Our Favorite Dish: Correspondents' Dinner Invites

Bloomberg couple Julianna Goldman and David Shuster.
By Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Who are you taking to the prom? Condoleezza Rice is going to be there with Drew Lachey , you know, Nick's brother? Mary Cheney is going to be there with Ludacris !

Yes, it's time again for another White House Correspondents' Association Dinner. Saturday's press prom at the Hilton Washington -- with President Bush and Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert -- will be packed with 2,600 of the usual Washington suspects and eye candy from the world of television, music and sports.

"This is a great time of year, when the WHCA president manages to infuriate everyone he's ever known because they all want tickets," says the prez, AP reporter Mark Smith , who's fending off requests for the sold-out event.

ABC is bringing Rice, Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson , Gen. Peter Pace and "Dancing With the Stars" winner Lachey; People magazine nabbed Mary Cheney, "Grey's Anatomy's" Isaiah Washington , John Legend and Chris "Ludacris" Bridges ; Bloomberg gets Michael Chertoff, Gov. Mitt Romney, New York Giant Tiki Barber , tennis babe Anna Kournikova and Melina Kanakaredes .

Newsweek's table includes Josh Bolten , Gov. George Pataki and maybe George Clooney. Fox News has Laurence Fishburne; USA Today has Alberto Gonzales and "Desperate Housewives" hunk James Denton; CNN boasts Alex Trebek and Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger; L.A. Times has Mayor Ray Nagin and Tommy Lasorda; and Business Week scooped up Steve Case.

The New York Times (Sen. Susan Collins and Rep. Jane Harman ), CBS ( Karl Rove and Dan Bartlett ) and The Washington Post ( Steve Hadley and Mary Matalin ) are sticking to actual political types. Executive Editor Len Downie says The Post prefers "to invite people who are working inside the administration of the moment."

Bloomberg's exclusive after-party at the Macedonian Embassy is an even hotter ticket this year -- the guest list has been pared to a mere 750. Reuters is providing a alternative at K Street lounge downtown, and Capitol File will attempt to lure the overflow to Cafe Milano. But the action is always at Bloomberg's bash: Last year, Bloomberg booker Julianna Goldman , 25, and MSNBC's David Shuster , 38, met at the party's fab ice chandelier; in January, he proposed at the same site. And yes, they made the list this year.

Black's Choice Words

lewis black
Comedian Lewis Black refused to give the Kennedy Center editing privileges.(Sara D. Davis - AP)
Rant-wing comic Lewis Black , who taped his stand-up act at the Warner Theatre Friday night for an HBO special, had some sharp words for the Kennedy Center -- the place, the Silver Spring native said, where the cable channel had first arranged for him to perform. Black told his rapt audience that KenCen officials reviewed an old performance and were aghast to find he had used a specific profanity 42 times -- hence the move to the Warner. "What scares me is someone is employed in the basement of the Kennedy Center to count" the expletives, Black said. "Apparently, 40 is the cutoff."

Funny! Is it true? KenCen officials declined to comment. Mark Lonow , a manager for Black, said the comic agreed with the KenCen's demand that he not mention the center in his routine; when they insisted on editing privileges, though, he bailed out. "It was defeating the purpose of the First Amendment person that Lewis is," added his other manager, Joanne Astrow .

HEY, ISN'T THAT . . . ?

Special celebrity-by-celebrity sighting: WRC-TV anchor Wendy Rieger tried to escape the D.C. scene to celebrate her 50th (yes, really!) birthday. So she decamped to the Eastern Shore with a pack of female friends from her WTOP radio days (including the station's Kate Ryan and Pam Coulter, now of ABC Radio). Saturday night they walked into Bistro St. Michaels and got seated barely 10 feet from the town's most famed weekend residents: Dick and Lynne Cheney , and Don and Joyce Rumsfeld . A journalist's dream come true? Hardly. "You can't party when they're there!" Rieger said. "It's like having your parents in the room with you."

· Euan Blair and pals, apologizing Saturday to a Madam's Organ waitress after they were caught burning the underside of their table with candles; later staring at a bevy of cowgirl-costumed lasses dancing bartop. The prime minister's son-turned-Hill intern stayed until 2 a.m. before stumbling, literally, into his taxi.

· The tattooed members of inspirational rap-metal group P.O.D. poring over the jukebox at Georgetown Billiards Sunday before last night's 9:30 club show. They lost back-to-back games of pool to a lady bartender.


· Rebounding : Ah, revenge! Actress Denise Richards , whose on-again, off-again marriage to allegedly wayward husband Charlie Sheen moved into restraining-order territory last week, was photographed by People magazine Saturday holding hands and smooching with . . . guitarist Richie Sambora , whose reported dumping by wife Heather Locklear has generated almost as much tabloid fodder.

· Separating : "X-Files" star Gillian Anderson , from her documentary-filmmaker husband of 16 months, Julian Ozanne , their reps said.

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