Saturday, December 18, 2010

Tanya Hamilton discusses "Night Catches Us"


"Night Catches Us" Director: Black Panther Movement Was "Fundamentally Important"

"Night Catches Us" Director: Black Panther Movement Was "Fundamentally Important"

Janet Donovan/ NITESIDE 
Indie film "Night Catches Us" writer/director Tanya Hamilton, whose debut film opens at The West End Cinema today, worked on the film for nearly 10 years before it was brought to the big screen. She dished to Niteside about the film, the Black Panther movement and what it has taught us.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Amb. of Canada and Winnie the Pooh

Mike Mosettig and Ambassador Gary Doer

The odds that the Ambassador of Canada could be seen strolling through the State Department with an over-sized Winnie the Pooh in tow decked in Canadian Olympic mittens are probably very slim; but that was the case on Monday afternoon when Gary Doer went to a meeting with Hillary Clinton and on advise of staff he appropriately brought a toy for tots.  “It was a very constructive meeting,” he relayed to guests at his Christmas party following the meeting, albeit admitting the gawking that ensued to be awkward.

While the stylish and charming Ambassador, a popular figure on the diplomatic scene, gave warmth to a very chilly evening, it was indeed  marred by the pending outcome of Ambassador Richard Holbrooke’s emergency surgery, of particular interest to media guests who were frequently checking their electronic devices.  For guest Mike Mosettig,  who works the Foreign Policy beat for Jim Lehrer of The Newshour, it was of particular importance.

Yesterday, Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs issued condolences on behalf of the Canadian Government.
“Canada worked very closely with Ambassador Holbrooke in his role as special advisor on Afghanistan and Pakistan to find meaningful, durable solutions to problems in this troubled region. His recent efforts in Afghanistan and Pakistan are an inspiration to all of us.

Mr. Holbrooke was a trusted friend of Canada. We valued his views and counsel on the many issues that brought Canada and United States together to promote our common values in a world fraught with conflict and fragility.”

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Piers Morgan on Madonna

Piers Morgan Bans Madonna From New CNN Show
11 minutes ago

Piers Morgan Bans Madonna From New CNN Show

Newly anointed CNN host Piers Morgan who is set to take over talk show Larry King's spot this January said he's already decided to ban one guest: Madonna. Read More
BY Janet Donovan

Monday, December 13, 2010

Life After Office

Janet Donovan/ NITESIDE 

The former UK Prime Minister, attending a book party for his new tome "Beyond the Crash" with his wife Sarah Saturday night at The Jefferson Hotel, addressed his "involuntary" exit from office with typical British humor.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

By the People

Presidency Has Taken Its Toll on Obama, Says Docu Director

Janet Donovan/NITESIDE
Filmmaker Alicia Sams, who documented President Obama's journey from the campaign trail to the White House, said the commander in chief walked into a "huge mess" when he began his tenure and he now appears more tired than he did on the trail. She dished to Niteside a day ahead of the premiere of her documentary "By the People: The Election of Barack Obama" presented by AFI-Discovery Channel Silverdocs.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Graham Moore celebrates first novel.

Son of First Lady's Chief of Staff Feted for First Novel

Son of First Lady's Chief of Staff Feted for First Novel
Getty Images
First-time author Graham Moore, son of Michelle Obama's chief of staff Susan Sher, was feted by so many high-level administration guests Monday night it felt like the White House had temporarily changed address.
Longtime pals of Sher and her 28-year old son gathered at the home of Hilary Rosen last night and shared their pride in and congratulations with the Columbia grad for the publication of "The Sherlockian." The party was hosted by Rosen, Anita Dunn, Anne Fleming, Rhoda Glickman, Tammy Haddad, Valerie Jarrett and Anita McBride.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Alan Simpson speaks out at The Monocle

U.S. Is Headed the Way of Ireland, Says Obama Adviser Ex-Sen. Alan Simpson

Janet Donovan/NITESIDE
Ex-Sen. Alan Simpson of Wyoming, who served as co-chairman President Obama's fiscal commission, dished to Niteside about the current state of the Congress last night at the 50th Anniversary of The Monocle, Washington's destination for members. Never one to mince words, the ever-quotable Simpson sounded off on the current state of the nation: "They need to give up the fun and games. ... If they don't get off their butt and do it, we're headed for the cli

Teachers "Virtually Have to Commit a Felony"

Docu Film Director: Teachers "Virtually Have to Commit a Felony" to Lose Jobs

Janet Donovan/NITESIDE
Bob Bowdon has done just about every media job you can think of: talk show host, producer, commentator, writer and now film director. His new documentary, "The Cartel," is raising eyebrows in the world of education. He attacks our system head on and speaks out against unions that he says are hurting national efforts to educate kids.

