Roll Call: Google-HBO Party at Renwick Voted Best WHCD Party of the Weekend

Actor Bryan Cranston with Director Jay Roach and Producer Monica Levinson at the Newseum in 2015

Actor Bryan Cranston with Director Jay Roach and Producer Monica Levinson at the Newseum in 2015

Everyone knows that the parties surrounding the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner are the most coveted, deeply desired invitations in town. But one can always dream: If you had access to every star-studded affair in town, which would be the fairest one of them all?

This is the exact question that Roll Call asked its readers in an online poll earlier this week. Their verdict: The Google-HBO-Smithsonian party at the Renwick Gallery took the top spot in the poll both for best location and celebrity guest list.

The Renwick, which is usually free and a must see for first-time visitors to Washington, will not be accessible to most people on Friday night. Not only is the Renwick one of the most beautiful, intimate and inspirational spaces in town, but the guest list for the Google-HBO-Smithsonian soiree includes critically acclaimed artists such as Bryan Cranston of “Breaking Bad” fame, and Jay Roach, director of “Meet the Parents.” Cranston also received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor for “Trumbo” which was directed by Roach, and recently the two teamed up again for HBO’s “All the Way” depicting President Lyndon B. Johnson’s efforts to maneuver members of Congress to support civil rights legislation.

Second place in the voting for best location was the Washington Women in Journalism party, hosted at the Kalorama home of Gloria Story Dittus, and the Tinder-IJ Review-Rock the Vote party at the W Hotel in downtown Washington.

Ranking second for celebrity guest list was the SAG-Variety-Washington Post party on Friday night with the casts of “Black-ish” and “Scandal” expected to be in attendance.

2016 Garden Brunch Celebrates ‘Starting Out and Starting Up’


This weekend’s annual Garden Brunch in honor of White House Correspondents’ Weekend will celebrate the next generation of ‘starting out and starting up.’

On Saturday, April 30, members of the media, Hollywood celebrities and studio heads, business executives, and non-profit leaders will come together to support causes that reflect issues facing our society today.

The brunch will raise awareness for Halcyon Incubator, an organization that supports early stage social entrepreneurs “seeking to change the world” through an immersive 18-month fellowship program.

Dr. Sachiko Kuno, who was recently recognized on the Forbes list of self-made women, was the first woman to receive an Industrial Biochemistry Ph.D. from Kyoto University. She is now CEO of S&R Foundation and has been widely recognized for her contributions to the pharmaceuticals industry. Her “entrepreneurial mind and deep desire to empower social change” is what drives her to support initiatives such as the Halcyon Incubator. The organization supports “talented individuals with great potential and high aspirations in the arts, sciences, and social entrepreneurship, especially those who are furthering their cultural celebration.”

Dr. Kuno’s latest project is to develop the Fillmore School in Georgetown into an arts incubator, which will serve as “a platform to grow talented artists in the fields of fine, visual and performing arts, maintaining the educational use of the building and its place as part of the vibrant arts landscape in the nation’s capital.”

Also in the spotlight will be #PlayfieldInThePark, an initiative supported by Yellow Ribbons United that serves approximately 500 children and teens attending the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) Good Grief Camp and Honoring Our Heroes Camp over Memorial Day Weekend.

The 2016 Garden Brunch is hosted by Tammy Haddad, Kevin Sheekey, Hilary Rosen, Sachiko Kuno, Fred Humphries, Mark & Sally Ein, Constance Milstein, Anita Dunn, Bill Knapp, David Adler, and Franco Nuschese.

Watch the video from the 2015 White House Correspondents’ Garden Brunch below.

WHCD Host Larry Wilmore Set to “Roast” President Obama


This year’s host of the White House Correspondents’ Dinner Larry Wilmore, host of the “Nightly Show”, spoke with C-SPAN’s Peter Slen ahead of the big event.

“You just want to check and see if the president is laughing. That’s the most important thing. If he’s laughing, you’re doing ok.”

Wilmore also discussed the tone he will set for the show. “It is a roast and people do expect to get ribbed a lot. You’re not really attacking them, you’re roasting them. You’re doing it in a good spirit.”

As for topics Wilmore will discuss he said, “I’ll definitely bring up race, that’s going to be an issue in a lot of different ways. I will bring up the presidential election–lot of things to talk about there. We’ll talk about some people in the room, talk about Obama’s legacy a little bit.”

Hey Larry, tell Donald Trump not to take it too harshly. You can watch Seth Meyers roasting the Donald here.

Volta Insider Episode 9: Ambassador Capricia Marshall

As White House Correspondents weekend approaches, Volta Insider’s Rachel Greenberg – a podcaster and budding journalist herself – has released the latest episode of her podcast, Volta Insider.

This episode featured a conversation with Ambassador Capricia Marshall who gave Rachel some incredible insights about the inner workings of the White House. From her role as a Special Assistant to First Lady Hillary Clinton, to her time serving as U.S. Chief of Protocol for President Barack Obama, Amb. Marshall has witnessed many a historical moment.

Download the podcast on AudioBoom or iTunes. And be sure to subscribe while you’re there!

WHCD Guest Update: Will Smith and Jada Pinkett + Priyanka Chopra To Join The Party

Priyanka Chopra

Priyanka Chopra

Men In Black super star and leading Hollywood hunk Will Smith and his wife Jada Pinkett Smith are among the guests of ABC for this weekend’s White House Correspondents Dinner. Also invited to the dinner by ABC is the cast of Scandal including leading stars Kerry Washington, Tony Goldwyn, Scott Foley and creator Shonda Rhimes.

