Isn’t living in Washington, D.C. nice? It’s got lovely architecture, beautiful parks, several Trader Joe’s, and so many terribly interesting people, who contribute so much to society. If you work very hard, and get a little lucky, you might get to be friends with some of those people. Let’s meet a few of them.
Jamie Weinstein, the host of a podcast for National Review Online, and his wife Michelle Fields, a journalist formerly of Breitbart until she was assaulted by Corey Lewandowski, host a regular dinner for powerful and influential people at their D.C. condo. They call it the Churchill Tommy Gun Society dinner, apparently in honor of a dreadful, kitschy print of Winston Churchill holding a Tommy gun that they make their guests hold.
Here are some photographs of the dinners they have held, their guests of honor, and the journalists who attended these off-the-record soirees. (If you can identify anyone not named below, or if Splinter has misidentified anyone, please let me know.)
Enjoying dinner with former Obama administration official Valerie Jarrett, we have: Daniel Lippman, Politico (and an author of the influential morning newsletter Playbook); Matt K. Lewis, Daily Beast; Robert Costa, Washington Post, and two others I do not recognize. [Update: A tipster informs me that Abby Phillip of CNN is one of the two I didn’t recognize.]
For the Debbie Wasserman Schultz edition, we have: Tim Mak, NPR; Alex Pappas, Fox News; Daniel Lippmann, Politico; Olivia Nuzzi, New York; Rebecca Berg, CNN; Tara Palmeri, ABC News.
At a dinner with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, we have: Lippmann, again; Jonathan Swan, Axios. I apologize to the other people I do not recognize.
Playbook helpfully wrote this one up for us:
SPOTTED at Jamie Weinstein and Michelle Fields’ D.C. condo last night for a dinner with Ret. Gen. David Petraeus as part of their off-the-record Churchill Tommy Gun Society: The Atlantic’s Julia Ioffe, CBS’s Will Rahn, WaPo’s Josh Rogin, Brookings’ Jamie Kirchick, and Global Competition Review’s Nihal Krishan.
Here’s another entry that seems not to have made it onto Instagram, for reasons I can’t imagine, though Playbook helpfully included a photo of its own (all emphasis added):
OUT AND ABOUT — Jamie Weinstein and Michelle Fields hosted Trump confidante Roger Stone at their D.C. condo Monday night as part of their off-the-record Churchill Tommy Gun Society dinners. Pic http://bit.ly/2p01NZw SPOTTED: IJ Review’s Maegan Vazquez, BuzzFeed’s Adrian Carrasquillo, The Washington Examiner’s Alex Pappas, The Washington Free Beacon’s Matt Continetti and The Daily Caller’s Alex Pfeiffer.
John Podesta, enjoying dinner with: Matt Lewis and Lippmann again; Ben Schreckinger, GQ.
The guests aren’t exclusively D.C power-makers: billionaire and Shark Tank wank Mark Cuban appears to have featured recently.
As the caption says, these dinners feature great special guests, and great journalist friends, like Benny Johnson, whom you may remember as a plagiarist, recently let go from IJR after months of complaints about his behavior. (He now works for The Daily Caller.)
The Playbook writeup of this dinner tells us more about previous guests, too:
OUT AND ABOUT — Jamie Weinstein and Michelle Fields hosted Mark Cuban at their D.C. condo Tuesday night as part of their off-the-record Churchill Tommy Gun Society. Weinstein started hosting these OTR dinners in 2013 with journalists; special guests have included everyone from billionaire Peter Thiel to Ben Carson to NBC sportscaster Bob Costas. SPOTTED: The Daily Beast’s Betsy Woodruff, Axios’ Jonathan Swan, the NY Post’s Daniel Halper, IJR’s Benny Johnson, The Atlantic’s McKay Coppins, The Daily Caller’s Vince Coglianese, CBS’s Will Rahn.
Peter Thiel, famously a friend to journalists, and just a cool-ass guy to invite to a dinner party in general.
Anyway, thanks to these journalists for posting about their attendance at these dinners on social media, and to the hosts for sending so many guest-lists to Playbook. It’s very useful context for reading everyone’s work.
This article has been corrected. Tim Mak works at NPR, not the Daily Beast.