Now this is a White House press briefing we might tune in for. Conan O’Brien paid a visit to the West Wing today ahead of his hosting gig tomorrow at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Politico reports the TBS late-night host met with press secretary Jay Carney, and he also test-drove the press room podium, saying “I’ve got to get one of these”. (Maybe he’ll swap it out with his Conan desk soon?) He called the reporters’ press area “the nicest college dorm I’ve ever seen”.
DC is starting to fill up with invitees to the annual dinner, and today the MPAA hosted a Creativity Conference with Time magazine and Microsoft featuring several media biggies. The idea was to reboot Hollywood’s mojo in the wake of losing the political fight over the anti-piracy SOPA bill last year, widening the gulf between content creators and Silicon Valley. Among the participants: Harvey Weinstein, Chris Dodd, HBO CEO Richard Plepler, PBS boss Paula Kerger, Beasts Of The Southern Wild helmer Benh Zeitlin and keynote speaker Bill Clinton. The panelists didn’t break any new ground, but the ever-outspoken Weinstein had some choice words for Google — though he didn’t call it out by name. “They are all stealing (content) under the guise of, ‘We’re all hippies.’ ” he said during a session with Time managing editor Richard Stengel. “Well, hippies don’t have $22 billion companies. Hippies don’t have G5s.” And the Weinstein Company exec wasn’t done. “”It’s a very creative business plan: Use somebody else’s content for free,” he said. “Deliver it. Don’t pay them for anything. And build a $500 billion Silicon Valley company and be very, very rich.”