- The Washington Times - Monday, September 28, 2009

More wife watch

On Thursday night, we again saw what we think was the filming for the “Real Housewives of Washington, DC” during a party for the new Ted Gibson Salon in Chevy Chase.

But this time there was a new twist in the would-be ruse.

A camera crew was once again trailing Michaele Salahi — whom we saw being filmed this past weekend — and Mary Amons, an old friend of Mrs. Salahi who is most known for starting the District Sample Sale, one of the city’s most well-attended charity events.

Interestingly, guests were asked to provide their telephone numbers and sign a waiver that was several pages long before entering the salon soiree. The person distributing the waivers and collecting signatures explained that we were signing a release for a promotional video for the salon. However, when we talked to Mr. Gibson — who is based in New York and styles the tresses of the likes of Anne Hathaway and Debra Messing — he confirmed that, indeed, the cameras were there for the “Real Housewives” program and that Mrs. Salahi and Mrs. Amons were his clients.

The following day Haley Rothman, Mr. Gibson’s publicist, sent us a press release that read, “Last night, celebrity hair stylist Ted Gibson celebrated the Grand Opening Premiere Party of his brand new salon in Washington, DC! Of course, the new cast of the ‘Real Housewives of DC’ attended with bravo and camera crews to film for the upcoming season.”

According to the press release, “the cast members” at the party included Mrs. Salahi, Mrs. Amons, and Mai Abdo, wife of Jim Abdo of Abdo Development; Lynda Erkiletian, model agency owner and wife of Christopher Reiter; and Lisa Wernick Spies, wife of Republican fundraiser Charlie Spies.

When questioned by G2, Ms. Rothman explained that she was basing her knowledge of the cast off press reports, and not on information from Bravo.

Via e-mail, Bravo’s Rachelle Savoia told us “the show is currently in development, and we have no confirmation on who the cast members will be. We will work with you obviously when we are ready to discuss the show.”

Ms. Rothman and Ms. Savoia had no comment on the waivers.

The queen of talk

The District’s media heavy hitters were out in full force on Thursday night to toast one of their own as National Public Radio’s Diane Rehm celebrated her eponymous talk show’s 30th year.

G2 was there and marveled at the 73-year-old lady of the hour’s spry figure. We couldn’t help but ask how she stays so graceful and lithe. “I think through exercise and good diet — no question,” she said. “I’ve been doing Pilates for years, and my daughter reminds me about how important exercise is. So that’s what I do. I eat well and I exercise.”

As for her most memorable on-air moment?

Ms. Rehm paused thoughtfully and said, “One of my guests who was appearing on live radio for the very first time passed me a note and said, ‘You’ll have to excuse me I have to go to the bathroom,’ and left the studio in the midst of a live interview — a memorable moment I promise you.”

Or perhaps a Maalox moment, we added, given the anxiety it must have sparked.

Also spotted at the stately Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium for the fete: NPR’s Scott Simon and Susan Stamberg, Bloomberg’s Margaret Carlson, Mother Jones’ David Corn and PBS’ Gwen Ifill and Jim Lehrer.


The right notes

It must have been a slow news week, because we also spied Mr. Lehrer stepping out in style Saturday evening, along with a bevy of other black-tied journalists, at the National Symphony Orchestra’s season opener and ball at the Kennedy Center.

Holding court in the grand red hall before the concert began was the tall and dashing “Meet the Press ” host David Gregory, who was surrounded by society photographers and curious symphony attendees.

He seemed to be taking all the attention in stride — but that’s not because he had downed a few to relax himself before heading out on the town.

“I won’t be drinking tonight,” the well-known wine connoisseur volunteered. “I have to get up at 5 in the morning,” he explained. “Sunday nights are the new Saturday nights for me.”

Oh right. He’s got that little Sunday-morning gig.

Mr. Gregory, who attended the event with his wife Beth Wilkinson, also told us that his love of music has taken on a whole new meaning now that his young son has taken up violin lessons.

The poor kid, however, was left at home.

Hey, more time for practicing!

Later, at the symphony’s dinner dance, we spotted the Gregorys in a cozy conversation with many of the high-ranking officials in attendance.

Hmmm … comparing notes on the Chopin concerto or, perhaps, lining up a “Meet the Press” appearance?

We’ll see.

Also seen at the KenCen that night: former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, former chairman of the Federal Reserve Alan Greenspan, Republican Rep. Roy Blunt of Missouri and Afghan Ambassador Said Jawad.

ABC’s of self-promotion

Hadassah Lieberman, wife of Sen. Joe Lieberman, Connecticut independent, was among the glamazons at the 2009 Service to America Medals, known as the “Sammies.” The awards were presented Wednesday evening in the palatial Andrew Mellon Auditorium.

The awards — given to civil servants who accomplish extraordinary things — were emceed by Elizabeth Vargas. The ABC news anchor and wife of musician Marc Cohn donned a black sparkly sheath that was a dead-ringer for the one recently worn by first lady Michelle Obama.

Although Miss Vargas grew up the daughter of a government employee (and clearly was flattered to be hosting the festivities), she kept her priorities straight. While reminding the crowd that they could nominate deserving people for next year’s honors, she quipped, “but please give their stories to ABC News first.”

Cokie Roberts, another ABC News correspondent, was seated not far from Mrs. Lieberman, so we’re sure she appreciated the shout out for the team.

To contact Stephanie Green or Elizabeth Glover, e-mail [email protected]


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