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Plame: Hearing Room Chic

Forget about her testimony. Let's talk about the fashion statement Valerie Plame made today when she went before Congress.

Ex-CIA spy Valerie Plame made a stylish appearance Friday on Capitol Hill. (Getty Images)
SLEUTH BONUS: Can you guess which New York Times reporter that is in the background ogling Plame's "suit."

Plame showed up at the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform decked out in Armani Collezioni. An undercover black-belt fashion consultant, who also knows the outed CIA agent and her husband, Joe Wilson, would bet the farm that Plame was wearing either the 2005 or 2006 collection of Armani, a fetching jacket and pants (even if too newly outdated to qualify as vintage.)

Still, a classy choice. Expensive but not trendy. And made to look elegant on anyone, regardless of pedigree.

And with Plame choosing Armani for her debut to speak out for the first time publicly about her role in Washington's made-for-the-silver-screen scandal, perhaps we can now narrow down the likeliest suspects in Hollywood to play Valerie in the movie.

Let's just start (and end) with Katie Holmes or Victoria Beckham, who clearly have an inside track now to star as Plame in the film Warner Bros. is making about the Plame case.

Both Holmes and Beckham are big fans of Giorgio Armani. Of course, Armani did TomKat's entire wedding ensemble - from Katie's off-the-shoulder gown to hubby Tom Cruise's navy blue tuxedo, as well as the little outfits for Suri, Isabelle and Connor Cruise.

Does Plame's fashion statement sort of remind you of Martha Stewart toting her multi-thousand-dollar Birkin into federal court to face perjury charges?

OK, maybe not. As our black-belt fashion consultant says, "Hermes squeals style. Lanvin and Yves St. Laurent are for collectors. Armani is for the safe shopper looking to seem couture without taking risks, especially the lower-price line which [Valerie's outfit] came from."

We're not exactly sure though what Plame will do with her Armani in New Mexico. As the Sleuth, in a previous incarnation, reported in October of last year, the Wilsons are blowing this pop stand and moving to New Mexico. As the Albuquerque Journal now reports, the famous former CIA agent and her husband, former Mr. Ambassador, are moving into a 4,609-square-foot adobe home overlooking Santa Fe.

By Mary Ann Akers  |  March 16, 2007; 4:33 PM ET
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What was the purpose of this article other than to fill space?

Posted by: Sean M Rochester, NY | March 16, 2007 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Katie Holmes the cultist or Posh Spice. Boy, you seriously dislike Ms. Plame, don't you.

How about Gwyneth Paltrow or Cate Blanchett. Stylish AND intelligent.

Posted by: filmex | March 16, 2007 4:17 PM | Report abuse

And your point....was?

Posted by: Catherine Rome | March 16, 2007 4:18 PM | Report abuse

This writer is an idiot to publish such an article today. Go work for th BBC.

Posted by: What Is | March 16, 2007 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Pointless commentry.......are you paid to write things that are this irrelevant?

Posted by: Chris | March 16, 2007 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Akers, please do not give up your day job. This empty-headed seeming distraction, presumably intended to make fun of the proceedings and undercut the subject of Ms. Plame*s testimony - the White House Staff*s criminal conduct - seems beneath the WaPo. Your article would have been more informative had you covered the Pink Blonde adroitly repositioning herself behind Ms. Plame during her testimony. Her demeanor did not suggest she could read the *Impeach Bush* lettering on her tight T-shirt, much less understand it. Armani, or Rovani?

Posted by: mbbsdphil | March 16, 2007 4:28 PM | Report abuse

You know, if you took Sharon Stone, Meg Ryan, Hillary Clinton, and either of Katie Holmes or "Posh" Beckham (or both with a few spare inches of available space) and packed them all into one of those contraptions from THE FLY (minus the fly, perhaps), what might emerge from the destination pod could very well be a remarkably stunning likeness to Valerie Plame Armani Wilson.

Posted by: Thor | March 16, 2007 4:38 PM | Report abuse

I found this incredibly offensive. This is a highly accomplished woman who put her life on the line as an undercover agent to help our country. No male FBI agent testifying for any reason before congress or any venue would have their attire deconstructed in this manner. I am particularly disappointed that a woman would do so, helping to perpetuate the empty-headed stereotypes that other women (who should be blogging rather than Mary Ann Akers) have fought for so many years to overcom. Please, Washington Post, spare us this drivel.

Posted by: blueskiescc | March 16, 2007 4:40 PM | Report abuse

What she was wearing? You're kidding. I wonder why professional women have trouble being taken seriously. There was some actual news in the hearing, how did this get on the front page of the website? Do I sense an upcoming segment on the Today show?

Posted by: Dan | March 16, 2007 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Poor Mary Anne! Give her a break. She was just having fun. Did it escape notice among readers that she looks like Poor Man's Tina Fey? Even NPR reported today on the striking and glam image Plame made in her testimonial debut. She's been under cover for years -- what a coming out party for her!

Posted by: Matt in Atlanta | March 16, 2007 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Poor Mary Anne! Give her a break. She was just having fun. Did it escape notice among readers that she looks like Poor Man's Tina Fey? Even NPR reported today on the striking and glam image Plame made in her testimonial debut. She's been under cover for years -- what a coming out party for her!

