The Answers Column: Who Tweets for Marion Barry?
Earlier this year, Washington City Paper ran its second annual Answers Issue. And while we were able to address 27 questions—ranging from "Does D.C. have an Iron Dome?" to "Why does Metro smell like rotten fish sometimes?"—there are plenty of sharp queries we couldn't get to.
That's why we're reviving a feature we toyed with back in the fall: The Answers Column. Every other Friday on City Desk we'll take a stab at a new question about life in the District. Have a question about Wilson Building intrigue? D.C. history? Restaurant openings? That weird thing on your block? We got you. Direct your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
And without further ado, the inaugural Answer.
Who tweets for Marion Barry?
It should first be noted that Barry treats the names of his tweeters like a state secret. "It's not anybody's business who writes the tweets," Barry says. What's important, he says, is what the tweets say. "That's what matters to me."
Here's what we do know: Barry says he only writes 5 percent of his tweets and that those who do are fully authorized to tweet for him. Two likely culprits include Barry's girlfriend, Sandy Bellamy, and his spokeswoman, LaToya Foster. When I asked them whether they tweet for Barry, both said no, but in a totally unconvincing way. Bellamy copped to maybe writing some of Barry's more "sarcastic" tweets. She also noted that one of Barry's younger godsons set up Barry's Twitter account, which may explain some of the more youthful-leaning tweets from the account's early days.
But even if Barry's not writing the tweets, it doesn't mean he's not keeping score:
"I have over 8,000 followers, which is more than any other in the news business," Barry says (he was referring to local news reporters, btw).