Remember the scene at the end of The Hangover where the guys find the camera with all the forgotten pictures on their camera? We are feeling the same way today as we flip through shots we took from the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. We came across these pictures and remembered that in the mania surrounding the pre-parties, we stumbled into TWT’s soirée. We were sort of surprised to see a giant spread of Mexican food laid out on the table. Considering the political leanings of TWT, we wouldn’t have anticipated quesadillas with salsas and guacamole. We understand that both Republicans and Democrats are vying for Hispanic voters this election season. Maybe we were expecting burgers and apple pie? Or dumplings with dipping sauces considering the Mooney’s own the paper? Maybe a better idea would be fish and chips wrapped in copies of WaPo. Eddie made it close enough to the table to snag a quesadilla and reports that it wasn’t that tasty. The next time TWT throws a party with Mexican food, instead of serving quesadillas and guacamole, perhaps they’ll go for Liberty Corn and Freedom Avocados.
It’s one thing to whore yourself out to the White House Correspondents’ Dinner year after year because you star in the hit ABC series “Modern Family.” It’s quite another to come here and not flaunt your whoring capabilities to their fullest.
But Jesse Tyler Ferguson managed just that over the weekend when he attended the White House Correspondents’ Dinner and attended the parties surrounding it. On Friday night he was spotted mingling by the bar at the TIME-People party at the St. Regis. But when approached for even a single question from a reporter, he declined, saying he was not allowed to do any interviews that did not involve ABC.
Not allowed? Partygoers, especially those from competing networks, found this odd. Nonetheless, he did permit himself to wave and say “hi.”
(A Sprinkling of Things We Think You Ought to Know…)
Network Anchors Shilling for Candidates – It’s not what it sounds like. A new story in the Columbia Journalism Review and linked to by HuffPost examines political candidates and their use of news clips that feature anchors delivering stories that show their opponents in a negative light. While this isn’t something new, the scale of which this is being used is much bigger. Just a few months ago, when Newt Gingrich was putting the pressure on Mitt Romney, the Romney campaign released an ad featuring nothing more than NBC’s Tom Brokaw delivering the news that Gingrich had been found guilty of ethics violations. Brokaw spoke out against it. But the tactic proved so effective that Romney deployed it again against Rick Santorum. An ad featuring footage of CNN’s Gloria Borger reminded Pennsylvania voters that they had already thrown Santorum out of office aired 177 times in ONE DAY in Pennsylvania and would have aired many more if Santorum hadn’t dropped out.
I C&*t Believe This Happened – It wasn’t so long ago that we reported on the Daily Caller’s Michelle Fields being called “a cunt” by an Occupy protester. We can only hope that she doesn’t find the word TOO offensive, because she was exposed to the mother of all dirty words again last week. As we ramped up to the hysteria surrounding Kim Kardashian at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, Fields tweeted “Sorry. I’m a Kardashian hater.” This did not sit well with the army of Kim K fans on the internet who began attacking Fields. One member of the Kim Army, @SheivaG, told Fields “dont worry im sure people hate you too .” That then prompted a Fields Fan to reply, “@SheivaG @MichelleFields, you are a CUNT. Don’t be jealous Michelle .” Fields did not reply to that comment (obviously).
West Wing Reunion – The cast of The West Wing reunited for a good cause in a new video on Funny or Die. It’s for a public service announcement encouraging people to walk 30 minutes each day. The video features Martin Sheen, Allison Janney, Dulé Hill, Joshua Malina, Melissa Fitzgerald and William Duffy in their first appearance together in five years. It should come as no surprise that the video relies heavily on the “walk and talk”, one of the trademarks of the former TV show.
We’re recapping the White House Correspondents’ Dinner from Saturday night with a special Tick Tock. Enjoy as we take you through the night.
By Betsy Rothstein, Peter Ogburn and Eddie Scarry
5:30 p.m.: I meet up with Eddie at a shitty McDonald’s in Adams Morgan as the sky opens up to a downpour. Eddie is visibly pissed. He had his umbrella in hand and left it since (he says) weather reports declared that it wouldn’t rain until around 11 p.m. That’s right, we start the evening with Eddie blaming the media.
5:45 p.m. Peter, Eddie and I convene at the Washington Hilton bar to inhale Cokes as we mentally prepare our plan of attack for the evening.
