Washington Life Magazine
Washington Life Magazine


Jokers Wild
The Fourth Estate trades quips and jabs at usual and unlikely targets

Dew Drop Inn
It’s easy to understand why Christopher Hitchens was named the sixth smartest person in the world (according to Foreign Policy and Prospect Magazine): He gave up smoking and drinking. Hitchens and wife Carol Blue were among A-listers at The Four Seasons celebrating the publication of The Second Home Book by Marylouise Oates, wife of political consultant Bob Shrum. For those of us who can barely manage one home, it takes genius planning to operate two; or in their case, three. According to Publishers Weekly, Oates tells you “how to deal with everyone from plumbers (feed them well) to drop-in guests (have plenty of white towels on hand), and along the way she demonstrates that all the little emergencies of life can be a lot less hassle than you ever imagined.” Warning label: Sense of humor required. “I want to thank all my girlfriends who hosted a great party for me,” said Oates. “Donna Brazile, Linda Douglas, Andrea Mitchell, Tammy Haddad, Ann Wexler”...and way too many more. “I want to thank Vicky Rollins. You know it’s really great when you get one of Washington’s top lawyers and former deputy chief of staff at the White House to organize your book. And, I especially want to thank my life partner and true love, Robert Shrum.” Guests included Alan Greenspan, Betsy Fischer, Barbara Comstock, Bill and Carol Press, Ann Jordan, Liz and George Stevens, Tom Oliphant, Debbie Dingell, and David Mixner.

Monday Nights at the Shoreham
The shenanigans of former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer that transported sex from Amtrak to the Mayflower tops the list of perfect fodder for late night talk shows. For political satirist Mark Russell, it was a predictable opening for his gig at the Shoreham. The presidential candidates, however, bore the brunt of his jokes. “We now return to our previously scheduled presidential campaign. Hillary Clinton won three big primaries last week; Texas, Ohio and Rhode Island and ran a new commercial. You know, the one with the sleeping children that asks if the phone rings at three o’clock in the morning, who do you want to answer it? Me, I gotta go with Franklin Delano Roosevelt. “During the Clinton years when the phone rang at 3 o’clock in the morning, it
was Bill saying he’d be home in a couple of hours. At the Bush White House, they have voice mail: If it’s another war, press 1, if it’s another indicted Republican, press 2, if it’s another Katrina, our normal business office hours are from 9:30 to 4:30.” Nestled in huge chairs munching on tubs of popcorn: Myra MacPherson, Baba Groom, Catherine Wyler, Richard Rymland, Alison Russell and Tom Bryant.
Laugh In
Don’t tell Bob Schieffer he’s going out to pasture. The longtime CBS newsman, who is retiring soon, has a full dance card and can’t stop laughing just thinking about it. Honored at The Radio and Television News Directors Foundation’s First Amendment Award Dinner at the Ritz-Carlton on March 6, he laid out his plans, and looking over at old friend Jim Lehrer, remarked, “I’d like to thank you for being with us tonight and acknowledge there is actually one person here that is older than me.” Recognizing that most guests don’t like drawn out speeches he remarked, “Tom Brokaw, bear with me please. You just hate this stuff, don’t you?” In praising his wife, he quipped; “I’m the number one reason for gun control.” After touching upon how technology has changed journalism he ended by saying: “Be proud of journalism, be proud of what you do. Never forget that democracy simply cannot exist without a free and robust press and that reporters must be willing to go out and find the truth at any cost.” Other honorees included Tom Curley, of The Associated Press, NBC’s Paula Madison, and the former chairman of the Federal Communications Commission Richard Wiley. John Roberts was the evening’s master of ceremonies.
Readers wishing to get in touch with Janet can email: columns@washingtonlife.com.
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