“Washington’s A-list on Saturday swarmed the annual Garden Brunch, held in a historic Georgetown home… The event honored Dog Tag Bakery and Blue Star Families, two organizations supporting, respectively, veterans and military families.” Read more.
As part of the President’s presentation at the White House Correspondents Dinner, Vice President Joe Biden and Julia Louis-Dreyfus starred in a film that surprised the people at the dinner and rock social media. Watch the full video.
Welcome to the 21st annual Garden Brunch to celebrate White House Correspondents Weekend! Tune in between 11 am and 2 pm on Saturday, May 3, 2014, and tweet with us at @WHCInsider and #GardenBrunch.
The tradition continues tomorrow when celebrities, politicians, and media gather at the 21st Annual Garden Brunch to celebrate White House Correspondents Weekend. This year’s event will honor two organizations that support veterans and their families, Dog Tag Bakery and Blue Star Families.
We encourage everyone to help us spread the word about these important causes via social media. Not sure what to tweet? Here are some ideas!
I’m proud to support our troops with @DogTagBakery and @BlueStarFamily at the #GardenBrunch! #WHCD
Help me raise funds for @DogTagBakery! Donate $10 at www.dogtagbakery.org to support job training for veterans. #GardenBrunch #WHCD
So great to learn what @DogTagBakery is doing to support education and career opportunities for veterans. #GardenBrunch #WHCD
Support our troops & their families! Two great organizations to check out: @DogTagBakery and @BlueStarFamily. #GardenBrunch #WHCD
We’ll be live streaming the event again this year here on www.whcinsider.com – tune in tomorrow morning. Watch the following video for highlights from last year’s Garden Brunch.
Veteran comedian and actor Joel McHale is also a veteran attendee of the White House Correspondents Dinner so it will probably give him a leg up on getting the president and the 2,000 attendees to laugh at his jokes. Few comedians are guests before they take the podium to address the notoriously tough crowd and the president sitting inches away.
Steve Thomma, President of the White House Correspondents Association this year, selected McHale who is probably best known for hosting “Talk Soup”, the weekly snarkfest making fun of TV’s lowest moments. His acting career is in high gear as he co-stars in NBC’s “Community.” Thomma is the well respected politics editor of The McClatchy papers. It is the White House Correspondents Association 100th annual dinner so the pressure is on to create a memorable program.
Thomma has stood tall in the White House Correspondents fight with the Obama White House over photographers lack of access to presidential events.
This year’s White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner is scheduled for Saturday, May 3rd.
It’s only the 5th year of the Obama Administration but the White House Correspondents’ Association has had enough. The Obama White House has been pushing White House coverage limits by having their own photographer,the great Pete Souza, cover most of his events and distributing his photos instead of the press getting access.The White House communicators are fighting back saying previous administrations have done the same. FishbowlDC’s new editor Patrick Tutwiler shows us the letter.
November 21, 2013
The White House
VIA HAND DELIVERY
Dear Mr. Carney:
We write to protest the limits on access currently barring photographers who cover the White House. We hope this letter will serve as the first step in removing these restrictions and, therefore, we also request a meeting with you to discuss this critical issue further. Journalists are routinely being denied the right to photograph or videotape the President while he is performing his official duties. As surely as if they were placing a hand over a journalist’s camera lens, officials in this administration are blocking the public from having an independent view of important functions of the Executive Branch of government. To be clear, we are talking about Presidential activities of a fundamentally public nature. To be equally clear, we are not talking about open access to the residence or to areas restricted, for example, for national security purposes.
The apparent reason for closing certain events to photographers is that these events have been deemed “private.” That rationale, however, is undermined when the White House contemporaneously releases its own photograph of a so-called private event through social media. The restrictions imposed by the White House on photographers covering these events, followed by the routine release by the White House of photographs made by government employees of these same events, is an arbitrary restraint and unwarranted interference on legitimate newsgathering activities. You are, in effect, replacing independent photojournalism with visual press releases.
All of the following events, with the exception of the McCain-Graham meeting, were reported as “read-outs” by the White House with “official” White House photo(s) attached. They illustrate the troubling breadth of the restrictions placed upon newsgathering by the White House to record governmental activity of undisputed and wide public interest:
• On July 10, 2013, the President met with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
• On July 11, 2013, the President met with the Co-Chairs of the U.S. – China Strategic and Economic Dialogue.
• On July 29, 2013, the President met with former Secretary of State Clinton (White House photo also distributed via Twitter).
• On July 30, 2013, the President and Vice President met with Israeli and Palestinian negotiators.
• On August 26, 2013, the President met with African-American Faith Leaders.
• On September 2, 2013, the President met with Senators McCain and Graham.
• On October. 11, 2013, the President and family members met with Pakistani human rights activist Malala Yousafzai, a person of great public interest.
While certain of these events may appear “private” in nature, the decision of the White House to release its own contemporaneous photograph(s) suggests that the White House believes these events are, in fact, newsworthy and not private.
