- The Washington Times - Friday, May 12, 2006

Live with Regis

That was Regis Philbin taking a private tour of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History on Wednesday evening, shortly before he was keynote speaker for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) annual awards dinner.

Mr. Philbin cracked one joke after another as he posed for pictures in front of various museum displays, including a stuffed bison and large black-and-white photograph of Elvis Presley. And what joke does one tell a scientific group from the pharmaceutical industry to make them laugh during dinner?

Well, given the Washington venue, one dealing with the late Sen. Strom Thurmond and Viagra.

The co-host of “Live With Regis and Kelly” confessed later that he heard the joke told at his table by former Rep. Billy Tauzin, Louisiana Republican, now president and chief executive officer of PhRMA.

The annual PhRMA dinner honored three industry scientists from the Schering-Plough Corp. — Kevin B. Alton, Harry R. Davis and Margaret van Heek — for their work with Zetia, a lipid-lowering drug that inhibits the absorption of cholesterol in the intestines.

Past your bedtime

“Who are you, my father?”

Or so TV host Regis Philbin told Inside the Beltway that’s what future CBS News anchor Katie Couric shot back at him after he questioned her about staying up so late at Chelsea’s Buddakan in New York one night this week.

Mrs. Couric was in the company of jazz trumpeter Chris Botti, although she reportedly is still smitten with Washington beer distributor Jimmy Reyes.

Mr. Philbin was in town Wednesday to address a pharmaceutical awards dinner at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History.

Back to the pool

Tucker Carlson is coming home.

The host of “The Situation” and his family had moved to New York to introduce his popular MSNBC show, but now Inside the Beltway has learned that the Carlsons are moving back to the Washington area, having looked at houses last weekend in Old Town Alexandria.

The show will be broadcast from the District starting in early summer. Says one person close to the TV host: “He decided that Washington is the hub for a show like his and I’m sure he is right — a deeper pool of substance from which to draw guests.”

‘Over the Hedge’

As Sony Pictures prepares to release “The Da Vinci Code,” several Christian groups have initiated a campaign “to hit Hollywood where it hurts — in the pocketbook.”

Charging that the film attacks the very essence of Christianity, the campaign — the brainchild of Hollywood cultural commentator Barbara Nicolosi and sponsored by the Catholic grass-roots organization Da Vinci Outreach — urges Christians to buy movie tickets, but not for the controversial movie about a fictitious Jesus Christ.

Says Ms. Nicolosi: “Every Christian who loves Jesus, your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to buy movie tickets — but not for this movie. We need to bring our kids, our church groups, our youth ministry clubs, our seniors groups and go see ‘Over the Hedge’ — a cute little PG movie which opens the same weekend.”

LOL

Dan Froomkin, a deputy editor for the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University who types up a daily anthology of White House-related items for The Washington Post’s Web site, asked his readers to submit questions they’d like to hear reporters ask newly chosen White House press secretary Tony Snow once he assumes the podium on Monday.

“I thought you’d appreciate the one I sent in,” writes Inside the Beltway reader Kristinn Taylor. Without further ado:

“Tony, it seems like America is on the verge of a nervous breakdown because of President Bush. A prime example is a blogger recently profiled by The Washington Post who says her whole day is ruined from the moment she wakes up and remembers that George Bush is still president. …

“Americans across the country are turning on each other in blind rage because of President Bush. … The madness is so pervasive that even with a booming economy, peace at home and the return of baseball to Washington, everyone walks around looking like Jack Nicholson in ‘The Shining,’ where he hacks though a door with an axe and screams, ‘Here’s Johnny!’

“Tony, the country simply cannot take another three years of George Bush. For the sake of the nation’s mental health, and mine, will President Bush resign?”

Signed — “Howard Dean”

“Washington, D.C.”

John McCaslin, whose column is nationally syndicated, can be reached at 202/636-3284 or [email protected]washingtontimes.com.


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