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Web: www.thestatetheatre.com/

Author reading: Mark Feldstein

Last month, the L.A. Times discovered, through a Freedom of Information Act request, that J. Edgar Hoover had at one point placed Times reporter Jack Anderson on a blacklist. He was to be surveilled, but never acknowledged; snooped on, but never to have his queries answered. Hoover’s correspondence revealed that he believed Anderson had been sent to Washington to bring him down. According to Mark Feldstein’s “Poisoning the Press,” Richard Nixon felt much the same way about Anderson. Later, so would Thomas Eagleton, George McGovern’s running mate and the subject of an Anderson hit piece that ended up being egregiously wrong. (Anderson accused Eagleton of profligate drunken driving, and later had to retract his claims.) According to Mr. Feldstein, Anderson’s legacy is the ever-more-contentious relationship between media and politicians. Although, depending on whether it’s your man in the White House, that relationship sometimes appears a little too cozy.

Wednesday at the National Portrait Gallery, Eighth and F streets Northwest.

Phone: 202/633-1000

Web: http://npg.si.edu/exhibit/reagan

Party: James Brown Death-Mas

Why do we celebrate Christmas on Dec. 25? It’s not like ours was the calendar in use at the birth of the common era, or that there is any scholarly evidence that Jesus of Nazareth was born in the dead of winter. There is quite a bit of scholarly evidence, however, that James Brown, godfather of soul, has an ironclad claim to Dec. 25: It is his death day. Brown was admitted to a hospital on Christmas Eve in 2006, and died the next day of complications from pneumonia. In honor of the Hardest Working Man in Show Business, the Black Cat is throwing a James Brown Death-Mas Bash. DJ Soul Call Paul and the James Brown Revue promise to “resurrect the man and his music in a Christmas dance party for the ages.”

Sunday at the Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW

Phone: 202/667-7960

Web: www.blackcatdc.com