6 p.m. We approach the escalators and are turned away from going downstairs because we need to show the security man a copy of our invitation. He says he knows its stupid, but it’s the way it is. Our knight in shining armor, HuffPost‘s Ryan Grim approaches and hands me what is comparable to contraband — a photocopy invitation of one of the pre-parties. He has several copies.
6 :10 p.m. And we’re in. We’ve entered the Atlantic/NJ/CBS pre-party, where the star of the evening is actress Claire Danes. She’s there as a guest of CBS “Face the Nation” host Bob Schieffer. Her brother tags along. Nonetheless, Schieffer stays close by Danes. Asked if he has the best guest of the night, he says, “I mean, it’s Claire Danes, what more do I need to say?”
6:19 p.m. Outdoor parties are the loser of the evening. It’s cold, damp and people are on a mad hunt for the bars. But we also spot our first WHCD big butt of the night; or perhaps that’s just an ill-fitting coat.
6:34 p.m. Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) enters Atlantic fest. Mother Jones and MSNBC Contributor David Corn is here with the lead singer of OK GO. This was the big q of the night at this party — who is David Corn with? NJ Publicist Taylor West tells me FishbowlDC had better get to the bottom of this.
6:40 p.m. We’re now mingling out in the hallway, watching Bloomberg’s Stephanie Green interview model Elle MacPherson, who is wearing a high slitted sleeveless black gown, similar to what Angelina Jolie wore to the Oscars. We hear Stephanie conclude her interview by saying, “Thank you so much. I love your underwear!” Whoa! What? We asked Stephanie if she had said what we thought she did. She said what many inevitably say to reporters: “You’re not quoting me on this, are you?”
6:42 p.m. The Washington Examiner‘s Nikki Schwab gives Eddie the first cold shoulder of the day — it’s actually FBDC’s second bout of coldness from her in a 24-hour time frame. Don’t worry, there will be more.
6:43 p.m. Shock of all shocks, Politico‘s Mike Allen has his face buried in his Blackberry.
6:44 p.m. We wander into the TWT reception hoping to meet Uggie the dog and hear he was just there and just left. We meet TWT‘s Kerry Picket and her boyfriend, whom the blond towers over. The party ironically serves Mexican food. WSJ‘s Neil King is here with his daughter Lilly.
7 p.m. Next stop: Bloomberg reception, where NY Mayor Mike Bloomberg is holding court in the center of the room in a purple bow-tie. A partygoer sees a black woman across the room and asks, “Is that Michelle Obama?” Actor Kevin Spacey is also here and singer Alicia Keys. Guests attack them for photographs like a bunch of star-crazed idiots.
7:10 p.m. Back out in the hallway, Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer asks Peter if he’s “just here to watch the hotties go by.”
7:15 p.m. We run into Pollster Frank Luntz, who’s dressed in a goofy striped suit and his signature sneakers. He’s miserable, he says. “Too many people, too chaotic. That said, there’s nothing like it.” He answers questions about his sneakers, saying that at this point he has maybe 35 pairs. He has three homes so he says he has to split them up. Luntz surmises by the end of the year he’ll have between 40 and 50 pairs. He explains that when he worked for a previous network they made him wear a tie, which he found so confining. So he decided they can force him from the neck up but from the feet down? That area is all his. No idea who owns the area between his neck and feet.
7:17 p.m. Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell says it’s “great to see so many young people here.” He forgets he’s not at a campaign rally.
7:20 p.m. Took a bathroom break. Walked in behind Schieffer. Walked out behind Luntz.
7:24 p.m. Lady drops tray of wine glasses. They shatter. Glass everywhere. She’s all nonchalant about it. No one hurt.
7:25 p.m.: James Davis, spokesman for the GOP Convention in Tampa, is bragging to Politico‘s Charlie Mahtesian that he ate 11 onions in 8 minutes during last year’s Vidalia Onion eating contest, which he nearly won. Because of the WHCA dinner, he’s missing this year’s onion-eating contest.
7:26 p.m.: HuffPost‘s Laura Bassett “on a mission” to find actress Reese Witherspoon. Just saw lead actress from “B in Apartment 3″ have to find out her name.
7:27 p.m.: NYT‘s Brian Stelter saunters by holding hands with his girlfriend, who has donned a bright red dress. “She is cute,” says Eddie. And we spot another set of WHCD big butts.
