News & Politics

Washington Today: Rihanna Is Fighting With Donald Trump Online

Photograph by Evy Mages

About Washingtonian Today

Washingtonian Today is not just another political news roundup. Instead, this daily morning brief provides local context on national news, catches you up on what’s happening at Washingtonian, points you toward super duper awesome things to do around town, and lets you in on some special events going on in-house. Sign up here to receive Washingtonian Today in your inbox every morning.

Good morning! Rihanna is mad at President Trump for playing “Don’t Stop the Music” at his Chattanooga rally last night.

She’s the latest in a string of artists displeased with the Donald’s playlist during official events. But can artists really sue a politician over using their songs and win? The long answer is pretty complicated. The short answer? It’s unlikely.

Meanwhile, celebrities are pouring money into tomorrow’s election at record numbers. According to USA Today, Seth McFarlane donated $2 million to Democratic group Senate Majority PAC; Yeardley Smith of The Simpsons donated over $200,000 to the Human Rights Campaign Equality Votes super PAC. Peyton Manning, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Jane Fonda are among a long list of others getting involved in midterm efforts. Even vocal Trump-fan and custom MAGA-hat creator Kanye West cut a six-figure check for a progressive mayoral candidate in Chicago.

(Reminder: It’s important to have a basic literacy about pop-culture during a Trump presidency.)

SOMETHING YOU KNOW: There’s a pretty big national election happening tomorrow.

SOMETHING YOU MAY HAVE MISSED: One DC Council race is heating up, too. At-large councilmember Elissa Silverman is facing a tough challenge from Dionne Reeder, in part, as Fenit Nirappil and Paul Schwartzman report, because Silverman has been slow to build grass-roots support.

And now for something completely different:

The Tenleytown Best Buy is closing, via Reddit.

Someone tweeted from the Washington Examiner account this morning that Trump is going to hell.

And…ducks can be sexy, according to a viral New York story about a rare Mandarin duck popping up unexpectedly at New York’s Central Park. After taking a good look at him, I can’t say I disagree.

What we have cooking at Washingtonian:

Our pick for things to do around town:

DISCUSSION If you didn’t get enough true crime stories at this past weekend’s “Death Becomes Us” festival, head over to the Lincoln Theatre, where attorneys David Rudolf from The Staircase and Jerry Buting from Making a Murderer will discuss the prosecutions of Michael Peterson, Steven Avery, and Brendan Dassey. The pair will open the floor to audience questions and will discuss their famous cases. $35, 8 PM.

Good reads:

  • Tim Alberta performs a preliminary post-mortem on Beto O’Rourke‘s campaign. (Politico Magazine)

Big events from Washingtonian

Look, here’s a distraction from midterms coverage: We’re bringing back our series in which locals track the food they eat, the money they spend, and other activities they enjoy over the course of a weekend (we don’t want any trouble with spam filters, so you’ll have to click this link for more details). Email ideas@washingtonian.com or reach out to me directly if you’re interested in learning more and submitting. (And check out some of my fav past submissions.) (PS—JOURNALISTS, YOU CANNOT SUBMIT ONE OF THESE.)

Do you have the cutest dog in Washington? Of course you do. Now prove it.

Let’s drink whiskey together and drown out our stress. Our annual Whiskey & Fine Spirits is Thursday, November 15. Head to Union Market’s Dock 5 for a festive evening of tasting whiskey, bourbon, gin, vodka, rum, tequila, and more. Tickets are selling fast, but you can still score some here. For the loyal Washingtonian Today readers, here’s a 10% discount code just for you: POURITUP

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Staff Writer

Brittany Shepherd covers the societal and cultural scene in political Washington. Before joining Washingtonian as a staff writer in 2018, Brittany was a White House Correspondent for Independent Journal Review. While she has lived in DC for a number of years now, she still yearns for the fresh Long Island bagels of home. Find her on Twitter, often prattling on about Frasier.