The Beeb has landed a balanced cross-section of name guests: Sony Corp. chairman and chief executive Sir Howard Stringer, figure skating champ and a recent “Dancing with the Stars” winner Kristi Yamaguchi, Oscar-winning actress Ellen Burstyn, and Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Phil Gordon.
With a president who addresses the nation weekly via YouTube, can you really be surprised that the White House is now on Twitter? The account name is — surprise again — WhiteHouse, and it’s yet another way the Obama administration is trying to get its message out beyond the usual avenue of the White House press corps.
As of this moment, there are nearly 33,000 followers, including at least one White House correspondent — Jake Tapper of ABC News. The media at large have noticed with articles (Washington Post and USA Today, for instance). Doubtlessly more news organizations will as well.
The question: Is a Twittering White House a good thing? Let us know what you think in a comment.
And be sure to follow WHCInsider on Twitter, too!
As hot as the Bloomberg After-Party is, the pre-party action has always belonged to Lally Graham Weymouth and her Newsweek bash celebrating the WHC dinner.
Every year, she is the eye of the media storm because of her remarkable guest list, specializing in the irresistible from Richard Gere to George Clooney.
Last year’s Lally-palooza was all politics, as top advisers of each campaign gently schmoozed each other from Obama’s Valerie Jarrett, Greg Craig and Joel Benenson, to McCain’s main men Rick Davis, Mark Salter and Karl Rove, to HR Clinton’s Mark Penn and Melanne Verveer.
Who will be seen sipping cocktails at the Newsweek reception this year? Lally, along with co-hosts Donald Graham and newly Pulitzered Jon Meacham, scored Obama heavyweights again: Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Attorney General Eric Holder.
Here’s the Newsweek list, hot off the press:
R. Todd Bradley, Executive Vice President, Personal Systems Group, Hewlett Packard
David Brennan, CEO, AstraZeneca
Representative Eric and Diana Cantor (R-VA)
Fmr. Secretary of the Navy Richard Danzig
Amb. Jeffrey Feltman, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs
Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner
Amb. Richard Holbrooke, Special Envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan, and Ms. Kati Marton
Attorney General Eric Holder
Representative Steny Hoyer (D-MD)
Arianna Huffington, Editor-in-Chief, The Huffington Post
Jeffrey Kindler, Chairman and CEO, Pfizer, Inc., and Ms. Sharon Sullivan
Michael Kives, Creative Artists Agency
Martin Nesbitt, President and CEO, PRG Parking Management
Sir Nigel and Lady Julia Sheinwald, Ambassador of the United Kingdom to the US
Puneet Talwar, National Security Council, Iraq and Afghanistan Affairs
Dr. Eric Whitaker, University of Chicago Medical Center
James Berkus, United Talent Agency
It’s a big year for NBC, which usually doesn’t field a lot of celebrities for the WHCD. This year the network has made up for it by gathering together some big names — from Colin Firth (pictured, left), Jimmy Fallon and Mariska Hargitay to Mike Myers and William H. Macy. Here is the list:
Jason Bateman, Natasha Bedingfeld, Connie Britton, Warren Buffett, Kyle Chandler, John Cusack, Ari Emanuel, Dr. Zeke Emanuel, Colin Firth, Whoopi Goldberg, Mariska Hargitay, Rep. Jane Harmon, Felicity Huffman, Samuel L. Jackson, Jim Jones, Sen. Amy Klobucher, Denis Leary, John Lewis, William H. Macy, Cheryl Mills, Mike Myers, B.J. Novak, Gov. Ed Rendell, Wilbur Ross.
NBC top execs Jeff Zucker, Steve Capus and Phil Griffin will attend, along with high-profile talent: Brian Williams, David Gregory, Al Roker, Ann Curry, Natalie Morales, Hoda Kotb, Amy Robach, Andrea Mitchell, Chuck Todd, Savannah Guthrie, Luke Russert, Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann, Ed Schultz,Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinkski , Norah O’Donnell, David Shuster, Contessa Brewer, Carlos Watson, Tamron Hall, Jim Cramer, Maria Bartiromo and Erin Burnett.
When Wonkette founder and Air America correspondent Ana Marie Cox called for the end of the White House press corps, Washington Monthly chimed in with just get rid of the briefings. Where better to get an opinion on this touchy topic than at The Week magazine’s sixth annual Opinion Awards? A-list journalists from Harry Evans to Mika Brzezinski weighed in on the debate Monday night.
NY Times WH Correspondent’s Question at Obama Presser Provokes Big Reaction Online
During the president’s televised press conference on Wednesday night, the NYT’s Jeff Zeleny asked Barack Obama what had “surprised, humbled, enchanted, and troubled” him the most about the job, now that he was 100 days into it. Zeleny’s colleagues laughed, perhaps not in a complimentary way, and the online world zeroed in on whether the question was, as one site puts it, “brilliant or BS”?
Michelle Obama to hand out scholarships to journalism students at WHCD while Jennifer Loven, WHCA Prez, cuts dessert and gives back money to DC food bank.
This year’s WHC dinner on Saturday, May 9, has a new feature. First Lady Michelle Obama will personally hand out the annual awards that are funded by the White House Correspondents Association. By eliminating dessert from the menu, Loven says they will pass on $23,000 in savings to a local charity. The Washington Post’s The Sleuth, Mary Ann Akers reports.
Wanda Sykes, this year’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner after-dinner entertainer, used to work at America’s top intelligence agency, with access to some of the United States’ most dear secrets. While the WHC Insider cannot confirm she was an actual spy, she has confirmed that she was a National Security Agency employee.
The stand-up comedian known for her in-your-face and sometimes raunchy sense of humor once worked at the super-secret NSA, the signals intelligence operation located in Maryland, just north of Washington. (You know, the one that can listen in on your phone calls without a warrant?) We wonder if Wanda ever took a ride on any of these aircraft in the NSA official photo gallery. [Read more…]
As of April 28:
* CNN: Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore
* ABC News: David and Susan Axelrod; Rahm Emanuel, White House Chief of Staff; Peter Orszag, Director, Office of Management and Budget; Valerie Jarrett, senior presidential advisor; Jackie Norris, First Lady’s Chief of Staff; Leon Panetta, CIA Director; Susan Rice, UN Ambassador; Justice Antonin Scalia; Meghan McCain; Jon and Dorothea Bon Jovi; Kate Walsh; Taye Diggs and Idina Menzel
* NY Daily News: Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger
* Fortune: George Lucas and Glenn Close
* People: Sting and Trudie Styler, Miranda Cosgrove, Kevin Bacon, Forest Whitaker, Jon Hamm, Eva Longoria Parker, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Brooke Shields
* Glamour: Narciso Rodriguez, Alicia Keys, Kenneth Cole, Kerry Washington and White House social secretary Desiree Rogers
* USA Today: Tim Daly, Justin Long, Richard Belzer, Deputy White House Chief of Staff Mona Sutphen, Dept. of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Michelle Obama staffer Jocelyn Frye
* Atlantic Magazine:Ed Westick (Gossip Girl), Newt Gingrich *
* Others: Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Anne Hathaway