The Reliable Source Live

Jan 15, 2014

Washington Post columnists Helena Andrews and Emily Heil were online to discuss your favorite gossip, celebrity sightings and their recent columns.

Send your hot tips, sightings, and gossip to

Past Reliable Source chats

Hey chatters! Helena and I are ready to get the party started, though go easy on the newbies -- it's our first chat! Can't wait to hear your thoughts, questions, and what you'd like to see more (and less!) of. 

I've been away for a couple months, and in the chances I've had to check in with the RS, I see there have been some changes. You may have covered this before, but i couldn't find any mention in the RS archives. Where did Amy and Rox go? Are you guys permanent? I'm sure I'll love you both as much, in your own ways of course, but some closure would be much appreciated. I need to be writing to Hax?

Well, you should ALWAYS write to Hax, but this one we can solve: Helena and I are, in fact, permanent (asmuch as anything is permanent, you know?). So get used to our mugs!

Amy is on maternity leave, and will be writing features on her return to the Post. Rox will be writing features for Style, too. 

I'm looking forward to reading them both. 

Hi and welcome to the new Reliable Source. I look forward to chatting with you each week. HOWEVER, I don't really care about the people in the political world who usually fill this chat. I'd like to hear about our athletes, actors, authors, visiting celebrities, etc. And I'd like to know more about their wives and families. We've heard a lot about RGIII's wife and Ryan Zimmerman's wife and Ian Desmond's wife and, of course, Adam LaRoche's son Drake (who is almost the 26th National), but that's about it. We don't even know much about their new babies (except that RZimm has a daughter Mackenzie, born in November, and Ian Desmond has two sons, Grayson and Cruz). So please easy on the pols and more on the people most of us have seen or heard of (include our local media people if you will).

Emily and I totally agree! There are so many personalities in Washington that don't have parentheticals and letters after their names. You know who I'm talking about. We're working to get the scoop on the area's athletes, artists, actors, you name it. Send all those juicy tips in to

a) Helena's tweet about Emily's story on the Capitol Hill fox was brilliant; b) I really hope it's just an adorable fox that we can all love and not a rabid monster that needs to be dealt with

Wasn't it? She's clever (like a fox?).  And I, too, am rooting for the little one! And really enjoyed the exchange on Twitter this morning between the fox and the congressman.

Do we really need politicians on Snapchat? What is he possibly going to "snap"? Can I verb "snap" like that?

I'm allllll for using "snap" as a social media verb. As to what Sen. Paul will actually be "snapping," your guess is as good as mine. He says he'll be showing us the "behind the scenes" of the Paul machine. We'll just have to tune in tonight and see!

Who are you most excited about gossiping about now that you're on the Reliable Source beat? Anyone you've been dying to get some dirt on?

Oh, the list is long! I'm curious about Cory Booker, our new superhero/senator, for starters. What say you, chatters? 

How do people know when various celebrities are in town? I always miss the memo and find out when it's way too late.

I WISH there was a memo. But we mostly get tips from folks who just happen upon, say, LeBron James at the Four Seasons bar. Some people are really great at recognizing celebrities. It's a skill. 

Pweeeease screengrab Rand Paul's snap for the rest of us?

On it. We plan to grab that snap! 

I want to hear about the people who are DC famous if you run in the right circles - like the Real Housewives of DC types. These people who are right in our own backyard and just as juicy as any Lohan but we've never heard of them!

Right you are! There are plenty of "DC famous" folks floating around the city, especially now that Washington is getting more hip by the nanosecond. Emily and I plan to cover them in the column too.



Let me just say that it would be hard to find anyone anywhere as "juicy" as LiLo -- rehab! bad plastic! -- but that's not to say our locals can't try to compete.

I am the worst at this. The only celebrity I've ever managed to see in DC was John Cho, who I literally walked into going into Whole Foods (he was walking out and we had one of those who's going to step to the left moments). I do love him, but I wouldn't mind running into, like, Jon Hamm also.

Next time you literally bump into John Cho let us know! Most celebrity sightings are rarely of them doing Cory Booker-style superhero stuff, like saving a woman from a burning building. 

Or John Hamm!

I kind of like the "First Granny" and the whole crew from Illinois, Hawaii, Kansas, Kenya, Indonesia, etc... Might as well get some interesting stories of it.

If by "whole crew" you mean the Obamas then I totally agree that what they do makes for some pretty interesting stories. Although I'm not sure how much Marian Robinson, the first lady's mother, loves the "first granny" title. I'd vote for "mother sequel" myself. 