Will Durst headlines Funniest Celebrity in Washington

Funniest Celebrity in Washington

White House Speechwriter Jonathan Lovett Is the Funniest Celeb in D.C.!

Janet Donovan/NITESIDE
Satirist Will Durst and comedian Alabama headlined the 17th Annual Funniest Celebrity in D.C. event last week to benefit Fisher House Foundation, which supports military families. White Housepresidential speechwriter Jonathan Lovett, who did a smashing impersonation of Arianna Huffington took home the top prize.  

Monday, May 31, 2010

Danish Ambassador

It's Time the West Steps Up for Gender Equality

Janet Donovan/NITESIDE 
Danish Ambassador Friis Arne Petersen argued at a recent reception he hosted that it's time for the West to help countries struggling with gender equality better incorporate women into society.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

T. Boone Pickens on BP

 BP Oil Spill Is a "Sad Accident

Janet Donovan/NITESIDE 
Texas oilman and energy entrepreneur T. Boone Pickens said that despite the still-gushing BP oil leak in the Gulf -- what he calls a "sad accident" -- the off-shore drilling industry still has a "fairly good record." Pickens was attending a private party at the home of Juleanna Glover last night as a prelude to a gala later this week to save Americas Mustangs.

Former World No. 1 Tennis Player Mats Wilander

"I Still Love the Sport"

Janet Donovan/NITESIDE
Tennis champ Mats Wilander still loves the game, saying at the Swedish Ambassador's residence last night that "the passion is burning wildly" inside of him to play the sport after 30 years as a pro.

Inside the Swedish Ambassador's Courtside Cocktail Party

Washington Kastles owner Mark Ein and former No. 1 tennis player in the world Mats Wilander were honored at the residence of Amb. and Mrs. Jonas Hafstrom for the Geico Champions Celebration last night. Pictured here: Tennis coach Martin Blackman and Kastles coach Murphy Jensen.

"Finding Chandra"

Authors Dish on "Many New Revelations" in Case

Janet Donovan/NITESIDE 
"Finding Chandra" authors and Pulitzer Prize-winning reporters Scott Higham and Sari Horwitz detail their findings in the investigation into the 2001 disappearance of Washington intern Chandra Levy that captivated the nation and led to revelations that she was having an affair with then-Rep. Gary Condit.

Lebanon PM Saad Hariri Goes Off-Script

"I Want to Speak From My Heart"

Janet Donovan/NITESIDE
Just hours after meeting with President Obama, the Prime Minister of Lebanon Saad Hariri addressed guests at The Fairmont in Washington, D.C., and said he wanted to speak to his guests "from the heart" about his beloved country.

Barbara Bush Quips

My Twin Sister Jenna Should Be "Supporting Me"

Janet Donovan/NITESIDE
Working at a non-profit isn't always lucrative, as Barbara Bush -- daughter of George W. Bush -- found out the hard way. Watch as she fielded the final question at the National Press Club last night on college graduates and earning power.

British Author Frances Osborne Dishes on Her Family Secrets

Frances Osborne, author of "The Bolter" was mum on the recent Fergie scandal but shared plenty of details on her own high-ranking British family's sordid past, which is the subject of her various books, while at the Kalorama home of Juleanna Glover.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

CBS Unplugged

Washington Unplugged, John dickerson

CBS Hosts A-List

Anniversary Bash for "Unplugged"

CBS Hosts A-List Anniversary Bash for 
 Dannia Hakki, Annie Groer, Tara Palmari

CBS' Washington bureau threw a cocktail party at the Crowne Plaza hotel last night to celebrate the first anniversary of its daily webcast "Washington Unplugged."

Among those not plugged into the festivities: original "Unplugged" host Bob Schieffer.

“He’s on vacation,” said CBS producer and event host Christine Delargy.

