Tales from the Trail

Manna from heaven (well, Hanks) for White House press


The actor Tom Hanks reinforced his standing as the caffeine guardian angel of the White House press corps on Tuesday by sending a second high-end espresso maker to the denizens of the West Wing briefing room.

“In that you get out so rarely, here is another machine to supply you with the Manna of Heaven, the Boost of Bolt, the Cuppa Java that may help you get through the day,” Hanks wrote in a note accompanying the shiny new  ”Made in Italy” Pasquini espresso maker, which came complete with a jug for steaming milk and a set of espresso cups.

The actor – accompanied by director Steven Spielberg,  paid a surprise visit to the press corps last month after being hosted by President Barack Obama at a White House preview of HBO’s new World War Two series “The Pacific.” Hanks said he wanted to check the status of the first espresso maker he had sent, a “Pony Express” model much-loved and well-used by reporters cooped up in the press center.

During that visit, Hanks chided the reporters that they had not been cleaning the machine after every use, and promised to send a second.  The letter sent with the new machine reminded the journalists to clean the steam spout more frequently.

The machine’s arrival – it was borne from the gate in an official minivan – was a welcome distraction on a spring afternoon for reporters more accustomed to sparring with White House staff over the nuances of topics like Obama’s upcoming Supreme Court pick or push for financial regulatory reform.

Hanks vists “poor slobs” in White House press corps

Hollywood stars Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg paid a surprise visit to the White House press corps on Thursday after being hosted by President Barack Obama.

 Hanks was keen to check up on an espresso machine he gave the journalists years ago. USA-PACIFIC/

“You know, you’re supposed to clean this after every use,” Hanks chided after inspecting the machine, a much-loved and well-used article by reporters cooped up in the press center.