Journalists toast First Amendment on eve of correspondents' dinner
© Kaitlin Milliken
Various journalists, restaurateurs and drink-makers came together Friday night to toast the First Amendment on the eve of the White House Correspondents' Association dinner (WHCD).
 
Real Clear Politics co-founder Tom Bevan led those in attendance in raising their glasses in celebration at the second annual Toast to the First Amendment event in downtown Washington, D.C.
 
“The First Amendment is such a vital part of American values,” Bevan said. “Now [it] is a cornerstone of our institution ... and so here’s to two centuries more of a lively and robust debate over the First Amendment.”
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Scores of journalists and other attendees milled around the event hosted by Real Clear Politics, the Beer Institute, Distilled Spirits Council and the National Restaurant Association at the National Restaurant Association offices in D.C.
 
“We appreciate our partnership with [Real Clear Politics] in our second annual toast to the Second Amendment,” said Cicely Simpson, executive vice president of public affairs at the National Restaurant Association.

“Toast to the First Amendment, excuse me,” Simpson said, quickly correcting herself. 
 
“In full disclosure, I started drinking a couple of hours ago," she quipped.
 
Guests were greeted with an assortment of limited-release beers, whiskeys, bourbons, ryes and other liquors, with hors d’oeuvres pairings also available. 
 
While many focused on celebrating the First Amendment for WHCD weekend, others clinked glasses in celebration of the amendment repealing prohibition. 
 
"We happen to think that the 21st Amendment is one of the better ones that came along," joked Jim McGreevy of the Beer Institute when he addressed the crowd of journalists.
 
"Thanks for all you do for our nation and for our democracy," he added.