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Archives: April 2012

WHCD Tick Tock

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.

 

 

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Elite-Acting Journo Bemoans Elite Journos

Consider this the irony to end all ironies.

Washingtonian Editor Garrett Graff, a man quick to take to Twitter to talk about such Masterpiece Theatre-esque topics such as his love of scotch, or perhaps boudoir stories or The Old Meeting House in Old Montpelier, put out a dazzling example of lack-of-self-awareness Monday with this tweet:

“I don’t normally crow about media elitism, but the WaPo‘s condescension of @JoelOsteen’s rally is disappointing.” He was, of course, referring to WaPo‘s coverage of TV evangelist Joel Osteen‘s visit to Washington where he performed and prayed at Nationals Park.

See samplings of Garrett’s elitist snob tweets after the jump…

Read more

A Recap of the Allbritton Garden Brunch (That We Weren’t Invited To.)

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.
  • 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.

Gossip Scribe Calls WHCD Weekend an ‘Acid Trip’

Heard on the Hill gossip columnists Neda Semnani and Warren Rojas were in high spirits at Atlantic Media owner David Bradley‘s pre-WHCD cocktail party Friday night.

“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.

‘Mama’s a Journo, Mama’s Borrowing’

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.

NJ Hires the Mazmanian Devil

(Please note: You’ll have to excuse our goofy humor today, we’re still delirious and recovering from a weekend of endless WHCD party coverage.) NJ has hired a new technology correspondent. It’s Adam Mazmanian. He comes to the publication from SmartBrief. He’s also something of a foodie and film critic.

See Fournier’s internal memo…

Read more

Beauty and the Beast?

We’re not sure how to distinguish beauty from beast in this dark and grainy photograph that HBO’s Bill Maher tweeted out over the weekend. We just hope they have pants on? Whatever the case, Maher has this on again, off again maybe soon-to-be on again media whore of a congressman on his program more times than we understand.

“Former – and future! – congressman @AlanGrayson who came to my stand-up show in Fla last night,” wrote Maher on Twitter.

Unsolicited piece of advice: Maher, why don’t you have a mostly male staff to do things like, ahem, take better pictures?

Parker Opens Her Georgetown Abode to Draper

Conservative columnist Kathleen Parker, NPR Digital Editorial Coordinator Elise Hu and Lara Andre are hosting a book party for GQ Correspondent and NYT Magazine Contributor Robert Draper‘s new book at Parker’s Georgetown home Tuesday night. (Parker and Draper pictured above. Andre is Draper’s longtime girlfriend.)

Draper’s new book, Do Not Ask What Good We Do: Inside the U.S. House of Representatives, is about Congress, so you can be sure the guest list is chock full of political and media types.

 

 

 

 

The American Prospect to Shutter?

The liberal mag, The American Prospect, is in deep trouble, so much so that Editor Kit Rachlis felt the need to let his staff know late last week that the publication is not doing well financially. HuffPost media writer Michael Calderone has the scoop. Key points: If the mag doesn’t raise enough cash it could close in late May. They’re looking to raise $500,000 by summer.

Read here.

Whorld of Wharton Take 3

When we last left Paul Wharton, he was in NYC chowing down on mac and cheese. And this week, he picks right back up in the Big Apple by getting his “look right.” He has a busy day of interviews and parties. We find him sitting down to get his brows done at a place that was recently featured in Vogue. We know this because Paul, star of Paul Wharton Style on Channel 50 on Sunday’s at noon,  lets us know this at several junctures during the brow treatment. He also gets a hot oil treatment on his hair. While we aren’t as familiar with the procedure as Wharton is, we became slightly concerned at the amount of smoke and/or steam rising from Paul’s dome during the procedure. He seemed to be enjoying it, though.

After Paul gets his look right, he ventures off to sit down with another one of the ladies from “The Real Housewives of Bullshit County” or whatever the show is called. This time, it was Alex McCord, who was recently booted off the show.

Out of the blue, Wharton asks McCord to cook for him. The two of them then float into the kitchen to make a shrimp and veggie stir fry. The highlight of the show, HANDS DOWN, was the moment when McCord tosses some veggies into the hot oil. Some oils splashes and Wharton shrieked and covered his beautiful hair the way a soldier in the trenches of WWII cover their heads. We’ve seen Olympic sprinters who move slower than Paul trying to protect those locks.

Wharton then moves on to Ryan Serhant, who is the host of Million Dollar Listing. (I don’t know who he is, either.) They are viewing a penthouse apartment in NYC that is going on the market for $8 million. Paul recoils and says he can’t afford it. “Do you know how many makeovers I would have to do for 8 million dollars?! A LOTTA ugly women.” Read more

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