There’s probably no tougher room to play for a comedian than the Washington Hilton where hundreds gather for the annual White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner, with the guest of honor – the President of the United States – seated at your side.
And this year there’s no tougher act to follow than his own for Jay Leno, just months into his second stint as the host of NBC’s “The Tonight Show” after a much-publicized tussle between the peacock network, Leno and Conan O’Brien.
So The Hill gathered some advice for the funny man from some fellow comedians as he preps for his hosting duties.
Washington types have started warming up their party chops for the whirlwind weekend surrounding the WHCA Dinner. Quinn Gillespie & Associates and FD hosted a cocktail party Tuesday night at Public Bar. For more photos, check out The Washington Scene from The Hill.
This weekend Ed Chen will end his reign as the President of the White House Correspondents’ Association. Before he hands the mantle over to Reuters’ Caren Bohan and heads back to Bloomberg, Chen spoke with WHC Insider’s Tammy Haddad at the White House.
The Senior White House Correspondent has honchoed the Press Corps during the transition into a new administration. Recently, Chen and several colleagues sat down with Press Secretary Robert Gibbs and White House staffers to discuss grievances from both sides of the table.
“We had a mutual exchange and we worked out a lot of issues, and cleared the air. And I think things will get better, especially from our perspective, with greater press access,” said Chen.
Speaking of sitting down, Chen has offered his seat in the press room for a day to Lloyd Grove whose recent article in The Daily Beast questioned whether social media like Twitter and YouTube would be the end of reporting from the White House as we know it.
For the second year in a row, Saturday’s Garden Brunch is going to be dedicated in part to Mothers Day Every Day, an advocacy group combining the resources and talents of the White Ribbon Alliance and CARE. Ambassador Melanne Verveer, named by President Obama as the Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues, will be among the guests at the brunch
Members of these groups also gathered last month to celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD), a special day set aside to reflect on the achievements of women around the world and for leaders to strategize new ways to help women in the social, economic, and political arenas. Next year marks the centenary celebration of International Women’s Day.
A dinner took place in Washington, DC with members of Mothers Day Every Day and the ONE campaign which used IWD to launch a new initiative called Women ONE2ONE. The goal is to increase opportunities for women and save the lives of those living in poverty across the globe by recruiting one million people to conduct awareness-raising events and actions. Among those attending were Theresa Shaver, Director of the White Ribbon Alliance; Sheila Nix, US Executive Director, One; Mothers Day Every Day Advisory Board Members Amb. Mark Green and Mike McCurry; and JoDee Winterhof, CARE’s vice president for policy and advocacy.
We’ve all heard tales of DC party crashers. Some we roll our eyes at after we consider the source. Others, we – the ticketless brethren – take notes from, which is exactly what the Washington Post’s Reliable Source has done.
Fear not, it’s not another Salahi saga but the story of Julia Allison, a Georgetown grad who crashed the 2007 White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner and wrote about it for The Huffington Post. Although, Allison and Michaele Salahi do share something in common: a penchant for a red dress.
Katie Couric, Bang Bang!
Mediabistro’s Matt Dornic has learned the CBS News anchor scored comedian and New York Times bestselling author Chelsea Handler as her guest to the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner. Handler has sipped vodka in the nation’s capital before as a guest of Glamour magazine at the 2008 WHCA Dinner.
Sasha and Malia weren’t there, but presidential pooch Bo was on hand while First Lady Michelle Obama entertained questions from a curious crowd of kids in the East Room. Executive Office employees brought their offspring to the event as part of Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day.
The First Lady joked a few may have “read my bio” beforehand when asked about childhood obesity.
“Every First Lady defines their job based on what their interests and passion are,” Mrs. Obama explained. “For me the issues are healthy living for our kids.”
That includes limiting the number of snacks, to which one youngster said they only ate two snacks a day – Mrs. Obama approved.
As to how she was going to celebrate Earth Day, which also happens to be today, the First Lady said her daughter Sasha had brought home a few energy efficient light bulbs, so there would be some bulb changing taking place at the White House.
On a lighter note, Mrs. Obama said that Bo’s favorite toy was a big rope and “the game is, can you get it before he gets it?” and yes, she often wins. The kids gave a big “whoa” when they heard the girls have to get up at 6AM but Mrs. Obama got the last laugh: “They can get up later if they move faster.”
The Academy Award winning actor said as much while checking out the old Pony Express espresso machine he bought in 2004 for the hardworking men and women of the Fourth Estate after noticing they didn’t have a proper source of java.
Hanks couldn’t resist visiting the press room last month to see if the coffee maker was still there while at the White House for a special screening of HBO’s “The Pacific” with President Barack Obama.
Director Steven Spielberg and Hanks are Executive Producers of the ten-part WWII miniseries now airing on HBO.
Hanks showed off the coffee maker to pal Spielberg, along with their wives, actresses Rita Wilson and Kate Capshaw. He also promised to send the press corps a new one after declaring that “this one is on its last legs.”
Well, despite a question of ethics jokingly raised by veteran CBS News White House correspondent Mark Knoller (to which Hanks replied: “It’s just a gift — it’s not like it’s a pizza oven.”) Hanks has made good on his promise: a shiny new coffee maker and personal note from the actor were delivered this afternoon.
White House Correspondents Insider Managing Editor Linda Schoumacher Rozett is joining oil and natural gas powerhouse API. Check out what The Washington Post and The Hill have to say about the new vice president of communications at the American Petroleum Institute.
Everyone at Haddad Media wishes Linda well!