The Washington Post Style section this morning runs a goofy Ann Gerhart dispatch from a birthday party for long-time political humorist Art Buchwald at the French Embassy. It was a fundraiser thrown by the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. The ad for it notes that it was hosted by old CNN "Capital Gang" host/PBS "NewsHour" analyst Mark Shields, as well as CBS's "60 Minutes" man Mike Wallace and former Washington Post top editor Ben Bradlee. (The "honorary birthday committee" also included CNN afternoon anchor Kyra Phillips.)
Since the Post story is cast as a conversation between Gerhart and her cab driver, she explained the Brady Center: "Jim, and his wife Sarah have been campaigning for gun control ever since [the Hinckley assassination attempt on Reagan]. Anyway, Mike Wallace stood up and called Art shameless, but he wrote his check for $250 anyway. And everybody clapped." One photo caption described Buchwald laughing "at Washington Post vice president at large Ben Bradlee's tales on the syndicated columnist." The Brady Center press release elaborated:
Since he lived in France for so many years when he worked for the New York Herald Tribune, the French Embassy offered to host a party. Buchwald said he wanted it to be a fundraiser for the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, a favorite charity. When word leaked out about the party, a group called the Second Amendment Sisters sent a strong letter of protest to the French Ambassador, attacking the party's link to gun violence prevention efforts.
Mr. Buchwald was delighted. "I never heard of the Sisters, but a friend told me their Nunnery was in Dodge City, next to the O.K. Coral [sic], and they kept their guns under their habits," he said. He added "their protest will make my 80th birthday more memorable."