MEDIA  3:05 pm April 5, 2006

Team Party Crash: The Week Opinion Awards

by Alex Pareene

IMG_6941.JPG
A well-placed fern adds a touch of nature to your giant, panel-dwarfing doric columns.

Busy week so far for Wonkette. Last night saw us at some sort of weird auditorium/ballroom thing attached to the EPA (no one knew what purpose the space served, except for hosting panel discussions in a fancier-than-usual setting) for The Week Opinion Awards (in Partnership with The Aspen Institute). It was a blast, of course, though we admit that we don’t remember the awards bit, or the round-table bit, or the speeches, as we were having way too much fun schmoozing and drinking. We’re sure the winners were very deserving, though. Despite our not winning.

And boy, what a star-studded occasion it was. Froomkin! Arianna Huffington! Sid Blumenthal! Froomkin! Our full (hazily-reconstructed, actually) report, complete with exclusive photos from Liz Gorman, Intrepid Girl Reporter, after the jump.


We ran into Reason editor Nick Gillespie as soon as we stepped out of our cab, which was a good sign: as we’ve mentioned before, getting drunk with Libertarians improves any Washington night out.

Once we got inside and marveled at the fancy baroque high-ceilingedness of it all (and hit the open bar), we proceeded to schmoozing. We met Dan Froomkin(!), who looks a bit like a high school chemistry teacher (but, you know, the one you liked and who’d get you really excited about stoichiometry or something, before you had your love for education sucked out by an underpaid misanthropic calculus teacher or something), and Tom Toles, who talked to us about blogs for while we wanted to talk about cartoons and pissing off the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Toles was appropriately cantankerous, wondering why he’d bothered to show up despite not getting an award. His conclusion (and ours): Free dinner.
IMG_6864.JPG“What table you want? 4? I can get you 4. I can get you 4, bro, no problem.”

Our fear that we’d start giggling if introduced prevented us from actually talking to him, but we did consider throwing a cell phone at Tony Blankley, who does not blog. We would’ve blamed it on Walter Isaacson. That guy’s a menace.
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Table Report: One of us got Arianna Huffington (superhumanly charming), the other got Patrick Gavin from FishbowlDC/the Examiner (tall) and The Hill‘s Jackie Kucinich (almost as cute as her dad). We both got Newshour correspondents (someone’s idea of a joke, no doubt — seat us with our polar opposites).
IMG_6877.JPG“Is that… is that… FROOMKIN?

The table chat was the usual Beltway insider stuff: The lack of congressional inquiries into the death of Biggie, Easy-E’s legacy, and Katie Couric’s new eyes. Then Senator Chris Dodd started talking about a federal shield law and everyone got kinda sleepy. It was at this point that we took the first of several cigarette breaks, leading us to miss the portion of the evening where the awards were given away. Whoops. If you want that kinda stuff, go to Fishbowl. Senator Bill Nelson was there, but he left just before we got a chance to ask him if Katherine Harris had him running scared.
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Anyway, our notes from the panel discussion (about whether White House correspondents are real journalists) are completely useless (they read: “Kucinich: Hates mashed potatoes, freedom”), but we remember Arianna using the best metaphor ever, which we shall reconstruct from memory: “It’s like your husband is cheating on you with your sister, and you get upset when he brings you dark instead of milk chocolate.” No idea what she was referring to. Poor Michael Massing and John Dickerson sat at either end and were nearly invisible behind the Mike McCurry/Blankley/Huffington juggernaut of punditry. Sydney Blumenthal was called on to ask a question, which, after 15 minutes of talking about something-or-other, he neglected to do.
IMG_6885.JPGOh, she’s on her Tupac conspiracy kick again…

And no one answered the question about whether White House correspondents are journalists. We kept waiting for a show of hands at the end or something.
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(Sir) Herald Evans: Someone told us before the panel that Evans is basically Dr. Zaius from Planet of the Apes. This ruined/made wonderful the rest of the night.
IMG_6921.JPG“Webster’s Dictionary defines ‘opinion’ as…”

Afterwards, once Sir Evans had finished demanding that his friends be given microphones, most people ran for the door, but we stayed on to drunkenly chat with Sir Evans and Sir Andrew Sullivan (right?) and Dame Arianna (why not!), all of whom said all sorts of fabulous things that we can’t print.
IMG_6923.JPGPatrick Gavin’s dark secret: karaoke. We’ll tell you where and when for the right price.

Also unprintable: Original Wonkette and Mr. Original Wonkette giggled and passed notes the whole night, but wouldn’t let us see them because they were “too mean.” Then Mr. Original Wonkette offerred Liz a dollar to ask Senator Dodd if he had any thoughts on the proposed federal shield law.
IMG_6931.JPGSir Herald Evans: Gotta dance.
IMG_6938.JPG“And stay away from the Forbidden Zone!”
IMG_6947.JPG“Don’t call on me. Don’t call on me. Don’t call on me. Oh man, he can tell I didn’t study.”
IMG_6963.JPGPlease insert your own “Brokeback” “I did not blog” mash-up joke here.

Update: Crashing Team Party Crash: Original Wonkette Speaks

 

Hola wonkerados.

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