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Posts Tagged ‘Matt Dornic’

Bowties, Bowling, and Bourbon for BuzzFeed’s Benny Johnson

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Photo cred: Mrs. Dayspring

In celebration of BuzzFeed’s Benny Johnson‘s 28th birthday, friends gathered for a surprise party yesterday at Pinstripes in Georgetown.

Hosted by CNN’s Matt Dornic and Katelyn Rieley, guests included newlyweds CNN’s Lauren Pratapas and NRSC spokesman Brad Dayspring, WaPo’s Jackie Kucinich, Jared Allen, Chris “Gindy” Gindlesperger, Matt Haller, Andrew Kovalcin, Jacob Wood, Zach Graves, Daily Caller’s Chris Bedford, and Michael Steel.

Guests noshed on black Angus mini burgers, pizza, and flat bread.
Cigars and bourbon were the go-to gift, and selfies, strongly encouraged.

Jefferson Book Party Toasts Arianna Huffington and Thrive

20140515_190857Last night at The Jefferson, Constance Milstein, Gail MacKinnon and Rachel Pearson hosted Arianna Huffington in celebration of her new book, Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder.

Huffington wrote Thrive after a fall brought on by exhaustion and a lack of sleep sent her to the hospital.

“The motivation for writing the book was my own burnout, and then looking around and seeing how many millions are burned out. And then, asking the questions that we stop asking after college, ‘What is the good life? What is success?’ And if you think about it, we define success, in search of these two metrics of money and power, and in this town, especially power. And this is like trying to sit on a two legged stool. Sooner or later you fall off. Nothing wrong with these two metrics. It’s just that you need the third leg of the stool.” Read more

TOTeS Fun at Taste of the South

PanoShot

Cocktail dresses, cowboy boots, bourbon, and bow ties. That was the scene Saturday night at the Washington Hilton, where Hill staffers and press from the dirty South threw down and represented their home states.

TOTS, as the kids call it, is Taste of the South – a black tie-ish, non-profit gala. This year’s fete benefited a school for at-risk youth in Kentucky – the featured state.

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A few folks in a crowd of what seemed like thousands included Buzzfeed’s boy about town – Benny Johnson and CNN’s Matt Dornic who were palling around with Andrew Kovalcin from the US Chamber of Commerce, Matthew Haller, and Chase Hieneman. Also spotted were WaPo’s Cara Kelly, Revamp’s Daniel Swartz, Judd Deere (Sen. Mike Crapo), Eric Wilson (Ed For Senate campaign), Story Partner’s Lauren Culbertson, Tom Brandt (Rep. Lynn Jenkins), Holli Heiles (Rep. Tim Griffin), Mandi Critchfield (US Senate Banking Committee), Scott Cunningham (Rep. Kenny Marchant), and Sarah Fairchild (Chairman of TOTS 2014, Senator Lamar Alexander).

Miles of BBQ, brews for days, and more bourbon than you can shake a stick at? Where do we sign up?

Giddy up!

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.  

Heil Gets Served and Grilled

More than twenty media types gathered last night at LOOK to eat a course (or three) and raise a glass (or twelve) to Emily Heil’s gig as the new half of WaPo’s “Reliable Source” column.

Neither Amy Argetsinger, who is vacating the column, nor Reliable’s Roxanne Roberts were in attendance but dinner host Janet Donovan still managed to pull together an impressive and multi-generational roster of Washington gossip columnists and journos.  Among those in attendance were Annie Groer, radio hosts Bill Press and John McCaslin, Politico’s Patrick Gavin and wife Anne, Whispers columnist Nikki Schwab, USA Today’s Sue Davis, CNN’s Matt Dornic, NJ’s Ben Terris, K Street Kate Michael, Mary Bird, Washington Life’s Kevin Chaffee, The Hill‘s Emily Goodin, Roll Call‘s Warren Rojas, and LOOK owner Michael Kosmides.

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CNN “Crossfire” Party Packs a Punch

“It was terr i fy ying,” said CNN “Crossfire” host Van Jones, careful to enunciate every syllable when asked about his first night on the job.

At least at the Crossfire launch party held last night at the Carnegie Library he could finally let his hair down (so to speak) and enjoy a night with friends, colleagues, booze and a band.

His co-hosts popped in the crowd — Newt Gingrich with his big, shiny helmet of white hair, S.E. Cupp in a purple leather sleeveless dress and Stephanie Cutter in power red.

