edit: Yes, in the original we said “Mike Ryan.” It’s because we were reading HuffPost Entertainment.
This seems to be too crazy even for the week leading up to the White House Correspondents’ Dinner on Saturday. Politico reports that the actual White House Correspondents’ Association overnighted a trademark lawsuit to GBK Productions (which Politico provides here). The source of the lawsuit? A gifting suite that GBK is co-partnering with The Creative Coalition that’s called “GBK & The Creative Coalition White House Correspondence [sic] Weekend Gift Lounge.”
This goes against the trademark of the WHCA and gives visiting celebs the false impression that their dinner hosts would be providing free swag from “the St. Regis Bora Bora, Made by Survivors handmade jewelry, Lovelinks by Aagaard jewelry, EyeWalker Elements Aromatic Botanical Alchemy (a.k.a.., perfume) , Jorg Gray watches ‘and more'” according to today’s Playbook.
To further dig a knife into the wound, when Mike Allen tried to inquire further he was met with the age-old response given to online journos since 2004: “Are you media?” And given the always charming response from another GBK representative: “If you’d like to RSVP, follow the instructions on the email. Any other questions, we have no comment.”
It seems silly that a gifting firm wouldn’t look into possible legal issues if they name themselves after the weekend festivities they’re attending. Even sillier is asking whether or not a company like Politico are press. Maybe Tom Brokaw wasn’t wrong when he took the encroaching celebrity aspect of the dinner to task? Or maybe it’s far too late as our annual fete for journalists–now the worst ranked job of 2013–comes calling.