“Fifty-one weeks a year, Washington is all about contention,” said David Bradley, chairman of Atlantic Media Co., owner of National Journal and the Atlantic. “But, for a blink of an eye each April, we seem to get along.”
That’s one effect of the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner and the parties around it. And with most of the festivities funded by media companies, an event that puts the president on the journalists’ turf also turns into a branding and relationship-building exercise.
Bradley is having a dinner at his home Friday where invited guests include Siemens Corp. Chief Executive Eric Spiegel and Tanzanian Ambassador Mwanaidi Sinare.
Google Inc. Chairman Eric Schmidt and the Hollywood Reporter, in which Guggenheim Partners has a stake, will co-host a fete on Friday at the W Hotel, while New Yorker editor David Remnick greets a literary crowd on the hotel’s rooftop.
People magazine will host a Friday night party where actress Goldie Hawn and fashion designer Tory Burch are likely to make appearances.
Reese Witherspoon, Daniel Day-Lewis and Uggie, the dog in the film “The Artist,” are expected to mingle with David Axelrod, President Barack Obama’s chief adviser, CIA Director David Petraeus, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Attorney General Eric Holder and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.
The main event is the Correspondents’ Association Dinner, April 28, drawing 2,700 guests to the Washington Hilton’s ballroom. Late-night talk-show host Jimmy Kimmel will roast the president, whose own speech, by tradition, pokes fun at the people in the room.
ABC’s Jake Tapper and Politico’s Glenn Thrush, Carrie Budoff Brown, Manu Raju and John Bresnahan will receive the Merriman Smith award for excellence in presidential coverage under deadline. Tables at the dinner are $2,500 a piece, with proceeds supporting scholarships for aspiring journalists.
Earlier that day, Mark Ein, the founder and CEO of Venturehouse Group, will open his Georgetown mansion, the former home of Washington doyenne Katharine Graham, for brunch. Co-hosts include media maven Tammy Haddad and Kevin Sheekey, chairman of BGOV, a division of Bloomberg LP.
On Friday night, actress Rosario Dawson will have a party celebrating diversity in media atop the Hay Adams hotel.
Later in the evening the Impact Arts + Film Fund will host its First Amendment Party with Funny or Die, the maker of satirical videos, at a pop-up venue with food by chef Jose Andres -- just named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people of 2012.
On Sunday, John McLaughlin will hold his annual brunch, also at the Hay Adams.
Stretching into the small hours will be the Bloomberg- Vanity Fair post-dinner reception Saturday at the residence of French Ambassador Francois Delattre, who said he “gave up” at two in the morning last year and went to bed.
Capitol File magazine will be at the Newseum with Claire Danes, star of the Showtime drama “Homeland” where the theme will be “mid-century modern” with vintage martinis, according to Capitol File’s editor in chief and president, Sarah Schaffer.
Lyndon Boozer, an assistant vice president at AT&T Inc., said he’ll be dining with friends at 701 Restaurant and watching the dinner on C-SPAN before heading to the Capitol File bash.
He said the dinner is “a press, politician and celebrity affair,” he explained. “Some lobbyists fall into that category, but I’m not one of them.”
(Stephanie Green and Amanda Gordon are writers and photographers for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are their own.)
Today’s Muse highlights include Jeremy Gerard on Broadway and Jason Harper on autos.