic loosen its grip on Washington by late August, it may prove interesting to see what how the character of this year’s dinner will be affected.

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Senior editor

Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute, TBD.com, and Washington City Paper. His book A Bigger Field Awaits Us: The Scottish Soccer Team That Fought the Great War was published in 2018. He lives in Del Ray.