Reporters Preparing to Cover Debate By Drinking Free Beer

A neon sign in the Anheuser-Busch hospitality tent at Hofstra.

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. — Some of the reporters covering tonight’s presidential debate at Hofstra University in Long Island may be F.W.I.–filing while intoxicated. Anheuser-Busch is apparently a sponsor of tonight’s rhetorical battle and the beer company has set up a “hospitality tent” outside the media filing center where reporters are being treated to free food, brews and souvenir glasses. 

The beers being served at the debate are apparently Anheuser-Busch’s “small batch” brews. Bartenders inside the tent confirmed they were indeed quite “busy” this evening.

Anheuser-Busch, which has apparently been the “official beer” of the the presidential debates since 1996, set up similar tents at the vice presidential debate last week and the first presidential debate earlier this month. The company also set up a Twitter feed for their hospitality tent, where most of the messages make sure to note that the free beers are “4 21+ only.”

We reached out to Anheuser-Busch’s P.R. line to ask whether they were concerned giving free beers to reporters covering the debates might lead to inaccurate media coverage. Their press voicemail box was full, but based on their Twitter feed, it’s clear the company thinks beers are a perfect compliment to presidential debates

“Nothing more American than great #debates and great beer (msg 4 21+ only),” read a message posted earlier this evening.

Update (10/17/12 12:00 a.m.): Politicker received the following emailed statement from Anheuser-Busch while the debate was in progress:

Anheuser-Busch is a strong advocate of responsible drinking. Hunter may have noticed our displays highlighting our 30 years of being an industry leader in supporting alcohol responsibility as well as the Designate a Driver coasters at each table in the hospitality area.” 


Reporters Preparing to Cover Debate By Drinking Free Beer