Hollywood Screws Prom, Atlantic

So now that the prom weekend orgy is behind us, it’s time to sit down and take a little look at what transpired. Did anyone else notice how there were only three A-List stars at the correspondents’ dinner this year? George Clooney and Ludacris, and Alex Trebek are really the only three who weren’t famous by explanation. Everyone knows them. Everyone else at the dinner was “James Denton, you know, the plumber from Desperate Housewives” or “Maura Tierney, you know, Abby from ER.” Heck, Valerie Plame and Henry Kissinger both attracted more ink than most of the Hollywood “stars” in attendance.

Prom is all about the “famous-for-DC” types, of course, but it’s also DC’s big chance for a little LA glitz and glamour now and again.

So what’s happened to all the big stars at prom? The short answer seems to be that most A-List stars don’t want to come to a dinner honoring President Bush. That might be a “good enough” explanation for most of the news organizations, but there’s one news organization at prom who specifically tries to recruit Hollywood types.

Out of all of the prom-related events over the weekend, only one isn’t strictly sponsored by a media organization: The Atlantic Media/Creative Coalition pre-party. The New York-based Creative Coalition, one assumes, is supposed to lend all sorts of glittery street cred to the Atlantic party and attract some big names.

Here was who the Creative Coalition was able to deliver: Patricia Clarkson (Good Night, Good Luck/Emmy-Award-Winner, Six Feet Under), Jeffrey Wright (Syriana/”Angels in America”), Joey Pantoliano, Hill Harper (CSI: NY), and Thomas McCarthy (Syriana/Good Night, and Good Luck/The Station Agent).

Is this the best Hollywood can actually deliver? Even Billy Baldwin canceled on the Creative Coalition. And he’s certainly not Alec.

Would you recognize any of those celebrities if you tripped over them? Obviously, everyone in Washington would recognize Joey Pants because we’ve seen him at every other event in DC in the last three years. Ditto for Ron Silver.

So what exactly is the Atlantic getting out of co-sponsoring their pre-party and bringing in such lame guests? Someone seems to be getting the bum end of a deal here. David Bradley‘s publishing empire has the key poolside real estate, but the most buzz at the event was for people who weren’t even their guests–and one only needed to wander in to Newsweek to see the difference an actual A List Hollywood celeb makes in room energy and electricity.

If Joey Pants is the best the Creative Coalition can get from Hollywood, the Atlantic might want to reconsider their guest strategy and try to land some DC types like Condi Rice for next year. They certainly couldn’t do much worse on their own–all the other news organizations proved that.

For instance, take ABC with its top hit television shows who ended up with C-List folks: Now appearing as part of the Disney empire, no, not actual star Eva Longoria, but instead “Dancing With the Stars” winner Drew Lachey! Oops. Sorry, he canceled too. So did A List Anna Kournikova.

At least no one brought Elizabeth Smart this year. Sigh.