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Posts Tagged ‘Benny Johnson’

Hanson on The Hill! Oh, and Also Reps. McCarthy and Pelosi…

20140402_185528Last night at The Hamilton, House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) were recognized with a GRAMMYs on the Hill Award by The Recording Academy and the GRAMMY Foundation for “their support and understanding of music creators’ unique role in American life.” The evening included special performances by Lady Antebellum, Los Lonely Boys, and 90s chart toppers, Hanson. Hanson? Seriously?

The evening was a long one. Red carpet access to Lady A and Hanson began at 6, and the award ceremony and performances lasted until after 10pm.

Here’s how it went down.

5:59pm – Ushered to the 2nd floor of The Hamilton for a private red carpet and Q&A with Lady Antebellum, Hanson, high level execs from The Recording Academy and some members of Congress. Immediately notice a sea of wine glasses covering the bar. I’m talking at least 50 glasses of already poured red and white ready for the taking. I start my night with a Diet Coke.

6:20  The room quickly fills with so-not-DC folks, sporting tans we can only dream of and the bleachiest of blonde hair.

Read more

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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!

Separated at Birth: Buzzfeed’s Benny Johnson

Not long ago, Buzzfeed’s Benny Johnson put together a wonderful list featuring members of Congress and their animal lookalikes. While we don’t have a list of “30 Animals That Look Like Benny Johnson,” we did find one potential clone. Comedian Greg Proops was in town earlier this week to perform and tape his podcast at the DC Improv. We caught up with him at the “Lamb Jam” food event at Eastern Market on Monday night. He was wearing a green, flannel suit and, with the rising temps, told us that he was “fucking hot.” Maybe it’s the sharp outfits or the glasses, but we think the two could be brothers from another mother.

BuzzFeed Party Heats Up

For its White House Correspondents’ Dinner party, BuzzFeed brought its entire politics team to D.C., but one of its members was noticeably absent from the party.

Andrew Kaczynski, the prolific tweeter and Internet video resurfacer, skipped out. He was at the actual Dinner, the one BuzzFeed had failed to secure a table at. CSPAN brought him as a guest.

“It must be nice, right,” BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith told FishbowlDC that night. “He’s like our celebrity.”

Even without their own version of a celebrity in attendance, the party was packed with hundreds of people, causing long waits at the bar, but even worse: Long lines outside to even get in. Senior Press Director Ashley McCollum manned the mess outside. At one point the general guest line stretched almost 100 people-deep.

For Dorsey Shaw, BuzzFeed‘s resident TV news watcher, it was his first time down from New York since the publication celebrated the launch of it’s Washington bureau in early August last year. He told us he was disappointed that he wouldn’t have time to see the monuments and other sights but that he’d make sure to schedule them in next time he’s in town. (He ended up being able to schedule in some time to see them Sunday, we hear.)

What and who else did we see? Read more

National Journal Party Has Potty Issues

By Eddie Scarry and Betsy Rothstein

National Journal‘s pre-White House Correspondents’ Dinner “Making News” party Friday could easily go down as one of this year’s nicest, most well-planned parties in the coolest warehouse space we’ve seen in awhile. And maybe it will if attendees forget that for a large portion of it, the restroom for hundreds of guests was out of order.

That’s right. There was one toilet available for the entire warehouse full of partygoers, and the top floor, which contained the toilet, was for V.I.P.’s only.

“That’s hood,” one attendee waiting outside the restroom remarked about the potty problem. “Poopgate, drink slowly,” said another, explaining that one employee advised him to pace himself. When Fox News’ Peter Doocy approached the first-floor restroom area, he was told he could not enter. “How long do you think?” he asked the woman standing guard. “Alright, I’ll let it go.” (We sincerely hope he held it in, not let it go.) Another partygoer cracked, “All these people are going to have to piss on themselves. This might be the shortest party ever.”

The attendant said she had people requesting buckets and cups.

The party took place at the two-story bar in Georgetown called The Powerhouse. It was on the bottom floor where they stationed event workers in front of the hall leading to the restroom, alerting guests from about 10 p.m., when the party started, to about 11:30, that the toilets weren’t working. Only that one VIP restroom upstairs was available. But without one of the exclusive red wristbands, how were most of the guests going to relieve themselves?

“If it gets too bad we’ll have to open up the VIP area,” said NJ Communications Director Ben Fishel at the time.

At one point a team of men carrying what looked like… Read more

Sen. Gillibrand Boozes at BuzzFeed Q&A

The audio was kind of a wreck but the second installment of BuzzFeed Brews, this time a Q&A with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), otherwise went just fine.

Gillibrand is apparently unafraid to drink with the big boys. Literally, big boys. She gave the towering D.C. Bureau Chief John Stanton a bottle of Jameson whiskey at the end of the interview, during which she downed the beer that sat at her side. Her glass of water went hardly touched.

Afterward, the open bar continued for another hour. What was Gillibrand doing? Read more

BuzzFeed Brews: ‘It’s Like a First Date’

Asked to describe the idea behind “BuzzFeed Brews,” John Stanton says, “It’s like a first date. Get them a little drunk and relaxed so they can talk about things people don’t normally hear them talk about.”

Stanton is the Washington Bureau Chief for BuzzFeed and last night was the launch of the website’s new series wherein newsmakers are invited to sit before an audience and answer questions. And there’s free beer.

It’s essentially the same thing as Politico‘s Playbook Breakfast, “minus the stale bagels, plus the beer,” cracked BuzzFeed‘s Politics Editor McKay Coppins to FishbowlDC. (The site’s publicist Ashley McCollum boasts that she came up with that description.)

The first guest: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). For roughly 45 minutes Rubio answered questions from BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith about immigration, gay marriage and the future of the Republican Party. Of course, lengthy segments here and there were spent on why Rubio prefers Tupac over Biggie Smalls (“His lyrics are more insightful in my opinion.”) and whether he had to “think long and hard” before letting his son play recreational football. Stanton said that’s another thing distinguishing the Brews series from Playbook Breakfast, whose audience may not be interested in those things. Read more

Now THAT’S a Jacket!

The Blaze’s Benny Johnson knows how to stand out in a crowd. Looking downright Hefnerian at the Heritage Foundation’s annual media Christmas party Monday night, Johnson was a pipe and a playmate short of being the spitting image of the Playboy founder.

Johnson will soon be leaving The Blaze for Buzzfeed, where we suspect wearing pajamas on the job is not only accepted, but encouraged.

For a Fun Time at D.C. BuzzFeed, Call Benny

BuzzFeed has hired yet another employee for its Washington bureau. It’s Benny Johnson who will purportedly be an “exciting addition” and who will “bring a lot fun” to the D.C. Bureau. He starts on January 3.

What, John Stanton isn’t enough fun?

What he’ll do and who is he? “Johnson is an associate editor in BuzzFeed‘s Washington, D.C. Bureau focusing on viral content and its intersection with DC politics. Benny brings seven years of collaborative news writing, new media editing, viral reporting and video production experience, most recently at The Blaze. Benny grew up in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and graduated Magna Cum Laude from University of Iowa with a degree in organic chemistry & developmental psychology.”

BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith says Benny will make a fine addition to the bureau. “Benny is a great native talent of the social web with politics in his blood,” he told FishbowlDC. “He’s perfectly positioned to work with John Stanton and our DC bureau to make the sort of smart, entertaining, and compelling political content people want to share.”

And a quote from smooth Benny himself… Read more