How do you make a standard "self-described DC 'power players' and the journalists who cover them are all best buddies" story interesting? Have all the subjects be naked. Hence: "The Diplomatic Finnish Sauna Society of DC" in today's Washington Post.
Apparently 150 Washington insiders get together to get naked and sweat in the basement of the Finnish embassy.
"Insiders" seems to mostly mean journalists and spokespeople and lawyer spouses. We have a former RNC spokesman who now works for Tim Pawlenty, the deputy assistant US trade representative, Hearst newspapers bureau chief Rick Dunham, Newsweek correspondent Eve Conant, Mark Landler from the New York Times, Jay Soloman from The Wall Street Journal, and an AIPAC spokesman. Among other power players:
Melissa Merz, a principal at the public affairs firm Podesta Group, arrived with her husband, Robert Mackey, a retired Army lieutenant colonel and historian hired by the government to declassify documents. The group then grew to include Lynne Weil, the communications director for the House Foreign Affairs Committee; her husband, Nils Bruzelius, an executive editor at the Environmental Working Group; and Christine Mangi, a spokeswoman for Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) at the Senate Republican Conference.
And they all hang out and drink and talk about Israel and Donald Rumsfeld and those sorts of things. Like any happy hour anywhere in Washington, except everyone is naked and sweating. Which usually doesn't happen until after happy hour.
[Pic: OLIVIER MORIN AFP/Getty/]