Bollywood bombshell Priyanka Chopra, who is a star of ABC’s new television thriller series Quantico, will also be in attendance at the event, which she recently confirmed via her Twitter account. Chopra has gotten global attention for her portrayal of FBI agent ‘Alex Parrish’ in the American television series that debuted in the fall of 2015.

Chopra has been invited by USA Today and will be seated with model Kendall Jenner and fellow actors Rosario                                                                          Dawson, Neve Campbell and Gabrielle Union.




White House Correspondents’ Association Announces Winners of 2016 Journalism Awards

The Boston Globe, CBS News, InsideClimate News, the Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post each took home the top prizes in this year’s WHCA awards.

The White House Correspondents’ Association reported the following winners earlier this week:

The winner of the Aldo Beckman Memorial Award for excellence in White House coverage is Carol Lee of the Wall Street Journal. Carol is also president of the White House Correspondents’ Association, which hosts the White House Correspondents Dinner (#WHCD) every year. Lee was not a judge for the awards.

The winner of the Merriman Smith Award for outstanding White House coverage under deadline pressure is Matt Viser of the Boston Globe.

The Winner of the Merriman Smith Award for broadcast journalism is Norah O’Donnell of CBS News.

Last but not least, the Edgar A. Poe Award which recognizes excellence in coverage of events or investigative topics of regional or national interest will be shared this year by Terrence McCoy of The Washington Post and Neela Banerjee, John Cushman Jr., David Hasemyer and Lisa Song of InsideClimate News.

Full list of winners and their bios on the WHCA website.

Neve Campbell, New Star of House of Cards to Attend WHCD

LeAnn Harvey (Neve Campbell) and Claire Underwood (Robin Wright) from the fourth season of House of Cards

LeAnn Harvey (Neve Campbell) and Claire Underwood (Robin Wright) from the fourth season of House of Cards

There’s no actor on television that has had as much impact on a drama as Neve Campbell aka ‘LeAnn Harvey’ in House of Cards.  Campbell’s character is a Texas political consultant who is incredibly intelligent and successful. She is greatly praised and acclaimed for her ability to win campaigns against all odds. Harvey becomes First Lady Claire Underwood’s (played by Robin Wright) political consultant after Claire makes her an offer she can’t refuse. She later becomes Frank and Claire’s campaign manager when they decide to run for office together. Campbell’s character is one of the central components in the story’s plotline in the new season.

Campbell first rose to fame in the 90’s, starring as ‘Sidney Prescott’ in the Scream series as well as the drama series Party of Five which won the Golden Globe Award for Best Drama in 1996.

Scenes with her and Doug Stamper (Michael Kelly) are among the best and hottest scenes in House of Cards. Their rivalry reflects the reality of Washington’s hyper-competitive political class and reminds us of unnamed presidential campaigns.

Larry Wilmore Promises to Dissect “The Unblackening of the White House” at The WHCD This Weekend

White House Correspondents' Dinner Host, Larry Wilmore

The comedian performing at this year’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner, Comedy Central late-night host Larry Wilmore started off as a writer and producer for The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and The Jamie Foxx Show in the 90’s, along with creating The Bernie Mac Show and helping produce The Office in the 2000’s.

Wilmore first shot to fame for his performing in 2006, when he started appearing regularly on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show as the “Senior Executive Commander-in-Chief Who Happens To Be Black Correspondent,” which prepared him well for this weekend when he’ll be roasting the real Commander-in-Chief!

Wilmore said on CBS This Morning earlier this week that besides the President there would be plenty of jokes at the expense of Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump, who he said was “great for comedians. He’s so funny and unusual it’s almost impossible to write jokes funnier than the real thing.” He also insisted that the nation’s news media wouldn’t be left out of the firing range. Wilmore joked that both the media and politicians at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner like to be roasted, calling it “a weird type of group masochism.”

Be sure to checkout Wilmore’s hilarious quips and puns from the 2011 Congressional Correspondents’ Dinner to get a taste for his act this weekend!


NSYNC’s JC Chasez and Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo to Attend Eric Podwall’s WHCD Party

Eric Podwall, Patrick Stewart, Greta van Susteren, John Coale and Katherine McPhee at the 2014 White House Correspondents' Garden Brunch

Eric Podwall, Patrick Stewart, Greta van Susteren, John Coale and Katherine McPhee at the 2014 White House Correspondents’ Garden Brunch

Hollywood Bigwig and Talent manager Eric Podwall is hosting his third annual WHCD party, and some famous faces from Hollywood and the NFL will be in attendance.

X-Men director Bryan Singer, NSYNC’s JC Chasez, producer Simon Kinberg and Matthew Morrison from Finding Neverland and Glee are all guests.

Find out more about the Party at Fishbowl DC:


Special 360-Degree Camera on the President’s Lawn – Is There Another Drone at the White House?

The White House has been using a custom made 360-degree camera set up in both the press briefing room as well as the South Lawn where President Obama boards Marine One, to record video footage.

Another new drone program from the administration? No, the footage being captured is actually all for a video to be shown during the White House Correspondents Association’s annual dinner this weekend. CQ Roll Call White House reporter John Bennett, uncovered this covert operation whilst covering the President. He happened to spot the “disc-shaped” camera and asked about its function.

But the funniest video at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner to date, was in 2014 when Veep star Julia Louis Dreyfus and Vice President Biden hit the road together. Watch the video above to relive it!