The Reliable Source Live

Feb 19, 2014

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

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Past Reliable Source chats

Howdy chatters! While we’re putting out an APB on Bill Murray, who was in town last night for the White House screening of “Monuments Men,” let’s get to talking. What’s on your mind? Feeling a little soul-crushed after a “House of Cards” binge? On the edge of your seat over the Chris Brown legal battle? Bring it on! 

Joel McHale for WH Correspondent's Dinner. Thoughts? Good choice?

Excellent choice! I love his superdry sense of humor. And he gets politics -- i remember running into him at a previous WHCD (maybe 2010?).  It's a tough gig, though, I've got to say. 

I've got really high hopes for McHale. He's the perfect mix of comedian and host, which isn't easy. Also "Community"!!! 

Do we have any DC natives holding it down in Sochi?

Our colleagues over in Sports are all over it -- our area has a few Olympians in action.

Tom Sietsema just answered 37 questions in 1 hour! Challege accepted?

What can we say? The guy has a huge metabolism. We only hope to aspire to such feats. 

Of all the nasty people in the world, my vote is for Abby Lee Miller. The way she treats her young dancers is reprehensible. Runner up is Kris Kardashian, who has basically pimped out her daughters for money.

As a former bunhead I've come across a super strick task mistress (or three) in my day, but Abby Lee Miller, who stars on the reality show "Dance Moms," sets the barre quite high. Still, I remember shedding more than a few tears in the studio. 

I was home last week with a bum knee, so I spent Friday on my couch and managed to get through the entire second season of House of Cards. I thought that some of the plot lines were beyond realistic belief (such as the fate of Zoe), but the quality of the acting, especially that of Robin Wright, makes the show completely enjoyable. She's the Ice Princess to beat them all. I don't know if there's going to be a third season, but if there is, I fully expect Claire to kick her husband to the curb and move from First Lady to President. It's the only logical outcome.

You know, I was just telling Helena that it's the perfect week for an injury or illness -- guilt-free HoC bingeing! 

Glad you had Drs. Underwood at your service. And I agree with you about Claire/ Robin Wright. I'm fascinated by her, but do you really think the Underwoods would turn on one another? Why couldn't she pull a Hillary, and get a turn at the big job herself someday? (Tho her resume is a little thinner...) 

Any dish on the new Nats who will be joining the roster this year?

In response to popular demand, we'll be collecting some diamond dish for you... Stay tuned! Anyone you're particularly curious about? 

Do you know what "coquette" means? Did you intend to make that insinuation about the French president?

According to the Merriam Webster dictionary that sits at my desk 24/7, coquette (the feminine of coquet) is synonmous with "flirt." Given the whispers of infedility and scandal that followed the French president from Paris I thought the word choice more than apt (as well as tongue-in-cheek).

So I gather Hollywood and TV execs are thrilled to hear that the Obama family likes so much popular tv - many set in DC, right? - and movies!

No doubt, though presidents have been screening TV shows and movies at the White House for decades. In fact, Bill Clinton once said the theater there was the biggest perk of being prez -- and that's saying a lot! 

But the Obamas are very fluent in pop culture in a way that previous First Couples haven't been, and it's interesting to watch that play out. 


I still think Tyler Moore wins the Golden Apple, but Taylor Jordan is also very cute. I understand that Justin Verlander is off the market, as he and Kate Upton seem to have renewed their relationship. He has the most gorgeous thighs (and he wears his pants tight. . .)

Speaking of tight trousers... The photo of Bradley Cooper's clingy pants at the White House shows up way better here than in today's print column. 


Do we really think Bradley Cooper showed up at the White House with no undies? What's the precedent for that sort of thing?

Helena and I will go to whatever lengths we have to to get a story, but I'm not sure how we'd go about figuring out the answer to your latter question! We have to rely on oversharers for that sort of thing. Remember when Al Roker confessed to... well, something really gross... when he visited the White House? I'll just give you the link:

Emily and I had an... interesting time examining photos of Cooper's tuxedo pants at the state dinner. Let me tell you that was 10 minutes we'll never get back. But it was pretty clear to us that La Coop wasn't lying. 

There has to be at least one (SPOILER ALERT!!!) murder each season on House of Cards, so I would have Claire kill Frank and then manipulate her way into the Oval Office in the next election. It's the logical conclusion to her increasing ruthlessness. Even the Underwoods' "love" for each other is ultimately sacrificed to the love of power. The series should end with Claire's icy, self-satisfed smile as she seats herself at the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office, as we viewers realize that that's been her ultimately goal all along! Great finish.

