The Reliable Source Live

Apr 09, 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

Happy Chatter-day, everyone! Let's dig right in, shall we?  Here's a refresh on some of the week's hot gossip:


Clay Aiken fuels up for congressional bid in D.C.


McAllister video offers up another iconic scandal image


Rep. Bill Cassidy slips into doctor mode on flight


...made of cheese?

No. Firstly, I'm not sure where one would procure such a dress and secondly, just no. 

My friend wants to ask a single congresswoman out on a date. I told him he will have hundreds of competitors. Washington DC women are hard to date! Advice?

Please encourage your friend to ask the lady out!  I don't know about your assertion that "washington women are hard to date," but I've heard from single women in powerful positions that they wish more men would express interest -- they're like that girl in high school who none of the guys would ask to prom because they were too intimidated by her. 

Also, then you have to drop a dime on your friend and let us know how it goes! 

Single congresswomen need love too! Washington women aren't harder to date than any career-minded intelligent women. 

I <3 Kelly Rowland. Did either of you see her in person? Is she as flawless in person as she looks in pictures? I might be a little biased because I always felt bad for her being "second lead" in the Beyonce show.

I love Ms. Kelly too. She's had a pretty long career in a business known to eat folks alive, so two snaps to her. It also can't be easy to be besties with Beyonce, a woman who combines all the star power of Diana Ross, Tina Turner and Cher in one. Unfortunately we didn't catch Kelly ourselves but from the pictures she looked ab fab and super chic in Valentino heels. I guess she didn't get the memo that most women who roam the halls of congress do so in sensible shoes. But stars? Never!

So what on earth was the congressman trying to say? When he raised his hand that looked a lot like he was saying he'd smoke before, no?

There seemed to be some mixed messages here. When I read the congressman's quote -- “I’m not going to ask for a show of hands. If I did, I could raise my hand,” CQ Roll Call quotes Hoyer telling reporters, as he raised his hand. “The use thereof, or the trying thereof. Inhaling or not. Experimentation.” -- it sure sounded to me like he was making a confession, and some reporters thought it sounded that way, too. 

Other reporters who heard it, though, apparently thought Hoyer was saying the opposite. At any rate, his spokeswoman's clear-as-a-bell assertion, "Mr. Hoyer has not used marijuana," leaves no room for confusion. 

I love that "inhaling" or not is still part of this conversation -- thanks, Bill Clinton!

When you have a president who was a member of a group of high school friends who called themselves the "Choom Gang," it seems that it's not such a biggie for pols to confess to this anymore. 

Did really, actually put Diane Fienstein's head on Mily Cyrus' body twerking as to counter-act the accusations that Republicans have a war on women? (If so, that is not really a good way to disprove it.) (I looked at their site, and if true, they must have taken it down.)

Actually it was Nancy Pelosi's head with a lolling tongue photoshopped on a bikini-clad body which is very Miley-esque in reference. In reponse to the image, which was featured in an ad for a new vertical about Californian politics, DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz had this to say, "the Breitbart News ad is foul, offensive, and disrespectful to all women. It is a disgusting new low and would be reprehensible against any woman – regardless of party."

What is it with politicians getting caught on tape with their pants (or in this case tongues) out. Don't they know the meaning of discretion? Especially in the digital age?

The Vance McAllister caught-on-tape scandal raises some interesting questions about expectations of privacy. Putting aside questions about what he was doing, whether it was right, etc., let's look at the way in which he was caught. Having security footage leaked to reporters seems different to me than engaging over email or text -- like other scandalous pols did. I think one has to expect that emails, texts and the like can very easily be leaked, but you wouldn't necessarily assume that the security camera footage would. HOWEVER, they were smooching IN THE OFFICE, even though it was apparently after-hours and they were alone.

Perhaps McAllister is a cautionary tale for all would-be philandering folks -- Big Brother is always watching!  

Do you think she'll get her pal Lavern Chatman elected? Or did all those people just go to the fundraiser to see Oprah?

Who's to say. Oprah is a powerful friend. Back in her old book club days she could make or break a bestseller but is she a kingmaker? I doubt it. Making a brief appearance at a local campaign fundraiser is a lot different from commanding an audience of millions from her talk show's couch. 

And we'll know soon once the quarterly fundraising reporters come in how Chatman's doing in terms of raising money. That's one way Oprah can really boost a candidate in a crowded field -- by getting donors to open their wallets! 

He should go for it and ask her out (as long as he's not an opportunist)! If she really had all these great suitors hitting on her, why would she still be single?

Right on -- nothing ventured, nothing gained! And I say this goes for anyone asking anyone out (not just members of Congress). I would buy the guy a shot for a bit of liquid courage. But only one:) 

I read that too quickly and thought maybe you guys had invented a mascot for your chats. I am CHATMAN!

HA! We'd love to have a Chat Mascot. His costume could look like a keyboard. 

She looks great with that bob. BTW - why did you have to refer to her as Beyonce's bestie in the title? Can't you at least address her as Destiny Child member Kelly?

She does look great with that bob, which she said in a interview was the result of a DIY hair color gone horribly wrong. I call her Beyonce's bestie because unfortunately there are more than a few people who aren't too familiar with her solo music and Destiny's Child hasn't had an album out in nearly a decade. Rowland is still however Beyonce's closest friend. 

I am sorry. I think politicians lose their privacy when they get very publicly sanctimonious about preserving "marriage." That guy actually destroyed a marriage.

Politicians are certainly held to a different standard -- and they should be! -- than your average Joe Cheater. Particularly when the scandal affects their public duties or violates a trust with voters (ie, their bosses). 

I only meant the expectation of privacy in terms of how likely one might think they are to get caught -- it's far more likely that you would think before sending a naughty text or an e-mail  "huh, maybe this will get out somehow" than you would think that security footage taken in your office would be leaked.  

I think it should be a snail (Tom Sietsma's should be a cheetah!).

Hadn't really thought about a chat mascot... Hmm... what is the Reliable Source's spirit animal? A cat? We are certainly curious! 

Wow. A snail? I'd suggest a mighty dragon ala Game of Thrones. 

I just watched the video and I didn't realize from reports how non-innocent the McAllister kiss was. I feel sorry for his family, but it's not the first time a long-married fella falls for a younger woman. There's a lesson for everyone-cameras are every where these days!

This was not a peck on the cheek! I like calling it a "smooch" or a "lip-lock" because I think that better conveys the length and enthusiasm involved. I'm gonna get out my stop-watch and time it! 


What official reason has McAllister given for firing the woman in the kissing video?

Our colleagues report that his aides confirmed that she has been "dropped from the payroll."  That's all the detail we have on this so far.

He's made clear, though, that he's planning to try to keep HIS job.   

Any idea when filming will start?

No clue when filming will start but the movie's already set a release date of April 6, 2016 the very same day that the "Man of Steel" sequel will hit theatres. The Captain America sequel that's out now, "Winter's Soldier" filmed a few scenes in DC but was mostly shot in Cleveland despite being set in Washington. So we shouldn't hold our collective breath for a Chris Evans sighting anytime soon. 

Here's something for the asking-for-a-friend chatter who was seeking advice on dating a congresswoman: if that doesn't work out, try letting our pals over at Date Lab set you up. I hear they're looking for more applications. Here you go, folks:

And that does it for this edition of Reliable Source Live and Uncut. Join us here next week at the same time and place for more gabbing about all things gossipy in D.C. and in the meantime send all your tips, sightings and etc 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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