Posted by: Matt in Atlanta | March 16, 2007 4:52 PM | Report abuse

More articles like this! Fashion tops politics any day. Kudos to the woman writer who's not afraid to pretend she can write about serious subjects

Posted by: Martin | March 16, 2007 5:02 PM | Report abuse

The Sleuth should make way for Entertainment Tonight's Mary Hart.
Seriously, where was your editor?

Posted by: BJ in New England | March 16, 2007 5:11 PM | Report abuse

The only thing you can say about Ms. Akers article is that it would be more appropriately placed in a fashion magazine at 7-11 and not the washington post. This is pure cosmetic nonsense and a waste of space that could be more appropriately used to expand on the seriousness of the issue.

Posted by: frank bonas jr | March 16, 2007 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Why is this called 'The Sleuth'? Please, call it a day. And no more "incarnations", either. I'd rather read a mommy blog.

Posted by: Jonathan | March 16, 2007 5:13 PM | Report abuse

What a total waste - especially on a day when there is already too much to properly report - bleargh...

Posted by: FB | March 16, 2007 5:23 PM | Report abuse

correction: I should have written Valerie Plame was CIA covert agent...who thanks to Cheney et al cannot now travel as easily out of the country as Mary Ann Akers can, and should, for a long, long trip. The more I think about this piece the more flabbergasted I am that this type of demeaning distraction is being put forth by a major national newpaper in the 21st century.

Posted by: blueskiescc | March 16, 2007 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Why do you never mention the suits Richard Armitage "wears"?

Posted by: Bartolo | March 16, 2007 5:34 PM | Report abuse

I see. "We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features. "

Unfortunately, that means we have to read this insulting hit-job masquerading as a gossip-column which has as it's purpose...just WHAT, exactly?
This is an important stry. What has happened to this paper!??!
Did Tucker Carleson buy up all the shares?

Posted by: Brad Small | March 16, 2007 5:44 PM | Report abuse

I take it the Sleuth has never been to Santa Fe. Ms. Plame will look positively dowdy in the social circle there and in Taos, trust me.

Posted by: Richard | March 16, 2007 5:46 PM | Report abuse

What,s Armani? What,s Birkin? And who cares? ^^^^^^ Tell me more about the CIA, covert status, the crime of outing our secret agents, and why those who do so are not punished.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 16, 2007 5:46 PM | Report abuse


Do these people not realize they are reading THE SLEUTH? You know, WaPo's LIGHT-HEARTED, gossipy, snarky column? This ain't an A1 news analysis people. It's THE SLEUTH!

Dial down the caffeine, take a deep breath, and lay off Mary Ann. Sheesh,

Posted by: Max | March 16, 2007 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Finally! Someone got it. The real deal with Plame/Wilson is her Armani Collezioni and the Jag convertible. Everything else is obviously beside the point

Posted by: Richard H | March 16, 2007 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Light-hearted may be the goal, but bias is what comes through most clearly. Why do women, from Condi to Valerie Plame, get this treatment? Show me the equivalent articles for men and I'll lay off Mary Ann. Meanwhile, let's talk about how silly these column names are, from The Fix to The Sleuth.

Posted by: BJ in New England | March 16, 2007 6:08 PM | Report abuse

If you are gonna snark about fashion, about that collection of errors in dress and makeup that was The Cranberry Queen, Victoria Toestink?

Posted by: teddy94110 | March 16, 2007 6:09 PM | Report abuse

What a stupid article! The point of it is....???? What happened to Valarie Plame is treason..regardless of what she was wearing.

Posted by: searcher 272 | March 16, 2007 6:15 PM | Report abuse

WOW! I was expecting Mrs. Valery Wilson would show up in her sweats and a baseball cap! Thanks Mary Ann for blowing the lid off that one... keep up your incredible jouranlism. Joan Rivers might have a job for you at the E! Channel

Posted by: Anonymous | March 16, 2007 6:26 PM | Report abuse

What's all the fuss over this article? Go back and read the subhead: "behind the scenes in Washington." In journalism it's called color, sidebars, etc. It's not supposed to be the main story, which is being adequately covered elsewhere. If this were all the Post were saying about the hearing, it'd be a scandal. But that's not the case. This story is a sidelight, a human interest angle. And it must have accomplished its purpose, all you critics. After all, you read it, didn't you?

Posted by: your man in the stands | March 16, 2007 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Akers presumably writes the assignments her editors give her. They obviously thought this designer hit piece was front page news. Which means the real boss wanted to undercut the day*s hottest story. Why would Metro DC*s hometown paper do that to a hometown girl? Their own Howard Kurtz gets paid to deny that Karl Rove has even the slightest pull over what gets covered or how in the MSM. Money well earned. But that is as much of a fiction as the claim that the WaPo remains a quality paper. Private equity promotes the fiction that what readers want is not a New York Times on the Potomac, but hyperlocal *news*. Reporters Gone Wild. That seems a dodge for printing whatever corporate supporters want. Controlling what passes for news, and keeping friends in power who can right the laws that control your business, your mergers and acquisitions, and your taxes, is more profitable than any number of newspapers sold. Just look at billionaire Rupert Murdoch and his Faux News.

Posted by: mbbsdphil | March 16, 2007 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Why is everyone so hostile to Ms. Akers's post? She's a gossip columnist, and I don't see how what she wrote is fundamentally different from any of the other columns of this sort. Her job isn't to analyze the implications of the hearing. Lighten up.

