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Posts Tagged ‘John McLaughlin’

SF-Based OZY Media Expands DC Footprint Ahead of Midterms

You would be forgiven, dear reader, if you had never heard of OZY Media, a digital news and culture magazine founded by MSNBC and Air America host Carlos Watson. The Silicon Valley-based pub has some high profile backers – business executive (and widow of Steve) Laurene Powell Jobs  and Google’s Chief Legal Officer David Drummond, for example -but has yet to make much of a splash on the East Coast. But that might be changing soon. OZY is making new hires with an eye towards increasing their presence in DC ahead of the 2014 midterm elections.

Steven Butler, who currently works in DC as the Foreign Editor for Knight Ridder Newspapers, is the most recent example. He will come on board as a Senior Editor, and will join a team that already includes former White House speechwriter and CNN war correspondent Aneesh Raman, former CQ Roll Call writer Emily Cadei and former CIA Acting Director John McLaughlin -all of whom are based in DC.

OZY is aimed at the so-called “Change Generation,” which they describe as “a global, age-agnostic, educated and curious audience that, aside from just knowing about the daily news, wants to learn about the topics and people of tomorrow.” The site covers everything from politics to foreign and national affairs, technology, arts and culture. They also host a live event series, “OZY Across America,” which came to DC this past March.

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DC “Youth” Get Hammered, Body-painted at WL‘s YGL

If you weren’t one of the hundreds of what’s-his-names and so-and-sos who rolled up to the Carnegie Library in an Uber black car last night, it could mean one of three things.

1) You are old.  We’re not talking John McLaughlin old…just over 40.

2) Your ambitious boozing and party hopping are not worthy of recognition in print.

3) You were recently arrested. (Too soon?)

Otherwise, like FishbowlDC, you were downing as many fine bourbons as your liver would allow at Washington Life’s ”Young and the Guest List” fete.  With countless bars, trippy body painting, and sequins from here to tomorrow, the historic venue played host to WL‘s fave overachievers under 40: 217 business leaders and entrepreneurs, 42 White House and Capitol Hill staffers, 29 media pros, 6 restaurateurs, 8 athletes, 5 diplomats, 10 members of Congress, and 18 artists.

Representing the Fourth Estate were CNN’s Brianna Keilar, Peter Hamby, Lauren Pratapas and Matt Dornic, WaPo’s Jackie Kucinich, Politico’s Patrick Gavin and his much better and more attractive half – Anne Gavin, Nikki Schwab from U.S. News….and others. Yes many, many others who escape our bourbon-laced memory.*

Check out the pics below!

*This post and my hangover brought to you by Washington Life, Nancy Bagley,  Soroush Shehabi, John Arundel, Kevin Chaffee and the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States.  

Bye-Bye! McLaughlin Bails On Brunch

John McLaughlin has had enough.

This year he won’t be attending what has famously been known as “The McLaughlin Brunch” or hangover brunch on the Hay-Adams Hotel rooftop held on the Sunday after the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. This year, the event is being hosted by Thomson-Reuters and Yahoo! News.

Publicist and blogger Janet Donovan, the party’s longtime organizer, is beside herself.

See the story by Washingtonian‘s Editor-at-large Carol Joynt.

Karen Feld Loses Again

Remember the former kooky gossip columnist for the Washington Examiner who attends parties with a succession of dirty, fluffy purse-sized pooches? Well, Karen Feld (pictured at right with her questionably hygiened dog) is back, and it’s just as much of a circus as it always was.


AP‘s Frederick J. Frommer reports that Feld was back in court over what she claims was an assault she endured from her brother’s security guards. Her brother is Kenneth Feld, CEO of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. The court turned down Feld’s appeal Tuesday. She’s on a losing streak — she lost a multimillion dollar lawsuit against her brother last year.

The last time we heard anything about Feld was in June 2011, when a partygoer spotted her at a lobster event at Tackle Box in Cleveland Park. The guest said she was spotted there with her “overly medicated” dog. Before that, we ran into her at a 2010 WHCD brunch hosted by John McLaughlin at the Hay Adams Hotel. “Compari’s jealous,” Feld crowed at the time, referring to her dog, who didn’t get to be cradled in McLaughlin’s arms like another, perhaps cleaner, fluffy dog at the party.

