Starting next Wednesday Feb 13, one week from today, I'll make a weekly appearance on WUSA's morning show to talk about what's going on our town. It will be a Washington social chronicle, derived from what I write for washingtonian.com, with context, and with photos, As with Washingtonian, it will be social occasions that show something about the city, who we are, and how social life keeps the wheels turning as the work day transitions from day to night. It will have some character, meaning not a checklist of last night's fundraisers and red carpets. We will pick and choose. While a lot of reporters like to focus on celebrities, visiting here or what they are up to in Hollywood and New York, I like to talk about the people who live here, which means a quite few household names.
For example, there's a social context to who goes to Nats, Wizards, Caps and Redskins games with season tickets and the best seats. Hey, you've noticed, I'm sure, that Congress doesn't live here anymore. What's that about? Why are Bill Clinton, John Kerry and Joe Biden regulars at Cafe Milano? What about the new Georgetown hotel that will have a private rooftop pool club and hopes to kill the nearby competition? Then there's the story I broke last year, about the Oval Office renovation and President Obama having to move to the EEOB (to Nixon's old hideaway) while the work is done. There will be more of that type of story, too. And Donald Trump opening a hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue.
Everybody loves hearing about social life, and sometimes with a little good gossip thrown in (I'm sitting on a doozy right now).
A good example of what I do is an article yesterday about a rare party for embassy social secretaries. At the party both White House social secretary Jeremy Bernard and chief of protocol Capricia Marshall confirmed to me that they will be staying in their jobs in the second term. So, there's a news component, too. If you've been reading my social chronicling for the last six years, with New York Social Diary and now Washingtonian, you know what to expect.
WHITE HOUSE SOCIAL SECRETARY JEREMY BERNARD
Another recent story that would play well in this context is what I reported last week about First Lady Michelle Obama: posing for a Vogue cover, having a Girls Night Out at BLT Steak and the Howard Theater, where she was seen dancing in the aisles. What does it say? What does it mean? Why should we care? That's what we'll talk about. Also, the Alvin Ailey Gala Tuesday night. At the dinner dance I sat between a brilliantly talented 26-year-old Ailey dancer and a DC artist who switched careers from government to painting after she received a message from God.
While the Ailey event was a fundraiser it is also unique in Washington, because it's a wild dance party and probably DC's most diverse formal party, mixing White House staff (Valerie Jarrett), Congress (Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz), business leaders (Post publisher Katharine Weymouth) ... with the exception of whatever went on in the East Room the night of President Obama's public swearing-in. I wasn't at that party, but that's precisely the kind of party I pursue -exclusive, private, unsual and off the grid ... so long as it says something about this town and who we are.
The idea for this new venture, which I would say initially is in the experimental phase, came from anchor Mike Hydeck, after I made an appearance to discuss the inauguration. Mike, executive producer Anetra Gaines and I got together to discuss it further. So please watch, wish me luck, comment, and let's hope this finds its place on the rails and stays there for a long time. I spent most of my professional life in television, including a decade with WUSA's mother ship, CBS News, and still host The Q&A Cafe for DC Cable, and enjoy keeping a hand in. For me it's a natural habitat.