Atlantic owner David Bradley is, by nature, elegant and self-effacing. So the presence of a chandelier – enormous, white, glittering, and wedding-ish – hanging over Friday’s dinner party was disconcerting. Too big. Too….not-Bradley-ish.

David Bradley’s enormous, white, glittering, and wedding-ish chandelier (Reliable Source/The Washington Post)

The rest of the party, held on the tented patio of his home, was very Washington. To wit: Serious people – Nancy Pelosi, Steve Case, Alan Greenspan, British ambassador Peter Westmacott, Chris Wallace, Chris Matthews, Sen. Claire McCaskill – talking serious subjects over serious food and wine. Exactly what out-of-town guests think media moguls do all the time.

Which he does, although making it sound like work. “However much you don’t enjoy this evening, this will not be the worst party that we have hosted this week,” he told his guests. Last weekend, he and wife Katherine hosted an intimate dinner for 22 on the future of Afghanistan. “You know you’ve talked too long about Afghanistan when the Pakistanis at the table begin to say, “Well, whatever.”

That, people, is a Washington dinner party story. Listen and learn: Only the very powerful make themselves the butt of the joke.

Live updates from White House Correspondents’ Dinner

More from Reliable Source