Feld formerly worked for Roll Call and TWT.

Brunch at Hay Adams Concludes WHCD Sh-tstorm

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.

Sunday WHCD Brunch is Served

The White House Correspondents’ Dinner is heating up and invitations to the surrounding parties are starting to pour in.

Today we get details on John McLaughlin‘s infamous Sunday brunch that’s now hosted with Thomson Reuters. This is one where punchy people with hangovers gather over eggs and try to hold semi-coherent conversations the day after the big dinner. The fare and views at the Hay Adams are always spectacular — think fresh pineapple, strawberries, scrambled eggs, chocolate croissants accompanied by McLaughlin’s loud, scratchy voice.

As is now becoming customary with these parties, there will be no crashing. You must snag an invite or prepare to be embarrassed at the door.



Civility is Nice. But Could it Put You to Sleep?

Politeness ensues around the roundtable.

Even the dinner table oozed civil discourse.

A question to ask ourselves: Can civil, polite conversation still be entertaining?

If you’re cable news, the land of shouting loudmouths, not likely. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

Wednesday evening was meant to be civil. What began as cocktails on the lawn in the backyard led to dinner and darkness falling over Georgetown’s historical Halcyon House. Sponsored by Liberty Mutual and organized by’s George Uribe and Peter Zorich, both longtime TV producers, the event mixed politicians and journalists in an unusual format of hypothetical situations. Sitting around a gorgeous round wooden table, participants were put in roles and asked to debate faux scenarios — without cussing one another out.

Easier said than done, right?

The Players: Reps. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WVa.), NJ‘s Congressional Reporter Major Garrett, Catherine “Kiki” Mclean, former Senior Adviser to Hillary Clinton‘s Presidential Campaign and founder of the Congressional Civility Caucus, and former mayor Adrian Fenty. The moderator: Former NBC News anchor John Seigenthaler.

But first, a dinner flowing with red wine, followed by jumbo lump Maryland crabcake, Springfield Farm lamb loin, warm pineapple upsidedown cake with coconut sorbet and coffee. A long country wooden table was set as though the guests were royalty. It was that beautiful and would have been offensive to even consider saying something unbecoming. Every object was brought in expressly for the event and even Martha Stewart might have been impressed. Perfection was long sheer white curtains from towering ceilings, colorful hanging lights,  fancy goblets, unusual silverware and oak place settings that looked to be freshly sliced off trees and flown in from the forest just for the occasion.

The scene was set for an event that allowed for something so rare in Washington: candor. And something else: Although the situations were invented, each participant eventually shared personal details as the evening wore on. Who would have thought it possible for an event based on phony hypotheticals to allow D.C. types who have to watch every word they say to open up?

The first topic: The great divide between the political parties.

Kingston talked social media — “You can insulate yourself in your chat room and your Facebook.” And Fenty attacked the media. “It’s the 24-hour news cycle,” he said. To which everyone laughed. “It’s the media’s fault,” Seigenthaler said, partially mocking him. Fenty glanced at his watch and replied, “Look at how long it took me to say that!” McClean added this: “The great moments in our country came with bipartisanship. I would also say there are minority extreme voices at both ends.”

Hypothetical #1. A potential campaign in which one candidate gets news of drunken photographs of his opponent. The campaign is three weeks out. The pictures will get out with few or no fingerprints. You’re the campaign strategist. What does he do? Garrett: “As a campaign strategist, certainly.” Fenty: “Winning elections drive so much of the incivility. If you’re goal is to win you’re going to do what it takes.” McLean: “The issue is, is there relevance?” Kingston says release the pictures and proudly so. “My thinking is you shouldn’t let someone do your bidding. I’d say, ‘We released the pictures and you’re damn right’” we did. Capito: “You have to be able to live with yourself.” Fenty: “The question to me is, how does it affect the general public? They’re turned off by it.”

On occasion, participants slipped back into their real-life roles. “Our job is not about having amnesia about what you say,” said Garrett, eyeing the politicians around the table. He continued, “No one cares why I got out of cable news, but I was a reporter surrounded by people who were loud and angry.” Now, he says, he has more conversations filled with depth. McLean joked, “I’ll get an escort on the way out to my car.”

