Video of the WH press corps suddenly jumping to its feet when President Obama made a surprise visit to the briefing room last week has been stirring up the blogosphere. Why? Because it’s paired with a vid of the press corps remaining seated when Bush once entered the briefing room. CNN’s Jeanne Moos investigated. Check out the video below to see what she found.
By tradition, the president is the guest of honor at the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner, and the guest of honor addresses the audience of roughly 2,000 at some point during the evening.
It’s usually a light-hearted, often funny speech, very much in keeping with the chummy spirit of the occasion. But for the jokes to work, delivery is everything.
“I’d tell Barack Obama to treat the jokes, the whole thing, as seriously as the State of the Union speech,” Phil Rosenthal tells WHCInsider. “He should deliver it with the same gravity and seriousness.”
Rosenthal, the creator and executive producer of the hit comedy “Everyone Loves Raymond,” wrote material for all WHCDs that Bill Clinton attended as president and also directed “The Final Days,” the famous video of President Clinton at his last WHCD. Considered one of the funniest presidential comedy routines, the short spoof featured President Clinton riding a bike through the White House and later running to give First Lady Hillary Clinton her lunch before she went off to work in a limo. [Read more…]
Ali Wentworth, actress, comedienne, Oprah regular, and wife of George Stephanopoulos gave WHCInsider the exclusive insight on her e-rules for the Information Super Highway. WHCInsider has learned that George Stephanopoulos is not permitted to tweet when Ali Wentworth is talking. Ali also doesn’t permit BlackBerrys in the bedroom and says tweeting should be something you do when you’re alone.
And she predicts her former boss, Jay Leno, will be a hit in his new 10:00 p.m. time slot, and thinks Wanda Sykes was told to tone down her blue humor for the WHCD. We picked up these scoops at the raucous party Ali and George hosted Monday night for the fun and fabulous Lee Woodruff’s second book: Perfectly Imperfect.
Check out our interview with Ali and you’ll know why she’s got her own show, “Head Case,” why she has a regular seat on Oprah, and why George is always smiling!
Bill Scheft Hails Wanda Sykes as Great Choice for WHCD Entertainment
If the elite gathering of A-list journos, politicos and celebrities that make up the White House Correspondents’ Dinner
can’t loosen up when Sykes starts her monologue, it’s likely to get what it deserves, says Scheft, a veteran scribe for “The Late Show with David Letterman.”
“If they take Wanda too seriously, she’s going to let ’em have it,” Scheft tells WHCInsider. “I’ve know Wanda a long time. She’ll really give it to ’em, and I think that’s what they need — somebody to yell at ’em.”
Scheft says that Sykes was a great choice to book for the entertainment, noting that Stephen Colbert — who raised as many hackles as he did laughs with his controversial routine at the 2006 dinner — is altogether different. “Colbert was a character playing a character playing a character at that dinner. He’s very character-oriented. Wanda is much more joke-oriented.” [Read more…]
Sally Quinn told me that she remembers reading the original newspaper stories about Big Edie, Jackie Kennedy’s aunt, and Little Edie, Jackie Kennedy’s first cousin, living in the dilapidated estate, Grey Gardens, the home Sally now owns in East Hampton. Here is Sally’s story from today’s Washington Post.
When Washington favorite, HBO Co-President Richard Plepler (who began his career as an aide to Senator Chris Dodd) comes to town, the stars some out … and the dinner and screening at The Motion Picture Association Wednesday night was no exception. George and Elizabeth Stevens, Al Hunt and Judy Woodruff, Elsa Walsh, Margaret Carlson, and the Washington Post dream team Marcus Brauchli with his wife Maggie Farley, and Raju Narisetti were all on hand.
And Obama friend and White House Social Secretary Desiree Rogers joined the party, which included of course, Ben Bradlee, Sally Quinn, and their first-time author son, Quinn Bradlee … who didn’t seem to suffer any wear-and-tear from his grueling book tour schedule.
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Democrats, Celebs, Media-types In; Republicans, Lobbyists, “Little People” Out
Who will be in and who will be left out of this year’s dinner? A few general categories to keep an eye on. For Obamites stuck in Chicago for two years, this will be the first night that many of them mix and mingle with the press at a big event. [Read more…]
Yes, it’s true — actor Kal Penn (Dr. Kutner on Fox’s “House” as well as the stoner in “Harold & Kumar”) is taking a break from the screen to work in the White House.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Penn said he’d been offered the job of associate director of the Office of Public Liaison. His mission: “do outreach with the American public and with different organizations,” as he told EW. Full story here.