7:28 p.m. Rep. Fred Upton‘s niece, model Kate Upton, walks by. Heads turn. Onlookers try to figure out who she is. Because she looks like SOMEONE. Peter says he’s going to text his neighbor’s horny son to find out who she is.
7:29 p.m.: MSNBC Commentator Richard Wolffe escorting Chef Jose Andres for the second night in a row. Andres is responsible for the outstanding fare at The Atlantic‘s David Bradley‘s Friday night soiree that included things like crushed beat on toast and crispy avocado.
7:30 p.m. The balding gentleman with Elle MacPherson casually places his hand on her ass on their way down the hallway toward the ballroom.
7: 40 p.m. Eyes turn as CBS Chief White House Norah O’Donnell walks by in a long, bright yellow sequined dress that’s scooped out low in the back. Bystanders remark favorably on her attire. On her arm was Chef Geoff (Mr. Norah O’Donnell) escorting her. No one remarked on his tux.
7:42 p.m. Woody Harrelson seen leaving reception. Corona still in hand. Though he spent much of the weekend glued to Steve Schmidt‘s side, we hear he was flirting heavily with certain female reporters over the weekend.
7:43 p.m.: Always the charmer, Eddie rushes up to actress Kerry Washington, whose wearing a lovely long peach gown, and tells her how great she looks. Washington stars in the new series “Scandal” in which she plays a lawyer who has slept with the President of the United States.
7:44 p.m. Tom Hanks‘s son, Colin, who is the spitting image of his father, is mobbed by partygoers and friends in the hallway.
7:45 p.m. Garden brunch extraordinaire Tammy Haddad heads toward the ballroom with the 4’11” Daniel Radcliffe in a sparkly red and black blazer.
In the aftermath of the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, many revelers sought comfort in brunch yesterday morning to help heal the wounds from the night before. We have already reported on the institution that is the Thomson Reuters/McLaughlin annual brunch. Meanwhile, a relative newcomer to the WHCD brunch crowd, the Allbritton Garden Brunch, was taking place at the Georgetown home of Politico publisher, Robert Allbritton. We’d really LOVE to bring you a recap of that event. But, we weren’t invited. While it’s not necessarily a stinging snub as not even all of their own reporters get to go and they make it a point to have it covered (if you can even call it coverage) by their own reporter, insult was added to injury when Politico had the balls to send us a press release with pictures and a rundown of the event. Gee, how thoughtful of them. Here is how they helpfully described the event.
“For the third consecutive year, POLITICO Publisher Robert Allbritton and his wife, Dr. Elena Allbritton, opened the doors of their Georgetown home on the Sunday following the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner for an exclusive, invitation-only brunch. Roughly 250 were in attendence enjoying a menu of baby Colorado lamp chops, kobe beef hashcake with poached egg, heirloom apple and endive salad, Hong Kong steamed salmon, greek yogurt parfaits and a raw bar.”
That kobe beef hashcake sure sounds mouthwatering. So does the Hong Kong steamed salmon they must have had flown in fresh for the morning. But since we weren’t invited, we can only bring you what WE THINK went down at this exclusive garden brunch.
- Charlie Mahtesian frantically scribbling the “5 Lessons From the Allbritton Garden Brunch.”
- Politico‘s newest hire, Ryan Kearney, trying to convince everyone that he’s not nearly as creepy as he seems and that his work has vastly improved since Allbritton’s essentially failed venture TBD.
- FNC’s Bret Baier having to convince everyone that he wasn’t a villainous coke dealer from a Miami Vice episode wearing the outfit pictured above. We dig the low-cut look on his peach button-down.
- Bret Baier’s wife (also pictured above) turning down autograph seekers thinking she was Kim Kardashian or Cher.
- Mike Allen staring into his Blackberry with the intensity of a thousand fiery suns.
- Jonathan Martin and Maggie Haberman breaking out into an impromptu Politico LIVE show. Kind of like a show-and-tell for the Allbrittons.
- BuzzFeed‘s Ben Smith, in town for the weekend, snapping pictures using Japanese Instagram.
So, while we weren’t actually there to bring you a full report, we have a feeling this was pretty close to reality.
