Friday, June 16, 2000
11 a.m. EDT
Got a rumor to dispel or confirm? Looking for dirt on your favorite or most-hated Washington celebrity? Ask Lloyd Grove, "The Reliable Source" columnist, who's live online today.
Grove, a 20-year veteran of The Washington Post, took over The Reliable Source column in the Style section in May 1999.
Grove grew up in Los Angeles and Greenwich, Connecticut. He was an English major at Yale and
worked for the Kansas City Times (now defunct, we think), the Corpus
Christi Caller-Times and the Dallas Morning News before joining the Post on
the Weekend section, where for a few years he reviewed practically every live
theater show that opened in D.C., including a few in church basements.
From there, he joined Style as a general assignment writer with a special
interest in politics, and spent a year and a half covering the 1988
presidential campaign for the National staff. In 1991 - after an ill-advised book leave - he returned to
Style and served as a political reporter, with occasional detours into
television and movie coverage. He also has written extensively for Vanity
Below is a transcript of today's discussion.
Lloyd Grove: Good morning, people. Looks like you've got something on your minds, so let's get to it.
Monterey County, CA (recently departed DC):
I submit this now because I will be working
on Friday and will probably forget
tomorrow...can you please ask your LA
colleague (Sharon Wexler?) to let her
entertainment news friends know that Capitol
Hill DOES NOT refer to all of D.C.? I
noticed this on Access Hollywood one night,
and again in US Weekly, both in references to
the show "Wes
Lloyd Grove: You are absolutely right, and I will certainly alert Sharon Waxman that her friends in the entertainment industry--you know, the ones who work in Sunset Blvd.-- are complete idiots. Capitol Hill is merely a neighborhood of D.C., if we're speaking geographically, and refers to the Congress politically. CAN YOU GET THAT THROUGH YOUR DITZY SKULLS YOU MOVIE PEOPLE YOU?
What is going on with Barbara Harrison? I find that she is stumbling on her words more and more frequently. It's almost painful to watch her. I usually catch the news in the morning while I'm getting ready for work. Last week, I happened to be home for several days and watched the extended broadcasts, so maybe I just noticed it more.
Lloyd Grove: Well, it is very early in the morning, and I can't say I'm at my most articulate and alert either. But Barbara should be used to it, by now. Maybe she should spike her caffeine intake.
Why are you complaining about having to miss a shower or two during the filming of "Blair Witch" when that IS the reason you haven gotten where you are now?
Lloyd Grove: I think Ms. Donahue's complaint was light hearted. FYI, while she was missing those showers, she was making a movie that earned her millions of dollars (she had an equity stake in the project). I'd be willing to miss many a shower for such a return, consequences be damned.
Howdy. Diana Ross and the "kinda" Supremes: a friend told me that tickets for a show in Pittsburgh, originally 75 bucks have been dropped to 17.00 and they STILL can't sell out. Is Mary Wilson smiling somewhere?
Lloyd Grove: I have a feeling that this information will Make Mary Wilson very very happy. Wonder how her own concert tour appearances are doing.
How long is Jimmy Buffet gonna play the same old songs every year to drink too? Why do people continue to kill their brain cells over this guy?
Lloyd Grove: Does drinking kill brain cells? Oh. I better cut down, then. I guess Jimmy Buffet still speaks to people of a certain age, and his distant cousin is Warren Buffet, the billionaire financial genius, so not all Buffets are bad for the brain.
Based on your keen reporting skills and total knowledge of the gossip/social scene, who are the three most eligible women in the D.C. area? The three most eligible men?
Lloyd Grove: Bachelors: Gene Sperling. Jon Ledecky. Michael Saylor (there I go, trying to raise the value of my MicroStrategy stock again). Bachelorettes: Laura Ingraham, Carol Joynt, and um, having trouble coming up with a third. I invite you all to help with this perhaps lame list.
I have to agree with Annapolis about Barbara Harrison. I find myself watching other news channels until the Today show comes on because it really is painful. This morning was refreshing with Mary Alice Salinas...hint, hint, maybe it is time for a permanent replacement....
