This year, the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) will join the ranks of many other Washington, D.C. organizations to partake in one of the city’s landmark events – the White House Correspondents Dinner – on April 27. This time-honored evening, a DC tradition for over 90 years, is put on by the White House Correspondents Association to honor broadcast and print journalists for distinguished reporting with three of the most prestigious awards in the field. The Merriman Smith Award recognizes presidential news coverage under deadline pressure, the Aldo Beckman Award recognizes repeated excellence in White House coverage, and the Edgar A. Poe Award recognizes excellence in coverage of news of national or regional significance.
Hosted by Emmy award-winning comedian Conan O’Brien, the light-hearted evening is historically filled with humor and jest, and attended by high-powered VIPs spanning the worlds of politics, journalism, and Hollywood. This year’s guest list includes President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, former Congresswoman Jane Harman, Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, Newsweek/Daily Beast Editor-in-Chief Tina Brown, DreamWorks Animation’s Jeffrey Katzenberg, Miramax Films co-founder Harvey Weinstein, actress Nicole Kidman, musician Jon Bon Jovi, and former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal, to name a few. Lovingly referred to as the “nerd prom,” the White House Correspondents Dinner is arguably the hottest ticket of the year in Washington.
BPC will participate in the festivities by hosting a VIP “After Party” in partnership with Capitol File Magazine at the Carnegie Library. In celebration of bipartisanship, BPC will have its very own Bipartisan Lounge featuring a purple velvet rope, lively elephant and donkey décor, and “Bipartisan Spirits” of all kinds.
Leading up to the White House Correspondents Dinner, BPC and Capitol File will be co-hosting an intimate dinner featuring a discussion on “The Intersection of Hollywood and Washington” at SideCar at P.J. Clarke’s. Moderated by Atlantic Media Editorial Director Ron Brownstein with an introduction by BPC President Jason Grumet, the panel will feature ONE CEO Michael Elliott, House of Cards Executive Producer Beau Willimon, Chasing the Hill Executive Producer Brent Roske, and Heard on the Hill Entertainment Columnist Neda Semnani. The conversation will take a closer look at the effectiveness of political posturing by artists and athletes and their effect (if any) on public policy. How can talent use their voices to inform and involve the public along with entertaining them—and should they? And, how has politics been portrayed in film and TV, and what effect has that had on the public perception of policy initiatives?
The relationship between Hollywood and Washington has long been described as a “love affair.” From political celebrities to red carpet celebrities, the two cities have been uniquely tied together. Each of BPC’s upcoming events promises to entertain and enlighten, honor both distinct worlds, and encourage both sides of the aisle to “see purple.”