Meanwhile, others mingled: Newt’s wife, Callista held her own with her perfect, shiny, white-blond bob,  former “Crossfire” host Paul Begala wished the new hosts well, as Rep. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.) and fiancé, Maria Belen Chapur, attracted flashbulbs on the red carpet while a very thin Caroline Kennedy, President Obama’s nominee for Amb. to Japan, drew stares. Others spotted around the room: WJLA’s Rebecca Cooper, conservative radio host Laura Ingraham, The Weekly Standard Editor Bill Kristol (who is far shorter in person than we imagined), FNC’s Greta Van Susteren and husband, John Coale, WaPo‘s Jackie Kucinich, ex-TWT Editor Sam Dealey, TWT‘s senior opinion writer Emily Miller, The Daily Caller‘s Alex Pappas, Politico‘s Dylan Byers, The Hill‘s Emily Goodin, CQ Roll Call‘s Abby Livingston, Slate‘s Dave Weigel, TIME‘s Michael Crowley, MSNBC’s Karen Finney, lefty radio host Bill Press, Speaker John Boehner‘s spokesman Michael Steel and wife, Mary Kathryn Covert, lobbyist Jack Quinn and wife, Susanna, Americans for Tax Reform Prez Grover Norquist, NRSC’s fiery Brad Dayspring, and consultant Brian Walsh.

CNNer’s spotted in the crowd: CNN President Jeff Zucker, Washington Bureau Chief Sam Feist, Jessica Yellin, Dana Bash, Brianna Keilar, Wolf Blitzer, Gloria Borger, Candy Crowley (without a shred of makeup), Wendell Goler, Matt Dornic, and Edie Emery.

Asked about Cupp, his conservative co-host, Jones said, “S.E. is the most likeable person ever born. I think they created her in a lab. She hypnotizes you and then she goes in for the kill.”

Cupp also had a thing or two to say about Jones. Read more

Morning Chatter

Quotes of the Day

 

“I’m an MSNBC fan, what do you call it, a junkie.”Itzhak Perlman this morning on “Morning Joe.”

How Roger Stone really feels about Dick Morris

“Dick Morris, pompous , insufferable and wrong. #namedropper #toesucker.” — GOP Political Consultant Roger Stone on GOP pollster Dick Morris.

Fonzi Fever

“#TheFonz #TheFonz #TheFonz #TheFonz #TheFonz!!!!! Coming up in just a few!!!!” — ABC7′s Jummy Olabanji, on a pretty serious Henry Winkler binge this morning.

In His Dreams…

“November 6, please hurry. Presidential polls now entering my dreams (true story). Not saying who, but someone was up 20 (!) points.” — Politico‘s Patrick Gavin.

Journo love

“Loved waking up to my girl @brikeilarcnn co-hosting @EarlyStartCNN this morning. All that beauty & brains made me forget I was at the gym.” — CNN Worldwide Dir. of Public Relations and former Fishbowl Editor Matt Dornic on his colleague, White House Correspondent Brianna Keilar.

Terrible memories

“Reminded this morning how surreal it was to be living in D.C. during the sniper attacks. An entire metro area on edge.” — National Journal “The Hotline’s” Steven Shepard. Today is the 10-year anniversary of the first D.C. sniper shooting.

Author plans to watch debate with horse

“I’m going to bring my dressage horse, Eric, into the house for the 1st debate. He’s hoping to catch a glimpse of Rafalca in the TV audience.” — author and avid Democrat Anne Lamott in a sarcastic Monday offering.

Money scribe sick of pre-debate spin

“Pre-debate spin may be the most useless and annoying of the many useless and annoying things the media-political complex creates.” — Politico‘s Ben White.

Convo Between a Reporter and a Consultant

This morning’s conversation is between Politico’s Alexander Burns and GOP political consultant Roger Stone.

Stone: “Just saw Newt Gingrich on FOX–Andy Warhol Foundation wants their wig back.” Burns: “Look, he’s a well coiffed man.” Stone: “Better hair than… Calista [sic].”

