The drinks were flowing at last night’s RTCA dinner long before Karl Rove decided to ‘get jiggy with it’ on the dance floor. And Fox News’ gazebo bash was the place to be, attracting throngs of Republican movers and shakers with its luminary candles, easy-listening jazz band and, of course, open bar. Inexplicably, we scored ourselves an invite, and ended up partying with FNC, sipping on Chardonnay with the likes of Bill O’Reilly, Roger Ailes, Geraldo Rivera (finally!) and Bill O’Reilly.
And when we say “sipping on Chardonnay with” we actually mean “guzzling Maker’s Mark on the rocks while attempting to eavesdrop.” Unfortunately, due to some combination of a loud jazz band, partial deafness and copious amounts of whiskey, we were only able to overhear enigmatic sentence fragments and context-less murmurs devoid of any actual meaning.
“Jerry Seinfeld was bawling his eyes out every day.”
“Has anyone seen Geraldo?”
“Hate the speeches, love the food.”
“Totally. Wait, Bill Richardson is the one with the jowls, right?”
And so on, and so forth. But it wasn’t until we were seated inside that the real fun started.
2400 journalists politely scraping their forks against their plates while their half-eaten food is whisked away by overly attentive servers. Generous servings of ice cream cake cleverly disguised as “Mississippi Mud Pie” (and last seen at your kid sister’s 4th birthday party). Palpable discomfort when the investigative unit at NBC was awarded for, among other things, outing prominent figures and politicians for taking corporate perks. (We’re looking at you, Non-Stop Nancy!) A wise-cracking president cracking jokes about his rifle-wielding V.P while wisely steering clear of that “unpleasantness” in Iraq. NBC’s poker-faced anchor, Brian Williams, ditching his stoicism long enough to burp the “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”
But all of that revelry nearly eclipsed the more moving aspects of the program, including the somber presentation of the David Bloom award, which yielded a standing ovation for the award’s presenter—the courageous and outstandingly well-spoken Bob Woodruff—and a moving acceptance speech from this year’s recipient, Steve Centanni.
Sadly, however, the evening (also known as “Washington’s prom”) came to a close all too soon, with the brusque removal of dessert plates and an exodus of bow-tied senators. And suddenly, a fleet of pre-ordered town cars and limousines was busily whisking away the party guests, leaving us with an evening full of memories, a stomach full of Mississippi Pie and a short walk to our hotel. And it was as we were walking that it suddenly hit us: the RTCA dinner may only come but once a year, but the mental picture of MC Rove? That, my friends, lasts a lifetime.
[Photos via FishbowlDC]