Lloyd Grove: Barbara, if you're reading this, or if you have friends and supporters, who are, NOW would be a good time to write in with a stout defense.
The West Wing refers to all of DC as Capitol Hill? That's funny, considering that the actual West Wing is not located in Capitol Hill at all.
My personal fave is the fliers that local business send out that spell it "Capital Hill."
CH Resident (but McLean workday toiler)
Lloyd Grove: These people ought to be rounded up and herded into a Newt Gingrich speech!
So what can you tell us about channel 9's cutie weatherman Steve Rudin? I can't tell you how excited I was when he moved from weekends to the morning news!! Thanks!!
Lloyd Grove: This is the first in a series of questions about local TV personalities that make me think there must be some very steamy goings on on some of our network affiliates and O&Os; I'm afraid I am trying to get some outside help on the answers and if I can, I'll let you have the benefit for the wisdom.
Do you have any information about Alexandra Steele, the weather person on WJLA? I think she could give Wendy Reiger a run for her money as woman who I'd like to be with on a desert island.
Lloyd Grove: hmmmm.
Are Alexandra Steele and Carol Costello going out or what?
Lloyd Grove: see what I mean?
Excuse me, but Laura Ingraham is single because she's nasty and meanspirited with a voice that could shatter glass. Get over it, Lloyd.
Lloyd Grove: Ok, ok. Can you share with us why you harbor these thoughts?
Nice item this week on Bonnie Erbe's disclosure re: upcoming plastic surgery.
Good for her. Perhaps it will deter the
right-wing she-devils from trashing
Erbe on and on and on...Why can't these
people learn to let go of their petty
Lloyd Grove: Quite a cosmic question, and I won't pretend I know the answer. By the way, as a result of our item, Bonnie was invited on the "View" to discuss her impending plastic surgery. Think she'll be on next week. On another matter, I am hearing that Steve Rudin is single. So maybe I should put him on my list of bachelors!
Local news, no matter the locality, is the most pointless thirty minutes on television. "The Real World" has more intellectual meat than local news, watching a bunch of journalists act chummy behind a desk. Why am I the only person that sees this, Lloyd?
Lloyd Grove: Because you are an authentic visionary, a prophet without honor in his own country!
Have any scoop on the plot, actors in, or filming of the "Blair Witch Project" sequel?
Lloyd Grove: Other than I wish they wouldn't do it, no. Seems to me that was a one-time only success, but what do I know?
There you go again, Lloyd, flacking for your
"good friend" (whatever that means)
Carol Joynt. What is it with this woman?
So she owns a bar. And is a super pal with
the Washington media crowd. Be discreet, and
Lloyd Grove: It was Carol Joynt who steered me to my MicroStrategy stock purchase, so I am forever grateful to her.
Is "Hannibal" shooting in town? If so, when (or have they come and gone now?)
Lloyd Grove: I haven't heard anything beyond what we reported last week, that they were filming a chase scene at Union Station last Sunday and Monday with 300 extras and Anthony Hopkins.
I agree with those comments about Barbara Harrison, it is painful to watch. Someone else who does that same thing is Debbi Jarvis. Thank God, she went on early maternity leave. Neither one of them are the brightest bulb in the chandelier!!!!
PS I love these chats........
Lloyd Grove: Thank you very much. (Though I'm not sure what Barbara or Debbi would say.)
Disturbing development on NPR this morning: apparently our friends at the New York Times, who are jealous of John Philip Sousa's "Washington Post March," are about to debut their own march, something called the "New York Times Color March." The clip that NPR played sounded like incidental Christmas music. Do you have anyone standing by, ready to ridicule the Times?
Lloyd Grove: Not yet, but I will put my best people on it!
I understand that Coelho resigned for reasons of health, but if he were offered some sort of position in a Gore administration do you think he would be interested and able to serve?
