News & Politics

Washingtonian Today: You’ve Got Mail

Jeff Bezos in Washington in September 2018. 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.

Yesterday evening, Jeff Bezos self-published emails from the National Enquirer and its parent company AMI wherein the company threatened to release a “below the belt selfie” (belfie?) and other intimate photos of Bezos purportedly sent between the billionaire and his mistress if Bezos did not rebuke reporting in the Washington Post—the newspaper he owns—and state that the Enquirer’s month-long investigation into the billionaire was not politically motivated. In a confessional? article? blog post? (let’s call it a blog post) on, Bezos names AMI chairman David Pecker—who Ronan Farrow reminds us collaborated with Harvey Weinstein to discredit his accusers—as the source of the blackmail. Yeesh. Kudos to HuffPost for the homepage splash of the week: BEZOS EXPOSES PECKER.

I encourage you all to take the time to read the emails; they speak volumes. As Bezos puts it: “I prefer to stand up, roll this log over, and see what crawls out.” I have a couple offshoot questions: will Bezos serve as his own ombudsman, returning to Medium to clarify controversy or opine about the state of affairs?  What does the word “complexifier” mean?

In other news, today President Trump receives his yearly physical. Looks like he’s been as strict about his diet and exercise regimen as he was about that advice not to stare at the sun: White House spox Hogan Gidley told CNN, “The President received a diet and exercise plan last year after his annual physical, but the President admits he has not followed it religiously.” CNN additionally reports that nearly a dozen members of White House staff say the President has neglected to use the on-site exercise facility.  Now, that’s one thing I can really empathize with. The appointment will take place at Bethesda area hospital Walter Reed.

Good Friday morning! The weekend is just around the corner. We’re so close. I’m your author, Brittany Shepherd. Email me at (please, I don’t bite!) and follow me on Twitter. Sign your office BFF (or maybe your office enemy!) up for this newsletter here.

In case you missed it: The Music Man opened last night! Rosie O’Donnell is in it! Stormy Daniels saw it! The two hung out together!

Our food critic, Ann Limpert, will chat with readers at 11 AM today. It’s always a fun discussion–read last week’s transcript here! I love asking Ann about last-minute places to check out for the weekends. 

What we have cooking at Washingtonian:

Our pick for things to do around town:

THEATER The Heiress, which opens on Friday at the Arena Stage, is a play inspired by the Henry James novel Washington Square. A woman from a wealthy family falls for a dashing suitor whose sincerity she trusts. Once betrayed, though, she must find her own path to strength and independence. Through March 10. $41-$115.

Good reads:

Here’s a name I bet you haven’t thought of in a long time: Stephanie Winston WolkoffVanity Fair’s Emily Jane Fox does a juicy curtain pull on the much fussed about Trump inauguration, and how Wolkoff, the point woman for the main event, is now of interest to federal investigators.

Big events from Washingtonian:

Listen up, Washies (yes, I have a nickname for you): Washingtonian is starting a new interview series, and I’m going to host the first one!!!!! Join me and Brad Jenkins, a veteran of both the Obama administration and Funny or Die’s DC office, for a discussion on what it’s like to work in the White House, how Americans get their information, how to make policy entertaining, and more! Listen: The bar will be open open, the laughs will be plentiful, and I’ll probably sing and dance for you guys or something. This is a great opportunity to mingle with folks in the know. Plus you get to meet me, which is often times a memorable experience. It’s happening on February 27. Get tickets here.


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.