The Reliable Source Live

Apr 11, 2012

Washington Post columnist Amy Argetsinger was online Wednesday, April 4, at noon ET to discuss your favorite gossip, celebrity sightings and their recent columns.

Past Reliable Source chats

Good morning all, and thanks for joining. Here are some topics that have hit our column this week:

 

When did the White House Easter Egg Roll become so commercial? A long time ago, actually.

 

D.C. philanthropists break away from their longtime charity and vow to go gala-less for future fundraising.

 

“Scandal’s” loopy take on D.C. politics, filmed entirely in L.A.

 

J.C. Hayward goes very public with her breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.

 

Bit week for Hillary Clinton, who gave a boost to the new Aung San Suu Kyi movie; met with “Texts from Hillary” founders; and explored her hair options.

 

In other news: Miss Universe to allow transgendered contestants. . .  Barney Frank on campaigning. . . . "Supernova Mikulski". . . What is up with Gary Sinise?. . . Yes, Wayne Brady once said something to offend somebody. . . . 

 

Thanks to whichever one of you from last week got me on the topic of Paul Ryan’s widow’s peak, which inspired this incredible bit of investigative work -- did you know there's research suggesting that voters subconsciously gravitate towards candidates with widow's peaks? Well, now you do.

 

Finally, Mike Wallace died this week; in recent months Fox anchor Chris Wallace had given some interesting insight into his father's final years.

 

Or, you know, whatever you want to talk about. Bring it on.

It is amazing that a woman with no discernible talent or benefit to the human experience would be so tone deaf as to gush about how her friends just LOVE, LOVE to give each other Bentleys! Isn't life swell!!! What a [curseword beginning with an A]!

Oh, I don't know -- I actually thought that maybe Gayle King was in on the joke. She has friends who give her Bentleys, and she's not afraid to tell you about it. I mean, she is in on the joke, right?

 

Quoted: Gayle King on having awesome friends

I swear, this world is leaving me behind. I never heard of Instagram until this week. I still get my pictures developed at CVS.

Me too, although I vaguely wondered why Instagram is worth $1B and Pinerest (something else I just discovered) is not. I don't get the fascination, which is why I'm not the 27-year-old who started Instagram 18 months ago and is now worth $400 million.

maybe a scarf? Or a cupcake? No, I just can't relate.

The rich are REALLY different.

As us adults were sitting around placing wagers on which of our children would find the most Easter eggs (my daughter came in second!) our conversation turned to the egg roll, and we all realized that none of us had any idea what in the world an egg roll was. What does one do at an egg roll? What is the point? The Darwinistic reward? Is there a way we can turn this into a betting opportunity if we all take our kids next year?

Metro's story about the White House Easter Egg Roll happily got into some of the logistics at the heart of the game that's at the heart of the event: If I remember correctly, it's a relay race where you roll a hard-boiled egg down the lawn with a spoon. Of course, now the White House has ramped it up with a bunch of teen stars and Disney characters and yoga gardens and storybook readings -- but I agree, we should turn the focus back to the  Roll itself, with live television coverage and color commentary and Vegas betting.

I was in Palm Beach Easter morning and had the great honor of attending church services with Donald Trump. He sailed by me with two women (one of whom was presumably his current lovely wife Melania, although I didn't see her face) to get in line for the 11:00 AM service. He was just as you'd expect: tall, self-satisfied expression, hair so strawberry-blond it looked pink in the Florida sun. So now we know -- at least one day of the year, he worships someone besides himself.

I don't know if this is true or a work of elaborate fan fiction -- but thanks for sharing!

Thanks for that article. I actually got to go when I was 3, I think (early in the Reagan administration), and therefore remember absolutely nothing about it. I was thinking this the other day, wondering when it became such a huge thing and that I would have remembered more of it had it been as big of a deal as it is now. Maybe not, after all...

Did you keep your commemorative egg? Might be worth something on eBay. Or maybe not.

