The magazine, which has thrown one of the marquee post-Oscars parties since the Nineties, is said to have “disinvited” the Times from covering the event. Choire Sicha, an editor on the Times’ Styles desk, tweeted about the snub, with the explanation from Vanity Fair being: “It feels like the Times has already run their coverage of the VF party this year.”
“I guess we did!” Sicha added, linking to a recent Times article titled: “It was the Hottest Oscar Night Party. What Happened?” No doubt this is the “coverage” Vanity Fair alluded to in barring the paper, which has run “inside” coverage and photos of the event for at least 15 years, according to its archive. But Sicha joked in another tweet that the paper will still cover the party “from the pavement” if it must.
A representative of Vanity Fair could not be immediately reached for comment. A spokeswoman for the Times confirmed that a reporter and a photographer were disinvited from the party, but declined to comment further.
The crux of the recent Times story is that the party is now more of a vehicle for many, many corporate sponsorships (set to pull in $10 million this year), when for years it was an exclusive ticket where Hollywood insiders felt they could “let their hair down.” Also the fact that there are several, now more sought-after, invites in town, including a newer party thrown by Jay-Z.
It probably wasn’t these facts that irked VF, but the citing of former editor in chief Graydon Carter, the founding editor of the party, as part of Hollywood’s “inner circle” and a major draw to the soirée. His replacement Radhika Jones being dubbed “unknown to many on the Left Coast.” The inclusion of Vanity Fair’s declining newsstand sales and quotes on the obvious monetization of the event surely didn’t help. No matter that the Times story made an effort to explain that the apparent decline of the party started toward the end of Carter’s tenure as magazine revenue became scarcer and that Hollywood itself, not to mention media, is much changed from the Nineties, when the party started. Or that it handed out a compliment to the Met Gala, which an anonymous celebrity p.r. source said is “the new Vanity Fair party.”
That source also explained one of her “big clients” asked when invites were received this year if the Vanity Fair party was still a “hot invite,” and held that the question alone “tells you everything you need to know.”
But the reason she asked to be kept anonymous? Ironically, it was fear of offending Anna Wintour, the artistic director of Condé Nast who oversees all of the magazines, including Vanity Fair and is said to have chosen Jones as Carter’s replacement. Probably a good idea considering even the Times isn’t above a pulled invite.
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