Posted by: Steve | March 16, 2007 6:50 PM | Report abuse

This is not a funny distraction or human interest story. A human interest story would have covered the fears and joys of her family and friends, a what will she do now that her government got her canned angle. It might have covered her cooking, whether she is a black belt or a crack shot, or her book club. Nope. This is a let*s trash the butch piece. Mr. Rove cannot stop this Congress from investigating. He can try to distract the public from what it is investigating, at least enough to assure the Faithful that they need not question whatever they believe. Wasted effort. They do not question anything now.

Posted by: mbbsdphil | March 16, 2007 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Obvs these rubes still don't get it. So why bother trying to explain to them what the point of the column is?

Just let them wallow in their own pitiful, suffocating seriousness while the rest of us enjoy a funny, light-hearted take, tongue-in-cheek look at today's hearing.

Posted by: Max | March 16, 2007 6:53 PM | Report abuse

You could really use a sabbatical.

Posted by: Fred | March 16, 2007 6:59 PM | Report abuse

I agree with the above posts?

"The Sleuth?"

What an utterly vapid article. The Washington Post can do better than this.

Posted by: Alex | March 16, 2007 7:04 PM | Report abuse

A gossip laden article about armani suits and mansion in Santa Fe, certainly dispels all those steotypes of "poor" governmental employees, struggling to work toward a "poor pension". Nepotism certainly went the way of minority rights or womens lib, and seems to me any serious reporting by any national media, would include the amount of Wilson's Investigative contract, the cost to Taxpayers of this whole issue, and a national poll of only government workers below the status of Plame and Wilson obviously, to see how many of them can afford Armani Suit(s)and retirements in Santa Fe. Let them eat cake, Plame says to all other Law Enforcement and covert or non covert government employees.

Posted by: leslie | March 16, 2007 7:23 PM | Report abuse

It never seems to escape anyone*s attention that Valerie Plame Wilson is gorgeous. But that is not why she was interviewed for ninety minutes by Congress. The bottom line: She was a covert CIA agent, and was outed in an attempt to smear her husband for his telling the truth about the Bush Administration Weapons of Mass Delusion in Iraq. Her career in the CIA was trashed. What a vindictive, stupid, inept Executive Branch our country now has.

Posted by: oldhonky | March 16, 2007 7:24 PM | Report abuse

All I wish is that it was I who could have been in that NYT reporters' shoes. James Bond: Eat your heart out! She's way too good for most of you!

Posted by: expat2MEX | March 16, 2007 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Another case of so much to do about nothing. There were no laws broken it was only in the aftermath that the zealot prosecutor carried the day well at least for now. MS Plame should be so happy that she helped ensnare an innocent. Now that is just another form of power. I wonder if she has any feeling for suffering that ms libby is going through or their children. Ms plane should remember that in the end she to will be judged. And once again the off balance republicans can do nothing. Bush has been a great president but he has been way off his game the last few months. I suggest that he issue a few pardons libby included.

Posted by: gava2 | March 16, 2007 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Do you realize there is a link to this drivel on the front page of the Washington Post website?

Posted by: HeavyJ | March 16, 2007 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Looks like ol' Leibo is the NYTimes reporter in the background. Yup.

Posted by: d. | March 16, 2007 8:13 PM | Report abuse

I'm confused and disoriented. I logged onto and suddenly, mysteriously found myself in US Weekly. How did this happen?

Posted by: Rick H. | March 16, 2007 8:17 PM | Report abuse

These are the same people that reported on the 1/27/07 massive rally for peace at Capitol Hill like it was a fashion parade for Jane Fonda and Susan Sarandon, rather than an actual peace march. This ditz didn't even know who the Gold Star Families for Peace are, or Lt. Ehren Watada. Eee-diot!

Posted by: Luke | March 16, 2007 8:51 PM | Report abuse

All I got out of the hearing is that Mrs. Wilson is a highly intelligent and capable woman who was trashed out of her job by the sleaziest administration since Andrew Jackson's.The side issue, that she has more class and beauty than all the twenty somethings of Hollywood and the so-called music world put together is good fodder for the gossip columns of which this is clearly one. Hey, even deserves to wallow in the mud a little bit.

Posted by: bob tichell | March 16, 2007 8:57 PM | Report abuse

UGH! GARBAGE!!!!! Sweet Freakin' Jesus! I just defended the Post for the comment about Ms. Plame being a *willowy blond* in their main story. Boy do I regret that now!
This is trash. This is pure Washington Times/People Magazine/Fox News. The Post couldn't possibly sink any lower. Do you people have any standards?

Posted by: Anonymous | March 16, 2007 9:11 PM | Report abuse

For the record, I regret saying this story was at the level of People Magazine. I apologize to People.

Posted by: Paulie200 | March 16, 2007 9:23 PM | Report abuse

I'm just about ready to stop reading the Post.

Posted by: Mark | March 16, 2007 9:27 PM | Report abuse

This article shows just how sexist this country still is. Women are treated differently then men. They are discounted. They are evaluated by how they look and not what they say. And this from other women yet!!

Tell me, what was Robert Gates wearing when he was confirmed? What about Alberto Gonzales when he perjured himself in front of Congress?

