Trump, other A-list politicians Missing from Time 100 Gala
A-list of politicians was notably absent from the Time 100 black tie gala Tuesday night — but politics was still very much front and center on a night that saw entertainment by John Legend and Demi Lovato.
Then-candidate Donald J. Trump was among the guests last year — but perhaps his new day job kept him away this year.
The dinner did, however, draw Robert Mercer, the reclusive hedge fund titan and co-CEO of Renaissance Technologies and one of the biggest behind-the-scenes Trump supporters. Despite his bona fides, Mercer was seated in the third tier at Table 12 with daughter Rebekah — an honoree and a director of the Mercer Family Foundation.
The Mercers still scored better than Preet Bharara, the high-profile, former Manhattan US Attorney recently fired by Trump. He was banished to Siberia at Table 21, talking legalese with Guatemala’s Attorney General Thelma Aldana.
So far as could be learned, the Mercers never bumped into Robert Ferguson, the attorney general of Washington state, who successfully took on Trump’s travel ban — making him one of Time’s 100 Most influential People in the World at Table 15.
There was lots of firepower around Table 3, which featured Trump antagonist Megyn Kelly, “Saturday Night Live” comedian Leslie Jones and the drag queen RuPaul Andre Charles.
Kelly confirmed the Page Six scoop on April 24 that she will start her Sunday show on NBC in early June — opposite a little show on CBS called, “60 Minutes.”
“We don’t think we’re going to dethrone ‘60 Minutes’ at least right away,” Kelly said. “But it will be spicy.”
With equal gravitas, Bob Bland, one of the organizers of the Women’s March on Washington, and Yahoo’s Global Anchor Katie Couric sat comfortably at Table 1 in the Rose Hall at Jazz at Lincoln Center venue.
Table 5 also hosted a women’s march organizer, Tamika Mallory, who broke bread with Essence Editor-in-Chief Vanessa De Luca.
“Get Out” Producer Jason Blum, the toast of Hollywood, came east after making the Time list and was seated with old pal Harvey Weinstein, a longtime Democratic supporter, supermodel Ashley Graham and NBC News President Noah Oppenheim at Table 4.
Politics was in the air at Table 7 as well. Samantha Bee of TBS’s “Full Frontal” — and the host of the Not the White House Correspondents Dinner this coming weekend in Washington, was sharing time with Raed Saleh, the medical humanitarian behind Syria’s White Helmets, and Tom Perez, chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
Table 8, where Time’s Chief Content Officer Alan Murray could be found with Time CEO Rich Battista, is normally among the more cerebral tables — and did not disappoint this year with Margot Robbie, star of the “Wolf of Wall Street” and “Suicide Squad,” dining with “Selma” director Ava DuVernay.
But shining just as brightly right next to them at Table 9 was Time Editor-in-Chief Nancy Gibbs with Academy Award-winning actress Viola Davis, Chobani founder Hamdi Ulukaya, and “Deadpool” star Ryan Reynolds, who was named Sexiest Dad Alive by People last year.
Gibbs, in her opening remarks, spoke passionately about a free press.
“To demonize the press, to treat it as an enemy of democracy is to lay
the groundwork for repression.”