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Snaphots: Our Political-Entertainment Industrial Complex


In 1999, outside the renowned annual White House Correspondents Association Dinner, my friend Kristyne and I watched Rob Lowe, Janet Reno, Geraldine Ferraro, and a bunch of other famous people get out of their limos... and then... Miss Morgan Fairchild walked by. Kristyne yelled, in genuine admiration, "Nice rack, baby!" but Morgan grinned nervously past the compliment.

Tonight after I took her photo, I told Miss Fairchild that I'd seen her about 10 years ago at this same event, and told her sincerely that she'd not aged ONE DAY:

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She said, "Thanks, you're very kind." She doesn't know what an expert I am on age-defiance. I gave her the D.C. special: "Nice to see you!" and took my leave.

Speaking of pretty ladies, the reason I even went to the Hinckley Hilton tonight was to see my idol, Martha Stewart. She was as lovely as I could have imagined, a class act all the way:

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I never take a camera anywhere; I believe it's for others to do. But tonight, I brought one. I made a game out of it. Got into it. Noticed how people that are "sort of famous" are so grateful when you take their picture. And how hurt the "not even sort of famous" people look when no one takes their picture. I saw Craig Crawford, that blond woman from National Journal that's always on Chris Matthews, Chuck Todd... and a bunch of others, but why take their pictures? They should take my picture. (However, I did snap John McLaughlin, Gloria Borger, John King, Greta Van Susteren, and Jonathan Alter, because I wasn't sure if I'd see any more Martha-level celebs, and wanted to fill up my camera.)

There were a lot of '90s-vintage right-wingers there...

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Ralph Reed.

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The Newt-meister.

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Bill Kristol.

Mrs. Greenspan, taking a short break from trying to destroy Hillary on the campaign trail:

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I was in full paparazzo mode at this point, and so I barked at Padma Lakshmi, "Padma Lakshmi!", and she turned and gave me this beautiful pose, as though she's used to it:

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I had seen Spencer Pratt at the Hilton bar watching TV when I got there... but didn't think it was really him. How could a huge "reality" TV star be watching TV in a hotel lobby bar? It was really him, and he had his REAL-LIFE girlfriend Heidi Montag, the famous John McCain booster, with him:

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Actor Bob Balaban, who was chatting nicely with some tourists:

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Aaron Eckhart:

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But y'all? The biggest star I saw, the most enjoyable snapshot I took was the first one, before the dinner was even over... I chased her, paparazzo-style, into the parking lot and asked, "Can I take your picture?":

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She's tiny, like me.

The thing I love about my D.C. is that for all the SWAT teams and Secret Service dudes and 2-mile-long motorcades, you can actually relax here, whether you're famous or not. You can eat bar snacks with Spencer and Heidi, listen to Mr. Bush talk about his dogs, and then wait for a cab with Newt... but then just get bored and impatient and saunter in the torrential rain up the street to your apartment and share all your little snapshots with the world.