The election is just days away, and for political junkies, it's a nail-biter. "I'm a wreck," said former Clinton White House press secretary Dee Dee Myers, standing near the bar at the book party for "Vanity Fair's Hollywood" in Los Feliz the other night. "I can't believe it's this close," she said.
But whatever happens Tuesday, there's always "The West Wing." The show more than satisfies my weekly craving for liberal schmaltz, but I have to say, its portrayal of women is wearing thin. Last week, when Deputy Communications Director Sam Seaborn (Rob Lowe) was being outsmarted in a TV interview show by a female Republican strategist, a White House staffer actually quipped, "Sam's being beaten by a girl!"
Then, there's press secretary C.J. Cregg (the Emmy-winning Allison Janney), the strongest female character on the show, who was portrayed in an episode last season as not understanding the workings of the census. What is this, 1950?
When I asked Myers, who is a "West Wing" consultant, about the patronizing way women are treated on the show, she agreed that it's true and added that the show's writers are working on it.
Nearly every night in this town there's a party where the flowers are divine. But what happens to the leafy leftovers from Hollywood's big bashes? In May, Drue Preissman, 15, of Beverly Hills, created Flowers From the Heart, a nonprofit group that redistributes floral centerpieces to hospitals and missions. The Harvard-Westlake high schooler uses the Master Planner (a daily listing of events in Los Angeles) to find parties that might yield donations. Preissman, her mother and her little brothers have done all the work so far, but they may be recruiting volunteers soon.
Whenever I am at an event with gorgeous centerpieces, most are snatched up by grabby guests before the dessert plates have even been cleared. But Preissman says she's never had to tussle. "Usually the parties are big enough that there are 50 arrangements left even if people take a few," she said. Note to self: leave centerpieces alone.
I had my outfit all picked out for L.A.'s major fashion fund-raiser Thursday when I found out there was no party. . . . The AIDS Project Los Angeles charity ball, which was to have honored evening wear designers Mark Badgley and James Mischka, was indefinitely postponed because not enough sponsorship dollars were raised to underwrite costs for the event, APLA Executive Director Craig Thompson said. A new date has not yet been set. APLA, the nation's second-largest AIDS organization, is looking at late spring, after the designers have presented their fall collection in New York, he said. (Thursday's gala was to have included a runway show of the spring collection, which was unveiled in New York in September). Thompson said APLA hopes to sell 1,000 tickets at a minimum of $350 apiece when the gala is rescheduled.