Chris Lehmann, once the Washington correspondent for the New York Observer, now contributes to theawl.com, founded by some former staffers of the gossip site Gawker. This week at the site he described a party he attended after the White House Correspondents Association dinner. One paragraph, especially, caught my eye, since it illustrates how wonkery and showbiz are sometimes inextricably linked in Beltway society:
The most engaging conversation of my night, for instance, was with a learned and witty UK economist—“for my sins, I try to teach this discipline to the young,” he explained. We lamented the lack of any systemic approach to health care reform in America, the decline of the 19th century “political economy”—to the detriment of latter-day economics and politics alike—and compared the limitations of the two-party system in America and Britain. It was only when he was fetched away by his brooding-hunk son that my wife informed me that he was the father of Ed Westwick, of “Gossip Girl” fame.