Posted by: Rhonda | March 16, 2007 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Ahhh Rhonda... I want to argue with you, but Mary Ann Akers, she of the pencil neck, goofy ass glasses and haircut that would embarrass a rat, thinks it's appropriate to comment on a serious freakin' GS14 intel operatives clothes. Go figure.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 16, 2007 9:38 PM | Report abuse

I think there is a leftist twist to this story that demands that plame be played by Barbara Striesand. Sure the age, hairstyle (which can be fixed) weight, and other obvious differences are unavoidable. But think of it, Streisand could start into a deep low moanas she starts to explain the Bush administrations purely political motives in outing her husband. It could be like "Pappa, can you hear me." She could sing it to Teddy Kennedy whose tear-stain face shows the glow of relief that the Senate is democratic hands so that this is surely the first of endless, useless investigations to give the media something to harp about. BArbara could also sing, 'I remember Chapaquidick, I remember Whitewater, I remember Monica and Richard Cheeney's daughter," all in a-flat minor 7 suspended. Even the Republican senators will defect to the left. I have goose bumps.

Posted by: steve gaza | March 16, 2007 10:06 PM | Report abuse

What a bunch of humorless, sexless, dull-witted wonks around here. The world should know about Ms. Plame's glamour, because it is part of the reason why she was a valuable national asset while undercover. (If I had a secret, she could get it out of me in a heartbeat.) And knowing her value while undercover gives us reason to be angry that her value as a spy was recklessly wasted by Dick Cheney's politics of smear. Among our many reasons to despise this administration, none is more pleasant to behold.

Posted by: Richard | March 16, 2007 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Plame will have plenty of opportunity to wear her Armanis, or whatever, in Santa Fe, if she chooses. Nice thing about "The City Different" is you don't have to dress to the nines if you don't want to.

And, Ms. Akers needs to broaden her horizons.

Posted by: landlaw | March 16, 2007 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Yep Richard,
Except that the appearance of this article on PAGE ONE of, serves to trivialize Valerie Plame in her real role, as an agent as important to national security as anyone wearing body armor under BD's in Iraq.

Don't believe me? Well if you respond to this, be certain to tell us all what you are wearing and wether it's fashionable.

And your other point... hell yes... I would tell her anything she wanted to konw ;)!

Posted by: paulie200 | March 16, 2007 11:19 PM | Report abuse

Is this meant to be clever?

Posted by: Philadelphia | March 16, 2007 11:28 PM | Report abuse

My God, what a stupid piece.

Do you call yourself a reporter, or a fashion critic?

Posted by: kimoco | March 16, 2007 11:34 PM | Report abuse

Oh. My. God.

You people are seriously a bunch of humorless boors.

Lighten the F up.

This was a great story. And there is no such thing as "on the front page of" It is listed as a secondary link on a main story.

Mary Ann Akers is the political gossip columist. She is doing her job. She is NOT the congressional/intelligence beat reporter.

Those people have been doing an excellent job reporting the story.

This was essentially a "sidebar" to the larger story (known as the "mainbar".

Wow. After reading the humorless, boorish, unenlightened comments on this post, I have really lost my faith in humanity.

Mary Ann: ignore the rubes. Your column is great. They obvs don't understand humor, snark, or the point of your column.

All you people who keep missing the point: pop a valium, get a massage, and relax.

Posted by: Max | March 17, 2007 12:40 AM | Report abuse

From Victoria Toestink to this article - that's why it's called the wuzpost - wuz once a good paper.

Posted by: hawaiilaw | March 17, 2007 12:48 AM | Report abuse

I`m a disciple of Camille Paglia, and even *I* was offended!

faye kane, homeless brain
blog dot myspace dot com slash fayekane

Posted by: Faye Kane | March 17, 2007 12:51 AM | Report abuse

Who cares about the clothing, you should write more about how Ms Plame's bottom appears. Rounded? Any cellulite? These are truly pressing world issues. Go WaPo--you're awesome.

Posted by: Stuff | March 17, 2007 1:49 AM | Report abuse

What's the leering journalist's name? Is it David Sanger?

Posted by: Larry | March 17, 2007 2:10 AM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, Max: Only a hip cognescenti metrosexual like you could be discerning enough to get the point of Ms. Akers' ever-so-witty light-hearted take on Valerie Plame's testimony to Congress about how her career was destroyed by administration apparatchiks. The rest of us bunmpkin just-fell-off-the-turnip-truck rubes couldn't possibly be so with it. -- Give me a break already!

Vapid and pointless it was. - I gotta say, though, I haven't figured out how to be smart enough to land a job that pays decent just for writing droll effortless tripe like this, so maybe I am missing something.

Posted by: Odin | March 17, 2007 2:18 AM | Report abuse

It is sad to see such an article in WP. How dehumanizing!
Could it be that a male CIA agent would not have been betrayed so readily? According to this article this was just a clotheshorse, not a human being serving her country. Unfortunately this is how many see a successful woman.

Posted by: tatNY | March 17, 2007 2:24 AM | Report abuse

Do you hyper-serious soreheads realize that in the time it took you to berate the writer of this harmless bit of fun, you could have made a call or shot an e-mail to a GOP Congressperson, demanding that they join the effort to hold the Bushies accountable for destroying Ms. Plame's CIA cover?

