COLUMNS

Where do I start?

  • The Washington Examiner
  • |
  • May 03, 2005

by Karen Feld

buzz

Actor Dennis Hopper brought his own digital camera – a professional one – to the White House Correspondents dinner on Saturday evening to “snap back” at those snapping him with new wife, Victoria Duffy. … “Sopranos” star Joe Pantoliano said “people watching” was the best party. … When asked what he’d like to tell President Bush, James Denton from ABC-TV’s “Desperate Housewives” replied, “Where do I start?” … Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb even had a group of women waiting outside the men’s room to ogle him. … It was one of those long evenings at the Washington Hilton where bloggers, gropers, sportsmen and women, Hollywood celebrities (Jane Fonda, Richard Gere, Goldie Hawn, Mary Tyler Moore, LL Cool J, “American Idol’s” now “fallen” Constantine Maroulis, Bill Maher, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and tennis pros Serena and Venus Williams), and boldface and not-so-boldface names from politics and the media gathered to see and be seen. One noticeably absent was Jeff Gannon, who covered the White House for Talon News before his cover was discovered. No one needed a male escort at this event!

Donovan McNabb, quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles, left, and Tom Brady, quarterback for the New England Patriots, share a laugh Saturday in Washington during a reception before the White House Correspondents Dinner.

Bush even puts Robertson to sleep

After chatting and posing for photos with diva Nadia Turner, Pat Robertson, who admitted he watches Fox TV’s “American Idol,” said, “It’s a fun show.” Better than President Bush’s press conference? “Are you kidding?” he replied. “I went to sleep during the president’s press conference, and fortunately woke up just in time to see the commentary so I could talk about it.”

First Desperate Housewife takes over the show

Perhaps the White House decided that President Bush needed a vacation from the media after his press conference that certainly didn’t top the Neilsens last week. That’s where the White House occupant with the highest approval ratings, the First Lady, came to the rescue by interrupting him during his after-dinner speech to the correspondents – thus leaving no chance for it to bomb. In her monologue created by presidential speechwriter Landon Parvin, Laura Bush took on her mother-in-law, Barbara Bush, whom she compared to Godfather Don Corleone, and her husband on his 9 p.m. bedtime. “Here’s our typical evening: Nine o’clock, Mr. Excitement here is sound asleep, and I’m watching ‘Desperate Housewives’ with Lynne Cheney. Ladies and gentlemen, I am a desperate housewife. I mean, if those women on that show think they’re desperate, they oughta be with George.” Word is she’s never actually watched the Sunday night show but has heard about it from her daughters.

After Buzz: Laura raises eyebrows

Some scribes thought the first lady’s ranching joke about the president milking a male horse was in bad taste. Georgetowner Kandy Stroud called it “over the top.” Others were simply surprised that she’s not just the traditional first lady Washington thought she was.

President Bush is greeted by Cedric the Entertainer, right, at the 91st annual White House Correspondents Dinner on Saturday.

Back to school for Cedric

Laura Bush was the warm-up act for Cedric the Entertainer, who took on Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for being two persons: “Condi is being very diplomatic in the meetings, and Leezza comes out saying ‘what?’ ”

To start, Bloody Marys for A listers

Saturday began for many of us at what’s become an annual tradition and one we wouldn’t miss – a tented brunch at MSNBC producer Tammy Haddad and Ted Greenberg’s Northwest D.C. home for the “A list.” “Hardball” will celebrate its eighth anniversary next month, so Haddad was prepared with a camera crew to shoot footage of talker Chris Matthews wearing a “Mission Inn” Clint Eastwood baseball cap (apologies to Nationals fans) and actually acting camera shy. … Soon-to-be launched Capitol File publisher Jason Binn was shooting his own photos when he wasn’t yakking with Matthews or upcoming blogger Arianna Huffington.

Drudge bored by Bush, too?

Matt Drudge – without his trademark hat – declared, “Washington is boring. I can’t get excited about Bolton or Bush.” Drudge, who now does his Drudge Report from his Miami base, says that’s why he now includes more science and entertainment news, and that the “American Idol” scandal is the biggest story this week. He insists he’s not and never has been a blogger. “A blog is a defensive term – sort of like a frog.”

Movin’ on … beautiful world … it’s Bloomberg time

And into the evening. There was barely time to change into formal garb between the brunch and the Creative Coalition and other pre-dinner receptions and star-gazing. After dinner folk-rocker Kate Taylor – she’s Livingston’s sister – performed at Talk Radio News Service’s dessert reception at the Washington Hilton. And those lucky enough to be on the very tight list for the late night Bloomberg bash at James Bell’sWyoming Avenue manse partied til after 4 a.m. Army Secretary Francis Harvey was added to the closely held list at the last minute, we hear. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was not there, but soon-to-become president of the World Bank and former Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz was, although security did not recognize him. But they did recognize “West Wing’s” Richard Schiff, who stayed til the end engaged in conversation with towering blonde Cid Szegedy’s green eyes before heading to the Bloomberg hospitality suite at the Ritz Carlton where they reconvened with other night owls until 5:20 a.m. Other Bloomberg revelers included Sens. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., James Denton, the Rev. Al Sharpton, quarterback Donovan McNabb, supermodel Elle McPherson, who changed into her blue jeans for the late night bash.

Creative crasher

Some crashers got lucky. Scott Foster, NBC-TV’s Pentagon producer, pretended he was a member of Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan’s security team, and walked right in with Greenspan and his wife, Andrea Mitchell.

Do not disturb the neighbors

Not to worry about the neighbors in this posh Kalorama neighborhood. They weren’t disturbed by the late night partying. Bloomberg arranged for Bell and ten of his neighbors to spend the night in style at the Hay Adams Hotel.

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