The Washington Post

Reliable Source turns 22 today

The Reliable Source column debuted 22 years ago today. (Though we swear it doesn’t look a day over 20).

Lois Romano, the reporter who penned it and is now a senior political reporter for Politico, recalls “jittery editors” worried about the launch. “The natural concern was whether we could pull off a column that was edgy but accurate.”

She credited generous colleagues — and rich subject matter like Hillary Clinton’s hair —  for making it a go.

The debut column featured some enduring subjects —  a Superbowl-bound Redskins team (sigh), Danny Glover coming off “a string of hot films”  (hey, we wrote last week about the actor’s Washington connections!) and a certain former D.C. mayor printing business cards during his prison stay that read “Marion S. Barry, Jr., Political Prisoner.”

And the inaugural Reliable Source included a birth notice:  Georgia May Ayeesha Jagger, born to model Jerry Hall and rocker Mick Jagger. Georgia’s all grown up, and now a model– you can spot her on the  cover of British Vogue this month.

Kids — and gossip columns — grow up so fast.

First Reliable Source Column


Emily Heil is the co-author of the Reliable Source and previously helped pen the In the Loop column with Al Kamen.



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Emily Heil · January 12, 2014

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