Believe me, if Ms. Plame had no interest in fashion, she would not be wearing Armani. She looked beautiful, as she herself intended, in her Armani suit, just as beautiful as our Speaker of the House looks in her Armani suits.

For God's sake, lighten up -- and write your Congressman...or Congresswoman.

Posted by: WP reader | March 17, 2007 2:57 AM | Report abuse

She loved her job because she loved her country was strong. Beckham is maybe to much anyway.

Posted by: Alexander Express | March 17, 2007 3:42 AM | Report abuse

I can't believe how you've trivialized her entire testimony at the hearing. Katie Holmes? gag. No mention of how this administration ruined her and her network in an attempt to start an unneccesary war.

The whole country used to look up to the Post because of it's quality reporting.
Not so much any more.

Posted by: | March 17, 2007 5:22 AM | Report abuse

I call my Congresspeople nearly every day. I hope everyone else does the same, because these are OUR employees, and they DO work for us.

This still is journalism at it's very worst.

"I'm grateful for this opportunity to set the record straight. I served the United States loyally and to the best of my ability as a covert operations officer for the Central Intelligence Agency.

Today, I can tell this committee even more. In the run-up to the war with Iraq I worked in the counter proliferation division of the CIA -- still as a covert officer whose affiliation with the CIA was classified.

I raced to discover solid intelligence for senior policymakers on Iraq's presumed weapons of mass destruction programs.

While I helped to manage and run secret worldwide operations against this WMD target from CIA headquarters in Washington, I also traveled to foreign countries on secret missions to find vital intelligence.

I loved my career because I love my country.

I was proud of the serious responsibilities entrusted to me as a CIA covert operations officer and I was dedicated to this work.

But all of my efforts on behalf of the national security of the United States -- all of my training, all of the value of my years of service -- were abruptly ended when my name and identity were exposed irresponsibly.

The CIA goes to great lengths to protect all of its employees, providing at significant taxpayers' expense, painstakingly devised and creative covers for its most sensitive staffers.

Lives are literally at stake.

It was a terrible irony that administration officials were the ones who destroyed my cover. Furthermore, testimony in the criminal trial of Vice President Cheney's former chief of staff, who has now been convicted of serious crimes, indicates that my exposure arose from purely political motives.

And a journalist was enthralled by her clothes? How sad.

Posted by: Jan | March 17, 2007 5:25 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps you'd have been happier if she'd worn a Burkha. What is this nonsense. Sexual jealousy?

Posted by: John | March 17, 2007 6:41 AM | Report abuse

I watched the hearings, and I must say that I was impressed with Valerie Plame, not only because of her beauty, but because of her poise and intelligece. After she initially appeared before the cameras, I concentrated on what she had to say, not on what she was wearing. Your article is just plain silly.

Posted by: Amanda | March 17, 2007 6:52 AM | Report abuse

And did you see what Henry Waxman and Thomas Davis were wearing? I do declare they are such fashionable men. I do wish Henry would do something about his mustache; it just doesn't do him justice. And Tom, his hair is so too poofy.

Posted by: Lucky TN | March 17, 2007 7:36 AM | Report abuse

Does Mary Anne know the word MORAY?

Having worked in TV production for ove 5 years I became quite familiar with it. Named for the colorful dancing eels, moray is what happens when small patterns are shot with video. The pattern appears to move, making it the worst choice for an on camera outfit.

Although I adore Mrs. Wilson, I have to disagree about her fashion choice.

Posted by: Cameron | March 17, 2007 7:59 AM | Report abuse

I support the Wilsons and I think Bush and cronies should be impeached for outing her. With that said, I thought she came across as rude and arrogant in her demeanor during the hearing yesterday. Am I the only one noted it?

Posted by: Rude Valerie | March 17, 2007 8:12 AM | Report abuse

Boy, this is some hard-hitting investigative reporting; brings me back to the WaPo of the 70s alright.

Posted by: Maxgo | March 17, 2007 8:20 AM | Report abuse

God, you're horrible, Mary Ann Akers. An administration, directed by the vice president, undermines the integrity of the nation's security for political purposes, then lies and covers up about it, and, when hearings are held to get to the truth about how the trust of the American people has been violated, all you care about is what she's wearing. Do me a favor: go back, find that part within you that originally got you into journalism int he first palce, pull it out, and strangle it. It's dead. Please stop embarassing yourself any further.

Posted by: Mark W. Anderson | March 17, 2007 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Hey, sleuth, how about that pink lady in the back? Was that a fashion statement? I want to know about that.

Posted by: sibyl9 | March 17, 2007 8:47 AM | Report abuse

The Sleuth? What detective work?

It is worth noting that nothing in Ms.Aker's utterly humorless and vapid piece describes anything going on "behind the scenes in Washington. To the contrary. This pointless and inane item belongs in a trash can. Her casting choices of duh Katie Holmes or anorexic fashion horse Ms. Beckham ( further trivializes the seriousness of Ms. Plame's testimony and the damage done to her career.

Posted by: Ceci | March 17, 2007 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Akers is simply living up to the low standards the public has come to expect of her. What else would she do but obsess over Ms. Wilson*s outfit? That allowed her to completely undercut the truly newsworthy aspects of the story, which is precisely the point of this utterly pointless post. Akers has served her purpose; surely her masters are pleased.