I always find Ashley Judd's responses to things interesting and refreshing. Her puffy face didn't bother me one bit - I was pleased that she looks "normal" and is ageing gracefully. The only time I ever commented on someone's face it was when there was evidence of bad surgery (Priscilla Presley) or botox (pick your favorite). Thoughts?

Ashley Judd wrote an interesting essay for the Daily Beast lashing out at the Internet snark over her so-called "puffy face" and the assumption that it was the product of cosmetic work. She made some very good points, I thought. I wish she had also had the benefit of an editor: At times her prose was so academic I had a hard time following her.  (Fewer words like "heteronormative" would have helped.) And I also wish she'd taken her argument a bit broader. She explained that her face is puffy because she's been sick and taking steroids -- but what if she indeed had had work done? I feel that women in the public eye are subject to such a damned-if-they-do, damned-if-they-don't hazing these days. If they let themselves age naturally, a nation of snarks complain that they've let themselves go; if they do anything about it, the same world says, "oh, look, she's had work done."

Another opinion: Any woman in show business is subject to all sorts of superficial judgments. Let me say I'm not a fan of Judd, but I find all this psuedo-intellectual hand-wringing insuffreable. OF COURSE they pay attention to her looks ---her many magazine covers extolling her beauty prove that ---but now, when there is criticism, is the time she's chosen to object to the process. Really? Then retire and go into a different profession. 

Years ago, she saw something in a rather unpolished news anchor and local talk show host when the two worked at WJZ-TV in Baltimore. So I think you can say that Gayle's talent is certainly her ability to spot talent in others and to make a mighty fine career out of it.

You know what? I'm going to cut Gayle some slack. She and Oprah became BFFs before there was any hint of serious money and fame. As far as I can tell, she's reaped the benefits of that friendship without exploiting her friend in any way. So maybe it's nothing more than luck and loyalty that the two met and have been friends for all these years.

What is Amy's thoughts of Sherri Shepard being eliminated from DWTS?

Oh, hey, you guys -- I took my brief, annual glimpse of DWTS this week. In the random ten-minute segment, I saw "William and Cheryl" -- no idea which was a dancer and which was a star; that's a good sign, right? They were dressed like extras from the finale of "Grease," and they were dancing to a Muzak version of Twisted Sister with a lot of shooting flames in the background, and then KISS showed up.

 

Now that I'm saying it out loud, I realize this was probably just a dream, right?

 

So anyway! The next day, I read about the show on People.com, and why did you all not tell me that Laura Ingalls Wilder was on the show?!?! But it was terrible -- apparently she died the other night on live TV. Slain by her own partner. A sword through the neck, I think it was. Very sad, but that's how the game is played, I guess.

Babysitting my awesome nieces (8 and 11). Am watching Glee for the first time, and don't know whether to stab my eyes or my ears first. But, what is most soul-crushing is how much these two little ones, who are honors students with amazingly well-rounded interests and talents, are so hyper-aware of the precise tawdry and pointless details of every celebrity and "celebrity". I was just given a long explanation of how Serena Gomez is not good enough for Justin Beiber (I'm surprised she didn't have a powerpoint available on the subject) and the 11 year old is way to invested in whether Kim Kardashian is a homewrecker or not. Geez. Very sad. I wish they would just get behind an American Idol contestant or something relatively productive and culturally meaningful in comparison.

The 24/7 celebrity-news industrial complex must recruit its customers at increasingly young ages in order to stay afloat. That's why they invented Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez -- they're the gateway drug.

is how a show about DC "gossip" does not have characters that resemble Amy & Roxanne, or even mention the chat!

Written by TV writers who've never lived in Washington? That's just a guess....

I thought that Sen. Barbara having a supernova named for her was great! It does, however, bring to the fore several jokes about her diminuitive height in comparison to the size of a supernova....

We are all diminutive compared to the vastness of the universe.

Love, love, love that Madame Secretary gets the humor! I actually follow this because it is hilarious!

There are few great bits, but the nature of memes is to burn out pretty quickly. Glad they got a meeting with her before the joke got old.

