washingtonpost.com
Mary Cheney and Partner Are About to Be Moms

By Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Mary Cheney, the vice president's openly gay daughter, is pregnant. She and her partner of 15 years, Heather Poe, are "ecstatic" about the baby, due in late spring, said a source close to the couple.

It's a baby boom for grandparents Dick and Lynne Cheney: Their older daughter, Elizabeth, went on leave as deputy assistant secretary of state before having her fifth child in July. "The vice president and Mrs. Cheney are looking forward with eager anticipation to the arrival of their sixth grandchild," spokesman Lea Anne McBride said last night.

Cheney, 37, was a key aide to her father during the 2004 reelection campaign and now is vice president for consumer advocacy at AOL. Poe, 45, a former park ranger, is renovating their Great Falls home.

News of the pregnancy will undoubtedly reignite the debate about gay marriage. During the campaign, Mary Cheney was criticized by gay activists for not being more publicly supportive of same-sex marriage. Her father said people "ought to be free to enter into any kind of relationship they want to" but deferred to the president's policy supporting a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages. Cheney herself called the proposed amendment "a gross affront to gays and lesbians everywhere" in her book, "Now It's My Turn: A Daughter's Chronicle of Political Life," which was published in May.

Cheney has described her relationship with Poe -- whom she took to last year's White House dinner honoring Prince Charles and Camilla -- as a marriage. The two met in 1988 while playing ice hockey and began dating four years later. They moved from Colorado to Virginia a year ago to be closer to Cheney's family. In an interview with the Post six months ago, when asked if she and Poe wanted children, Cheney said that was a "conversation I think I should have with Heather first."

In November, Virginia voters passed a state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and civil unions; state law is unclear on whether Poe could have full legal rights as a parent of Cheney's child. The circumstances of the pregnancy will remain private, said the source close to the couple. This is the first child for both.

Baltimore's Channel 13, Preempted by Channel Faux

Poor Michael Richards. Seems people are willing to believe anything about him these days!

On at least two of its Monday evening news broadcasts, Baltimore's Channel 13 reported that the disgraced "Seinfeld" comic had apologized for yet another racial uproar, when he showed up in blackface at a celebrity roast for Whoopi Goldberg.

What, you didn't hear about that one? Yee-e-e-ah, well, see, that's probably because it's not true. A WJZ staffer ripped the story off the Web -- without realizing that the source, DatelineHollywood.com, is a purely satirical site, which invented the completely bogus item as a riff on Richards's real-life racist outburst at an L.A. comedy club last month.

"This was an error in judgment by one of our producers who did not follow our established policy," said station spokeswoman Liz Chuday. "She failed to verify a story from a publication we were not familiar with before it aired." The station caught the error in time to issue a correction by the 11 p.m. broadcast.

The producer missed some pretty obvious tipoffs-- like the line about Richards pouring Aunt Jemima pancake syrup over Goldberg's head. Also: The links to other "articles," including "Britney Spears' Vagina Asks Press for Privacy" and "Rupert Murdoch Found Dead Next to Bloody Glove."

"Get out!" laughed Dateline: Hollywood creator Ben Fritz when we told him his fake news made the real news. The former political writer -- a recent transplant from Adams Morgan to L.A. -- said this wasn't the first time the site's satire cut too close to the bone.

"Last year we had an article about how Pat Robertson said Katrina happened because they picked Ellen DeGeneres to host the Emmys."

No, of course he never said that, but "a lot of people thought that was real."

HEY, ISN'T THAT . . . ?

Laura Bush doing some Christmas shopping at Brooks Brothers Saturday morning. The first lady and a handful of pals dropped by the Connecticut Avenue store, where she picked up ( spoiler alert, Mr. President!) cashmere sweaters and socks -- just before D.C.'s tax-free shopping week came to a close.

John McCain scarfing down a two-pound lobster. The former Navy pilot attended the Army-Navy game in Philly Saturday, then celebrated Navy's 26-14 victory at the Old Original Bookbinder's restaurant. Impressive, but still well short of the four-pound crustacean that GOP rival George Pataki tackled at the Palm earlier this fall.

David Gregory buying a cartful of Jell-O pudding snacks in the Cleveland Park Giant on Sunday. The NBC White House correspondent's 4-year-old son knocked out a tooth on the playground, and his doting dad was loading up soft-food treats.

QUOTE

"I don't usually write speeches, because, well, probably I'm not good with dialogue. . . . I knew I was getting old. I didn't know I was going to be with the dinosaurs so soon. . . . You remember the Tin Man before he got his oil? That's me in the morning."

-- Sylvester Stallone, 60, presenting his "Rocky" boxing gloves, shorts, hat and shoes to the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History yesterday with a little bit of stand-up. Yo, take Adrian -- please!

View all comments that have been posted about this article.

© 2006 The Washington Post Company