The Reliable Source Live

Apr 16, 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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Howdy chatters! Come one, come all! 

Let's take a break from the wintry weather outside and warm our chilly hands on some hot gossip. Helena is out today, so I'm flying solo on this one. 

First, a look back on the week that was, according the the Reliable Source. 

Paris, LeBron, Bow Wow: Celebrity appearances amping up in D.C.-area clubs


What's the latest on the smoocher? Has he left Congress yet? If he's not going to resign, why did Anthony Weiner have to?

Congressman Lip-lock -- aka Van McAllister -- has not resigned, though he's keeping a verrry low profile. Congress is on recess this week, and he's cancelled all his events back home, so he's got a little out-of-the-spotlight time. 

He's already gotten pressure to resign -- including from his own party -- so it's not clear that his political career will survive intact. 

As for why some scandal-scarred pols resign and some don't, there are lots of factors. In Weiner's case, there were those photos (!) and pressure from his own colleagues. McAllister's case has plenty of features that point toward "resign," too, including photographic evidence and those aforementioned calls from Republicans to step down.

So let's stay tuned and see what happens when Congress gets back into session...  

What gives with calling Sean Combs/Diddy/Puff Daddy a Howard "dropout" in your column? Seems like he's accomplished a lot. Why so negative?

I've gotten some feedback on this, so I'm glad to get this question! 

I thought it was interesting that Howard would invite someone who ditched school for the real world AND became so sucessful to speak. I mean, you have this guy who's done phenomenally well for himself without the very degree the young folks he's addressing just spent years working towards... And he's not alone among superrich dropouts -- Steve Jobs and Bill Gates didn't finish college, either.

I wonder how Combs will tackle the issue?

I was intrigued by the report that Justice Ginsburg went to see the [play at Woolly Mammoth based on the nude dancing - free speech case argued a little before she joined the court. I wish I'd been at the performance where she joined the panel after the play. Any word what she discussed or what she thought about the presentation having one of the lawyers drop trou and G-string?

We weren't surprised to hear that Ginsberg attended the show at Woolly, called "Arguendo." And not just because of the show's subject matter - she is truly one of the biggest theater and opera buffs in town -- we get tips all the time that she's been in the audience for one show or another. 

As for what she said on the panel, I haven't heard. 

Is she really a DJ? Or does she just get paid lots of money to show up at clubs?

Lots of celebs get paid just to show up at clubs, but Paris is apparently not content to do that -- and kudos to her for trying to work for a living! 

We're told she's gotten $100,000 for an hour behind the turntables, and you can bet she at least tries to earn it. Not sure that she is, though, as she once boasted one of the top five DJs in the world! 

Emily - Why was it necessary to identify Sean Combs as a "drop out" in the headline of the story on his upcoming commencement speech at Howard University? I find it to be a subconsciously racialized headline (I don't think for example that Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and other successful "drop outs" would have been referenced in this manner.) It would be more accurate (and positive instead of negative) to describe him as a entertainment mogul - isn't that the real headline here?

I answered this a few questions ago, and I really don't think the headline was racialized -- I absolutely would refer to any of the other billionaire dropouts you named as "dropouts."

Is the word a little flip? Sure thing!  

I still think that your word choice was racially biased. You could have even said, "entertainment mogul and Howard drop out" and it would have been "slightly" better.

And probably wouldn't have fit in the headline:) Hey, I called him a mogul in the first sentence! 

She said she was one of the top 5 highest paid DJ's in the world. Big difference. And at $100K an hour, I sort of believe her....

That's what she says she meant by claiming she was in the "top 5" -- some people took the quote to mean she was talking quality, not paycheck. And agreed -- I know a few DJs who'd be happy to make her hourly rate in a year, but they lack the reality TV/sex tape/tabloid resume! 

I think we're overthinking this headline -- few people would care if another successful celebrity Howard grad were speaking at the graduation. The whole sizzle of the story is that he didn't graduate. I think if Mark Zuckerberg gave the commencement address at Harvard, a similar headline would be appropriate.

"Overthinking This Headline" -- that could be the title of the memoirs of a few copy editors I've met in my life. 

And, yes. 


and 3 of them were about what racists you are for pointing out Sean Combs left Howard Univ. without graduating. Slow news day?

Hey, I take the questions I get. Change of topic, anyone? 

Where should I go if I want to see celebrities in DC? What's the equivalent of Nobu in DC?

Depends on the type of celeb you're looking to spot. For politicos, go hang out anywhere on Barracks Row on a night when Congress is in session. Get a sidewalk seat, and watch 'em go by. 

Bistro Bis is good for senators. 

Media types and visiting celebs are still flocking to Cafe Milano in Georgetown. 

And then don't forget to give your friendly Reliable Sources the heads-up. Email us your sightings (bonus points for details) at 

Any Benedict Cumberbatch sightings in DC?

Don't I wish! 

What are the President and Mrs. Obama doing for Easter this year, have the plans been released?

The egg roll is always a big party, and the entertainment is very kid-cetric. I hadn't heard of this year's lineup, though I'm told they're huge with the tweens (I mean, I read the Twilight series, but I have my limits): Cam Anthonywill sing the national anthem. Musical talent includes Ariana Grande, Candice Glover and DJ Beauty & the Beatz. 


which do you prefer for your seasonal sugar rush? I'm a bean person myself.

Chocolate bunnies for me! I prefer my Peeps in dioramas. Have you guys seen these?

Is he going to have to change his name to Bob Cage to hide the fact that he might be realted to John and Jane Cusack?

Hear that, Bob? Might be confusing for his reporters, but I bet they would get behind this idea... 

Hey - Did either (or both) of you get to see many of the entries? Were there any other entries that you thought were particularly good... And, to keep this in the theme - do you know if any Washington notables have ever entered the Peeps contest? Now I'm amusing myself imagining a peeps entry as an episode of VEEP.

Helping to judge the contest (all Post employees are invited) is one of the highlights of this job! I get irrationally excited about it. I loved loved the "I Have a Dream" one for its simplicity and black-and-white scheme. 

Not sure if any boldfacers have entered, but now I'm going to check with our contest gurus... 

OK, guys, thanks for being patient with me on my solo chat mission. Helena and I will be back in action right here next week, so tune back in then.

Stay warm, and peep on peep-in on! 

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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