Suppressed celebration before – and long after – Correspondents’ Dinner 2022-05-01 16:00:24


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The weekend question was why – Why?! Why would President Biden, a man of a certain age, have a certain need not To be settled by a particular infectious virus, subjecting itself to a potential superspreader event which was the return of overkill The annual dinner of the White House Correspondents Association? The same dinner, in the same poorly ventilated cavernous basement at the Washington Hilton, which Vice President Harris was unable to attend because she had already tested positive. Corona Virus. The same dinner that Anthony S. Fauci, Biden’s chief medical adviser, decided to skip after doing some risk management assessments.

After the Gridiron dinner, COVID-19 outbreaks among A-list guests.

Why would the famous journalists who sounded the first pandemic alerts in 2020 — CNN’s Jake Tapper and Don Lemon — want to be among the sardines piled up at Fiola Mare at a Friday night pre-party hosted by the United Talent Agency? Did anyone learn anything from the Gridiron dinner in early April? (Or did all 85 people who tested positive after the event celebrate it, perhaps now think they’re magically immune?) Were we all crazy? are you crazy? Or perhaps in desperate need of human companionship in the form of seeing Kim Kardashian and Pete Davidson?

You didn’t live to experience the centrifugal force that Kim K., with wet hair and a lightly shiny silver cloak, walks into the room with Davidson (in the shadows of the security guard) He guides her with a small entourage and a personal photographer.

Gayle King and Drew Barrymore were pushed off the red carpet for the ABC News predinner party (Kardashian was the network’s guest), King later explained. The nearby riot started as people tried to take a selfie with Kim -‘n’-Pete in the background. (“You don’t get it, this is the best moment of my life!” Someone exclaimed. A reporter who has Kim and Pete as her cellphone wallpaper started crying as she showed off the photos she had taken.)

The waters really broke, except for the many times Kardashian tried Leave the dinner crowd through the exits that were Biden-only, turned down by the Secret Service, and then try again — like, five times. Even these two We weren’t able to escape the worn-out exploits of the waiters doing their jobs – weaving through a crowd of about 2,600 dressed people waiting for cramped table arrangements, chanting “Come!” and “Make way!” They swing at trays of steak and fish near Kim and Pete’s heads.

MSNBC host Symone D. Sanders cleverly snuck into Kardashian’s entourage to get to the front of the class to enter dinner. She said, “I wanted to get in quickly and was like, ‘I can’t get there without Kim Kardashian.’ According to Sanders, who knows everything as Harris’ former spokesperson, Kardashian made only one personal request throughout the evening: Get a photo with White House Chief of Staff Ron Klein.” Her people have already reached out. “They were excited about Ron,” Sanders said.

At its core, Correspondents’ Dinner is about celebrating journalists by bringing the industry together for drinking, fun and exchanging adulation with a select group of celebrities. Everyone was required to be vaccinated and get a negative coronavirus test on the same day — even people from Fox News, Biden noted in his speech. It was a return to some form of normalcy three years after President Donald Trump refused to attend dinner and two years after the pandemic shutdown. By tradition, Biden toasted journalists (“the only group of Americans with a lower approval rating than me”), and then they were toasted by invited comedian, “Daily Show” presenter at Comedy Central, Trevor Noah.

With no mask in sight, it’s worrying Twitter thread circulation About a sensor that puts carbon dioxide levels in a room at over 2,000 parts per million. Biden skipped dinner and only appeared at speeches, as he and First Lady Jill Biden sat on a podium far from everyone, as a precaution.

Noah read the room perfectly. “It is a great honor for me to speak tonight at the most exclusive high-speed event in the country,” he began.

“I am a nervous wreck,” said Gail King of Tami Haddad’s 27th Annual Garden Breakfast and Lunch Show, whom I spoke to, no one I spoke to said they were OK. Saturday – One of the hottest tickets for the weekend, especially because it was outside. She said that during the height of the virus outbreak, King did not leave her home for 105 days, but the event was too important to be missed.

“I’m glad to see us. But I don’t hug everyone exactly,” said Reverend Al Sharpton.

Desus Ness, of “Desos and Miro,” told Showtime he couldn’t believe a Bronx kid would be sitting so close to the action. “Close enough to give Biden a Covid. “If you kill Biden, that’s a case of kindness,” he said with a laugh. No, but I was thinking: ‘Are we going to kill Joe Biden?’ “ I don’t want to be that guy! “

There was standing ovation as dinner was served in honor of the lifelong achievement of Alice Dunegan and Ethel Payne, the first two black women members of the White House press staff, and tears during a memorial reel for journalists killed while covering the war in Ukraine. The feelings were intense, and so was the filthy drunkenness – as might be expected in the first open wing bar many have been doing in years. Many journalists and television celebrities shed tears while speaking to The Washington Post.

Martha Stewart, a guest at the Daily Mail’s table, told her hosts: “This is the sixth or seventh time [here]. I’ve never been to a table yet before. But the view is great. She was so far away that the kitchen doors were opening every five seconds next to her chair. She was there to laugh, she said, “and I want to see the boss in person. The other presidents did not attend. You know who I’m talking about.”