Posted by: Xeno | March 17, 2007 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Mary Ann, as a Fashion Expert you've simply GOT to get to the bottom of the Mitt Romney Mormon Underwear question.

Boxers or btriefs?

Posted by: David Ehrenstein | March 17, 2007 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Now that I've read all these outraged and bemused missives about Mary Ann's article, I've come to a conclusion. Rather than belittle the target, let's go after their attackers.
Victoria Toensing is the legal equivalent of Ann Coulter. Ms. Toensing's voice contains a venomous tone. Further, she's such an expert; she's been there, done everything. (I was so glad the congressmen sat on her whining complaint that she was the by-God expert on the law and she was the only authority at this hearing.)
Take it further.
Who does her hair? What was she wearing and was it designer or was it off the shelf at Macy's? Who cares what she said?
Years ago, they hung Bill Clinton on the scissors of a hair cut, so let's ask -- who cuts George's hair? Who's his tailor? Does he clip his own toenails, or does he have a pedicure? If so, find his pedicurist. Interview him or her; find out if they cross-dress.
How 'bout Laura? Her clothes are so unremarkable that she reminds me of Mamie Eisenhower. Who cares what she says? Concentrate on her hair style and shoe-size. Call it in on Imus the next morning.
That treatment could bring the war to a halt faster than all the pink-ladies toting "Impeach Bush" t-shirts.
Go for it! :-)
They think that out here in the boondocks of Texas, that's about all we're interested in, anyway. The administration thinks all we read is the Nat'l Enquirer. They continue to be astounded that we surf the Internet without dial-up. Especially since they've done everything they can to remove our job base.
This is WAR!!!

Posted by: Judy Allen, Beaumont, TX | March 17, 2007 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Am I the only one that thinks Valarie P.W. is kinda hot???

Posted by: Anonymous | March 17, 2007 9:51 AM | Report abuse

I think most of you could you a lobotomy. As others have mentioned, this isn't the only link regarding the Plame hearing, or even the most prominent one. Ms. Akers isn't a journalist, she's a gossip columnist. Her job is write about things such as fashion, not politics or "hard-hitting" news. She's doing her job.

Posted by: Steve | March 17, 2007 10:13 AM | Report abuse

"I think most of you could you a lobotomy."

Looks like you already had yours.

Along with this Mary Ann person. What a load of childish drivel!

Posted by: Mondo | March 17, 2007 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Are you actually paid to do this?

Posted by: Art | March 17, 2007 10:56 AM | Report abuse

To the trolls, this piece was as inventive, light-hearted and funny as Victoria Toensing*s hairstyle. Front page treatment of a page fluff piece - it is STILL on the front page - means its purpose is to demean Ms. Plame, NOT extoll her glamour or add humor to the day. This is a substitute for a poorly written Fred Hiatt editorial, and is more effective because he did not have the guts to put his name to it. He just made sure it was on the front page.

Posted by: mbbsdphil | March 17, 2007 12:41 PM | Report abuse

To the trolls, this piece was as inventive, light-hearted and funny as Victoria Toensing*s hairstyle. Front page treatment of a page fluff piece - it is STILL on the front page - means its purpose is to demean Ms. Plame, NOT extoll her glamour or add humor to the day. This is a substitute for a poorly written Fred Hiatt editorial, and is more effective because he did not have the guts to put his name to it. He just made sure it was on the front page.

Posted by: mbbsdphil | March 17, 2007 12:42 PM | Report abuse

I am not offended by this lousy article - but jeez, try to keep some perspective. Armani's "lower priced line" goes for $1200 a jacket. On the one hand you are mocking her for wearing designer and on the other trying to cast her as wearing cheap duds.

I am going to call this the bargain basement Maureen Dowd column...and she is already pretty low end herself so dont get too excited.

Posted by: judy | March 17, 2007 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Well, I do agree that she looked *tres chic*. But I really didn*t need this column to tell me that. Is this the best gossip that she could come up with? - Why not something really witty, like juxtasposing her style with that troll Toensing*s? - Now that would be fun reading.

Posted by: Odin | March 17, 2007 1:10 PM | Report abuse

We are dealing with a government that broke the law by exposing a covert CIA officer involved in very important nuclear non-proliferation work. It did so to discredit her husband, who had produced information that ran counter to the Bush Administration's false claim that Saddam had WMDs, which it used to preemptively launch a war in Iraq now entering its 5th year.

So one would expect a sober article about the CIA officer's first public appearance before a congressional committee. What do we get instead?

A stupid, inane article about what she is wearing.

I am an angry retired intelligence officer who thinks someone should be prosecuted for outing Valery Plame Wilson, endangering her person and contacts and seriously disrupting important non-prolifreation activities.

Posted by: Retired MI Officer | March 17, 2007 1:19 PM | Report abuse


I guess the rubes still don't get it.

To recap:
1) Gossip column
2) NOT the WP's main story on the Plame hearing
3) Meant to be light-hearted

You people obviously take yourselves entirely too seriously.

And it's funny to see you get all worked up over the Sleuth.

Pick up a paper copy of the Post today, and look at the front page. I can guarantee that the Sleuth is not the lead story.

Sheesh (encore une fois....)

