Smile for the Barbie-Cam!

By Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Friday, November 16, 2007

Tim Russert was posing for photos with NBC brass at the "Meet the Press" 60th-anniversary party Wednesday night when a young woman sidled into the frame. "Can you get my picture with them?" she asked, handing us her camera: a pink-and-green plastic Barbie Polaroid.

Why, of course. We took aim as the tall strawberry blonde in a little black dress tried to herd the network pooh-bahs into place ("Come on back in! One more!"), but Russert, NBC prez Jeff Zucker and NBC News chief Steve Capus kind of acted like they heard their mothers calling them, and quickly dispersed.

The woman was Liz Glover -- Capitol Hill yoga teacher, videorazza for the political blog Wonkette, and younger sister of Republican lobbyist/leading-Washington-hostess-of-her-generation Juleanna Glover -- and she often has this problem with the pink-and-green plastic Barbie Polaroid. "People are sort of scared of it," she told us. "They think it might be a weapon."

Washington types, anyway. "New York and L.A. people love it," she said. At Fashion Week in N.Y.C., Serena Williams, Anna Wintour and Vincent Gallo happily posed for her, Glover said. And at last month's Hispanic Heritage Awards in D.C., "Benjamin Bratt saw the Barbie Polaroid and he took it out of my hands, and he held it up onstage and said, 'Ladies and gentleman, a Barbie Polaroid.' "

Glover got it on eBay, if you were wondering. "Polaroids are so fun because it's instant gratification." Aren't digicams, too? Sure, but "everyone Photoshops everything now," which ruins everything.

The other problem with the pink-and-green plastic Barbie Polaroid? "In D.C., no one wants to take the picture for you." Good thing she ran into us.

HEY, ISN'T THAT . . . ?

Matt Lauer lunching at Capitol Hill power spot Charlie Palmer Steak yesterday with two other men and Washington publicist Raymone Bain. Now, which of Bain's celebrity clients might the "Today" anchor be interested in? Could it be Boyz II Men? . . . Babyface? . . . or maybe, whaddya think, Michael Jackson? Totally stumped here. "We discussed a wide range of topics," Bain told us.


Charlie Wilson, the freewheeling former congressman who pushed for the CIA's covert ops in Afghanistan in the '80s, was supposed to headline at last night's D.C. fundraiser for the U-Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. But with the 74-year-old too sick to travel, organizers told us at press time they were planning to tap Tom Hanks, who plays the Texan in the upcoming "Charlie Wilson's War," to take his place in an onstage interview by CBS's Bob Schieffer.

A romantic comedy improbably based on girly self-help book "He's Just Not That Into You" is due to start four days of filming in Baltimore today with Scarlett Johansson, Jennifer Connelly and Kevin Connolly. Among the movie's other stars (though not expected in Charm City): Ben Affleck, Jennifer Aniston and Drew Barrymore.

After Exposure on 'Next Top Model,' Putting Howard on Hold

If D.C. draws the best, brightest, most crazy-ambitious from all over the country, why aren't we producing more reality-TV winners? On "America's Next Top Model" this week, Tyra Banks eliminated Howard University sophomore Ambreal Williams with damning praise: "Maybe she's just this gorgeous girl. . . . Maybe she's not a model."

Williams is glad to have that episode aired and done with. "I'm actually really excited to start working now," she told us. "I've been trying to model since I was 13. This was my big break. The ["ANTM"] title was not for me, but something else is out there for me."

Ambreal Williams
Ambreal Williams wearing recyclable fabric on "America's Next Top Model."(Freddie Reshew - Copyright 2007, Pottle Productions)
Since taping the series, the 20-year-old theater major has been hiding out at home in Cedar Hill, Tex., though she returned to D.C. last month to stomp the catwalk in the Howard homecoming fashion show . . . and will come back to finish school, right? Right? Well, eventually. "Not right now. I want to see how my career takes off."

© 2007 The Washington Post Company