The Reliable Source Live

Feb 26, 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

Welcome back, chatters! The snow is chilly, but the gossipin’s hot. It’s been a big week for VIP sightings around town, from Priscilla Presley to George Takei (OK, so he wasn’t actually in DC proper – he was spotted eating gelato in Baltimore, but we included him because he basically owns the Internet).  And there’s other dish, too, like the fact that the Corcoran ball is still happening even though the gallery itself is being taken over. Enough recap, let’s get going! What is piquing your interest this week? 

welcome Helena and Emily, just to give you some tips where to find celebs, Tim Geithner, Ritz Carlton Georgetown, Elena Kagan Le Pain Quotidien Georgetown and Janet Napolitano (and Reno) Axis Salon in Dupont. Loved that Emily called the Senate "speedy," they've never been called that before or since. Break a leg.

Good to know! We also hear that Justice Sonia Sotomayor is a fan of Doi Moi and the Greek Spot. And if we're talking stars of the Clooney-variety, old favorites like Cafe Milano and the bar at the Four Seasons still apply. A tipster told us recently that the Four Seasons is like "ground zero for celeb sightings."

any idea what Debbie Dingell will do with 80 something John at home all the time? She may have to run for Congress to get away from him.

Somehow, I can't imagine John Dingell just hanging out at home wearing slippers in his post-Congress life. The guy has been a workhorse in the House for a half century! He'll stay busy somehow.

It will be very interesting to watch Debbie Dingell run for Congress, though. She's such a force on the Washington social scene. Honestly, I have no idea how she maintains the schedule she does! 

I read that Judge Judy makes $47 million a year. And she films 52 days a year. Therefore, Judge Judy makes roughly $900,000 a day. Is this everything that's right about America ... or everything that's wrong about America? I have my opinion.

You absolutely floored me with that -- I had no idea that Her Honor made so much cash! 

Supreme Court judges only make $244,40o! But they won't even allow cameras in the courtroom, much less ominous voice-overs -- though that would really lighten things up, no?

As for whether that's what's right or wrong with America, I'm gonna go with right. At least this is one highly paid reality star who actually brings some professional skills and education to the reality buffet...

Loved your video featuring actor Joe Morton, aka "Rowan Pope" on Scandal. What was he like IRL?

Thanks! JulieAnn (our video journalist) and I were super psyched (and more than a little nervous) to meet one of the most powerful men in "fake" Washington. Thankfully Joe the Morton (as he calls himself on Twitter) is absolutely nothing like the scary guy he plays on TV. He was super nice and, this being his first trip to Washington in decades, Morton was equally geeked to meet folks here. He told us he loved CNN's Candy Crowley. We interviewed him right after a VIP tour of the White House and he couldn't stop talking about it. Weird fact: Morton and co. got held up at 1600 Penn because just an hour before a man tried to climb the White House fence. It was like a real plot on Scandal! 

What's up with them???

So we've been informed by stylists that we should not identify them as "hipster" glasses. Which seems pretty right on, since once Rick Perry wears something, it ceases to be hip, I'd say. 

I like a guy in a bold spec, myself. And just like the old maxim that any man is handsomer while holding a guitar and that people with British accents sound smarter, I do think the glasses give him a little (needed) gravitas. 

He started wearing them last summer, and they even had their own short-lived Twitter feed. 

We talked to a bunch of personal shoppers and men's style experts for the item on the Perry Spectacles and they got a resounding thumbs up from everyone. One stylist told us that your face shape should dictate the type of glasses you buy. Perry's squarish head is ripe for the bold and angular look. The thick frames harken back to the Mad Men-era when men really cared about alllll aspects of their ensemble. 

Is Robin Wright serious? Her quote about reporters in DC sleeping with politicos seemed soooo ridiculous and out of touch. Can she really believe that?

Yes, apparently, I've been DOING IT WRONG all these years! Thanks, Robin, for clearing it up for me.

Seriously, it seemed like the kind of thing that Hollywood folks think about Washington when everything they know about Washington comes from scripts they read. But a friend suggested that we need to launch an investigation to see who in the Obama administration told Ms. Wright that. Do they know something we don't?? 

Read your item on the first lady and SolidCore. is the work out really that hard? I mean if a 50-year-old woman can do it?

Emily and I debated this in the office earlier this week. Me: "If Michelle Obama can do it. I can do it!" Emily: "Girl, have you seen her arms?" Touche! I never work out--like ever. But for some reason I think I can take the First Lady (I can't). My guess is that's at least part of the reason she ventures outside of the White House to get her sweat on--inspiring us lazy lumps to get off the couch. I'm still not SolidCore ready though. 

I know people who've done this workout and they swear it is the toughest they've experienced. Frankly, it terrifies me! I talked to the owner of the studio, who wouldn't comment on FLOTUS  directly, but she told me that when she first did it, she ran run 11 marathons. And she said her legs were shaking like jelly. 

What's so ridiculous about Robin Wright's claim? You think that a reporter NEVER slept with a politician? Come on, you know that somebody transgressed at some point. Bill Clinton would have slept with anybody who would have him. Your profession has its bad apples, just like every other profession.

