Party Report: The Week Presents "Seven Days in May"

Last night, Senator Lindsey Graham invited about a hundred of his closest personal friends and other people who might be bribed into reading "The Week" to a screening of the John Frankenheimer paranoia-o-rama flick "Seven Days in May." It was the inaugural night for what "The Week" promises will be a regular event and, really, what better movie to set a tone of bipartisan intellectual inquiry than the cautionary tale of a would-be military coup by the Joint Chiefs of Staff? Inspiring!

Those present at MPAA headquarters to partake of roast beef, asparagus, fish and one serving per person of Coppola vineyard wine included co-hosts Margaret Carlson and Dan "Don't Pirate This" Glickman, Elizabeth Drew, superagent Bob Barnett, Massachusetts Congressman Ed Markey, the ubiquitous Karen Feld and remarkably subdued Campari, eligible bachelor Mike Feldman, Ron Brownstein, blogger John Dickerson and David Broder, who confided to Graham that his favorite piece of "political fiction" was "All the King's Men." Overrated is as overrated does, we guess.

Continued after the jump.

Carlson introduced Graham, quipping that the former impeachment manager and Clinton were the two to benefit the most from that attempted coup. Graham introduced the movie as being one his favorites, noting that in this extraordinary time questions about the use of power and constitutionality are of even more importance. Does he know something we don't? Graham trivia: He is a colonel in the Air Force reserves! And if we don't get our recruit numbers up, he noted, "I might be headed to Iraq soon." Again, does he know something we don't? Asked about fellow lawmakers he admires, Graham said that John McCain has "two big ones" and held his hands aloft, as if hefting cantaloupes. He also said he admires Diane Feinstein; no word on the size of her, uhm, "ones."

As for the movie itself, we were distracted a bit by the peanut gallery to our left (CQ's and our own Chris Lehmann and Reason's Nick Gillespie), who mumbled MST3K-esque asides during pivotal plot developments ("Kirk Douglas drives like a girl!"). Many good one-liners came from onscreen as well, a choice few from the somewhat puffy Ava Gardner as the jilted ex-lover of coup-plotter "General James Mattoon Scott," who at one point chides herself for having "fallen for an Air Force General who used me like his own personal airplane." Ouch! Speaking of, Kirk Douglas also bitchslaps a senator with the retort, "I've been reamed by experts." And this was pre-Santorum, mind you. But our favorite moment had to be the final scene, in which the triumphant president delivers a stirring speech about the value of democracy to an expectant press corps. The press corps (in the movie) applauded; the one in the MPAA theater just laughed.


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