Bloomberg News

White House Correspondents Dinner Means Blowouts, Dancing

May 02, 2014

White House Correspondents' Association

U.S. President Barack Obama tells a joke during last year's White House Correspondents' Association dinner in Washington. Photographer: Pete Marovich/Bloomberg

The “Nerd Prom,” the affectionate term Washington insiders have for the marathon of social events surrounding the annual White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner, is about to get nerdier.

High-tech firms -- Yahoo! Inc (YHOO:US)., Google Inc., YouTube and Tumblr Inc. -- are leading the party train, bringing geeks and glitz together for a variety of events, starting today.

Expect everyone from the cast of “House of Cards” to Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. President Gary Cohn to attend the Saturday night black-tie dinner at the Washington Hilton, as well as pre-dinner and post-dinner parties.

Here are some highlights:

Today, Vice President Joe Biden and House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, a Virginia Republican, get the festivities started on a wonky foot. They will headline the second annual Creativity Conference at the Newseum, where guests will explore the nexus of politics, entertainment, business and technology.

Tonight, “House of Cards” actress Robin Wright, who plays Claire Underwood on the Netflix series, will be the guest of honor at the residence of British Ambassador Peter Westmacott for a reception hosted by Capitol File magazine.

Wright’s costars will dazzle the crowd at the Google/Netflix party at the United States Institute of Peace, joined by cast members from “Orange is the New Black,” another Netflix series.

Also tonight, People and Time magazines will hold a cocktail reception at the St. Regis Hotel. Meanwhile, the Creative Coalition -- a nonpartisan lobbying organization formed by members of the entertainment industry -- hosts an actual sit-down dinner at a new hot spot, STK DC, with guests including actor Tim Daly, the group’s president.

Secret Locale

ABC News is daring guests “not to dance” at a soiree tonight featuring Latin Grammy Award-winner Fonseca at Look Restaurant and Lounge. And starting at 11 p.m., the Impact Arts Film Fund will host its second annual Funny or Die party. In high Washington-style, it is being held at an undisclosed location.

To help party-goers stay coiffed between stops tomorrow, Google (GOOG:US) and YouTube are offering blowouts and manicures at a shindig they are hosting at T Square Loft.

What has become an annual garden brunch takes place in Georgetown tomorrow, hosted by media and business luminaries including Venturehouse Group founder Mark Ein and former MSNBC executive Tammy Haddad. Celebrities will converge on the patio of a mansion once owned by Washington Post doyenne Katharine Graham.

McHale’s Roast

The weekend’s main event kicks off in the mammoth basement ballroom of the Washington Hilton, where President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama will be the guests of honor, toasted and roasted by comedian Joel McHale, star of NBC’s “Community.”

“He’s sharp, funny, and just the type of comic who can navigate the unique challenge of our dinner, making fun of Democrats, Republicans and especially the news media,” Steven Thomma, this year’s president of the correspondents’ association, said on the group’s website. “Washington can use a little good-natured ribbing.”

Media organizations will host pre-parties at the hotel, with revelry trickling out into the lobby. CBS News and Atlantic Media join forces on a reception in the courtyard, while Yahoo News and ABC News sponsor a “toast before the roast.”

The most exclusive event -- invited guests only -- is the annual Bloomberg LP/Vanity Fair after-party.

This year’s host is Italian Ambassador Claudio Bisogniero at his residence, Villa Firenze. The gathering’s likely hot spot? The residence’s terrace, outfitted with chic patio furniture and a bar overlooking one of the best lawns in town.

There has to be a morning after. So on May 3, a post-party brunch will be put on by Yahoo and Tumblr, held on the rooftop of the Newseum. Yahoo/ABC website host Katie Couric is among those expected to attend.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephanie Green in Washington at sgreen57@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Mark Silva at msilva34@bloomberg.net Don Frederick


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