When we first showed up to last night’s screening of ZeroDarkThirty at the Newsuem, Politico‘s Tim Mak was persuading a press handler to let him inside the event. He had a ticket in hand but wasn’t on the list.
“There are already two others from Politico on our list,” the handler told Mak. A few minutes later, however, we spotted a happy Mak walking around with what appeared to be a glass of champagne in hand. The crisis wherein Politico would only have two reporters covering an event was averted.
Much of the news media who showed up to the screening weren’t as lucky. They (FishbowlDC included) weren’t allowed in to see the actual movie, a film about the hunt for Osama bin Laden, and were limited to red carpet coverage.
Still, there was plenty of weirdness to see.
Kicking off the event were 20 or so protesters, several on the heavy side, dressed in orange jumpsuits with bags over their heads (a great look for any Washington, D.C. cocktail party). They stood out front of the event, mostly silent, holding up signs about torture.
Moving on to the red carpet, the actual celebrities — film creators Mark Boal and Kathryn Bigelow and actor Chris Pratt — were an hour late. But that didn’t mean the Washington Examiner‘s gossip columnist Nikki Schwab didn’t catwalk it herself. She did, stopping just long enough to chat with D.C. publicist Janet Donovan. ABC’s Martha Raddatz, who moderated the vice presidential debate in October (not quite on the same level as Schwab) opted to walk behind the press, avoiding the red carpet altogether.
Once the star creators of the movie showed up, it was over almost as soon as it began. Boal and Bigelow walked from one end while Pratt started from the other. Our question of the day: “What do you think Osama bin Laden’s body looks like today?” “Oh man,” Pratt said. “I don’t get it. I don’t get the question.” He was then hustled off by event handlers.
Raddatz had more to say than Pratt when asked. “Oh my goodness. I don’t know,” she said. “Probably not much there. I don’t know. I’m not a scientist or whoever would figure that out. That’s your question of the evening? That’s a pretty original question.”
We were unable to ask Boal or Bigelow.
Notables: CNN political analyst Gloria Borger; NBC’s Andrea Mitchell and MSNBC contributor Karen Finney; ABC7’s Kris Van Cleave who was with CNN photog Peter Morris; Politico‘s Kevin Cirilli and Patrick Gavin (who was accompanied by his very pregnant wife); and ABC News’s Rick Klein.
Quotable: “I had dinner with her a month ago and I can’t remember her name. That’s off the record.”– One media type, referring to Gloria Borger.
Schwab, working the carpet.
Cirilli interviewing Raddatz.
Boal and Bigelow.