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Time-People Party a Blend of Pomp, Cynicism and Booze

The fallout from WHCD continues.

The TIME-People party on Friday night at the St. Regis was jammed with members of the media with nearly all networks and publications represented. We spotted CNN’s Wolf Blitzer by the bar, NBC’s Norah O’Donnell by the couches, FNC’s Chris Wallace and wife, Lorraine chatting with ABC News Radio White House correspondent Ann Compton, who was all decked out in a long-sleeved, sparkly cream dress. TIME‘s Richard Stengel could be seen mingling with the likes of MSNBC’s Savannah Guthrie and actor Steve Buscemi. Asked by one scribe how he felt about being shot by mobster Tony Soprano, Buscemi said, “If you’re going to get shot, might as well be by Tony Soprano.” Partygoers whispered about Bristol Palin being in the mix. Though much discussed, guests didn’t approach her in droves. She mostly stuck to quiet spots with her aunt and avoided anyone who tried to interview her.

We finally met up with Gawker‘s Political Editor Jim Newell, who described his blazer/khaki ensemble as “country club casual.” He said WHCD weekend is “obnoxious” but didn’t see the damage of stars mingling with Washington types. “I don’t understand why it has become celebrified,” he said. “Why do they come to this nerdy insider’s banquet?” A reporter in atttendance who wasn’t allowed to bring a plus one complained, “These assholes won’t let me bring my wife!”

Guthrie took exception to the negative undertones. She said she was looking forward to the dinner. “It’s fun to see your colleagues,” she said. “I enjoy it and I’m not cynical about it.” She told me she was planning to wear a long, black Michael Kors dress. “Really boring,” she said, downplaying her gown.

By and large, the party was enjoyed, especially those gift bags that many lugged out.


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