Chatology Special Report: 'Fox News Sunday' At 10
Last night Fox celebrated the birth, ten years ago, of "Fox News Sunday," with a star-choked alcohol-soaked party at Cafe Milano. And Wonkette Emerita Ana Marie Cox was there. Her exclusive party report, replete with celebrity encounters, the booze-aided dispensation of social niceties, and a subtly threatening Karl Rove (who "knows" us, if you know what he means), all provided free of charge, after the jump.
(Picture by Patrick Gavin/FishbowlDC)
The Secret Service started locking down the street around Cafe Milano about two hours before the party started. You don't have to be from Washington to know that bomb-sniffing dogs and lots of black SUVs mean that someone important is coming. In this case, preparations were being made for Dick Cheney's visit to the 10th anniversary party for "Fox News Sunday," through by the Fox News Channel or, as Dick likes to call it, "our press shop."
A packed crowd -- no doubt inflated by those wishing to ingratiate themselves with ex-FNS host/WH mouthpiece (keep your redundancy jokes to yourself with this bunch) Tony Snow -- ate fatty finger food, downed drinks and wiped their mouths with handy FNS napkins. We'd like to see those in the green room from now on. Roger Ailes and the Rupe (who looks exactly like a lawn gnome. An evil, world-domination-bent lawn gnome.) introduced current FNS host Chris Wallace -- in his remarks Ailes couldn't help but crow that the show was doing so well, even MSNBC had come to the party: "MSNBC? Whatever happened to that network?" (MSNBC was represented, as far as we could tell, by bon vivant and Bolten and Snow's fellow closet ax-wielder, Howard "You're Pretty" Fineman.) Wallace was genial and self-deprecating, noting that his father Mike's presence was a reality check for someone who, at 50, is still called "the kid."
Snips from the show's greatest hits played on strategically placed TV screens in the background as a squadron of roving photogs did their best to give the impression that really famous people were there. Not that some shots won't make some news. Our favorites: Bill O'Reilly posing with Hillary with his arm around her falafel (waist, shoulder whatever -- where was PHILLIPPE!?!), former DNC chair Terry McAuliffe glad-handing with Snow (though who wouldn't?), Josh Bolten giving Dan Bartlett a reassuring pat on the shoulder ("it's not you, it's me"?).
Not surprisingly, the network accounted for most of the bold-faced names present -- Shep Smith, Brit Hume, Brian Wilson, Major Garrett, Jim Angle, a fake-glasses-less Bill Hemmer and Martha MacCallum in a hottt Diane von Furstenberg wrap. Greta Van Sustren endeared us to her forevermore by toting around her own digital camera and getting homey snapshots of the guests. If we ever have our own network show we hope keep as real as her. Holding their own, attendance-wise, was the barely distinguishable GOP contingent, including Milano homesteaders Juleanna and Jeffery Glover-Weiss, a bar-hovering Newt Gingrich, a shiny orange Tom Delay, Dan "Also-Ran" Senor, Karen Hughes (Great purse. Truly shocking but true! Do they have a Louis Vitton outlet in Dubai?), Bill Kristol and the WH carpool: Cheney, Bartlett, Bolten, Nicolle Wallace and Karl Rove, fresh from grand jury testimony but grinning and pandering like it was primary season ("Of course I know Wonkette!" Oh, Karl. Tell us the one about McCain's black baby again!).
A few brave Democrats walked brazenly through the crowd, fortified by generous pours and the self-delusion that the party represented some final bacchanal prior to a decent into madness. Gore chum and Dem consultant Mike Feldman, the DNC's Karen Finney and a proud Sen. Ben Nelson (my governor!) gritted their teeth around puff pastries and somehow made it through. Journalists round out this spillage of ink, with Fineman, Capitol File's Anne Schroeder, the adorable Mike "Scoop" Allen of TIME, Patrick Gavin, Reliable Source Roxanne Roberts and Juan Williams meandering through. I think I also saw some Congressmen.
Our only regret: Massive social faux pas in front of perennial Wonkette crush Kristol. That, and not getting Cheney to sign our special target-and-quail embellished t-shirt. On the back. Wouldn't want to cause another heart attack.
[POST SCRIPT: The heart attack joke was made in front of one of the WH crew, who tried, unconvincingly, to make us feel bad about it: "So you think that's funny? His heart attacks?" We had to respond: "With all due respect, sir: we do. We do."]
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