ALERT: Journo Fight at White House Correspondents' Dinner After Party

Axios founder accosted Politico editor at Swiss ambassador's residence

Two journalists fighting.
May 12, 2023

What happened: Jim VandeHei, cofounder and CEO of Axios, berated Matt Kaminski, editor in chief of Politico, during a White House Correspondents' Dinner after party at the Swiss ambassador's residence in Washington, D.C.

• VandeHei was "pissed" at Politico, which he also cofounded before departing on less than amicable terms in 2016, for publishing what he described as a "snarky, cynical, and inaccurate" profile.

• The Politico column, written by senior editor Michael Schaffer, poked fun at the spiritual-adjacent lifestyle advice VandeHei often dispenses in his "Finish Line" newsletter.

What they're saying: VandeHei recalled that he was drinking tequila at the Swiss ambassador's house when he saw Kaminski. "I put down my drink, put my hand on his shoulder, and told him the column was a 'piece of shit' and that he should be ashamed for greenlighting it," the Axios boss wrote in Axios. "We had a spirited chat. I'm pretty sure I ended it by saying: 'You are dead to me.'"

• According to Puck, which first reported the "spirited" exchange, VandeHei accosted Kaminski for running the "bullshit" profile and bragged about poaching two of Politico's best reporters.

• "Humility, it seems, sells," wrote Schaffer in the column that sparked the late-night conflagration as well as VandeHei's most recent "Finish Line" column about "taming our worst impulses."

Why it matters: America's journalists are out of control. They are a threat to themselves. They threaten the health and safety of innocent civilians. They are a menace to society. They barely survived former president Donald Trump's first term as president. If Trump wins again in 2024, they will inevitably combust in fits of self-righteous rage.

Bottom line: Nothing good has ever happened at the White House Correspondents' Dinner or at the many affiliated festivities at which journalists wear fancy dresses and pretend to be celebrities while mingling with actual celebrities. It is without a doubt the most flagrant display of undeserved self-congratulation ever conceived in the history of the human race.

Context: Politico is located many, many floors below the Washington Free Beacon global headquarters in Arlington, Va.

Published under: Axios , Politico