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Is Politico Ripping Off Buzzfeed?

On Tuesday night, Buzzfeed held its second installment of “Buzzfeed Brews” in Washington, D.C. Bureau Chief John Stanton sat down with Sen. Kirsten Gilibrand (D-NY) and crushed some whiskey and beers to talk politics. Last month, Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith talked to Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) in a similar format. It’s been a popular event with more being planned, but Politico is making moves to shark some of the attention away from the events. On Wednesday, Politico announced “Playbook Cocktails” with Mike Allen and Bill Gates.

While it doesn’t have the same ring as “Buzzfeed Brews,” it certainly seems like a familiar concept. 

The event takes place March 13th, and, according to this invitation, will feature Allen talking to Gates about the “role of measurement in policy making.” While that already sounds like an overload of excitement, the fact that they’re throwing cocktails into the mix might be enough to melt this city down. Buzzfeed offered open bar for two hours during its event. Will Politico offer a similar deal?

The timing of this announcement is curious since it comes less than 24 hours after Buzzfeed held a suspiciously similar event. One reader observed that this event comes across as “a day late and a dollar short.” It does come across as a little “Single White Female” of Politico to copycat the event, but in this town, where reporters’ favorite drink is “another free one,” I’m sure it will be a success.

Could this unoriginal thinking be the start of a trend? Wine with WaPo? Ripped with Roll Call? Tequila with TPM?

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