Schieffer did provide us with this tidbit in advance: "What's great about 'Washington Unplugged' is that it gives us a place to report those little stories, the delicious little nuggets of news that there is no room for on television.”

Matt Cooper Tim Burger and John Dickerson
Bill Plante
Steve Callagaris
What started as a weekly political webcast expanded into a daily, with a rotating set of hosts that include news political analyst John Dickerson.

“I do Mondays and Thursdays,” he said.  “We can do whatever subject matter we want: foreign policy, domestic policy, books, movies.  Since we interview so many politicians, I found interviewing Woody Harrelson and then Ludacris about his foundation to be interesting.”

Others, too, say they're plugged into the scene.

"I don't want to be unplugged," former Hardball producer Tammy Haddad said. "It's an interesting phenomena because the idea is that you get it real, that's the idea of unplugged. I grew up real, from Pittsburgh, so I am proud and happy to be plugged in and working the Web."

And some said they'd rather stay off the grid.

“I’m totally unplugged, I love unplugged,” said CBS White House Correspondent Bill Plante. “They let me do the show from time to time.”

BY Janet Donovan

Monday, February 15, 2010

Party like a Canadian


Winter Olypmics, Canadian Embassy

Party Like a Canadian: A Guide 

to the Olympics Party 

at the Embassy

Party Like a Canadian: A Guide to the Olympics Party at the Embassy
Tricia and Chris
Tricia Messerschmidt and radio talk show host Chris Plante were among those at the opening ceremonies bash for the Winter Olympics hosted by Ambassador Gary Doer at the Canadian Embassy over the weekend. 

Though no prior knowledge of French or poutine was required to enjoy the festivities, there were, however, rules of engagement: 
  • Pick up a pair of complimentary wool mittens available at the entry gate
  • Indulge in a cup of Canadian fries smothered in cheese curd and gravy (a.k.a. poutine)
  • While in the food line, ask to have as many variations of pasta as possible -- especially anything that included lobster
  • In the beer line, be sure to order Molson Coors
  • Play the Wii challenge
  • Pose in front of the street signs for photo opps
  • Watch the snowboarders do tricks on the trampoline
The Washington Note Steve Clemons 
Newshour's Mike Mosettig and Christina Sevilla
At the bar
BY Janet Donovan // Monday, Feb 15, 2010 at 08:50 ES

Saturday, February 13, 2010

"Secrets of Powerful Women"

Powerful Women Reveal Their "Secrets"
Fran Drescher and Senator Arlan Spector
The women featured in the new book "Secrets of Powerful Women" were powerless against the snow storm that canceled the book party last night -- but they did offer insight into some of their success. 

Actress and activist Fran Drescher said she grew up admiring Lucille Ball for her business savvy and first realized her own power to effect change when she helped pass the Gynecologic Cancer Education and Awareness Act in 2006.

"I wouldn't leave until they passed it," Drescher said.

Now, she uses her influence and newly realized power to help make positive changes.

Fran Drescher and Washington Bureau Chief of Glamour Magazine
“It enables me to be heard by people of influence and to push through platforms on behalf of the greater good,” she said.

Senior adviser to Obama's presidential campaign Betsy Myers, also featured in the book, was empowered by her mother's choice to go back to school.

“My mother’s decision to regain her voice in the world had a profound impact on me," she said. "By her actions, she taught me that we have the personal power to change the roles we play in our lives. By standing up for herself, she stood up for my sisters and me.

"By gaining her own voice, she gave us a voice.”

Journalist Beth Frerking spoke about what having power meant to her and how it is earned.

“Power has never been about what I get at the end -- it’s always been about making things happen," she said.

"Being powerful, to me, means having the opportunity to use my mind and talents most effectively. 
But I’m very old-fashioned about how I think people should get power: you don’t grab it, you earn it with hard work, creativity and loyalty.” 

BY Janet Donovan // Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 11:22 ES

Friday, February 05, 2010

Teatro's chef to try out for 'Chefs vs. City'

Teatro's chef to try out for 'Chefs vs. City'

By: Nikki Schwab and Tara Palmeri
Washington Examiner
02/04/10 9:00 PM EST

Enzo Fargione, of K Street’s Teatro Goldoni, is scheduled to chat with the Food Network on Saturday about appearing on “Chefs vs. City,” a culinary reality show.
Does D.C. have another reality show TV chef in the making? 
Yeas & Nays hears the Food Network is scouting our city this weekend for culinary talent for its show "Chefs vs. City," and Teatro Goldoni's executive chef Enzo Fargione has decided to put his name in the hat.

