- The Washington Times - Monday, September 21, 2009

This past weekend, the buzz around town centered on the fact that cameras for the much anticipated but highly secretive Bravo series “The Real Housewives of DC” are already rolling — and doing so in broad daylight.

On Saturday, the lady spies were down on the Mall for the America’s Polo Cup Fall Classic, where we stumbled upon several cameras trailing potential housewife Michaele Salahi, a statuesque blonde and former Redskins cheerleader — who along with her husband, Tareq, organized the event. However, Mrs. Salahi and other rumored members of the cast are remaining coy about their involvement with the show until the cable network makes an official announcement .

When G2 asked Mrs. Salahi why the cameras were recording her every move, she explained that they were there for America’s Polo Cup to document the day.

Later in the evening, we caught up with her, Mr. Salahi, and her entertainment lawyer Paul W. Gardner going into Eye Bar in Northwest — sans cameras — but with many gawkers in their wake.

“We can’t confirm or deny the rumors,” Mr. Gardner told us cryptically.

Mrs. Salahi again explained that as far as she was concerned the camera crew we saw was for “America’s Polo Cup, but I know the show and I love it.”

While we’re on the subject of cameras, we saw none other than former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott at the match clicking away on his iPhone.

Is he a polo fan? “I hadn’t been to a polo match my whole life until my son started playing.”

The proud “polo dad” was taking photographs of his son Chet, an avid equestrian,who works with the former Mississippi Republican at his lobbying practice.

The younger Mr. Lott was playing for the United States team, which bested team India in the last 30 seconds to secure a victory.

Last but certainly not least, R&B sensation and D.C. native Mya helped round out the day by performing on the Mall for the guests. She was scheduled to make an appearance at Eye Bar with the Salahi’s late Saturday night, but left many young fans disappointed.

Super Schlafly

While Mya was wrapping her performance on the Mall late Saturday afternoon, another party was just getting started across town at the Omni Shoreham Hotel. The Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit Faith, Family, and Freedom Gala was the culmination of a weekend of events hosted by the Christian right nonprofit organization.

We saw lots of spirited partygoers at the gala’s pre-reception, including The Washington Times’ Ralph Hallow. But, alas, there were no spirits. FRC head Tony Perkins explained that it’s a policy of the ultra-conservative group not to serve alcoholic beverages at their soirees.

Needless to say, the hotel bar was well patronized throughout the evening.

In fact, at one point during his remarks at the gala, Mr. Perkins tripped over his words slightly, prompting him to joke, “I must have had too much water.”

He may have made light of the absence of libations, but one thing he and his staff were serious (and we mean serious) about was event security. Several guards stood watch at the main entrance into the ballroom for the gala, checking tickets and questioning would-be gate-crashers.

Mr. Perkins told G2 that because of the FRC’s controversial reputation, “we get threatened, and events like this can bring out crazy people. My background was in the police, so we have a good team in place.”

Apparently so.

One of the summit’s attendees informed us that when Fox News Channel anchor Bill O’Reilly spoke on Friday evening, a heckler with a bullhorn was “grabbed by the neck by security and pulled out before he could get out a full sentence.”

The purpose of the gala was to honor the “first lady of conservatism,” Phyllis Schlafly, author of the 1964 best-seller “A Choice, Not an Echo.” She is also credited with leading the grass-roots campaign that defeated the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s.

Now 85, Mrs. Schlafly rocked a “Nancy Reagan red” ball gown, adorning it with a necklace of coinlike charms. When asked about her unique accessory, Mrs. Schlafly told G2 “the necklace is the story of my life. It has insignia from the Illinois Federation of Republican Women, from Stop ERA, from my pro-life work, from work for Reagan, and many other things.

“Also, the bullet represents my working my way through college firing and testing .30- and .50-caliber ammunition.”

She may pack heat, but apparently does not follow pop culture. When asked about her favorite Emmy nominees, Mrs. Schlafly replied, “I’m not a moviegoer.”

Well, the Emmys honor television, Mrs. S. But that’s OK. It was your big night, so we’ll let this one pass.

Supermodels, etc.

Also in town this weekend: supermodel and Youth AIDS ambassador Frederique Van der Wal and “Project Runway’s‘ Tim Gunn.

The two fashion gurus hosted fashion shows at Tysons Galleria as part of All Access: Fashion, a three-day style extravaganza benefit for Youth Aids.

Wearing a flirty dress that showed off the gams that made her a Victoria’s Secret and Sports Illustrated dream girl in the 1980s, the Dutch-born Miss Van Der Wal told us that although she’s not able to vote due to her green card status, she still follows Washington politics closely for the benefit of her American-born daughter, now 9 years old.

She also recounted her trip to the White House during the Bush administration as she easily mingled with well-wishers at the mall.

“Let’s all move up, so we have better light. See I know about lighting,” she joked while agreeing to pose for a group photo with fans.


He may not be a supermodel, but he certainly knows how to work a crowd with style thanks to his newfound notoriety.

On Thursday , we ran into Rep. Joe Wilson, South Carolina Republican, at the opening of the new Kurdistan Regional Headquarters in Northwest. Donning one of his South Carolina palmetto tree ties, the quirky legislator was rebuked by his colleagues for his outburst during the president’s congressional address on Sept. 9. But at Thursday’s event, he was treated like a rock star.

Mr. Wilson waded through the crowd glad-handing, passing out business cards to any and everybody (including the wait staff). And we even witnessed him whipping out his wallet to an amused guest to show off pics of his family.

Could he be the next A-list on the scene? He’d certainly add some variety to the typical cocktail reception.

To contact Stephanie Green or Elizabeth Glover, e-mail undercover@washingtontimes.com.

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