It’s hard to figure out what’s worth your time with all the first reads, politico blasts and tweets that race by before your third coffee of the morning. So let us provide some curation to your otherwise blur of a morning before your second conference call.
Move over Ryan Seacrest, ABC News’ Rick Klein and GQ’s Ana Marie Cox had the red carpet covered at the Washington Hilton for the 2010 White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner. Check out the dynamic duo on ABCNews.com as they talked to folks from WH Press Secretary Robert Gibbs to Senator Scott Brown to Academy Award winning director Kathryn Bigelow.
Former Washingtonian and Washington Post reporter Lloyd Grove has picked up the attack against White House correspondents launched by Ana Marie Cox last year. Ana Marie, did you spend anytime with Lloyd at Michael’s when you visited your new GQ editors in NYC? Grove’s Daily Beast blog recently harrumphed against the hardworking, hard tweeting members of the most exclusive club in Washington journalism – the ones who report to work at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
While I enjoy Michael’s like the next media maven, what’s so wrong with covering the leader of the free world 30 feet from his office and home? Grove’s complaint about Robert Gibbs tweeting reminds of when we began putting Ross Perot and President Bush and a former governor by the name of Bill Clinton on Larry King Live in 1992. Our newsroom colleagues lamented the end of journalism, but social media didn’t just start on the Internet; interactivity has always been an important part of journalism.
Ask Dan Pfeiffer, the president’s communications director, how much his press shop likes responding to the five reporters who call with follows on each White House reporters’ tweet. Take a quick look at the stories and interviews done by NBC’s Chuck Todd and Savannah Guthrie as well as ABC’s Jake Tapper; you want them to pull back and tweet from Café Milano?
MSNBC threw a memorable Radio and Television Correspondents Dinner after-party that stood apart from parties past. Held directly across the street from the main event at the Washington Convention Center, MSNBC turned the traditionally staid Historical Society of Washington, D.C. into a brightly-lit fete of themed cocktails, glowing neon necklaces and comfort food.
As guests walked down the blue carpet entrance, we asked them the question of the night: are you a nerd or a jock? Politico’s Mike Allen said he was “all of the above!” and Patrick Gavin thought he was a hybrid of the two. NBC’s Andrea Mitchell exclaimed she was a “total jock.” John “I’m a PC” Hodgman discussed the modern cultural divide at length during the dinner.
Inside the party, the scene downstairs included a Starbucks-sponsored coffee bar where guests ate ice cream sundaes and desserts. From the main bar, guests walked outside to a large outdoor patio, where dance music had the party-goers on their feet for “Don’t Stop Believing.” Faces and heads glowed in the light of neon necklaces and headbands.
Upstairs, special guest bartender Rachel Maddow was mixing up cocktails at her heavily-branded “Rachel Maddow’s Bar”– complete with MSNBC napkins and “Rachel’s Bar” menus. Maddow’s signature cocktail was listed as a Hearst: a mix of gin, sweet vermouth and bitters (though she told us she actually served more of her cava drink, “Airmail” which mixed rum, fresh lime juice, honey and the bubbly cava on top). Afterwards, Maddow relinquished her bar duties to catch up with Ana Marie Cox and John Hodgman.
Later in the night passed treats included mini-pancakes and mini-ham, bacon and cheese croissants. As the bars began to close, guests went out back. Among the last to leave at 3:00 a.m. were MSNBC Morning Joe’s Willie Geist, Luke Russert and many of the cable network’s junior staffers.
Media heavy-hitters spotted at the party: Steve Capus, Tamron Hall, Norah O’Donnell, Contessa Brewer with Matt Ackland, Joe Scarborough with Mika Brzezinski, David Shuster, Carlos Watson, Chris Matthews, Lynn Sweet, Margaret Carlson, and Eugene Robinson.
Politicos rounded out the guest list, including Obama senior adviser David Axelrod, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Obama economic adviser Larry Summers, as well as Hilary Rosen, Alex Castellanos, Brad Dayspring, and Kevin Madden.
The original Wonkette Ana Marie Cox, now of the TheDailyBeast and Air America and author of a provocative piece about the White House press corps, talks with ABCNews’ Web anchor and noted author Rick Klein about what to wear for Saturday night’s WHCD and handicaps chances of getting into different after parties.