ABC News Reporter to Marry Obama's Top Budget Aide
ABC News economics and business reporter Bianna Golodryga (pictured at right), a regular contributor to Good Morning America, will marry Obama budget chief Peter Orszag next fall. Fill-in co-hosts Dan Harris and Elizabeth Vargas announced the news on Tuesday's Good Morning America, after Golodryga (subbing for news reader JuJu Chang) finished the 7am ET newscast with Bristol Palin's custody suit with her ex-boyfriend and Playgirl model Levi Johnston. She quipped of her future husband: "There was no Playgirl shoot in his portfolio."
New York Times reporter Jackie Calmes reported the pairing Monday on the Times' Caucus blog:
He met Ms. Golodryga, a business and economics correspondent who, at 31, is a decade younger than him, last May at the annual White House Correspondents Dinner, where Mr. Orszag was a guest at ABC's table. They have dated since, drawing attention in gossip columns for their attendance at several high-profile gala events.
But Mr. Orszag couldn't get Ms. Golodryga into the Obamas' recent state dinner - the one that the Salahis ultimately crashed - because he was told that administration staff can only bring a spouse. So he skipped it rather than go without her.
Mr. Orszag said Ms. Golodryga probably suspected that he was going to propose this weekend, when they planned a trip to Vermont. Instead he put a "very nice" ring on the table when they had lunch at Sarabeth's restaurant near Central Park. He said he got clearance to do so this month from his two children by his first marriage when the three of them vacationed in Florida.
The attraction? "She's a Russian Jew," he said, "who gets up earlier than I do."
The on-air announcement at the end of Golodryga's 7am news update Tuesday morning:
DAN HARRIS: You have some news this morning, don't you? Let's see the rock on that finger.
ELIZABETH VARGAS: Come on! Bianna's engaged.
HARRIS: Bianna got engaged yesterday, to her boyfriend, Peter. Congratulations.
GOLODRYGA: Thank you. Thank you.
VARGAS: Hearts are breaking everywhere.
GOLODRYGA: There was no Playgirl shoot in his portfolio. [Laughter]
HARRIS: We should say his name is Peter Orszag. He's an economics advisor to President Obama, and congratulations to both of you.
GOLODRYGA: Thank you. Tall, dark, and able to say "Golodryga" and spell it after the first date. That is a winner in my book.
HARRIS [laughing]: High standards.
The TV Newser blog added that there was no word whether Golodryga would move to Washington (she's currently based in New York). These kinds of conflicts of interest are probably not considered to worrisome at ABC, which already sports a Cuomo and a Clinton bimbo-crusher in prominent positions.
Another ABC morning economic specialist, Mellody Hobson, is a soft touch for Democrat fundraisers (including $28,500 for the Obama Victory Fund in the fall of 2008). This could come from being a close friend of Desiree Rogers, the bumbling White House social secretary. Hobson was "furious" that anyone would consider Desiree sloppy, although the Salahis made an easier entry at the first state dinner than the Northwest Airlines underwear bomber.
This will not be the only marriage of an Obama aide and a reporter. Health-care czar Nancy-Ann DeParle is married to New York Times reporter Jason DeParle.
-Tim Graham is Director of Media Analysis at the Media Research Center.