 

 

A Very Redneck Birthday

Mary Kathryn Covert Steel and CNN Worldwide Director of Public Relations Matt Dornic are celebrating their birthdays in Raleigh, NC with an intense five-day party with friends and family that ends tomorrow. Their actual shared birthday is today. MKCS, a public affairs strategist at FTI Consulting, is the wife of Michael Steel, spokesman to House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio). Steel is present for the birthday festivities, as are a host of Washingtonians that include GWU’s Nick Massella, CBS’s Christine Delargy, Mark Paustenbach, Brunswick Group’s Cat Hill and Glenn Ballard and three very rambunctious dogs, one of whom gets separation anxiety if the sun rises or if you glance at him wrong.

On Saturday night the crew attended a Lynyrd Skynyrd/Allman Brothers concert in which a “Capture the Redneck” contest ensued. All tuckered out from the long evening that may or may not have included moonshine, here you see Dornic slumbering (?) in the back of a red pickup along with pictures of a bunch of his new friends (some with shirts, some without) he met that evening. The birthday boy woke a little later demanding Bojangles’ chicken, spicy french fries, sweet tea and 300 packets of honey mustard.

Happy birthday to Covert Steel and Dornic!

Morning Chatter

Quotes of the Day

When insomnia strikes…

“I still can’t sleep. Ask me anything and I’ll answer. #ASKarl” — Syndicated Columnist Karl Frisch, also a partner at Bullfight Strategies, at around 3 a.m. At 4 a.m. he wrote, “Why can’t I sleep?!?! Ugh.” Some questions he received: 1. “Do the elves help Santa with grooming, or is their mandate strictly in making toys?” 2. “Why do you think Roberts took the ACA position he did?”

Allbritton springs for pizza

“One of the perks of #scotusday: newsroom pizza!” — Politico national political reporter Emily Schultheis.

Inside CNN…

@BuzzFeedBen @mmhastings Open Revolt? Funny, I’m sitting in the bureau and haven’t seen a single pitchfork or overturned edit bay.” — CNN’s Matt Dornic in response to Buzzfeed‘s Michael Hastings story on staffers revolting at CNN after they mistakenly reported that the Supreme Court didn’t uphold the healthcare bill.

And inside the courtroom…

“Journalists and lawmakers scribbled notes furiously while Justices spoke because you can’t bring blackberries or recorders in courtroom.” — CBS News Capitol Hill Producer Jill Jackson.

Rosen tries to ease Toobin’s fall

@JeffreyToobin gives a classy analysis/apology” — CNN Commentator Hilary Rosen after CNN Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin makes a whopper of an error Thursday.

Only in Washington…

“Crowd outside SCOTUS is confused. Both sides cheering.” — TWT Senior Opinion Writer Emily Miller.

Self-appointed Media Critic

“Who is having a worse day Republicans, Ann Curry or CNN?” — MSNBC Contributor and The Daily Beast Columnist Meghan McCain.

Journo amid Supreme Court ruling

“Spending the day test driving Chrysler’s. Am I missing any news? #nprlife (@ Chrysler Chelsea Proving Grounds)” — NPR’s Sonari Glinton.

C-SPAN: Priceless

“Ha, C-SPAN just cut off a caller who said Obama supported universal health care ‘because he is an alien.’” – Yahoo! News’ Chris Moody.

Correction: We were mistaken in yesterday’s Morning Chatter. NYT Jim Roberts actually did respond to HuffPost‘s Jon Ward‘s early morning ranting on the NYT homepage not having Supreme Court coverage Thursday. They had a blurb, but nothing significant. Roberts replied to the very important Ward, saying, “@jonward11 Seriously, what more is there to say at this point. We wait for a ruling.” And this: “Don’t do rehash.”

Peter Ogburn contributed to this report.

 

HBO’s ‘Newsroom’ Gets Dim Reviews in D.C.

By Eddie Scarry and Betsy Rothstein

HBO’s drama Newsroom debuted Sunday night. The series tells the story of an easily agitated cable news anchor played by Jeff Daniels who has a public meltdown at Northwestern University resulting in a mass exodus of his staff. What’s a newsroom without a resident alcoholic, a wonk and a love triangle? Sam Waterston plays the drunken president of ACN who tells Daniels privately that he loved the meltdown. Dev Patel plays a perfect wonk. Who wouldn’t love to have him on their news team? A former love interest played by Emily Mortimer takes over his program as executive producer with plans to shake up the newscast for better or worse. And the love triangle: Daniels’ assistant played by Alison Pill is seeing an arrogant ass of a reporter (Thomas Sadoski) in the newsroom who doesn’t want to get too serious. Will she shack up with the new guy played by John Gallagher (check him out below)? Stay tuned…

Gawker published a favorable review by broadcasting legend Dan Rather. If subsequent episodes are as good as the first, he wrote, “then [Newsroom creator] Aaron Sorkin has a winner.”

