The White House is under fire for reportedly trying to downplay the role that two Hollywood stars played at a 2009 Halloween party, with press secretary Jay Carney today calling the media’s reporting on the incident “irresponsible” and denying reports of an attempted cover-up. But no record of the two stars, Johnny Depp and Tim Burton, appears in the official White House visitors logs.
An administration source said that entertainers are generally not recorded in the visitors logs. “Entertainers and production crews who are working events are generally not WAVED in since they are not guests visiting the White House, they are working,” the official said.
The initial revelations about the 2009 party come from New York Times reporter Jodi Kantor’s new book “The Obamas.” Kantor reports that staffers were concerned about the White House hosting a Hollywood-style, ‘Alice in Wonderland’-themed Halloween party in the midst of an economic downturn. As a result, Kantor charges, the White House did not publicize the role that director Tim Burton and actor Johnny Depp played at the event. Burton helped decorate and choreograph the party, while Depp attended in costume as the Mad Hatter.
Other stars — even when they are the entertainment — have appeared in the logs. A May 11th poetry reading by the rapper Common, for example, was logged. So were musicians Herbie Hancock and Stevie Wonder when they played at President Obama’s 50th birthday. Singer Beyonce Knowles, however, does not appear in the visitor logs when she performed at a 2010 state dinner.
The White House furiously denied Monday there was any cover-up or attempt to downplay Burton or Depp’s roles, pointing to the fact that the media attended the event and that reports of Depp’s attendance surfaced on fan websites and local press.
Read More at Politico By Byron Tau, Politico