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One of the week’s big stories in Washington was the quick fallout from the newest gotcha video from James O’Keefe that forced the resignation of two NPR executives. The fundraising scandal involving a fake Muslim organization happened at Georgetown’s Café Milano, which has long been a bastion of D.C.’s boldface names, for better or worse. The Washington Post‘s J. Freedom du Lac, noted in a tweet: “Weirdest thing new NPR scandal: The secret taping occurred at Café Milano. I thought only famous people ate there!”
That’s a good observation. It’s not like O’Keefe is a household name. Under normal circumstances, the NPR execs caught up in the scandal would never be worthy of a mention in The Washington Post or the countless other publications in our fair city that give a damn about who is eating where. (For those who care, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich celebrated his conversion to Catholicism with a lunch at the tony restaurant on Prospect Street, back in 2009. More recently, Rob Lowe was “spotted” there in January, in town, the Examiner reported, for some shoots for Potomac Fever, a reality TV show which aims to chronicle the lives of “young, driven media people trying to navigate power and love” in the nation’s capital. Maybe they’ll all hang out at Café Milano and marinate in their egos? Gross.)
Anyhow, not that we’re in the business of giving O’Keefe advice, but if he really wanted his NPR scandal to measure up to the city’s most shady shenanigans, he should have picked the Ritz Carlton in Pentagon City as his secret-recording venue. It has a long and storied history. That’s where Linda Tripp secretly recorded Monica Lewinsky back in 1998 and more recently, where the FBI secretly recorded Louisiana Congressman William Jefferson accepting a $90,000 bribe that would later be found wrapped in tin foil in his Capitol Hill freezer.
Photo by Flickr user Todd Huffman using an Attribution 2.0 Generic Creative Commons license