National Press Club

Horde of Trekkies hears 'Star Trek' star George Takei defend gay rights at luncheon

October 18, 2013 | By Richard Lee | rf-lee@earthlink.net

Trekkies flocked to the National Press Club to welcome actor, activist and TV cult figure George Takei at a National Press Club luncheon Oct. 18.

The Japanese-American actor's long-running role as Lt. Hikaru Sulu on the 1960s TV series "Star Trek" and the six subsequent, successful Paramount feature films that were an outgrowth of that small-screen phenomenon have made Takei a cult-figure among sci-fi fans.

It was Takei's role as activist and his trademark humor that took center stage in the Club's ballroom, which Takei described as looking like an "elegant Star Trek convention."

Read more

Budget deal does not solve problem, debt-ceiling expert says

October 17, 2013 | By Monica Coleman mcoleman@insidecapitolhill.net | mcoleman@insidecapitolhill.net

Americans may be breathing a sigh of relief as a result of the stop-gap budget deal reached minutes before the Oct. 17 U. S. default date, but unless the nation’s political parties can agree to repeal the underlying debt-ceiling law, Congressional gridlock is likely to recur, warned constitutional scholar Neil H. Buchanan at a National Press Club Newsmaker Oct. 14.

Read more

Michigan attorney general predicts Supreme Court will uphold his state's ban on racial preferences in education

October 14, 2013 | By Lorna Aldrich | lorna2@verizon.net

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, at an Oct. 14 National Press Club Newsmaker event, predicted that the U.S. Supreme Court will uphold Michigan's state constitutional amendment banning racial preferences in schools and universities.

Schuette's Oct. 15 arguments to the Court in the case, Schuette vs. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, will result in a ruling in early spring, he said.

The case has been appealed to the Supreme Court after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit found the amendment unconstitutional in July 2011.

Read more

Captain Phillips recalls rescue from pirates, advocates support for merchant marine

October 10, 2013 | By Lorna Aldrich | lorna2@verizon.net

Richard Phillips, the American ship captain captured by Somali pirates in 2009 and rescued by Navy Seals, described his experience at an Oct. 10 National Press Club Newsmaker, meanwhile advocating Congressional budget support for the merchant marine.

A movie starring Tom Hanks, scheduled for Oct. 11 release, tells the captain's story.

Phillips said Hanks did a great job in the film, specifically because his eyes reveal the fear and attempt to regain control during the 12 hours the captain was alone with four pirates in a lifeboat.

Read more

Now's the time to teach civics to youth, urges education group at Newsmaker

October 9, 2013 | By Marie Wood | marierwood@hotmail.com

There is no better time than the present to improve civic education in schools and youth organizations, declared the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) in a report released at a National Press Club Newsmaker Oct. 9.

Read more

Funding to aid Syrian humanitarian crisis 'grossly inadequate,' says Mercy Corps CEO

October 8, 2013 | By Jennifer Ejim | akunnaya25@yahoo.com

Neal Keny-Guyer, chief executive officer of Mercy Corps, an international NGO and responder to the Syria crisis, called the situation in Syria “the world’s greatest humanitarian crisis,” at a National Press Club Newsmaker, Oct. 8.

“The speed of the refugee crisis in Syria is the worst we’ve seen since the Rwandan genocide, and the current funding pledged is grossly inadequate to meet the needs,” he said.

Read more

NBC News's Andrea Mitchell honored at National Press Club's Fourth Estate Award dinner

October 7, 2013 | By Molly McCluskey | mollyemccluskey@gmail.com]

Andrea Mitchell, chief foreign affairs correspondent for NBC News and host of MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports,” received the National Press Club’s most prestigious honor, the Fourth Estate Award, at a gala dinner at the Club Oct. 4.

The veteran newswoman was the 41st recipient of the award, which is presented annually to a journalist in recognition for significant contributions to the journalism profession.

In Mitchell’s case, the award also was a recognition of the advancements of women in journalism and in the National Press Club over the past 30 years.

Read more

Stories about Helen Thomas abound at Club's memorial tribute to her Oct. 5

October 6, 2013 | By Connie Lawn | ConnieLawn@aol.com]

Several hundred people who jammed the National Press Club Saturday, Oct. 5, to pay tribute to the late, groundbreaking journalist Helen Thomas, were treated to humorous, poignant stories about her from a host of her prominent friends – among them ABC News reporter Sam Donaldson, PBS “News Hour” anchor Judy Woodfuff, USA Today Washington Bureau Chief Susan Page, actress Diane Ladd and present “Dear Abby” columnist Jeanne Phillips.

Read more

Religious Beliefs Are "Totally Arbitrary," Author Dawkins Tells Club

October 2, 2013 | By Heather Forsgren Weaver | HeatherForsgrenWeaver@gmail.com

Most people believe the religion of their parents and that is “totally arbitrary,” Richard Dawkins told a Club Book Rap Sept. 30.

Dawkins was at the Press Club promoting his new book, ``An Appetite for Wonder.'' The book is part one of his autobiography. Part two should be available in a couple of years, he said.

Sally Quinn, editor-in-chief of the Washington Post’s “On Faith” Blog, interviewed Dawkins. Quinn said she decided she was an atheist at age 5. It took Dawkins a bit longer, until the age of 17 to reach the same conclusion, she said.

Read more

Club's Delbert and Equinox's Grays Team Up for Fourth Estate Dinner

October 1, 2013 | By Cary Pollak | wokmancary@comcast.net

Equinox restaurant co-owners Todd Gray and Ellen Kassoff Gray teamed up with Club Executive Chef Susan Delbert to host a sold-out dinner featuring dishes from the Grays’ latest cookbook, The New Jewish Table, in the Fourth Estate Restaurant on Sept. 25.

After the dinner, Kassoff Gray called it “one of the best dinners we have ever done - and we have done close to 1,000.”

Read more