Roll Call’s Heil Does the ‘Washington Read’

heil.jpg It’s still difficult to entirely separate Roll Call‘s Emily Heil from HOH, Roll Call‘s well-read gossip column that she led for years. She’s not officially on the gossip beat anymore, but covers features for the publication.

In a segment that aired this morning on MSNBC, Chris Jansing, the anchor, incorrectly introduced the longtime Washington scribe. “Emily Heil is a writer for Roll Call who writes the column, Heard on the Hill,” said Jansing.

It was a tricky TV moment – was Heil supposed to correct the anchor on the spot? She didn’t and rallied on.

Jansing asked about The Daily Beast‘s Meghan McCain’s Dirty Sexy Politics. Heil cracked that the book, unfortunately, isn’t so “sexy.” She also explained something known as the “Washington read.”

Heil was amused by McCain taking stabs at former VP hopeful Sarah Palin on last night’s Tonight Show with Jay Leno. “We want them to have a cat fight in a hot tub somewhere,” Heil says. “It’s unfortunate, but that’s the reality of it. And honestly, I was disappointed. There wasn’t that much dirt and there wasn’t that much sex for salacious readers like me. She (Meghan) said she avoided sex on the campaign for what it could cost her father.”

Heil admitted to skimming the book. “I did the Washington read,” she explains. “We just flip through, we’re looking for proper names and I’m looking for sex, drugs. That’s what we do in Washington. And then we start over and maybe read a little bit more.”

Update: Heil remarked to FishbowlDC, “It was one of those interviews where afterward, I think, ‘Did I really just say that?’