Posted by: Max | March 17, 2007 1:36 PM | Report abuse

i beg to differ with one of the writers who said that the whole world used to respect the WAshington Post. I've always known it to be a liberal rag. Only liberals think anyone acutally respects this paper.

Posted by: steve | March 17, 2007 2:19 PM | Report abuse

No Max, I'm afraid it is you who dont get it. w/what MSM like the wuzpost has done to this country re this war, including encouraging treason by the likes of scooter is, my clueless friend, definitely not the subject of mindless (attempted) levity.

Posted by: hawaiilaw | March 17, 2007 2:31 PM | Report abuse

To all you liberal dolts with no sense of humor. Don't you get it????
Mary Ann's "fashion" column said more anything that Ms Plame-Wilson did.
Thanks Mary Ann, for showing just how insignificant little Valerie and her fairy tales really are.

Posted by: Al | March 17, 2007 2:43 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: old coot | March 17, 2007 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Ah, Al. Interesting how stuff like this brings trog-deniers out of the woodwork! Good to know that the 20% deadenders and treason lovers are alive & well.

Posted by: hawaiilaw | March 17, 2007 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Poor Victoria Toestink,she spent all those big bucks on her clothes and hair style and didn't even get a mention!She is the most important person there and if you don't know that just ask her.I heard her say one time that she was a single mother going to law school and if the government hadn't helped her she wouldn't be there.Wonder how she worked her way up??

Posted by: granny | March 17, 2007 2:57 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Lance | March 17, 2007 4:15 PM | Report abuse

hay, I think you all always get so amusingly angry so The Sleuth keeps writing these frilly stories. She sleuthed you.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 17, 2007 6:58 PM | Report abuse

the UNWASHEDPO a liberal rag? I've been reading this rag for about 43 years, since I was ten, and never in my life have I ever considered it liberal, not in any stretch of the imagination, and since Skippy came into office and began dictating to the media, I know it is not. this is not a light fluff piece, nor should it be in paper. this is a serious situation, which includes the treasonous actions of one Robert Novak, who helped this administration out Ms. Plame. on top of that we have Skippy's brain, Skippy, and Alibaba Gonzales undermining our legal system. not to mention we are at war. and this paper helped take down Clinton, for what? lying about getting a blow job? but they can't seem to get the fact that Skippy and crew are base liars from start to finish and have brought nothing but shame on our country.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 17, 2007 10:48 PM | Report abuse

I think this post is perfect. Not because it seems sexist, but because it puts things in proper perspective. This is a silly story. Having such a huge ruckuss about "who said what and when did they say it?" is as silly as having a discussion of what Plame was wearing.

Some of you need to get a brain.

Posted by: Kevin Scott | March 18, 2007 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Akers, please do not give up this wonderful day job. The empty-headed distraction of the proceedings deserves to have someone poke fun at the participants. I'm not sure that Ms. Plame*s testimony would have been any more informative, if all the "serious" reporting devoted to this event is any measure. On the other hand, I feel quite certain that the audience (reporters, politicians and public alike) would not have been as receptive to her musings, had she been unattractive and dressed in bureaucratic grays.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 19, 2007 12:56 PM | Report abuse

You are a disgrace to your race.

Posted by: Donna | March 19, 2007 1:09 PM | Report abuse

"Does Mary Anne know the word MORAY? "

That would be moire.

Posted by: electronicnut | March 19, 2007 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Shows just how upset this article made me. I meant to type that you are a disgrace to your SEX, not race!
And while I'm back I'll also say that everything "blueskies" said goes double for me.
I can't believe that in writing about this amazing, accomplished, successful, admirable woman who has been figuratively spit on by the administration and many others, you would squander the opportunity and add insult to injury by belittling her story with this piece of crap. You should hang your head in shame and write her a personal apology.

Posted by: Donna | March 19, 2007 1:20 PM | Report abuse

The whole point of the "Big lie" is to keep repeating it. Cheney and Bush tried to trivialize their lies about WMD and Iraq by focusing attention on "Wilson´s wife." You have done an admirable job of trivializing a public servant by drawing attention Wilson´s wife´s fashion sense while she testifies to Congress on serious matters. The Wilsons have proved an easy target. The Post continues to target them instead of investigating the truth about the war. The more difficult task for the Post and its team would be to speak truth to power. And yet you continue to repeat the "Big Lie", attacking and ridiculing the messengers who would speak truth to power. Shame.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 19, 2007 1:22 PM | Report abuse

While we're discussing the all important subject of Valerie Plame's beauty, one cannot help but notice the jarring contrast between her and Victoria Toensing. It was as if Glenda the Good was in the same room with the Wicked Witch of the West. It was like comparing Diane Lane to Carrot Top.

Posted by: sonofabastard | March 19, 2007 1:42 PM | Report abuse

While the insipid drivel usually lurking in this "lighthearted, snarky" column is more than enough to annoy me, I think the picture of Akers looking "lighthearted and snarky" and the column's title, "The Sleuth" - as if there are some real scoops here - is what sends me over the top in paroxysms of disgust and disbelief.
And props to whoever noted the contrast between Plame and Toensing.

Posted by: John Dope | March 19, 2007 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Good job Mary Ann. It was a fun column and did what it was intended to do: added a little light hearted humor to the tragedy of Valerie Plames' career being destroyed by those in power.