ABC News’ Senior White House Correspondent Jake Tapper was less kind. In TNR, he called the show “sadly disappointing.” Similarly negative reviews were published in the NYT, WaPo and The New Yorker magazine.

We asked around to see what Washington’s media thought about the show. Sadly the viewing community, minus Slate‘s Dave Weigel, wasn’t large. And among those who watched, most abhorred it while a small minority of journalists are on the fence and plan to keep watching.

“Didn’t watch… don’t plan to… why do I want to spend my down time watching a fictionalized account of what I supposedly do for a living?” — NBC’s Chuck Todd

“So badly do I but I don’t get HBO despite trying to get it specifically so I could watch this show. I need someone to rent me a living room with HBO next weekend so I can check it out.” — RCP’s Erin McPike

“Going into the show I was highly skeptical, but you know I was entertained. Was it the west wing? No.  True to life? no (I’ve never seen a bottle of whiskey in my newsroom) but a quality first outing. I think it got the energy of a newsroom right. I’ll watch next week.One knock, but its kind of part of the Sorkin playbook…it got a touch preachy. I do wish the newsroom had a breaking news siren or something. — ABC7′s Kris Van Cleave

“Not sure I feel one way or another about it yet. I did identify with some of the situations, the environment and some of the characters, but I wasn’t fully convinced. Plus, the best part was the on-stage meltdown. It slowed considerably after that. Enjoyable but not addictive – at least not yet.” — CNN’s Matt Dornic

“I got rid of cable when I was watching too many “real” housewives. When I found myself wasting my time watching Kimmie’s wig pulled off on the streets of Atlanta – and my kids glued to Cartoon Network – cable had to go … Leaves me more time to read Fishbowl.” — ABC7′s Rebecca Cooper

“If the point of The Newsroom was to leave West Wing fans feeling a bit embarrassed, Sorkin succeeded. However, I am excited to share this experience with Twitter until the show ends.” — The Heritage Foundation’s Director of Communications Rory Cooper

“Didn’t watch. Think I’ll wait then tackle three or four episodes in one sitting.”– Politico‘s Dylan Byers

“Didn’t watch, though did enjoy Sorkin’s A Few Good Men on (I think) TNT Saturday”– Politico‘s Alex Burns

“I did, largely because 1) the negative reviews/profiles were so succulent and 2) I needed to procrastinate. Maybe Dan Rather is right, and people in print media just don’t understand whether or not this feels REAL. (When I do MSNBC, I’m sort of an in-and-out guest in the newsrooms and studios, so I have not seen a newsroom burst into action to chase down BP statements.) That said… seriously, they broke the BP story wide open because they ran with the new guy’s two sources? Isn’t that how the Paris correspondent gets in trouble in “The Imperfectionists”?”– Slate’s Weigel.

“I am probably the only person in D.C. whose job it is to write about entertainment and did not tune in. I’ll watch it when I get home tonight, but from all of the scathing reviews I have pretty low expectations, which is disappointing because I love a good walk and talk. I have “Sports Night” queued up on Netflix in case I need to cleanse my palette afterward.”– The Daily Caller‘s Taylor Bigler

“I turned off HBO after True Blood, the Newsroom’s plot just seemed too dark and twisted.” — USA Today‘s Jackie Kucinich

“Tedious.” — The Daily Caller‘s TV Reporter Jeff Poor

“No, didn’t watch watch it and won’t watch it.. I work in a newsroom. Why in god’s name would I then go home and watch a show about working in a newsroom? Give me an episode of Game of Thrones!” — NBC’s Andy Gross

“I thought it was mostly fun, albeit pretty melodramatic with the various speeches, especially the ones delivered by the Brit woman. Plenty of news organizations are “popular” without pandering to one audience or another. Thought Jeff Daniels was great as a cynical, beaten-down new sguy who could have been a print or digital person as well as a TV one.” — BusinessWeek‘s Bryan Gruley

“I didn’t watch. I’m lame.” — NYT‘s Mark Leibovich

“Sorry, In ATL this week for a conference. Didn’t see it.” — HuffPost‘s Christina Wilkie

See more responses from Washington journos…

Read more

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