The right of journalists to gather the news is most critical when covering government officials acting in their official capacities. Previous administrations have recognized this, and have granted press access to visually cover precisely these types of events, thus creating government transparency. It is clear that the restrictions imposed by your office on photographers undercut the President’s stated desire to continue and broaden that tradition. To exclude the press from these functions is a major break from how previous administrations have worked with the press.
Moreover, these restrictions raise constitutional concerns. As the Supreme Court has stated, the First Amendment protects “the public and the press from abridgment of their rights of access to information about the operation of their government,” Richmond Newspapers Inc. v. Virginia, 448 U.S. 555, 584 (1980). The fact that there is no access whatsoever only heightens those concerns. As one court has noted in considering a similar restriction: “The total exclusion of television representatives from White House pool coverage denies the public and the press their limited right of access, guaranteed by the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.” Cable News Network, Inc. v. American Broadcasting Companies, Inc., et al. 518 F.Supp. 1238, 1245 (N.D. GA 1981).
The organizations and individuals signing this letter strongly believe that imposing limits on press access, as your office has done, represents a troubling precedent with a direct and adverse impact on the public’s ability to independently monitor and see what its government is doing.
We consider this a most serious matter and urge you to provide appropriate access for independent photojournalists to all public governmental events in which the President
participates. Again, we see this letter as the first step toward restoring full press access to these events. Accordingly, we request an immediate meeting with you in order to resolve this very serious situation. We ask that you contact Steve Thomma, President of the White House Correspondents’ Association, and Sam Feist, current television pool chair, to set up the meeting.
American Society of News Editors
American Society of Media Photographers
Associated Press Media Editors
Associated Press Photo Managers
Association of Alternative Newsmedia
Association of Opinion Journalists
Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
Fox News Channel
Gannett Co., Inc.
Lee Enterprises, Incorporated
The McClatchy Company
McClatchy-Tribune Information Services
National Press Club
National Press Photographers Association
New England First Amendment Coalition
News Media Coalition
Newspaper Association of America
The New York Times Company
Online News Association
Professional Photographers of America
Radio Television Digital News Association
Regional Reporters Association
The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press
Society of Professional Journalists
The Washington Post
White House Correspondents’ Association
White House News Photographers Association
Before government shut down today, Washington at least had a good Saturday night with the arts. Specifically Kevin Spacey, the actor/producer beloved for his role by Beltway folks for “House of Cards,” who came to town for the initial gala for the Kevin Spacey Foundation.
Bloomberg Muse was there and made note of the room’s “twist of Lemmon,” a nod to Spacey’s mentor and honoree for the evening, the late Jack Lemmon.
“The room was decorated with posters from the films of Jack Lemmon, who inspired Spacey to help young people with his motto that if you do well in life ‘you should send the elevator back down.’ Spacey will travel the world for his Elevator Initiative, choosing and molding aspiring actors.”
Spacey also spoke to Mike Allen, providing the insight “I know that I wouldn’t have a career if it weren’t for a NUMBER of particular individuals through my life who took a chance on me, who believed in me, who said just the right thing to me at just the right moment — particularly when I was quite young — who gave me a job or an opportunity. ”
As Variety reported beforehand, Spacey took the stage that night to bring back his love for Bobby Darin among a crowd consisting of the stars from the White House Correspondents’ Dinner’s “House of Nerds” including Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, Ed Henry and Spacey’s “House of Cards” co-star Michael Kelly.
Also in attendance were Greta Van Susteren and John Coale, Andrea Mitchell–who took in a $10,000 tennis match with Spacey–Christine Taylor, Capitol File’s Elizabeth Thorp and Ron Klain.
Miss New York Nina Davuluri is the new 2014 Miss America. Davuluri was chosen last night after a week of competition in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
USA Today had the 24-year old Miss New York “sashayed off with the tiara and the $50,000 scholarship cash. She performed a Bollywood fusion dance (after missing her cue at first) and answered a question about plastic surgery. (‘Be confident in who you are!’) She said she hopes to become a doctor, like her father, who is an obstetrician.”
During the judge Q&A, Davuluri discussed the topic of plastic surgery after CBS on-air personality Julie Chen revealed she had a procedure due to demands from her then-employer to look less asian. But Davuluri is already winning over the public, whether its Glamour’s five reasons or the reaction from social media during her coronation.
She told The Independent UK during the press conference last night, “I have to rise above that.”
Heading back to Atlantic City worked out well for Miss America with a massive ratings boost bringing back numbers not seen since 2004. Davuluri will celebrate today with a dip in the Atlantic and then her newfound Miss America duties.
It’s been a busy week for CNN announcing a new YouTube partnership, a set date for their new show and two new hires to the set.
Stephanie Cutter and Kevin Madden both join the cable news network as commentators for the brand new and eponoyymously titled “New Day.” TVNewser reports the announcement and that the duo will “provide a decidedly younger voice than some of the people they replace.”
Cutter’s new firm, Precision, launched earlier this month.