The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

At a Washington book party for Tina Brown, the former Vanity Fair editor praises Trump and… Weinstein?

Tina Brown, right, and Hilary Rosen chat at Brown’s book party. (Michael Lent)
Placeholder while article actions load

Tina Brown brought her book tour, promoting her dishy memoir about editing the glossy magazine Vanity Fair, to Washington on Tuesday night for a party full of people plenty used to gossiping — and being gossiped about.

At the Jefferson Hotel soiree, Brown was in exactly the form you’d expect, name-dropping bold-facers with rapid-fire ease during a brief Q&A with the hostess, media consultant Tammy Haddad. There’s “Ronnie and Nancy” and Donald Trump, Richard Avedon, Harvey Weinstein . . . oh, wait. That’s just a tad awkward. “For all the apallingness, and there was a lot working with Harvey, I learned quite a lot from him,” Brown said of the now scandal-ruined former backer of Talk magazine, which she helmed. “That’s not a fashionable thing to say at the moment. But he is the arch marketer of all time. I mean, he really does know how to get behind something and bully the world into paying attention.”

On Trump, another man with a knack for hype who probably has few fans in this kind of setting, Brown also had surprisingly flattering words. “I like him a lot,” she said.

Her biggest applause line, though, came during a discussion of the current wave of powerful men being brought down by sexual harassment accusations. “The answer to creepy men,” said Brown — who has topped the mastheads of Tatler, the New Yorker and the Daily Beast — “is being the boss.”

She ended with a toast, warning the well-heeled crowd that she’s not done collecting tantalizing stories of important people who’ve flitted across her crosshairs. Those taking heed included NBC’s Andrea Mitchell, Time Warner exec Carol Melton, Gail MacKinnon of the MPAA, GOP strategist Rachel Pearson, Kathy O’Hearn of Vital Voices, Democratic consultant Hilary Rosen, Fox News host Chris Wallace, former House member Jane Harman and Jordanian Ambassador Dina Kawar.

“You’ll all be in my next ‘Diaries,'” she told them. “So watch out!”