I Touched Dana Priest
Editors Note: This post has been retracted.
I got a last minute invite from 80 Proof’s law firm to attend the Media Institute Friends & Benefactors Awards Banquet. The black tie function, showcasing broadcasting achievements and celebrating National Freedom of Speech Week, honored, um, someone formerly representing an Administration that doesn’t even allow people with different views to attend his events. Yes, that’s right, former W press secretary – Tony Snow was the recipient of the Freedom of Speech award. Sure, of course I feel bad talking smack about someone dying of cancer, but Snow railed on how reporters are the most reliable liberal voting block, political correctness is an affront to freedom of speech and Christians are deemed a “menace” in America. Whatever.
Okay, but all this to say…I TOUCHED DANA PRIEST.
During cocktail hour, 80 Proof and I stood around a high-top, drinking wine, and eating any hors d’ourves — shrimp tempura, foie gras on crackers, mushroom and gruyere tarts — that came our way. And then she came into sight. The Pulitzer prize winning journalist, who uncovered Bush’s secret torture prisons in Europe, exposed inhumane conditions for soldiers at Walter Reed, and my bitter rival in Media Bistro’s Fishbowl DC’s “Hottest Media Types – Female, Off Air,” lurked only 5 feet away.
I knew immediately that I had to go talk to her. 80 Proof was hesitant, thinking – she might not even know she was on the finalist list for the contest. But, as the beauty contest completely changed my blogging life, I surely thought she’d at least semi-recall this important event.
Another cup of wine into the night, and as the Four Seasons staff played mini xylophones urging us into the dining room, I saw my chance. Ms. Priest just slurped down the rest of her white wine and was headed – solo – into the seating area. I pounced.
Here is kinda what the convo was like:
gansie: Hello, Ms. Priest. I’m Stefanie Gans. It was so much fun being in Media Bistro’s beauty contest with you this summer.
Ms. Priest: No. I don’t know about this.
gansie: Um, oh, you never heard of it?
Ms. Priest: Beauty contest, um, no.
gansie: <digging her way out of a whole> Well, in the summer, you know, when things are really slow in DC and the media doesn’t have much to report on…
Ms. Priest: <nodding head in anticipation> Yes…
gansie: Well, they put together this hottest media contest and you and I were both nominated for hottest female off air.
Ms. Priest: Beauty Contest…ME ?!?!? <laughter erupts>
gansie: <touching Ms. Priest’s shoulder to comfort her, as in, “yes girl – you’re hott!”> Yea, I know. You’ve heard of Media Bistro?
Ms. Priest: <shakes head yes>
gansie: Well, all summer I kept saying what an honor it was to be in a contest with the woman who uncovered secret prisons. Well, anyway, do you check your email at the Post?
Ms. Priest: Never
gansie: Oh, um, don’t you even have an intern checking it for you? <hoping she’ll hire me as her intern…>
Ms. Priest: No, I never see it.
gansie: Well, okay. I’ll get it to you. See if you can check your email. <touched her arm, letting her know that I would be following up with her>
Ms. Priest: OH, I’ll find out about it.
gansie: Okay, well, nice meeting you. <and then I ran away>
Although she was clueless about her involvement in the contest, Ms. Priest rolled with my craziness, laughing about it and not acting scared that I ambushed her at this formal event. And, she’s super cute and very thin; totally worthy of a finalist spot.
And since this is a food blog…
We were served a very creamy lobster bisque with actual lobster meat in it. The presentation was fun – the servers first dropped the lobster meat in the bowl and then came around and poured soup over top.
The main meal, the ubiquitous steak and potatoes with over cooked veggies, was really quite edible. Or, maybe I didn’t actually notice the food that much, because we happened to chat all night long with Anthony Bourdain fan and fellow DC blogger — Ed Hill of Midseason Replacements — who writes snarky things about television shows. Be on the lookout for more collaboration between us in the future.
And, dessert sucked. Not sure exactly what to call it, or even what it was, I just ate the raspberries posing as garnish.
So, yes, I’d like to thank the other, more important people that were actually invited to sit at our table for dropping out, so this last-minute replacement could ogle at Ms. Priest.
Promise – more food content in the next post.