By Howard Kurtz, Washington Post

Filmmaker Ron Howard was chatting in Maureen Dowd’s living room, saying he didn’t mind spending hours in the cold for the inauguration and that even his conservative brother had come to admire Barack Obama.


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Outside on the chilly Sunday night, Tom Hanks decided against venturing into the jam-packed row house, mock-announcing to a small crowd on the Georgetown street that the party was paralyzed: “No more hot dogs! The Chinese food never got here!”

The country’s big-name anchors, actors, commentators, news executives, producers, editors and scribes have been celebrating the quadrennial event — and themselves — at one glitzy gathering after another in the run-up to today’s inauguration.

“It’s turning into the royal wedding, isn’t it?” asks Tina Brown, who threw a brunch Sunday at the Council on Foreign Relations with MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough.

Every inauguration is a major media moment, with nonstop television coverage, newspapers churning out special editions and correspondents parachuting in from around the globe. But it is hard to envision this level of intensity if John McCain were taking the oath of office. All the hoopla has left the impression that many in journalism are thrilled by Obama’s swearing-in.


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