Lloyd Grove: I don't think that's going to happen. I think it's possible that Coelho's health concerns were a face-saving way of separating from the Gore campaign, something I believe he was bound to do soon in any event. The man is being investigated by the State Department for some sort of financial irregularities and he has a history of ethically edgy behavior that, you will remember, forced him out of his House seat years ago. In other words, a big fat juicy target for the Bush campaign--now removed.
To both you, Lloyd, and the Jimmy Buffet guy, maybe a quote from Lou Reed is appropriate: "They say that drinking kills the cells in your head/But for that matter, so does getting out of bed...
Lloyd Grove: And how could any of us be eloquent than that. Speaking of Lou Reed, I remember that 31 years ago he played a high school assembly at Beverly Hills High School, where I was a 9th grader, and he and his Velvet Underground justed blasted out the place. When the school psychiatrist--yes, they had one of those in Beverly Hills, natch--warned that studies had shown that rock music had caused hearing deficits in hamsters, Reed replied "When we play for hamsters, we will turn the volume down."
How about Maureen Dowd for your third most eligible?
Lloyd Grove: A very good addition.
In her autobiography, Katharine Graham notes that newsroom people didn't used to make appearances until around 10 a.m. Is this still the case?
Lloyd Grove: And those are the early birds.
Talking about newscasters who mess up. How about the sportscaster on FOX Chic Corea (spelling?) he's terrible.
Lloyd Grove: Sorry to hear it. Isn't Chick Corea a musician?
So what's going on with Monica in the big city now. No matter what anybody said or says about her I think she has proven what a stable well-adjusted strong person she is. In light of the hurricane surrounding her she seems to have built a new normal life for herself in ny without falling into the alcohol/drug or depressive abyss that so many celebrities fall into. What's she doing now and I read that she will never have to worry about money due to her step father and what does the so called "society" community think of her, she's okay or she's persona non-grata?
Lloyd Grove: Monica Lewinsky, role model! I read reports that she's often spotted in Soho talking very loudly on her cell phone as she walks, and she shows up at a lot of fashionable cocktail parties. We reported the other day that at a Henri bendel benefit in Manhattan she found our fellow gossip Jeanette Walls and dressed her down for some reporting she did on Monica's love life. So maybe Miss Lewinsky has a future on the faculty of the Columbia University School of Journalism!
Lloyd: I have to jump on the bandwagon and agree with previous writers about barbara harrison. I watch channel 4 in the mornings and have noticed that not only can't she read copy placed in front of her, but she doesn't seem to be able to ad lib anything. It makes it appear as if she is unaware of what is going on the world around her. I have also noticed that her attitude towards Margaret Pressler seems to be cool at best.
Lloyd Grove: Cat fight Cat fight! Sounds exciting, though I must say I'm a huge fan of Margaret's business segment on Channel 4. On another lingering issue, let me say that my information on Alexandra Steele and Carol Costello is that they are both single. All I know. Don't ask me any more about them. Ever. Got it?
Has your friend Carol Joynt had plastic
surgery? Has her nanny?
Lloyd Grove: I could tell you that carol joynt had plastic surgery performed on her by her nanny, but that would be wrong!
okay, so what was it, the real 'N Sync or a bunch of Millie Vanillies? at the Bat Mitzvah. You left me hanging, and now it's an accepted fact in Time mag....
Lloyd Grove: Yeah it was the real deal. I'm sorry to have left you confused. The reason I was quoting the arrogant lying rock group spokesman, was to make her accountable for her arrogant lying--not to question whether 'N Sync was at rachel colburn's bat mitzvah.
How about that Holmes woman for the eligible list?
Lloyd Grove: How about it?
Is Margaret Webb Pressler the Margaret Webb who grew up on Highland Street in Cleveland Park? Great to see a local do well at the Post and on TV!
Lloyd Grove: It's entirely possible but I'm afraid I can't reach Margaret at the moment to ask her because I'm doing this from home and my cell phone ain't working. But if so, I agree with you that it is great to see a local do well.
Any more insight into the recent Goo Goo Dolls incident? I understand that Jimmy Buffet will soon be opening for them.