During the course of the debates, personal details arose. Capito shared that scandal involving her father came into her campaign and she had to decide whether it was appropriate for her to run. Fenty said during both of his mayoral campaigns, rumors swirled about him beating his wife. Despite his knock on the media earlier, he said, “The media never ran it. I think there’s integrity and rules that they follow.”

The bottom line? Washington may need more of these roundtables, as evidenced by the rapt guests who fixated on what participants had to say and laughed along with them. But don’t tell that to Robert Gleason Jr., Chairman of the Republican State Committee of Pennsylvania, who was conked out on a sofa for most of the event. Someone might want to tell him when an event like this is being filmed, pssst…you might not want to nod off.

Adrian Fenty and John Seigenthaler.

Extravagant table decor.

See more photographs and post roundtable reaction…

Read more

NYP’s Page Six Misses Allbritton Brunch

In an odd turn of events, NYP‘s Page Six scribe Tara Palmeri missed the much talked about Allbritton brunch for the less exclusive John McLaughlin/Thomson Reuters brunch at the Hay Adams Hotel.

The Allbritton brunch was expected to turn out an A-List of celebrities while the McLaughlin/Thomson Reuters brunch typically turns up the same Creative Coalition cast of actors that many reporters have worn out by Sunday.

Palmeri stayed at the Hay Adams too late to make it over to the Allbritton’s Georgetown home. It’s unclear at this point whether the pub’s gossip pages will still somehow write on the brunch.

Dogs Can Have WHCD Parties, Too

A Bo Obama lookalike

A Bo Obama lookalike

Last night, on the patio of Art and Soul on Capitol Hill, hosted its second annual White House Pet Correspondents’ Benefit. The dogs were generally well-behaved, though there was some growling, barking and butt-sniffing. How very Washington.

Wendy Diamond, the proprietor of AnimalFair, played host to raise money for Pets2Vets, which pairs returning veterans with adopted dogs. She was joined by her dog, Lucky, whom she calls the White House pet correspondent. The resident White House dog, Bo Obama, was not in attendance. He wasn’t even invited, though Diamond insisted his presence would have been welcome.

Pets2Vets, or P2V, was founded by David Sharpe in early 2010. Sharpe described suffering from PTSD, traumatic brain injury, and depression upon his return from tours of duty in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. But when he adopted a rescue dog, a three-month-old pitbull mix named Cheyenne, the feelings of depression subsided. It led him to found P2V, which he describes as “a between a sheltered pet and a veteran.” Pets offer “unconditional, pure love” and Sharpe says that veterans, who often feel judged opening up to doctors about their feelings, don’t feel the same way with animals. He said the program helps both the veterans who “just want companionship” and the dogs, which come from abusive homes.

The small crowd of human guests enjoyed hors d’oeuvres from Art and Soul, including mushroom puffs and fried mac and cheese, along with a wine bar. The canine guests, all under 21, were instead served water. They munched on treats and bones.

Attendees were also treated to cupcakes from Georgetown Cupcake, decked out in red, white and blue. The owners of the store and the stars of TLC’s “D.C. Cupcakes,” Sophie LaMontagne and Katherine Kallinis, made an appearance at the event, though they’ll be heading to New York today for an appearance on “The View”‘s royal wedding special.

The McLaughlin Group’s John McLaughlin, Daily Caller editor-in-chief Tucker Carlson, WUSA’s Angie Goff, and Buzz Aldrin all serve on the host committee. None were able to attend.

McLaughlin & Adler to Wrap WHCD Weekend

For those WHCD weekend warriors able to pry themselves out of bed on Sunday morning, John McLaughlin and Reuters EIC Stephen Adler will once again host their annual brunch on the roof terrace of the Hay-Adams Hotel.  The posh event begins at 10.30 am and signals the official close of the weekend’s festivities at 3.00 pm on Sunday, May 1st.

Celebrity and politcal attendees at last year’s brunch included Dennis Quaid, Dana Delany, Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Bo Derek, Tim Daly and Ashley Greene.  Invite only.