Jezebel Attends the Breitbart CPAC Party: ‘One of the Weirder Nights of My Life’

Instagram / @eringloriaryan
Instagram / @eringloriaryan

From Erin Gloria Ryan, Managing Editor of Gawker’s feminist blog Jezebel:

I am sitting in a rented banquet chair watching Carly Fiorina remove her headset. In a moment, I will stand, smile with false confidence, and replace Fiorina in the chair she vacates, facing the questions of two right wing radio hosts. I was out until 3 a.m. last night drinking whiskey with both of my imminent interviewers and 200 of their closest friends and frenemies. I am so hungover that I’m positive I’m going to vomit all over CPAC’s radio row. What a story!

The night before, Anna Merlan and I had gingerly made our way from our Uber to the steps of a place I heard referred to as “The Embassy,” “The Breitbart Mansion,” and “that place where they have that big party,” unsure of what kind of murder situation we were willingly entering. We’d been invited by a man we’d never met before who spotted us and told us to come to a party in a strange city, miles from our hotel, something no self-respecting urbanite would do unless they were interested in having a kidney stolen. Later, I’d confirm that our welcoming committee was Stephen K. Bannon, a screenwriter, a commentator, and a gregarious shit talker who called me a “commie” with a twinkle in his eye within 30 seconds of properly meeting me. Steve is at once too brash and too canny to commit murder. I feel safe attending this party. I think.

“THESE TWO LADIES ARE MY GUESTS!” Steve bellowed as we approached the stairs. And with that, the two security guards stationed outside stepped aside, and we entered a room packed wall-to-wall with what has been called CPAC’s “Most Impressive.” This year, in honor of everybody’s favorite television program Duck Dynasty, the party had a bluegrass n’ moonshine theme. There was a live band. There were hay bales. There were cute female bartenders in plaid shirts. A water cooler full of whiskey sour. There was a picnic basket full of Twinkies and other cellophane wrapped snack foods. A catering staff. Cigars. So many cigars.

What is it with conservative men and cigars?

On the Breitbart CPAC Party:

It was like college, except there were no drugs (not even pot; Anna indulged in her own supply back at the hotel), no conspicuous sex (I didn’t even witness so much as a drunken Daughter of the Revolution-on-Son of the Revolution makeout!), and nobody puked. At CPAC social events, Anna and I—close talking in our mostly-black ensembles and bold lip color and pale faces in a room full of women who looked, at least from a distance, like well-sunned +1’s to the CMA’s—did not fit in. But at the Breitbart party, we were delightful novelties, finally, at least temporarily, burying the hatchet with writers from publications with which we’d normally engage in an ideological tug-of-war.

It was one of the weirder nights of my life, and I once got a concussion after being dropped on my head by a male friend who was carrying me like a football down the Notre Dame football practice field at 3 am.

Read the rest of the story here.


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