Lloyd Grove: I believe we had a definitive discussion about the Goo Goo dolls a couple of Fridays ago. Essentially the rowdy crowd was throwing stuff, somebody's shoe landed near the lead guitarist and the group left the stage after doing a 10-song set. Working from memory, but I think that was it.
Come on Lloyd! You're getting soft! Let's get back to the plastic surgery question! Give us some real dish on the goings-on in the plastic surgery circles. Name names. Isn't this what you're paid to do?
Actually, I don't mean to be too harsh but I consider myself obsessed with following who has had what done where and by whom.
Lloyd Grove: Getting soft, huh? Wait till you see my new lipo-suctioned hard-body! I have no definitive list of plastic surgery customers but my favorite fact is that Sen. Arlen Specter has had at least one, and possibly two, face lifts. And what a difference it has made!
So no more info on Steve except for that he's single??
Lloyd Grove: Steve is a Michigan guy and was on TV in Madison, Wisc., and Toledo, Ohio, as a meteorologist before coming to Channel 9 in 1995. By the way, my associate Beth Berselli remembers that margaret pressler did tell her that she grew up in Cleveland Park.
I know you said quit it but how can Alexandra Steele and Carol Costello have lives when they are on the news all day long. Alexandra starts before 5am and doesn't end until 6pm and with all of the work behind the scenes, she's got a pretty hectic life that isn't very appealing to men.
Lloyd Grove: Well, you're ok by me, because that's a statement, not a question. I'm not sure that women who have busy work lives aren't appealing to men. I, for one, appreciate that in a woman. Just as long as she gives me dinner on time! (just kidding, for goodness sakes.)
I think it's Chick Hernandez.
And the Velvet Underground played your high school? Wow, that tops the Violent Femmes playing my college graduation any day!
Lloyd Grove: It was a pretty freaky occasion, orchestrated by Senior Class President and BMOC Mickey kaus, who is now a hugely influential welfare expert and cyber pundit, with his own web site, kausfiles.com.
Speaking of newscasters...how about Shari Macias...
Lloyd Grove: oh Behave!
What about Marlena Cooke? Should you add her to your 3 most available women in DC? She hasn't made your column lately, what young man is on her arm these days?
Lloyd Grove: Good thought. We must check in with Marlene.
Am I the only one who notices the way Alexandra Steele continually leans to her right during her broadcasts?
Lloyd Grove: Yes. I'm afraid so. Have you thought of consulting a physician?
Riggo? Still drinkin' and hustlin' babes after all these years?
Lloyd Grove: God bless him, if he is. I see him doing sports commentary on George Michael's show and I find him amusing, so I hope he's happy. But we should check in with him, too!
So Lloyd did you just get out of bed and start your day? Must be nice to work from home.
Lloyd Grove: Actually I've been up for hours, but I'll be in the office soon, if you must know. (Do I sound defensive?)
I feel justified in knowing that others share my disdain for Barbara Harrison's reporting. I particularly enjoy watching the daily pre-"Today Show" segments where Barbara and pal talk to Matt or Katie about what's upcoming . . . Matt and Katie always look like they're dying to get away from Ms. Chatty Cathy. Channel 4, are you listening?
Lloyd Grove: In Barbara's defense, she and Katie are actually close friends and I know that when they're not chatting on the air, they're often on the phone to each other off the air. They worked together when katie was a street reporter at WRC.
Can you confirm the old rumor that the First Lady had plastic surgery?
Lloyd Grove: I can't confirm, but I have read it and had it pointed out to me. Do we think she looks relaxed and rested and ready?
Chevy Chase, MD:
Is Britney Spears really going to be in Playboy?
Lloyd Grove: Well if she is, I hope it's not for the Playboy Interview. Listening to her talk, I want to, like, stuff a chloroformed rag into her mouth, knowhutImean? On that happy note, I want to thank everybody who participated, including those of you who sent in comments that were fascinating but probably actionable (so I didn't post them). Hope to see you all here next Friday at 11 .a.m. Have a great weekend. Bye.
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