Photo credit: Janet Donovan

Hollywood on the Potomac loves CNN: It’s like having a ‘friend with benefits’ – although not that kind.  Take the CNN Grill at the conventions, for example, where drinks and food flow as freely as political gossip; or the private documentary series screenings at the Newsuem; or being the first to receive the CNN Politics Nightcap NewsletterThe latter was the case for guests who attended the launch party at SILO for the ‘nightcap’ newsletter which dutifully arrived in our inbox during the festivities. 

“Welcome! You’ve been selected to receive the CNN Politics Nightcap,” it read.  ” — a nearly nightly cocktail of breaking news, dispatches from the campaign trail and a splash of fun. We hope you’ll give Nightcap a shot but if you’d rather cash out, click here. Your bartender is Eric Bradner. The tip jar: [email protected].”


The celebration included a viewing of S.E. Cupp’s Outside with Insiders: Shooting with Scott Walker, a kind of home on the range interview that took place at a shooting facility where both engaged in some target practice, both literally and figuratively considering the Governor has tossed his hat into the presidential race.  “For this episode, I went to Waukesha, Wisconsin, just a half hour outside of Milwaukee — importantly, not to “interview” the state’s governor and Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker, but to shoot sporting clays with him,” she says of the political series.  “I wore my favorite pair of boots, which have been hunting and fishing with me on four continents. There just happened to be cameras there, and we just happened to talk a little politics. We spent nearly two hours on the clays course, and in that time I learned a lot. Because when you’re trying to blast a true pair flying straight up in the air, you tend to let your guard down. And that’s the whole point of “Outside with Insiders” — to get to know political influencers in a way you never have before. It’s also to celebrate our love of hunting, fishing and shooting.”


 S.E. Cupp and Governor Scott Walker   Photo credit: Courtesy of CNN


S.E. Cupp with CNN’s Matt Dornic, VP Global Communications for CNN Digital

“This is what I am going to be doing with every political interview – taking out a person hunting, shooting or fishing, talking politics and getting to know that person in a different environment where their guard is down,” Cupp told Hollywood on the Potomac, “doing something they love to do. It’s much more interesting, for me anyway, to get to know people that way.”


Eric Bradner

“We’re going to have a little fun with it,” Eric Bradner, CNN Politics Nightcap editor told us at the three pronged digital event. “It’s going to be different in a way that’s fun.” As regards differentiating from other similar newsletters already out there he added:  “They’re all good in their own way, for their own reasons, but ours comes out at night, so it is a nightcap theme.  We’re going to give people in advance as to what is coming for the next day.  If you work in politics or if you are a political reporter, you stop and think the night before about the next day. We have all the multimedia elements we call straight up. You know, we’re trying to have fun with it and engage readers in a way that they might like to read. The newsletter was sort of an idea whose time had come. I asked the editors if we were going to do one while they happened to be in the process of whether we would and how we might go about it; so it started coming together over the last couple of months and received a lot of input from a lot of people. Everyone from the CNN organization from New York to DC were involved in shaping the vision for this so it’s been a real team effort.”


Rachel Smolken, Executive Editor, CNNPolitics and Washington Bureau Chief and Senior Vice President Sam Feist

“Chances are, if you follow politics, you know who Governor Scott Walker is.”  S.E. Cupp