Star-Struck Reporter Sees Obamas Turning DC Into 'Hollywood On The Potomac'
CBS correspondent Thalia Assuras touted the celebrity status of the Obamas on Wednesday: "The paparazzi and the press corps treat them like movie stars. They're on magazine covers and in fashion spreads. Even the presidential pooch is a celebrity. The Obamas are helping turn staid old Washington into Hollywood on the Potomac." [audio available here]
During The Early Show, Assuras reported on numerous upcoming reality TV shows being set in Washington D.C. and credited the first family for turning the nation's capital into a celebrity hot spot. She cited Washington Post reporter Sally Quinn, who declared: "All of the power is concentrated here and power is a great aphrodisiac. And so, Washington has become the place to be." Assuras added: "And be seen. Even film stars are flocking here for a chance at the spotlight. Now the latest proof that the nation's capital is indeed the new hot spot, the arrival of reality TV."
Here is the full transcript of the segment:
MAGGIE RODRIGUEZ: And look who's moving into the neighborhood, the reality show that started it all is moving in near the White House.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: In D.C., politics, even the social kind, can be a real [expletive].
RODRIGUEZ: D.C. may never be the same again.
JULIE CHEN: Coming up, why the Obamas will be sharing the spotlight with the granddaddy of all reality shows.
CHEN: Coming up in this half hour, Washington D.C. may seem like the ultimate reality show. But it is about to take a back seat to not one, but five reality shows. We're going to tell you why it is no longer being referred to as, quote, 'Hollywood for ugly people.'
RODRIGUEZ: I've never heard it referred to as that.
CHEN: You've never heard that?
CHEN: That's an old saying.
RODRIGUEZ: I get it.
CHEN: Well, up next, Washington D.C. is about to lose the title of Hollywood for ugly people. The granddaddy of all reality shows is taking over.
JULIE CHEN: Well, the nation's capital is about to get a massive make-over, thanks in part to the Obamas and Hollywood. CBS News correspondent Thalia Assuras has the story.
[SONG: Lifestyles of the rich and the famous]
THALIA ASSURAS: The paparazzi and the press corps treat them like movie stars. They're on magazine covers and in fashion spreads. Even the presidential pooch is a celebrity. The Obamas are helping turn staid old Washington into Hollywood on the Potomac.
SALLY QUINN [THE WASHINGTON POST]: All of the power is concentrated here and power is a great aphrodisiac. And so, Washington has become the place to be.
ASSURAS: And be seen. Even film stars are flocking here for a chance at the spotlight. Now the latest proof that the nation's capital is indeed the new hot spot, the arrival of reality TV. There's talk of five reality shows being based here. Hitting the air waives later in the year is the CW network's Blonde Charity Mafia. 20-Something it girls share their escapades as they party their way through D.C., all in the name of charity of course.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN B: Everyone in California can't believe that I moved out here and am staying.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: This is the true story-
ASSURAS: MTV is set to announce as early as today that its next location for the Real World will be D.C. indications are that it will be filmed in the city's hip and hopping Dupont Circle area. And if America can love New Jersey housewives, why not the dames of D.C.? Bravo's Real Housewives new franchise will focus on the power elite, coming up with a cast of real insiders, though, could be tough.
SALLY QUINN: I would rather jump off the top of the Washington Monument than be on this show.
ANNE SCHROEDER MULLINS [POLITICO]: I actually talked to a few women who said they would love to be on the Housewives show and the quote was, 'my husband won't let me.'
ASSURAS: But when the line-up is finally announced, you can bet TMZ, the Hollywood buzz machine, will have the scoop.
HARVEY LEVIN: I love Washington D.C. I mean, I - I want to stake out our position in Washington D.C. and grow it.
ASSURAS: Proof positive America should watch out for more buzz coming out the nation's capital. Thalia Assuras, CBS News, Washington.
HARRY SMITH: I can see Harvey getting space in the new - Newseum, right?
MAGGIE RODRIGUEZ: Oh, right.
RUSS MITCHELL: The Harvey Levin wing.
SMITH: That's right.
RODRIGUEZ: Is the Big Brother house going to be the White House this summer? Wouldn't that be something?
CHEN: We don't know what we're working on yet, but we will reveal it shortly. I'm surprised after all these years that Real World has never been in D.C.
RODRIGUEZ: It is surprising. Yeah, you'd think so, with all the interns there, especially. There's a vibrant - there is a vibrant-
CHEN: That's a different reality show-
DAVE PRICE: We actually didn't need MTV to create an entertaining program based on the interns.
MITCHELL: Congressional interns, what I was talking about.
-Kyle Drennen is a news analyst at the Media Research Center.