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The Brunch Bunch

From what I hear, all those parties that hemmed in the White House Correspondents Association dinner like reporters around a resigning city councilman were just too, too crowded for comfort, a see-and-be-scene that was so last century.

I hear the dinner was something of a bore, too, with some one-sparkler friction between Karl Rove and Sheryl Crow over global warming having to sub for the fireworks of a Colbert or Imus conflagration, and with the geriatric Rich Little doing middle-of-the-Beltway send-ups that rubbed nobody the wrong way. I hear Henry Kissinger was rolling in the aisles.

I admit it is difficult for the night's entertainment to cover all the demos. Frank Caliendo was aiming too low out at NAB convention dinner with material about Super Friends that sailed over the heads of most of the crowd, including mine. Some combination of Caliendo and Little might work at this dinner(Caliendo was a hoot at last year's Radio-TV Correspondents Association bash), which I guess would be Rich Frank (Hollywood inside joke).

Anyway, all this is by way of some catty, sour grape-pressing. But the John McLaughlin brunch the day after–to which I was actually invited–was definitely the place to be.

Moran Fairchild apparently did, arriving looking better that a body has a right to, as did James Denton (Mike Delfino of Desperate Housewives). Delfino was told that it was nice to have an injection of Hollywood in Washington, but he countered that perhaps that was the case with George Clooney, but that nobody paid much attention to him.

I think that is a very Washington reaction. Political folks are actually huge fans of TV and movie stars, but don't want to act like it for fear of appearing to be the kind of people who fawn over movie stars, rather than the kind of people they are, which is (are?) ones with their own political gravity and orbiting fans.

There is also the sense that, as hosts, we want to give them a break from the constant attention that prevents them from making it to the omelette table before the party is over. Still, stars like to be noticed, so my wife was willing to make the sacrifice and pay some attention to Denton.

The McLaughlin party, which even the Washington Post said was the place to be, was held on the terrace atop the Hay Adams hotel, with a breeze freshening off the Potomac, a sky as blue as, what coloer were Morgan Fairchild's eyes?, and the best view of Washington of any venue in town, with an unobstructed view of the White House right across the street, then the Washington Monument and Jefferson Memorial

lined up behind it like planes on the runway at Reagan National, which you can also see.

Among the political luminaries dropping by were Bob Dole–at least he was in the lobby when I left–and Governor/Mayor/Attorney General Jerry Brown as one woman described him. Chris Wallace of Fox News was there, as was Tony Blankley, former press secretary to Newt Gingrich and editorial page editor of the Washington Times. No surprise since Blankely is a member of McLaughlin

group. But there was Clarence Page and Eleanor Clift, other McLaughlin Group-ies, for balance, all sipping and supping on various libations, fruit, omelettes, crb cakes, mousses, noncrabcakes, and I don't know what all.

The conversation swung from California Congressman Dana Rohrabacher's triplets aqnd the travails of travel, to the war, which even a military vet of some stature conceded didn't seem to have an exit strategy, or have had much of an entrance strategy for that matter.

The consensus at out table was that Imus' precipitous fall had been a raw deal, and that a suspension, not firing should have been the punishment for some network suit discovering that gambling had been going on in NBC's casino.

By John Eggerton