“It feels like a catered three-day acid trip with an alcohol drip” Semnani told FBDC about her expectations for the weekend.
Rojas, sporting a cowlick on the left side of his head, seemed excited at the prospect of seeing Lindsay Lohan, who was invited to the dinner by FNC’s Greta Van Susteren and husband, John Coale. “She’s a hot mess,” Rojas said of Lohan. “I wonder if she’ll miss her next flight,” he added, referring to news broken by TMZ that afternoon that Lohan had missed her initial flight to D.C.
Rojas described the actual dinner to us: “Food was terrible. Booze flowed like water. It was exactly how I remember my actual prom.” Eloquent in his brevity.
Semnani, on the other hand, didn’t attend the dinner. But on covering the pre-parties and Reuters News/McLaughlin brunch on Sunday, she said she’s exhausted. “I can’t wait for next weekend when I can kick back a bit.”
We hear ya.
Fab or Fug?
At David Bradley‘s pre-WHCD cocktail party Friday evening Washingtonian fashion editor Kate Bennett was seen flaunting this chunky necklace along with a matching bracelet.
Bennett told FBDC both pieces of jewelry are from Tabandeh, a designer jewelry store located in Friendship Heights. The designer is Iradj Moini. Sounds expensive.
“Mama’s a journalist; Mama’s borrowing it,” Bennet said, explaining why she doesn’t own the pieces. She also told us the bigger gems can detach to become separate broaches.
We say: fab.
By now, POTUS has enough roasts under his belt to deliver a smooth comedy routine most every time. So, we all knew he would nail it. The real pressure was on the outsider, Jimmy Kimmel. You never know what you’re going to get. There was the uncomfortable, biting commentary of Stephen Colbert and then the blandness and desperation of Rich Little. Last year’s performer, Seth Myers, scored high marks, so the bar was set high for Kimmel. Though the reaction ranges from great to lukewarm to awful, he could have chopped a few minutes off his set. Kimmel devoted a section to Keith Olbermann and his unfriendly departure from Current TV. Naturally, the ultra-sensitive Olbermann took to Twitter to weigh in. We turned to Twitter to storify Kimmel’s performance.
The weather finally cleared up just in time to finish White House Correspondents’ Dinner weekend at the Hay Adams hotel with Thomson Reuters/McLaughlin‘s annual brunch.
Though it was sunny and gorgeous outside, when FBDC hopped on the elevator to head up to the rooftop an attendee asked, “We don’t have to stay the whole time, do we?” We assured her she did not.
The Hill‘s Katy Oczypok was seen snapping photos of guests, and a little later, munching on the brunch fare (sausage, seasoned potatoes, different breads and a tower of fruit). “I think the rain kept a lot of the celebrities in,” she told us with a sigh when asked if she hit up any after parties last night after the WHCD. Cheer up, Oczypok. There’s always next year.
The event was relatively subdued until CBS’ Julie Chen let out a scream. “WE WENT TO USC JOURNALISM SCHOOL TOGETHER!” she said excitedly to her husband as she introduced an apparently long lost college friend.
The loudest TV host in Washington, John McLaughlin, Editor-in-Chief of Reuters Stephen Adler, Author and ex-MSNBCer Pat Buchanan (pictured above wearing what appear to be goggles), Human Events Group Publisher Joe Guerriero accompanied by his wife, and publicist Janet Donovan.
Fab or Fug: Ed Hardy-inspired dress
Here’s a dark green
sack dress with crystal-studded shoulders and a flaming Mercury Lead Sled splashed across the back.
Fug, of course.
Foreshadowing: Nikki in those tall — we’ll hand it to her — pretty heels. Even her sidekick co-writer, Jenny Rogers, stares at her colleague’s feet as if to say, “Girrrl, what the hell were you thinking?”
The Washington Examiner‘s gossip scribe Nikki Schwab was on ice this weekend. As we’ve been reporting, especially toward the writers at FBDC. At the weekend festivities we even implemented an ice thermometer rating system for her. At last night’s pre-parties to the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, she greeted us with a cold snarl on her way into the NJ/Atlantic/CBS party, saying (more like sneering), “Hi guys.”
By the way, we’re giving her nine ice cubes for last night.
But perhaps funniest was when she arrived home that night and actually needed ice.
— Nikki Schwab (@NikkiSchwab) April 29, 2012