2 Presidents, Neither Named Obama, Spotted at Nerd Prom Pre-Party

By Chris Ariens Comment

It’s been a few years since we’ve covered the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner. So, with a wild presidential election upon us, we figured, why not this year?

The pre-dinner celebrations have actually been underway for two days and picked up speed this morning with the 2016 annual Garden Brunch led once again by former MSNBC executive producer Tammy Haddad. This year was about celebrating next generation start-ups and those who’ve already made a difference. We spotted ultimate start-up success story Travis Kalanick, founder and CEO of Uber, in conversation with his new board member, HuffPost co-founder Arianna Huffington.

The party has gotten bigger (more crowded), and the food has gotten better (more desserts) and the rain held off.

We chatted with FNC’s Greta Van Susteren about how her week has been: “It’s been uneventful,” she joked. Last weekend she was in Ecuador helping with relief efforts following the earthquake there. Then, Tuesday night, she was in Indiana hosting her second Donald Trump town hall. Other FNCers in the crowd included Ed Henry and Bret Baier.

We chatted with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer about how the 2016 election has been a ratings sensation for him and other cable newsers. Other CNNers we spotted included executives Amy Entelis and Sam Feist, Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter, and correspondent Jeff Zeleny.

We chatted with The Late Show with Stephen Colbert ep and showrunner Chris Licht, now two weeks in his new job. Licht, a TV news veteran, is instilling a TV news manager’s sensibility into the late night comedy show. Licht’s former CBS This Morning anchors Charlie Rose and Gayle King also worked the crowd. And we caught up Steve Capus who is leading the CBS Evening News to ratings growth.

From NBC, we chatted with correspondents Chris Jansing and Kasie Hunt as well as NBC News president Deborah Turness and Today show ep Don Nash.

Many of ABC’s The View co-hosts where here, including Joy Behar and Candace Cameron Bure who told us her coast-to-coast commute, for now, is working for her and her family. They remain in California as she tapes the show in New York. She’s also preparing to film season 2 of Fuller House.

Other star sightings included actor Jeff Goldblum, a guest of Fox along with his Independence Day co-star Sela Ward. Ward, who plays the president in the upcoming sci-fi sequel, was not the only commander-in-chief at the Garden Brunch:

Blindspot star Jaimie Alexander, and actress/activist Rosario Dawson, Cosmopolitan EIC Joanna Coles were among the other boldface names we spotted in the crowd.


President Obama’s adviser Valerie Jarrett.

FNC's Greta Van Susteren chats with White House correspondent April Ryan.

FNC’s Greta Van Susteren chats with White House correspondent April Ryan.

CNN's Wolf Blitzer.

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.

Actress and activist Rosario Dawson.

Actress and activist Rosario Dawson.