First Greta Van Susteren announces she will not attend the 99th Annual White House Correspondents Dinner and now The Hill reports it will not be as star-driven. Here is Judy Kurtz report: “The White House Correspondents’ Association dinner — considered the glitziest and most buzzworthy event of Washington’s party season — appears to be a bit more low-key this year. Between the guest list absences of some of Hollywood’s brightest stars and a more subdued party scene, many folks working behind the scenes agree this year’s dinner will be decidedly more subdued. One shindig noticeably void from the soiree circuit this year is Funny or Die’s annual First Amendment Party. Last year’s high-caliber bash on the eve of the dinner had partygoers bumping and grinding at the event’s huge downtown space well into the wee hours of the morning.
The Hollywood Reporter, which last year held star-studded affair with Google at the W Hotel, is also ducking out of the Correspondents’ dinner limelight this time around. A publicist tells us “we aren’t doing anything this year.”
“I don’t know if it’s toned down or not,” Hollywood on the Potomac editor Janet Donovan said of the mood in town, “but it feels that way.” Donovan pointed to the lack of Anthony Weiner-sized headlines as a possible reason for the drop-off, saying that “perhaps because Hollywood celebrities are now more frequently in town, and we don’t really have a huge ‘five minutes of fame’ scandal-type this year.”
One veteran party planner, who wanted to remain anonymous so as not to upset clients, tells ITK that the nation’s capital could be suffering from presidential inauguration fatigue: “You know, we just had a major event in Washington. And then to have this, three months later almost to the day, and to do all the wrangling and all the huge productions again, it’s just kind of like — I think people will do it again big next year.” Fox News Channel’s Greta Van Susteren, who has brought head-turning guests such as Lindsay Lohan and Kim Kardashian to prior dinners, says she’s “taking a pass” on attending the fete this year. In a recent blog post, Van Susteren said she made another commitment out of town the weekend of the April 27 dinner. “I am sure everyone will have fun,” Susteren wrote, “it is the one day of the year that the media, politicians, entertainers etc. socialize together — but it can also be a bit exhausting as it is a 2½ day affair.” Donovan says Susteren’s tabloid-worthy guests always made for a colorful weekend, calling the time the “On the Record” host brought Ozzy Osbourne to the swanky dinner “one of the biggest celebrity gawking years.” Others tell ITK that political conventions and inaugural coverage broke the bank for many news organizations around town, allowing for fewer resources for the glam event. While big names such as Nicole Kidman, Jessica Alba and George Lucas are confirmed to attend as guests of various media companies — and there’s still time for more A-listers to be announced as VIP guests — the party planner tells ITK many celebs feel they’ve “done” the whole D.C. thing already: “If you look at the list of celebrities that have been here or attended since [President Obama has] been president, it’s like looking at an Academy Awards event. When they’ve been here once, they think they’ve checked the box.”
What about Kevin Spacey and the House of Cards cast? That’s glitz! Follow all the White House Correspondents Dinner action at WHCinsider.com