'Law & Order's' Chris Meloni Goes Long, and Winds Up in 1978
"I don't usually write my own lines," Christopher Meloni warned as he took the podium at his old high school. The star of the long-running "Law & Order: SVU" was quarterback of a football team that posted a "perfect season" at Alexandria's St. Stephen's School back in 1978; Saturday night he accepted the tribute as the entire team was inducted into the school's athletic Hall of Fame.
The D.C. native, 46, brought both his wife and his mom to the ceremony at the school, now called St. Stephen's & St. Agnes School. (FYI, one of us went to St. Agnes back in the day but, alas, never met Meloni.) The actor dropped his popular taciturn-tough-guy persona to reminisce about the sound of cleats going click-clack and to spin yarns about every one of that fall's winning games. He choked up a couple of times and had to stop, especially when talking about his late coach, Sleepy Thompson. "Usually I have five takes before it has to go live," he joked.
The New York Times Sends Its Regrets
The New York Times has -- once again -- decided to pull out of the White House Correspondents' Association dinner. Op-ed columnist Frank Rich wrote Sunday that the Gray Lady will "end its participation in such events" and said he believes that attending the black-tie bash insidiously supports the administration's agenda. (Worse than faulty WMD reporting? Harsh, dude.)
Of course we remember that the newspaper also officially boycotted the annual press prom in 1999. Said then-D.C. bureau chief Michael Oreskes: "The whole thing has become unseemly. It's the whole circus atmosphere," although some of its reporters just couldn't stay away. This year, the Times bought two tables and invited Karl Rove (setting the scene for his dust-up last month with Sheryl Crow).
"Every news organization has to make their own decisions," said WHCA President Steve Scully, noting that more than 70 media groups bought tickets for the sold-out 2007 event. "We're already moving ahead with plans for next year's dinner." Calls for comment to the New York Times went unreturned.
HEY, ISN'T THAT . . . ?
- Christina Aguilera getting her party on all across the District after her Baltimore concert Saturday night. The chanteuse bypassed Charm City's charms for Georgetown's Mie N Yu around 11:30 p.m. with husband Jordan Bratman; they had a couple cocktails in the tucked-away "birdcage," then asked to move downstairs to be closer to the people and the music. Sometime after 2 a.m. they alighted at Play Lounge in Dupont Circle with a few other friends, Xtina leaning on her man for support at the end of a long day. They closed out the evening at a VIP table with nightcap bottle of vodka.
- Russell Simmons working through his asanas yesterday morning at Georgetown's Down Dog Yoga studio. The megamillionaire hip-hop entrepreneur (in town to promote his new motivational tome, "Do You?") wore gray pants and a green top with Sanskrit writing.
- Harry Connick Jr. touring the grounds of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial with one of his young daughters. The singer, in a bluish-gray tee and ball cap, described the visit from the stage at the Kennedy Center Spring Gala that night; his mother-in-law, sculptor Glenna Goodacre, designed the neighboring Vietnam Women's Memorial. Busy day for the Connicks -- also worked in trips to Six Flags and the White House.
- Donyell Marshall of the Cleveland Cavaliers treating a dozen relatives to dinner at the downtown Morton's on Saturday, the night of the playoff game against the Wizards that he sat out. Also in the room: Robert Gates dining with Brent Scowcroft, but, sorry, no overheard chatter.
- Born: A son to Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers Sunday at Bethesda Naval Hospital. The Washington Republican, 37, is the first congresswoman to give birth in more than a decade. The 5-pound 9-ounce boy -- named Cole McMorris Rodgers -- arrived four weeks early and is doing well.
- Pregnant: "The View" co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck, expecting her second child with pro quarterback Tim Hasselbeck. The baby is due in November -- yes, just in time for the sweeps.