Hell has frozen over. Both my 87-year-old father and my 10-year-old son know who Kim Kardashian is. My father mentioned that his PhD advisor, who was a prominent intellectual in the 1940s, didn't have his own Wikipedia page, but Kim K does. So he set about remedying that. My son knows about it because he's a NJ Nets fan and is wondering about why Kris Humphries is now my favorite Net. I was wondering why no one - no one - has mentioned in the entire Kim-Kris wedding debacle that this was her second marriage.

It has been mentioned, or you wouldn't have known about it, right? . . . . I'll bet both your father and your son know everything they know about the Kardashians without actually ever having watched the show, am I right? These days, you can get a case of the Kardashians passively, strictly by cultural osmosis.

All I know, regardless of whether she was making a joke: Oprah would have never, ever said something like that!

Because Oprah never talks about her famous friends or her favorite luxury goods? Please.

I work for a major insurance company, and the car insurance itself would pay for a small country. . .

Oh, I can imagine. I don't think I'd ever seen a  Bentley in the flesh until I moved to L.A., and then I saw one or two a week.

Oh come on - don't hate on Gayle. If Tyler Perry wanted to buy me a car, I would let him. Just not a Bentley - too flashy and carjacker baitish.

As the owner of an 11-year-old car, I'm just satisfied with one that works whenever I need it to. Flashy cars have never been my thing.

Your colleague Carolyn Hax calls these "glassbowls". I now cannot look at my m-i-l's salad bowl without feeling slightly vulgar.

Ha.

I am disinclined to think so. Considering how she has made her career by simply being the friend of someone with actual talent and acumen, I really do think she lives in a magic fairy world in her mind where, of course, your friends shower you with millions in gifts and prizes and puppy dogs and Bentleys.

Except that she did decide that the story was unusual enough to merit telling. So hard to say -- the rich are very different from you and me.

I think she's getting there. She was on Car Talk recently; she got a master's in public poilcy from Harvard and talks about poverty issues any chance she gets; and she's cut way back on her acting compared with earlier in her career. (I know, I know, it may be that she's not getting offered the roles she was when she was 25 and not "puffy".)

And she's going to be a delegate at the DNC convention this year. So maybe you're right. The acting profession will survive.

It's true, it's true! I can provide more painful details if you'd like: the church is Bethesda-by-the-Sea (Wikipedia informs me that Trump's most recent marriage took place there), he got in line too late to get seated in the main sanctuary so he ended up in the overflow room with the big-screen TV, he lined up for communion with the other mortals. He's a Palm Beach regular, since he owns an ostentatious mansion there (Mar-A-Lago, Marjorie Merriweather Post's little summer cottage). Besides, for it to be fan fiction, I'd need to be a fan. Yeeesh.

I LOVE that he was in the overflow room.

How crazy do you have to be to stalk someone as crazy as Alec Baldwin?

How crazy do you have to be to tweet about your stalker? It's like we're in some kind of crazy arms race.

What do you think the doctors did with Dick Cheney's old heart?

I hope they're donating it to the Smithsonian.

Have you seen Jamie Lee Curtis' guest appearances on "NCIS" with Mark Harmon? Both have grey hair, and lines on their faces -- and are so hawt together! If any two people could start turning around societal attitudes against celebrities showing their age, it could be these two. (Yes, I realize they've probably known each other since childhood in Hollywood, being the children of famous people, and starred together in the "Freaky Friday" remake).

Do you know, I've never seen NCIS. . . .

But, I must say, even if my BFF had been the Maryland lottery winner, I wouldn't accept a $300,000+ car from them. And, by definition, Tyler Perry can't be her BFF. There is something about personal integrity that seems to be diminished when you are so willing to profit off a friendship or accept such ridiculously unnecessary gifts.

That's an interesting point, and it would be fascinating to hear what Gayle says about it. One thing I have learned (although no one is showering me with $$$$$$ gifts): For the superrich, $300,000 can be like $300 to us. Not saying it's not an extravagant gift, but that it's a small amount to the giver.

