News & Politics

Washingtonian Today: Nats Insult Bryce Harper, Then Lose

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, and welcome to Wednesday. Last night the White House was lighted blue to bring awareness to World Autism Day. While a written statement from the Trump Administration celebrated those with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Trump’s budget calls for cutting all funding to Department of Health & Human Services autism programs. And the President himself has fanned the flames of conspiracy theories linking vaccines and the developmental disorder. Back in 2014, Trump tweeted: “Healthy young child goes to doctor, gets pumped with massive shot of many vaccines, doesn’t feel good and changes – AUTISM. Many such cases!” This assertion has been routinely debunked, even by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Harper strikes out on fan loyalty: While I don’t know a ton about sports, I surely know my way around shade. It felt quite cloudy over on the Nationals’ Twitter page last night, where the team dunked on Bryce Harper“thank u, next,” his old team tweeted; “yo homes, smell ya later.” The Philadelphia Phillies defeated the Washington Nationals 8-2, thanks in part to a two-run homer from Harper. Anyway, it’s probably OK to boo Harper during this afternoon’s game. Just make sure you and your friends get your insult T-shirts in the right order.

Washingtonian‘s Adia Robinson attended a Citi Open press event yesterday. Here’s her dispatch:

Mark Ein announced that he would take over management of the Citi Open at a press conference on Wednesday, an event that also included Mayor Muriel Bowser, Councilmember Brandon Todd, and local tennis players Denis Kudla and Frances Tiafoe. While the event mostly focused on tennis, former Nats star Bryce Harper’s return to DC in a Phillies uniform came up. During a short Q&A with sportscaster Brett Haber, Kudla said “I think I’m going to go with the boo.” When Haber turned the question on Bowser, the mayor demurred. When asked why she tweeted and deleted a photo that called Harper a Benedict Arnold, Bowser said she didn’t approve of the tweet.

Hi, it’s Brittany again. I’m glad to be back in your inboxes. A big thank you to Andrew for writing a great newsletter yesterday. You should follow him on Twitter to show your thanks—he is extremely online and knows about memes. I spent some time back home in New York with my family, actively avoiding a news cycle about expensive airport croissants. As someone who spends far too much time at Penn Station Hudson News shoppes, pre-train snack prices border on outrageous. AOC may have a point. Kaila Philo ( contributed reporting today.

Justin Fairfax update: The Virginia state legislature announced that won’t hold hearings to investigate allegations that Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax sexually assaulted two women. House Speaker Kirk Cox, a Republican, says Democrats in the House of Delegates won’t allow one to go forward. (Reminder: we are still not clear about that photo on Governor Ralph Northam‘s yearbook page.)

What we have cooking at Washingtonian:

  • Outgoing National Gallery of Art curator Earl “Rusty” Powell lets us know that sex appeal really isn’t a factor in building renovations. He let us in on some non-sex related anecdotes too.
  • Cherries are the official fruit of the District, but why? Food editor Anna Spiegel unties the knot of rumors and lies around DC cherries.
  • Boutique boxing gym Rumble is coming to Washington. But is it passé to attend group classes now, when most bougie workouts can be done from home?
  • Meet a couple who got married at the National Cathedral hours after John McCain‘s funeral—McCain’s family donated some floral arrangements.
  • This Tidal Basin engagement photo shoot proves true love means braving thousands of tourists.
  • The Kennedy Center will debut an opera about police brutality next year. It plans to tell stories from the perspectives of African American and police communities.

Our picks for things to do around town:

DANCE The Washington Ballet brings Three World Premieres to the Shakespeare Theatre’s Sydney Harman Hall. These works–choreographed by former San Francisco Ballet soloist Dana Genshaft, American Ballet Theatre star Ethan Stiefel, and ballet choreographer Trey McIntyre–are set to music by Kennedy Center Artist-in-Residence Mason Bates, the Danish String Quartet, and Johann Strauss, showing the Washington Ballet closing out its season with dedication to developing original works. Through April 7. $25-$100.

Good reads:

The New York Times Magazine’s months-long investigation into the Murdoch family will be worth the time it takes to sift through the entire thing, I bet. But if you don’t have the time right now, here are six big takeaways. Save the big read for lunch. (New York Times)

Remembering Matt Wixon, co-owner of Capitol Hill Books and fan of obscure dictionaries. (DCist)

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.