- The Washington Times - Monday, April 20, 2009

Presidential pinup

The Washingtonian, the metropolitan area’s monthly lifestyle glossy known for its no-nonsense, service-oriented covers, is thinking outside the box in an effort to bolster readership amid lagging sales.

Your humble Green and Glover have learned that the May issue cover will feature President Obama without his shirt on. Not exactly in keeping with Washingtonian’s low-key image.

Garrett Graff, the editor at large of the Washingtonian, tells G2 that the cover design uses a photograph taken of President Obama shirtless and in his swimming trunks during his Christmas vacation in Hawaii.

Mr. Graff said the theme of the May issue is: “Reasons we love Washington.”

“One of the reasons is our new neighbor is hot,” Mr. Graff says. “We wanted a change of pace. We wanted to do something a little fun, a little tongue in cheek, because there’s never been a more exciting time in Washington.”

Mr. Graff tells us that the photograph was used without the White House’s feedback or approval.

A call to arms

At the Corcoran Gallery of Art on Friday evening, White House social secretary Desiree Rogers was the belle of the ball for the museum’s fundraiser, one of the most glamorous evenings on the Washington social calendar.

Everyone pushed their way to be at Ms. Rogers’ side and relished the opportunity to bend her ear for just a few minutes. Seated next to Sir Nigel Sheinwald, the British ambassador, Ms. Rogers was decked out in a form-fitting sleeveless gown by designer Loewe. (“It’s a Spanish designer. I got it in Madrid,” she told us).

As we reported last week, although Michelle Obama is being honored with the Council of Fashion Designers board of directors’ tribute, she will not attend their June awards ceremony, the fashion industry “Oscars.” Ms. Rogers told us that Mrs. Obama “will send a video instead.”

Declining to confirm or deny that she would be accepting the award on Mrs. Obama’s behalf, she did volunteer, “I have a lot of friends in the New York fashion world.”

Your lady spies will keep our eyes on this developing story.

Speaking of our eyes, we couldn’t keep them off Ms. Rogers’ toned arms, which could give Mrs. O a run for her money.

What’s her secret? “Yoga. But I think Mrs. Obama likes Pilates better,” she said.

Green scene

During Sunday’s Earth Day celebration on the Mall, sponsored by the Earth Day Network and produced by the Green Apple Festival, your best news gals chatted up actor Matthew Modine.

We learned Mr. Modine, best known for his part in Stanley Kubrick’s 1987 film “Full Metal Jacket,” is not only a devoted environmentalist, but a card-carrying liberal as well.

Don’t believe us? The next time you bump into Mr. Modine, just ask him. He’ll gladly pull out his “liberal card” from his wallet, as he did for us.

He says the best thing liberals can do to conservatives is be nice to them.

“My grandmother always said that if you come across someone who is angry or contrarian, to plant seeds of love,” he tells G2.

He tried this technique on a recent appearance on “The O’Reilly Factor,” but we didn’t see any seeds of love in bloom between the splenetic Fox TV host and the tranquil Mr. Modine.

On the other hand, there were plenty of flowers for eco-friendly heartthrob Philippe Cousteau, chief executive officer of the local nonprofit EarthEcho International and the grandson of legendary ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau.

Corrected: The younger Cousteau was the main attraction in the Planet Green tent, where we spotted lots of lovesick ladies presenting him with tulips and waiting in line for an autograph.

“Lots of flowers, but no propositions,” Mr. Cousteau was quick to point out. “It was the Planet Green tent, not a kissing booth.”

To contact Stephanie Green and Elizabeth Glover with a tip or to request event coverage, please e-mail undercover@washingtontimes.com.

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