Do you have any thoughts yet on where you want to take the Reliable Source? What do you want to do that's new or different? ...if the answer is you just want to keep on doing what it's always done best, that's cool too!

We want to keep doing what the column has long done best -- report on the doings of the VIP class, with smarts, voice and sass.  That said, the voice is probably going to change a bit, simply because we'll have our own style. And we are planning to energize the blog -- so check it out:

One big change that we're excited about is the addition of cool videos to the blog. We have a crazy-talented video journalist, JulieAnn McKellogg, working with us. Her footage of the Chris Brown melee this week was just a taste of what's to come on that front. 

Being fans of the Reliable Source we both love what the column's done for the past 22 years, that is cover the VIP goings on in the city. A big torch has been passed on and we're excited about taking it the extra mile. 

Since you brought him up, is he married or does he have a girlfriend that we just never see?

Sen. Booker is not married. But rumors having been swirling for a while now that he's dating Los Angeles entertainment lawyer, Bianca Levin. Neither one has confirmed (nor denied) a romance. We'll keep you posted!

I know the title doesn't exactly fit, but I'd go with "Dowager" myself. It's slightly menacing. I'd also be curious about her time here - but maybe more of a profile - what it's been like being the on-site Grandma, what she particularly enjoys about her role and DC, etc... She's in the position of a lot of older adults in terms of helping to care for grand children and living with extended family and that could give her story some broader appeal.

Didn't Kate Winslet rescue someone from a burning building once?

Yes! Oddly, it was Richard Branson's mother. 

Is celeb-who-saves-people-from-fire a bona fide genre? 

"First Mother-in-Law" I guess? What did the press during the Truman administration call Madge Wallace, Pres. Truman's mother-in-law who moved into the White House as well Useless trivia: Dying at 97, Bess Truman remains the longest-lived First Lady of the United States.

There's no such thing as useless trivia. It's always fun for cocktail party (or online Q&A) chatter.  

Any random leftover thoughts on this year's party? I missed having someone from the Post live-blogging the evening's events.

I watched the Globes from home and tapped out at around 10 p.m. But what I did see confirmed one long held belief: Emma Thompson, who presented sans heels with a drink in hand, remains my personal hero. 

Amy is on maternity leave?! I guess my out of the loop-ness has been longer than I thought. I'm glad everyone is still a part of the WP family, and welcome to you two! Also, I do like the print redesign.

Thanks for the warm welcome! We are glad to have Rox and Amy as colleagues, too, and will absolutely be relying on them for pointers.

And I'm glad you like the litle facelift we gave the print edition of the column! 

Thanks so much for the kind words. We love the re-design too and have even more cool new features up our sleeves for the print column and the blog.

I enjoy hearing about what Amy and Rox termed "Celebvocates" who come to town to lobby on behalf of such a variety of worthy causes, from research on major diseases (usually that have affected either themself or a loved one) or human rights or environmental issues. Many of these celebrities prove themselves to be far more than "just another pretty face" but instead as intelligent, interesting, well-informed and caring people. Some days I need to have my faith in humanity restored just a bit...

Actors are people too, right? And so many of them have great causes they lend their big names too. We're definitely keeping an eye on who comes to Washington and why. 

Yes! Though it is funny how some of their advocacy is conveniently timed for moments when they need a little exposure... 

After we're done chatting here, I'm off to the Hill, where Marilu Henner is vising with vegetarian staffers. Should be interesting -- but I have to say, this carnivore is a little suspicious of her vegan tacos. 

enjoyed the clip of Mitt dancing, I thought it was rather brave of him, actually. Thoughts on best dancer among current top politicos?

Have you seen Steny Hoyer doing the Electric Slide? 

If not, you're welcome:

Although nominated for a Golden Globe, she was apparently not present at the award ceremonies Sunday night. Isn't she expecting another baby, and if so, how soon is she due?

Kate Winslet actually JUST gave birth to her third child, son Bear (yep), about a month ago. So I'm going to go out on a limb and assume she was home trying to catch up on sleep. 

Thanks so much for chatting with us! We'll be back here next week (and on the blog and in the paper 'til then) for more fun. 


In This Chat
Helena Andrews
Helena Andrews is the co-author of The Reliable Source. Follow her on Twitter @helena_andrews.
Emily Heil
Emily Heil is the co-author of the Reliable Source and previously helped pen the In the Loop column with Al Kamen. Follow her on Twitter @emilyaheil,
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