Posted by: Nicki | March 19, 2007 2:22 PM | Report abuse

You wanna talk about what an outed covert CIA operative is wearing? Fine.

Next time have some respect. A serious crime of treason against America with the oputed operative was working to protect YOU from WMDs.

You are a lightweight. Try not to be so glib next time you cover a serious matter in the lightest possible way.

Perhaps you should comment on what Princess Diana was wearing the day she died in a similar, glib, and disgusting fashion.

Posted by: Disgusted | March 19, 2007 2:49 PM | Report abuse

This is a joke, right? What an utter waste of space and time. Why would a woman write such nonsense about an outted covert agent's clothing? Perfect follow up though in light of Victoria Toensing's earlier hit piece.

Posted by: madderthanhellsince2000 | March 19, 2007 3:14 PM | Report abuse

W-o-w has this blog reply broken some kind of record? Or as Wm Friedken said, there is no such thing as bad publicity.
And check out all the old men who still have on-air gigs and the minute a female gets a wrinkle or a grey hair-out they go!
Face it we have incredible women here-Code Pink is the color of the Day...No more pining for the likes of Barbara Jordan or Shirley Chisholm, even our Blonds have backbone. As for Taos, New Mexico, the weather there is like the water in Honolulu-Perfect. Long live the Wilsons and the others who were cast out-I salute them for trying to do their jobs.
And Yes Congressman, I am a Democrat.

Posted by: suewynne | March 19, 2007 3:24 PM | Report abuse

I knew it was Armani Collezioni!! I knew it the moment I saw her testifying -- it's all in the cut of the collar. Excellent choice by Plame. Thank you for publishing this, and as the above remarks show, this town needs an injection of style and class. Don't listen to the nay-sayers, they clearly have not experienced well-cut clothes, and should consider that dressing well is part of presenting well. Discount gabardine only gets you so far.

Posted by: Genna | March 19, 2007 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Gee, I wonder what the agents Plame was working with overseas were wearing as they were assassinated following the revelation of their affiliation with the outed agent?

Anyone for a "necktie party?"

And speaking of style, how 'bout paying for a real haircut, Ms. Akers.

Posted by: Martskers | March 19, 2007 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Nice typing, Mary Ann. Who wrote this for you, Cheech or Chong?

Posted by: Sam Thornton | March 19, 2007 4:44 PM | Report abuse

If you want to really write about local "color", I saw that Jean Schmidt slipped and fell in some barf last week.

I think Valerie looked great and she was a compelling witness.

Posted by: Maria | March 19, 2007 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Unbelievably shallow! This is a prime example of the inability of the American press to actually think.

Posted by: Andy | March 19, 2007 9:31 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: abdul jabbar | March 20, 2007 1:52 AM | Report abuse

"kevinscott.." silly story?

Only because you're inundated with lies, lies, and more lies, and have to filter through all the garbage this admin has created...

Having your President/Vice President, take it upon themselves to childishly reveal the cover of someone who has to have a solid education, and impeccable non-criminal background, placed in a dangerous field of intel gathering because of a political agenda, is NOT SILLY. J*s*s Ch*ist, what's wrong with you?

Getting oral sex while being the President however, is obviously more worthy of creating a national distraction away from terrorists though. That's not silly at ALL.

Posted by: joshdestardi | March 20, 2007 4:10 AM | Report abuse

I am stunned at how stupid most of these comments are. Don't you people get it? Ms. Akers is writing a political gossip blog. This blog is NOT appearing in the newspaper, but online, as many of you don't seem to understand. What's more: Her blog is ABOUT the funny or absurd or catty parts of DC culture, which in fact make up way too much of what people in DC actually talk about. She's making fun of the more absurd part of our human nature/politics. I like her column. Those who don't shouldn't read it - no one's holding a gun to your heads! geeeez.

Posted by: Katerina | March 20, 2007 5:26 AM | Report abuse

This is a GOSSIP BLOG, people! If you want serious, go read Froomkin or Cilliza. That's what I do. But just for fun, I like to read The Sleuth too.

I watched Ms Plame's testimony on line -- listened to every word. But that didn't stop me from wondering what designer she was wearing (and wondering whether she's approaching the age where hair touching the shoulders is not 'the thing').

Posted by: Lady Wesley | March 20, 2007 4:08 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Lady Wesley.

This is a gossip blog and mainly deals with the light side of human interest stories.

Give Mary Anne a break, please. She does a splendid job. And yes. She is a fine journalist!

Posted by: Herbert-Jean Awuor | March 21, 2007 6:23 AM | Report abuse

She is an attractive woman. Period.

Posted by: Dan | March 21, 2007 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Aside from the likelihood that what Joe and Val did was the actual treason, I rather liked Mary Ann's article on the clothes. I know nothing about fashion so I was glad to know Val's garb was Armani (as was Leo's at the Academy Awards), so now I know where to go to get my duds when I get rich and maybe famous.

Posted by: Jack Falstaff | March 22, 2007 2:11 AM | Report abuse

Aside from the likelihood that what Joe and Val did was the actual treason...
Posted by: Jack Falstaff | March 22, 2007 02:11 AM
Huh? I couldn't let this idiotic comment be the caboose on this train of fools.

Posted by: sonofabastard | March 22, 2007 10:52 PM | Report abuse

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