I was nearly infected in the checkout line at Safeway, and I wasn't even looking in the direction of Star or In Touch, I swear!

Go wash your hands anyway.

Don't you think Mr Ryan looks like Eddie Munster?

I actually don't. Now Eddie Munster -- that's a heckuva widow's peak.

But I'd love to be able to replace my Saturn when its time comes with a new Saturn, but d**n GM stopped making them. Husband (who also loves HIS Saturn) and I were devastated.

Any good used ones out there? Some little old lady who drove 1,000 miles a year?

I know I was overwhelmed by how articulate she was when she accepted her third Oscar.

She's a very smart woman.

Every year, my uncle goes to an Easter brunch where all the adults bring a twelve pack of beer. The kids are sent out to hide all the beer, and when the whistle is blown, the adults all go hunting.

If that's true, it's hilarious. What do the kids get?

I just finished your former colleague Blaine Harden's amazing book, Escape from Camp 14. Every one should read this harrowing non-fiction account. Regardless, one of the points that is made repeated by those who work on the North Korean concentration camp atrocities is that they can't get a good celebrity advocate to press the cause of this horrific human rights situation. They admit, in a perverse way, that they are almost jealous of the Darfur situation because a good celebrity gets publicity while, just a plain old genocide without a pretty shiny face pleading for action doesn't get much coverage. Kind of a cynical view, but kind of really, sadly, true. Anyways, back to friends and they luxury cars.

I haven't read the book, but I remember well the original Washington Post story that inspired it, and it haunted my dreams for a while:

North Korean Prison Camp Escapee Tells of Horrors, Worries About Those Left Behind, 12/11/08

 

That's interesting what they're saying about the lack of  celebrity advocates on the topic. I'm not entirely convinced of the value of celebvocates in prompting change -- especially in foreign governments. And I think causes can be hurt when they enlist celebrities who don't have a strong familiarity with a topic, and North Korea is so locked-down, it's hard to imagine many movie stars could get the first-hand intel to get up to speed on it.

This would involve having prelimary events, as part of the Egg Roll Championship Series (ERCS), that leads the best coming to the "Big Dance" at the White House to compete. Amateurs only, though.

How about a Reaping where we pick one boy and one girl from each of our districts, and then send them off to the Capitol for the Egg Roll Competition of Death? (Yes, I finished "Hunger Games" last week -- good stuff.)

is her so-very-hot-with-a-cool-accent-husband, Dario Franchitti. Wow.

I met her a couple years ago, and she was very intense and scripted on whatever her celebvocate role was (as celebvocates tend to be) -- but really lit up with warmth and enthusiasm when I asked her about auto racing, which she probably doesn't get asked about a lot.

OP here, I have no idea! Add that to the list of things to bug my Mom about next time I talk to her...

Oh, what else is on that list?

To be fair in our citations, the originator ...or at least a pre-Hax user... of the "glassbowl" euphemism was a certain M. Weingarten of the Post.

If you say so. I did a Nexis search and am only finding Hax references.

I agree with Roxanne, thanks for finding a valid way to say it. All last night I was trying to find a way to say "she's made her wealth on superficial looks--she's got to take the slack that comes with it (cuz it sure ain't her acting skills).

Look, anyone in show business has to deal with the extra pressure of having their looks judged. It's part of that job --an awful part for both men and women. Judd's essay is all about how sexist it is, and she's right, to a point. But anyone --male or female---who goes into acting has to deal with others hiring (or not hiring) them based on their looks, talent notwithstanding. So to suddenly denounce the media and anyone else for commenting on her changed looks smacks me as indulgent, regardless of her lofty vocabulary on the subject.   

You don't have to go to LA to see a Bentley. There are several of them in the outdoor lot at the Bentley Euromotors dealership in Bethesda, corner of Wisconsin and Woodmont. I walk by them a fair amount. They are pretty cars, although I probably could maybe 5 inch square portion of one of the bumpers.

