Janet Donovan & Matt Drudge. *Photo by Patrick G. Ryan
If you don’t know Janet Donovan, you probably don’t get out much. A fixture of the Washington social scene, you can find her at everything from charity functions and book parties to galas, media fetes and embassy events. You may know ”JDo” from her nightlife pieces for Hollywood on the Potomac, NBC Washington Niteside, The Georgetown Dish and Washington Life magazine. Or you may recognize her as the sassy, smoking pantsuit at the party…but do you really know Janet Donovan?
Find out more about this dishin’ diva in today’s FishbowlDC Interview:
How long have you been in Washington? I came here in 1971 with my Spanish friends from Harvard who all got great jobs with The World Bank and IMF. They suggested I come with them– and so I did, along with my two small children.
What jobs have you held here? Social Secretary to the Ambassadors of Argentina and Italy, a short stint under the Ford administration and Council of International Economic Policy, before launching Creative Enterprises Int’l, a publicity firm.
What is your fondest memory of nightlife in DC? Hard to single out because when the exclusive Pisces Club was here, every night was a fond memory (and yes, as wild as they were, I do remember). Iranian Ambassador Zahedi used to show up at Pisces, invite us back to the residence to swim and then serve breakfast which he prepared himself. Always lots of caviar and champagne. Elizabeth Taylor used to go there before she married Senator John Warner.
How has the social scene changed since you came to Washington? It is less edgy….more networking driven without as much fun. I think we took ourselves less seriously in terms of social activity.
You attend a lot of parties. What makes an event great? The guests, hands down. You can have the best venue and food in the world, but if you’re bored, why bother?
As a journalist, is it important to be seen on the scene? Yes and no. Less necessary than before the electronic age. However, for getting spontaneous insight/quotes, it’s always helps if people recognize your name or face.
Who is your favorite working journalist? Myra MacPherson (formerly political style writer for The Washington Post) now with Neiman Foundation and writing another book. She is brilliant.
Who gives the best and worst interview? When the President gives me one, I will let you know. Worst was Ted Turner by far.
*JDo’s thoughts on party crashing, her favorite people and career moments after the jump.