News & Politics

Washingtonian Today: DC Somehow Manages to Be More Shut Down

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.

Happy snow day Monday. The federal offices in DC not already closed by the shutdown are closed by snow. Over the weekend, residents had snowball fights on the Mall, went sledding in front of the Capitol, and Melania Trump even shared some snow day pics from the White House. President Trump even took a break from mocking Jeff Bezos and Elizabeth Warren to share a near poetic observation: “Wish I could share with everyone the beauty and majesty of being in the White House and looking outside at the snow filled lawns and Rose Garden. Really is something – SPECIAL COUNTRY, SPECIAL PLACE!” I have to admit, he has a point.

The Mooch is loose: Anthony Scaramucci will be the second former White House official to live in the Celebrity Big Brother house. The onetime communications director joins the ranks of Omarosa Manigault-Newman, who received the “villain edit”; it’s less likely that the bombastic Mooch will get the “evil guy in the house” shake from CBS editors, but I’m curious then what his storyline will be. I’m also on edge to see what, if any, actual news he could make from inside that house. It was in that house that Omarosa truly began her anti-Trump publicity tour, at the time telling housemate Ross Matthews that “we’re not going to be all right” with her former employer at the helm of the country. Whatever is about to happen, he’s truly squeezing all the juice out of that 11 day-employment lemon.

Hello, I’m your author, Brittany ShepherdEmail me with comments or questions and follow me on Twitter. Sign up for this newsletter here.

It’s Winter Restaurant Week. We’ve got a list of the best new restaurants to check out, as well as the best brunches. And from 2015, but still relevant, here are Anna Spiegel‘s tips for getting the most out of Restaurant Week.

In case you missed it: Stormy Daniels and Michael Avenatti (remember him?) plan to attend Michael Cohen‘s Capitol Hill testimony next month.

Let me just get this out of the way now: there is no excuse for CBS News to not hire black reporters to embed with 2020 presidential campaigns. There are plenty of eager candidates for entry and mid-level reporting jobs; young journalists who are willing to go on the road and spurn any kind of consistency in their lives all in the name of news gathering. Political bureaus don’t have to look far—Howard, Georgetown, GWU, Catholic, Gallaudet, and American are all 15-minute Uber rides from the network offices. Not only is this an HR oversight, but the lack of diversity will weaken the reporting. The same thing happens in any other mostly white press corps, a point I raised back on October.

What we have cooking at Washingtonian:

Our pick for things to do around town:

BOOKS Author and journalist Nicole Chung will be at One More Page Books to discuss her memoir All You Can Ever Know with fellow journalist Melody Schreiber. Chung reflects on the challenges of being a transracial adoptee, her journey to find her own identity as an Asian-American, her search for her birth parents and the truth of her origin, and the family secrets she uncovered throughout the process, all coinciding with the birth of her own child. Free, 7 PM.

Good reads:

White supremacist Richard Spencer‘s violence is everywhere, including his own home: his wife claims he abused her.  (HuffPost)

Why are conservative men obsessed with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez? A neuroscientist says it has something to do with fear, and I bet it has a lot to do with a lot more. (HuffPost)

Big events from Washingtonian

You’re engaged?! Celebrate with us at Love Unveiled, the ultimate wedding showcase for all couples on January 27 at Mandarin Oriental, Washington DC. Visit for tickets before it sells out!


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.