The stellar wattage was lower than in the Obama years. Kardashian and Davidson were one of the biggest draws. Chris Tucker was there, as was Mario Van Peebles, but who has been assaulted by more fans? Chef Jose Andres, the world’s savior.

The weekend was kicking off in full force on Friday at a UTA gala, where politicians mingled with cable TV stars and reasonable deniability was the name of the game, as organizers relied on the myriad of undisguised parties to hide the origin of any possibility. Corona virus outbreak.

George Conway was there, but not his wife Killian. The entire CNN lineup seemed to be great, while the Fox News characters mostly kept to themselves. Bill Nye, the science man, and Brooke Shields came in a black and white newspaper-raised suit designed by the late Virgil Abloh. “Wheel of Fortune” host Pat Sajak was leaving with a blonde girl who’s pretty enough to be his daughter – who may be relieved when she learns, he is His daughter, aspiring country singer and Georgetown law student Maggie Sajak.

“I am her companion,” said the proud father, who spent most of the night doing what smart celebrities do: chatting and taking pictures with cheerful fans of all ages. “If you don’t want to do it,” he said, “you shouldn’t come.”

At a mourning lunch, another tradition returned: shameless people speak through speeches, these honor military veterans. Emcee Stephanie Ruhle was clearly annoyed: “All the idiots who talked all along: You won’t come back.”

At previous parties on Saturday nights at the Hilton, Caitlyn Jenner, who recently joined Fox News as a contributor, was interrupted by her network’s celebration. When The Post asked her why she decided to attend dinner, she “felt neglected,” according to one viewer.

Megan McCain, the former host of “The View” and now writing columns for the Daily Mail, was ready to stop and chat. “It’s not fun for the rest of the country to hear people wonder about going to a black-tie dinner party,” she said, “so I chose to come and have a good time.”

After dinner, the crowd spread to the later parties, with several names appearing in bold letters at the invite-only Paramount party. In the elegant Kalorama residence of the French ambassador. There was great champagne, a lavish buffet, White House press secretary Jen Psaki, and lots and lots of corporate executives. I felt rich and old. Shields was the closest to pushing the envelope, which switched from her dinner outfit to a white T-shirt, jeans, and sneakers. “I feel bad. I was like, ‘Wait, where are we going?’ I was in the car. It changed pretty soon,” she said. “I’d better drink something, because I don’t dress accordingly.”

Secretary of State Anthony Blinken gave the evening high marks. “I thought it was cool,” he said. “I also thought something serious was really appropriate for this moment.” Ashley and Naomi Biden mixed without anyone noticing. Senator Patrick J. Leahy (Democrat), Amy Klobuchar (Democrat from Minnesota), Christopher A. Koons (Democrat from Dell). “I missed the parties last night, so I have to do it everyone Tonight,” Koons told a group of fans. “Just the right amount of laughter,” Biden’s senior adviser, Jane Sperling, told Psaki that she looked great on the stage.

Speaking of jokes: CNN’s Don Lemon (wearing a perfectly tailored tuxedo but no socks), he took all the slaps on his net step by step. “It’s like barbecue,” he said, shrugging his shoulders. “What were you going to do? Put on your huge pants – no socks.”

Nearby, at the Colombian ambassador’s residence, a brass band was playing and comedian Billy Eichner was still reeling about the president checking his name in his speech. “One of the most surreal moments of my life,” he said. “I’ll probably watch it a few times to make sure it happens.” He wondered how many LGBT comedians have reached a level where the president knows who they are.

At a party for TheGrio, the only party of the weekend hosted by a Black-owned media company, guests included Nicole Hannah Jones of “The 1619 Project,” rapper Fat Joe, CNN’s Abby Philip, and actress Vivica A. Fox. Everyone was there to see Mary J. Blige strut on the stage – arriving after midnight. To the crowd of predominantly black politicians and journalists, throwing “Family Affair” words about no need for drama or “hate” seemed like a release.

Meanwhile, at Reach at the Kennedy Center, NBC had to ask the crowd of mostly journalists and commentators to leave the party after 3 a.m., and dispatched an employee to tell people politely, “The party’s over.”

Hours later, crowds showed up to a CNN lunch in Union Market and a Politico brunch at Robert and Elena Albritton’s Georgetown home. More Andres. More Psaki. Bloody Mary helped.

But maybe it was all worth it, the dangers of coronavirus and all. As he left the Paramount party, Dessus Ness spoke emotionally of how touched he was to see the memorial to the journalists who died in Ukraine. “It really stopped it,” he said. “We’re here. We’re just enjoying a party. We put on our new suits, and like people are dying covering Ukraine news. We have to remember that at the end of the day, we’re here to defend the First Amendment. … We are the first responders to this.”

Helena Andrews Dyer, Jeremy Barr, Paul Farhi, Elahi Izadi, Sonia Rao and Roxanne Roberts contributed to this report.