The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Thursday, January 22, 2004  

How Does She Do It?
Tina Brown Thursday

This week we find intrepid Washington Post political columnist Tina Brown doing what she does best: eating. Or eating and talking, and then talking about eating and talking.

In today’s column, “Not Putting Their Money Where His Mouth Is,” Brown manages to squeeze in comments about not one, not two, but three dinner parties, including a Tuesday-night confab at which was watched the State of the Union address.

There Brown learned from the smarty-pants baby lamb and duck confit set -- her natural milieu -- that the President’s challenger in November will be Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.). She writes:

Since media predictions hardly came true in Iowa, I take refuge in the electronically recorded verdicts Tuesday night at an Atlantic magazine State of the Union TV dinner for a motley cross-section of New York movers and shakers. Clark, they voted, could learn to dance fast enough to beat Bush -- but Kerry would get the nomination.

Ever wonder what wise chatter occurs at the gatherings that so captivate Tina Brown, at the unending stream of edifying dinner parties she just can’t miss? What kind of chatter Brown can proclaim is so vastly superior to anything mere mortals might hear or read on their own?

Fortunately, a New York Times reporter, Anthony Ramirez, was at the same Atlantic party as Brown, and fortunately for us, he took a few notes. Let’s listen in:

Georgette Mosbacher, a prominent Republican fund-raiser, leapt to President Bush’s defense.

Social Security, education and other domestic issues weren’t addressed by Bill Clinton and the Democrats when they were in office, she said, despite the simultaneous advantages of low interest rates, low inflation and a budget surplus.

Indignant, Lauren Hutton cited the quadrupling of the national debt and Mr. Clinton’s attempts to reduce it. “But I guess you can’t read or something,” said Ms. Hutton, glaring at Ms. Mosbacher. “Because I can, and I’m a model!”

Like a Christian surrounded by lions, Ms. Mosbacher seemed to radiate defiance. “You don’t have to personally insult me to make a point,” Ms. Mosbacher said. “I didn’t insult you.”

Ms. Hutton, taken aback, replied, “How did I personally insult you by saying I’m a model?”

Ms. Mosbacher, accepting some sort of Warner Brothers cartoon logic, said, “That’s an insult to you!”

Then Ms. Mosbacher gathered her purse and a copy of The Atlantic Monthly, as if about to leave. But she stayed awhile longer, before leaving, untheatrically.

Typically Tina. Leaving out the really good parts.

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