I think what left a bad taste in most Washington journos mouths regarding that quote, is that Wright presented it as a solid fact. And as something that happens alllll the time. I've been a journo for more than a decade and have yet to meet anyone who thought sleeping with sources was a good way to get ahead. The majority of reporters "do it" the old fashion way--they report. These days folks can't even let a source buy them a cup of coffee much less slip them the keys to a private suite at the Ritz. 

"Which seems pretty right on, since once Rick Perry wears something, it ceases to be hip, I'd say." When people tell that the Post doesn't have a liberal bias, I think of comments from its staff like this and just laugh. Thanks for letting me know that a Republican isn't welcome on your chat. Ciao.

I'd say the same thing about... Al Gore. I'm saying he's a middle-aged dad and former cotton farmer from Nowhere, Texas, which precludes him from being hip. Not his party affiliation!  

Does she support particular causes or charities? I read about the "Friendship Dinner" in the WaPo article - what else does she do? Does she still have an active role in the automotive industry?

Back in the old days before you two took over, there used to be links to the column at the front of the chat. This allowed many of us who had been sleeping throughout the week to catch up on the stories we needed to read in order to sound informed at various social functions and in order to pose the tough questions you've been looking for.

Your wish is our command -- we'll do that in future chats! A weekly Reliable Primer, coming your way. 

Helena do you ever find it interferes with your typing to have one eye all but covered by your bangs, or is that just a provocative pose you've struck for the sake of your readers ?

You know I took a second look at that photo just before we got started and thought, "Am I being too sexy for this chat? Is there such a thing?" That photo was pulled from my Twitter account where I like to keep things spicy. 

Helena keeps running into things around the office. But her hair looks amaze! 

I wasn't all that jazzed by the FLOTUS' appearance on Fallon last week. That "Ewwww' skit can't even touch "The evolution of mom dancing." Do we think she's lost of her cool a little bit?

It definitely wasn't one of her top five moments on a late night show, and FLOTUS' latest Fallon spot brings her total number of late night appearances to a whopping 15. Leading up to the "ewww" skit we got word from folks inside the White House that it was going to be epic. But the role of the straight woman isn't at all that fun. 

I wasn't a huge fan of "Ewww" myself. Dudes in drag is kind of lazy humor writing. 

For my money the burning question is whether you two have any cats or dogs not what Rick Perry has on his face.

I have an amazing pug named Miles Davis Andrews who is a delight to every single person he meets. The other day I seriously considered starting a Twitter account for him but then I thought, "Am I really THAT lady. The crazy dog lady?" The answer, of course, is yes, yes I am. 

I could talk endlessly (and sometimes do -- sorry!) about my cats, Otis and Clyde. They are endlessly entertaining when they are not napping in adorably instagrammable poses. 

Any talk about who will replace him? Maybe CNN could raid Shepard Smith or Megyn Kelly from Fox. Or go more pop-culture -- but who?

Oh this will be a fun cocktail party game! If we're going pop culture-y my vote is for a smart celeb ala George Clooney. But he's obviously too busy being George Clooney. Maybe Katie Couric will give it another go? 

I've been pretty perturbed by a few recent commenters who have called you out on slow responses. I'm under the impression (and correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the point still stands) that this chat is NOT part of your job description and something that's not required of all Post columnists. So you're taking an hour out of your day (when you're on deadline, no less!) to chat and have fun with your readers and they find something to complain about? For shame! For the record, I think you guys are doing a great job taking over the reins and have produced some great chats so far. Keep it up, and take questions at whatever pace you'd like! :)

Emily is that you? Ha! No really, thank you so much. We're still chat newbies and are always open to feedback. Next week we'll definitely provide links to some fun posts in the intro and answer with fingers of fury! 

My friend dragged me there the other week for the first time. When it ended she said, "Are we still friends?" I said, "Yes, as long as you never make me do this again."

But you got through it! Hooray! And Bravo! Also if you go again you might be sweating next to the First Lady of the United States. I'm slowing but surely inching my way to Adam's Morgan and this workout. Challenge! 

The sight of Paula Deen riding on some big guys back really doesn't do much for my appetite. Do you think she can make a comeback or is she destined to sling hash at some truck stop in the near future ?

Me neither. Whether or not Paula Deen makes a comeback is entirely up to her fans, of which there are many. People still line up for her restaurants and buy her cookbooks. And this country loves nothing better than to watch its celebrites fall and then climb back to the top. 

Why not Alec Baldwin? Each night, he could apologize for something he said the night before. And then rage against the media and "The Gay Justice Department" for blowing it all out of proportion. Repeat.

That's a "Groundhog Day" scenario I'm just not ready for! But hilarious. 

Haven't heard much from her lately. Are we finally rid of her? Or is she just raking in bucks on the conservative lecture circuit?

Palin has a NEW SHOW on the Sportsman Channel, which is a thing, called "Amazing America with Sarah Palin." So if you're just dying for your next Palin fix then there you go. The show premieres on April 3. 

Helena - just wanted to say your hair looks great in your picture. I like the way your hair looks healthy and real which surprisingly is not the norm nowadays.

I have no problem with this line of questioning. I wish all chats could be about my hair, but alas it's not that interesting. Thank you. 

And that concludes this week's Reliable Source Live. We had a fun hour, as always, and will make sure to include links in next week's intro, down a few double lattes at 11:45 (as one of you suggested) and do some finger exercises to boot. Find us here next week. And in the meantime send tips, sightings and more to  

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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