The Atlantic’s Owner David Bradley’s House Party

Many are already calling it the most civilized party of the weekend. And that it seemed to be, though just being Friday night, it was a tough call to make so soon into Prom weekend.

The Atlantic Media Company owner David Bradley graciously welcomed guests to his posh home last night — some for pre-dinner cocktails only and the luckier among them for a fancy “Green” dinner poolside in the backyard. The event was catered by Susan Gage Caterers; the napkins were cloth.

It was no ordinary pool. Just behind it was a sizable fire bit, flames blazing on the warm summer evening.

No flashy superstars showed, though I was told Ricky Schroder was a guest last year and sat outside by the pool because he didn’t know anyone. Just insidery Washington media types like New York Social Diary’s Carol Joynt, The Atlantic’s Editor James Bennet, Yahoo News!’s Michael Calderone, NJ’s Editor-at-Large John Fox Sullivan hanging out amidst a well-dressed crowd in the driveway of Bradley’s home sipping cocktails. In the driveway were two shiny Audi’s – one bone white SUV and a silver sedan.

Some complained that the cars were getting in the way of the party. Other guests didn’t seem to notice or mind and used the cars for drink stands. (Confession: the white wine that FishbowlDC sampled was absolutely fantastic.)

Sullivan, a charmer, explained his at-large post at NJ: “That means I used to run the company and now I’m the elder statesman,” he said, explaining that he worked for Newsweek between 1970-75 and then came on as publisher of NJ. “I went from a very big pond to a very small pond.”

He acknowledged the major changes happening at NJ, including the layoffs of columnists and eight members of the editorial staff. He said the changes were for the best. “I’m more excited about our company now than I have been in four or five years,” he said.

I grilled Bennet on what he reads on a regular basis: NYT, WSJ, WaPo — the former NYT scribe reads the NYT most thoroughly. He also checks out a variety of Web sites all day long, but not too much or, he says, he won’t get anything done. His required reading list includes: Politico, Gawker, Memorandum, Atlantic Wire, Business Insider. Tweeters he enjoys include: Reuters’s Felix Salmon, WaPo’s Dave Weigel, Slate’s John Dickerson, CBS’s Mark Knoller and NYT business columnist David Carr.

“This is by far the most civilized event of the WHCD madness,” Joynt told Bradley in the driveway. “It’s a breath of fresh air.”

A guest striding by marveled, “What a glorious night!”

Bradley tried to tell Joynt that other parties were quite popular. Joynt jokingly dismissed him, saying, “Oh, they’re all mosh pits.”

A very gracious host, Bradley worked the pre-dinner driveway cocktail circuit fluidly. “It’s probably one of the smaller parties,” he acknowledged of his upscale gathering.

Bradley remarked that he’s not really up on who the big stars are these days – he said he could have Angelina Jolie to one side of him and Motion Picture Association’s late Jack Valenti to the other, and be far more acquainted with Valenti. “I’m 57, and as I get older, I have less understanding of who the it people are,” he said.

David Bradley in his driveway.

Bradley’s backyard pool.

See more pictures of Bradley’s luxury home after the jump…

Carol Joynt of New York Social Diary.

Backyard fireplace.

The sitting room.

Dinner awaits…