I would DIE for that ending! Totally agree that Claire has gone full on Lady Macbeth this season. I'm still two episode away from the promise land so no spoilers please. 

Loved your video on politicos not watching "House of Cards" as much as we assume. Why do you think that is?

I don't want to say the show hits too close to home because I'm hoping there aren't too many politicians getting their hands as dirty as Frank Underwood does. But the thing about House of Cards is that it requires a good amount of free time to binge watch in order to really get into the best part of the show--the water cooler chat. I'm assuming a lot of folks on the Hill just don't have the bandwidth. 

Bet that's something you never imagined you'd be doing for work. Don't you just love those moments?

Exactly! When I agot my masters in journalism I never thought looking at Bradley Cooper's crotch would be part of my job. A pleasant surprise!

So what's the status of Chris Brown these days?

We're not expecting to see Chris Brown here in Washington for his court date tomorrow, since the DC judge said it was OK for him to skip it (he's still in a residential facility in LA because of his parole there). At the hearing tomorrow, it's possible that the judge will set a trial date...  We will keep you posted on all the legal adventures!

"In fact, Bill Clinton once said the theater there was the biggest perk of being prez -- and that's saying a lot!" Yeah, I would have guessed that he would picked the interns as the biggest perks -- which leads to the question of whether President Hillary would ever take the risk of having any White House interns!

I don't think the White House (or Washington, for that matter) could run without interns. Those eager beavers basically run this town.

Can you refrain from posting spoilers? Not all of us have binge watched the entire first season.

You mean there are some folks unwilling to ditch their jobs, kids, spouses, and personal hygiene to scarf down the entire series? You are clearly a better person than I. 

Betcha they think twice about inviting him again after that charming revelation about his attire. Although I seem to recall a shot of him in the Oval Office after Silver Linings Playbook came out--he was in DC to speak about mental illness and looked very serious and earnest about his cause.

I'm not sure if talking publicly about going commando gets you kicked off the guest list. But I'm guessing he probably wasn't going to get an invite to a second state dinner anyway.

For other events, here's hoping the White House found his comments le charming, because I'd like to see him back in town! 

Any George Clooney and co sightings yet?

Not yet. Our sources tell us that some or all of the Clooney clique--mom and dad Nick and Nina Clooney, Matt Damon, his wife Luciana, and Bill Murray--stayed at the fancy pants Willard Hotel just a block from the White House. No word yet on whether they partied after "The Monuments Men" screening at 1600 Penn, but we're keeping our eyes and ears open. 

Looking at the guest list, I was thrilled to see that the author of the terrific original book, Robert Edsel, and one of the very last remaining real Monuments Men, Harry Ettinger, were also at the screening. The story is incredible, and while the movie was fine, it didn't really do justice to what this small band of art conservators accomplished.

Well, our colleague Phil Kennicott savaged the movie. He writes, in his inimitable  prose: "If you care about art, you are obliged to loathe the film “The Monuments Men." 


How far have you two ladies gotten into season two of House of Cards? How do you avoid spoilers in the office?

This season I tried, I really tried to stretch out the episode for more than just a weekend, but with the snow storm and President's Day my Netflix queue was calling. I'm ahead of Emily and JulieAnn (or video journalist) but two episodes behind Krissah Thompson, our colleague in the Style Section. We avoid spoilers by announcing pre-water cooler chat who's seen what and keep all conversation to general themes instead of specific plot points. 

What is in the air this week that people are so into over sharing? I so do not need to know what personal appliances she owns.

Oh, Babs. One thing is certain: a strategic overshare = tons of headlines. 

We LIVE for the overshare without the occasional TMI confession our jobs would be that much harder. Also I love to hear it from the horse's mouth instead of third hand. 

Did you see that Bill Clinton impersonator Miley Cyrus used during her Toronto concert? And to sing "Party in the USA" no less!

Unfortunately I can't UNsee Miley's bikini-clad faux "Bill Clinton" number during her "Bangerz" tour kick-off in Canada. Shudder. 

How are you guys liking being the new Reliable Source team?

It's been a blast so far!  I still feel like I'm getting my sea legs under me, but I love the variety that every week brings.  

We're just over six weeks in and so far this job has been phenomenal. Every day is totally new! We could be posting about Justin Bieber or the president of France. Writing a column daily (not weekly or monthly) is challenge but fun a one. More than anything Emily and I want the column to represent what's going on right here in the District--where stars, gossip, politics and pop culture collide. 

And that does it for this week's installment of the Reliable Source Live. As always thanks so much for tuning in and spending the hour with us. We've got a ton of ground to cover and you're our best source so please don't hesistate to send tips, sightings, and more to See you next week!

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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