Versailles sleaze

More royal court debauchery with our leading political officials and media stars

Published June 18, 2010 12:19PM (EDT)

As I finish up my lengthy piece on the detention of accused WikiLeaks leaker Bradley Manning, which will be posted very shortly, I wanted to make certain you were up to date on the latest glamorous gatherings of White House officials and the aggressive, adversarial press corps which holds them accountable.  From the gossip column of Politico's Mike Allen, this morning (apologies for that triple redundancy):

WOLFGANG PUCK is in town from Beverly Hills to cook for YOUSEF AL OTAIBA, ambassador from the United Arab Emirates, where more U.S. Navy ships are ported than any other foreign country. The ambassador (who was G’town classmates with Norah O’Donnell and knows the Morrells) hosted 14 young Washingtonians for dinner and convo at his McLean home, followed by Game 7 (and a life-size Kobe) on his 103-inch TV screen. What Puck whipped up: 1) terrine of foie gras with toasted brioche, seared foie gras with cherry chutney, and mousse on apricot tartlet (Riesling, Hirtzberger, “Singerriedel,” Austria 2004); 2) seared wild salmon with cucumber raita and sweet pea puree (Chardonnay, Littorai, “Mays Canyon,” California 2006); 3) risotto with porcini mushrooms (pinot noir, Clos De Tart, “Grand Cru,” Burgundy 1995); 4) veal Milanese (Barolo, Oddero, Italy 2000); 5) slow braised Kobe short ribs and grilled Kobe New York (cabernet sauvignon, Beaulieu Vineyard, “Georges de Latour,” Napa 2001); 6) strawberry shortcake, chocolate raspberry soufflé and peach cobbler (Grüner Veltliner Eiswein, Anton Bauer, Austria).

GUESTS INCLUDED [White House Deputy Press Secretary] Bill Burton, Laura Burton Capps [lobbyist, wife of Burton and daughter of Rep. Louise Capps], Helene Cooper [of The New York Times], [Deputy White House Press Secretary] Josh Earnest, Betsy Fischer [Executive Producer, Meet the Press], Jonathan Karl [of ABC News], Ryan Lizza [New Yorker political reporter and author of forthcoming White House book], Norah O’Donnell [MSNBC reporter], Rep. Aaron Schock, Jamal Simmons [CNN reporter], Jim VandeHei [Politico's Editor-in-Chief], Natalie Wyeth [former Treasury spokesperson and now corporate spokesperson] and Jessica Yellin [CNN reporter].

Please remember that, as CNN's Ed Henry so helpfully and persuasively reminded us just last week, anyone who thinks that the press corps and political class are too cozy simply lacks a sense of humor and needs to lighten up.  See The Washington Post's Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Ann Telnaes' two cartoons this week (one a republished classic from 2003) for her view about all of this.

By Glenn Greenwald

Follow Glenn Greenwald on Twitter: @ggreenwald.

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