"After 23 years in Washington, for me, I think I know Washington very well and I know where all the best food is," Fargione told Yeas & Nays.

Fargione described the show as a mix between "Top Chef" and "The Great Race," where a local chef and his or her sous chef is picked to battle against Food Network chefs Aaron Sanchez and Chris Cosentino.

The local chefs get home court advantage.

"You need to know the city -- for instance, Washington -- where to buy Asian products, or the organic market, where would you buy the best meat? Maybe you would go to the Eastern Market in Capitol Hill," Fargione explained.

"You need to know where to buy specific products in order to put out the best possible menu together, and then of course there is the challenge to prepare the menu."

Fargione became the popular K Street eatery's top chef in spring 2008, and while the Torino, Italy, native has appeared on local TV, he never has auditioned for a reality show before.

"I think it's a really good door to open to the Food Network, and they would very likely keep me in mind for future projects," he said, revealing that the interview is scheduled for Saturday.

The Food Network show has filmed in New York and New Orleans, but not yet D.C.
Producers for "Top Chef," another cooking reality show, recruited in the District in October. Fargione said he thought a handful of other local chefs would be interviewing to be on "Chefs vs. City" as well.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Don't pass the salt.

Celeb Chef Michel Richard Gets Salty Over Condiments

Celeb Chef Michel Richard Gets Salty Over Condiments

Renown chef Michel Richard dished on his condiment consternation last night.

The France-born owner of Citronelle was preparing a meal in the Georgetown home of developer Herb Miller and his wife, Patrice, as part of the nonprofit D.C. Central Kitchen-sponsored Sunday Night Supper series.

As one of a number of celebrity chefs who donated their culinary talent to serve up dinner in 15 of the most prestigious homes in Washington, Richard said he had one request: Don't pass the salt.

"Just taste the food first," he said. "If it isn't salty enough then add salt, but don't hand me the plate and say it isn't salty enough."

And don't even think of mentioning pepper.

"Some chefs don't even use pepper," he said in an accent so thick it took four tries to recognize he didn't mean 'paper.'

"There is no salt or pepper on my tables," he said.

Richard said he does not subscribe to the Julia Child school of thought in which food dropped on the floor is still salvageable.

“No, we don’t do that,” he said, emphatically. “Julia Child got away with that because she was Julia Child. As for me, I have to throw it in the trash.”

Richard also insisted he's not French, but American. "I just serve food with a French accent," he joked.

On the menu: Peanut and chestnut soup with fois gras and chicken stock.

Across town at the Kalorama home of Joan Fabry and Michael Klein, chef Julian Medina of Toloache in New York said he gave up the salt fight five years after emigrating from Mexico. A good thing too, considering a large box of Kosher salt held a prominent position on the counter.

“It bothered me when I was young," Medina said. "It freaked me out, but now I realize that everyone has a different palate. I don’t put salt or pepper on any of my tables in my restaurant though.”

Joan didn’t seem to mind turning her kitchen over to Julian.

“It’s fun,” she said, while waiting for political consultant and commentator Barbara Comstock to arrive.

On the menu:  Margaritas with kumquats for starters.

BY Janet Donovan

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Kathy Griffin Jokes: I Am the Next White House Crasher


Kathy Griffin Jokes: I Am the Next White House Crasher

Kathy Griffin Jokes: I Am the Next White House Crasher
Getty Images 
Kathy Griffin greeted fans at her book signing last night and joked about her designs on 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

"When I finish here, I'll probably crash the White House," the self-deprecating sassy redhead said.

The stand-up comedian tweeted about the signing of her book "Official Book Club Selection: A Memoir According to Kathy Griffin" before she greeted fans at the Borders on K Street NW last night.

"DC! Unlike Palin, I sign every book," she tweeted.

True to her word, Griffin signed every book and posed for every photo op, even tossing in some of her signature humor.

"You're a good looking guy -- but don't take that in a late-night way."

"In L.A. if someone dressed like you we would think you were the Secret Service."

"You girls on a field trip?"

BY Janet Donovan // Friday, Jan 22, 2010 at 10:28 EST