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Jeff Zucker, NBC’s chief executive who’s not known for throwing high-profile bashes, will host a VIP reception before the White House Correspondents’ Dinner tonight on an upper floor of the Washington Hilton, above the mostly ground-floor receptions.
Craig Crawford of Congressional Quarterly talks with MSNBC host Keith Olbermann about what kind of speech we might hear from President Obama at tonight’s WHCD, Hollywood’s “return” to the dinner, and suspects “there could be some controversy” about the edgy Wanda Sykes’s performance.
Both People and DC Modern Luxury magazine threw pre-WHCD receptions tonight, the eve of the big dinner itself tomorrow night. At the St. Regis Hotel, just blocks away from the White House, the old world elegance of the venue provided a warm atmosphere for the People bash, which was packed nearly wall-to-wall. Hotel staff in tuxes passed drinks and hors d’oeuvres among the several hundred guests, who included actor Kevin Bacon and musician Ludacris. TV news personalities also filled the room, such as CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, ABC News’ Ann Compton, NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell and Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren. The mood was relaxed and festive.
A couple miles away, on Washington’s famed Embassy Row, DC Modern Luxury magazine hosted a reception in the extremely modern digs of the Finnish Embassy. Pale wood and glass and steel abounded as a capacity crowd of mostly younger guests mixed and mingled. Spotted among the faces was CNN’s Ed Henry and Suzanne Malvaux. A DJ played a mix of house music for dancers, whose numbers increased as the evening grew later.
One of the most sought after guests for this year’s WHC Dinner, Captain Richard Phillips and his wife Andrea, made their way to Washington, D.C. on Friday. They received many invitations, but chose to attend with Bloomberg. The Phillips say they are “honored to be Bloomberg’s guests.”
Captain Richard Phillips and his wife Andrea will attend the White House Correspondents Dinner as guests of Bloomberg. Phillips, who was held hostage by Somali pirates along with his crew just weeks ago, will be among the more prominent guests at this year’s correspondents dinner — definitely one of the big “gets” for 2009.
Here’s what the 2,000-something diners will be eating on Saturday night. Check out all the dishy details on Obama Foodorama.
Italian ‘Salad’ with Sopressato, Prosciutto Toscano, Oregano;
Brie, Spiced Olives, Breads
Wild Watercress Salad
Petite Filet with Sundried Tomatoes
Seared Escolar with Olive Tapendade
Asparaugus, Cippolini, Green and Yellow Squash with Porcini Mushroom demi-glace
Dessert: In place of dessert, the WHCA is donating $23,00o to a D.C. non-profit kithcen for the homeless.
Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales — or “Fredo,” as President Bush called him — will be attending the WHCD as a guest of the Houston Chronicle, the Washington Post reports.
WHCInsider has confirmed that Todd Palin, a.k.a. the First Dude, is coming as Greta Van Susteren’s guest for the White House Correspondents dinner. He will be attending in his wife Sarah Palin’s stead.
It is another big score for Fox News’ Van Susteren, who brought the showstopping Ozzie Osbourne to a previous WHCD. Even President Bush got in on the Ozzie action that night by mentioning him in his dinner address. Click on dinner history for video of that speech.