Runaway Spoon

Truth to Power Journalist Ann Curry Saluted

May 11, 2018

“Courageous…fearless…trail blazing… intrepid …truthful and fair,” that’s how fellow journalists portrayed television’s  Ann Curry, now turned PBS producer, as she was saluted  Wednesday by the American News Women’s Club at the National Press Club.

Georgetowner newpaper owner Sonya Bernhardt (left) & Sharman Dudley of Microsoft (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) Georgetowner newpaper owner Sonya Bernhardt (left) & Sharman Dudley of Microsoft

Curry, 61, was a reporter for more than 30 years, and as admirers from the podium said, was a leader in the movement to tell “ truth to power.”

Curry’s honor came as The Washington Post reported that NBC released an international investigation into allegations that Matt Lauer sexually harassed women on the network. The Post reported last month that Curry, Lauer’s former “Today” co-host, said she “approached two members of NBC’s management team in 2012 after a female staffer told her she was ‘sexually harassed physically’ by Lauer.”

Ann Curry with her honor award (Photo by: Neshan H. Naltchayan) Ann Curry with her honor award

For the evening, Curry didn’t take head-on the Lauer controversy. But others on the podium attested to her devotion to telling, in a truthful way, whatever she confronts.

Most of her work throughout her NBC career focused on human suffering in war zones and natural disasters. Curry has reported on the wars in Darfur, Syria, Congo, Iraq and numerous hot spots around the world.  Often her reporting took her into dangerous situations.

After a short hiatus between career moves, Curry returned to TV in January with a six-part PBS series, We’ll Meet Again.  Developed by her own production company, the series focuses on 12 stories of people searching for individuals who changed their lives.

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, in a message read to the audience of several hundred, called her a trail-blazing journalist.  Other congratulatory messages came from TV news stars Connie Chung, and Jane Pauley who wrote, “you set a standard for intrepid journalism…carry on.” 

From the podium, club president Janis Lamar described Curry as “fearless” and dedicated to upholding the highest standards of journalism.

Curry with Janis Lamar and journalist Eleanor Clift (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) Curry with Janis Lamar and journalist Eleanor Clift

“Ann gives voice to the voiceless,” said Tom Bettag of the Merrill School of Journalism at the University of Maryland.

In her opening remarks on the status of reporting today, emcee Kimberly Dozier, CNN Global Affairs Analyst, said that “journalism is under tremendous threat from the powers that be.”

Curry, an on-air journalist and photojournalist, was the national and international correspondent-anchor for NBC News and anchor-at-large for Today. She had co-anchored Today and also was anchor of Dateline NBC.  Curry left NBC three years after being pushed from Today after a year as co-anchor.

Janis Lamar, Ann Curry & Kimberly Dozier (Photo by: Neshan H. Naltchayan) Janis Lamar, Ann Curry & Kimberly Dozier


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Didi Cutler Hosts CARE

May 6, 2018

Didi Cutler with Walter as she models a special scarf given to her by CARE. (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) Didi Cutler with Walter as she models a special scarf given to her by CARE.

Georgetown’s Didi Cutler hosted a gathering Thursday that included Kosovo’s Ambassador Vlora Çitaku and former Yemen Ambassador to the U.S. Abdulwahab Al-Hajjri, for  a reception to highlight the philanthropic works of CARE around the world.

Çitaku captivated the group as she told of her personal journey from being a refugee during the Kosovo War, to becoming a journalist, then being a member of Kosovo Parliament, and then rising to be ambassador to the United States.

In addition to Didi and Walter Cutler, reception hosts were Lynda Webster, Colleen Nunn, and Martha Brooks (chairman of the CARE’s  board of directors) and the Yemen ambassador.

The Power Player attendees included Jackie Finn, Juleanna Glover, Maxine Champion, Judith Terra, Ginny Mars, Dorothy and Bill McSweeny, Barbara Hawthorn, Cindy Kim, Sofia Gegechkori  (public affairs/communications counselor for the Embassy of Georgia) and Julie Murphy. 

Maxine Champion (left) and Barbara Hawthorn (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) Maxine Champion (left) and Barbara Hawthorn

A key purpose of the afternoon was to introduce individuals to CARE’s Global Leaders Network, a relatively new inclusive entity that holds informative receptions at foreign embassies in order learn more about the hosting nation as well as CARE’s overall mission. The network is organized by Beth Solomon, CARE's managing director of external affairs & development.

CARE’s work in 94 countries – helping refugees, victims of famine and the poorest – saves lives, lessens the factors that can lead to violent extremism and helps the most vulnerable recover, and rebuild after disaster.

CARE also is emphasizing the empowerment of women in economic development and in the realm of education.

Care’s National Conference will be May 21-23 in Washington, D.C.  Among the speakers slated are PBS' Judy Woodruff, CARE CEO Michelle Nunn, former Homeland security advisor Fran Townsend and former U.S. Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates.

Kosovo Amb. Vlora Citaku (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) Kosovo Amb. Vlora Citaku

Chatting are from left Sofia Gegechkori, Judith Terra, Barbara Hawthorn & Julie Murphy. (Photo by: The Georgetown Dish) Chatting are from left Sofia Gegechkori, Judith Terra, Barbara Hawthorn & Julie Murphy.

CARE's chair of the Board of Directors Martha Brooks & former Yemen Amb. Abdulwahab Al-Hajjri (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) CARE's chair of the Board of Directors Martha Brooks & former Yemen Amb. Abdulwahab Al-Hajjri


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High Society Lineage Lives On

February 25, 2018

American film star Grace Kelly was not the first American woman to gain royal rank in Monaco. That station in life belongs to a New Orleans grande dame who will be remembered by Prince Albert II in The Big Easy.

The Prince, accompanied by the principality’s Ambassador to the United States, Maguy Maccario Doyle, travels to New Orleans in March to participate in the dedication of a plaque commemorating the birthplace of American-born Alice, Princess of Monaco, who was a wife of Prince Albert’s great-great-grandfather, Prince Albert I. 

Thus, Prince Albert II is Heinke’s great-great step-grandson.

Also, lest you forget, Grace Kelly of Philadelphia society married Prince Rainier III and became Princess Grace.  Prince Albert II is their son.

Prince Albert was in D.C. in May of 2015 when he was honored with a Peter Benchley Ocean Award.

Princess Alice was born Marie Alice Heine to wealth and status in New Orleans’ French Quarter in 1857. Marcel Proust used her as a model for the Princesse de Luxembourg in his novel, In Search of Lost Time.  Differences between Princess Alice and her husband drove the couple apart and they separated in 1902.  She settled in London where is became the hostess of one of its most glittering salons.  The Princely couple never officially divorced.

Coincidentally, Princess Alice’s birthplace was on Royal Street.

The announcement of Prince Albert’s upcoming visit was made last week by Monaco’s Ambassador to the United States, Maguy Maccario Doyle, as she detailed Monaco Takes New Orleans, a week-long series of events now underway to mark the ties between the Principality and New Orleans and “to celebrate our historic and cultural bonds.”

"We are thrilled to have the Principality of Monaco participating in the New Orleans Tricentennial," said New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “As we celebrate 300 years of New Orleans, we will be remembering the cultural ties between our city and Monaco.”

For updates on Monaco-related events in NOLA in 2018 and more information about Princess Alice of Monaco, please visit MonacoEventsUSA.


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