Afford? Yeah. I'd rather spend the money on something for fun than a Bentley.

Was Bo there?

Pretty sure he's contracturally obligated to make an appearance at these things -- ah, yes, here's a photo.

The official title is the "Miller High Life White House Easter Egg Roll". The sold the naming rights last year.

Oh, I don't think they're allowed to take sponsorships from liquor or tobacco companies anymore. It will probably be the AbilifyInstagramQuiznos White House Easter Egg Roll.

Waters once said to a famous actor who complained about too much public attention, "Well, what kind of profession did you think you were getting into?" Also, when asked whether being recognized and talked to by people on the street bothered him, Waters said, "No, I realized long ago that whenever I leave my house, I'm at work."

Interesting.

Um...Ashley Judd has never won an Oscar...

Sorry for the confusion. We henceforth order all chat participants to abstain from sarcasm.

How about Angelina Jolie? Wasn't her Evelyn Salt character corrupted by spending 2 years in a North Korean prison camp?

Was she? I just looked it up on Wikipedia, and apparently that was in the scene I missed by arriving late. Who knew. There was a lot going on in that movie.

makes me want chinese for lunch

Yes.

Looks dumb being driven by the owner. You should only have a Bentley if you have a chauffeur.

Well, there is that small point.

I was at the gym the other morning, and there was some huge trumped up controversy about an English woman (whose name escapes me - the sound was turned off and I was listening to NPR at the time) who wrote an article about how women don't like her because she's so attractive. She wasn't anything more than ordinarily pretty, but the British media put headlines on it like "Don't Hate Me Because I'm Beautiful", engendering a ton of hating on her. All I could do was note that Betheny Frenkel and Kim Kardashian were on adjacent tv sets.

It was such a trumped up controversy. What happened to the days when, if a story was stupid, we could just react by not reading it? Now if someone writes a stupid story, we have to have three-day discussion of why the story was stupid and why the writer was stupid, and in the process send the stupid story a lot more traffic.

have you seen Lisa Rinna's new ad for undetectable Depends? She appears to have defalted her lips a bit.

I did, but I so so turned off by the cheesiness of the ad that I didn't noticed her lips. And she dragged Harry into it!

I believe this is the original coinage. Gene is the Founding Father of of "glass bowl."  Link

Hmm, I see, I was searching wrong;  thought it was a compound word: glassbowl.

Not much, surprisingly! Why, do you have ideas for good things to add?

Oh, not for me to say -- but thought maybe you had stuff you wanted to work out with us in lieu of going to therapy.

Well, just look at what North Korea did to Lisa Ling's sister when she "accidentally" slipped over the border from China. Ya kinda need to be able to GO somewhere -- as Clooney pere et fils have to Darfur -- in order to celebvocate with credibility.

Yes, that's the hitch.

It is true! He and his friends have been doing it for years and years- some kids who used to hide the beer now bring their kids for the honors. One year my uncle took my little brother (he was 25 or so) and they were essentially useless by Easter dinner at my mom's (who was very angry at my uncle for taking him). But, my brother said it was the most magical spectacles ever. What do the kids get: satisfaction of a job well done. And, since its Oregon, probably some vegan non-religious carib-filled candy.

Thanks for sharing.

My problem with Ashley Judd is that it's clear she was only moved to comment because her appearance was being questioned, not because of some overarching concern for the female condition. At the same time, it's disingenuous of her to pretend that her looks don't matter. If she acted as well as Meryl Streep, but had the looks of Eleanor Roosevelt, would she get the same movie parts -- or even be considered for them? She makes a living, at least in part, with her looks and she should know it. To pretend looks don't matter is a sanctimonious crock of hooey.

If she acted as well as Meryl Streep --and had the grace of Meryl---then this would be a different conversation. Alas, neither appears to be the case.

Queen latifah has a bright yellow one. Or she rents it when she's away from home. She was living in my neighborhood and it was parked in the driveway. It was a few houses down from my friend. That's when she was filming that movie with dolly parton a few months ago. In atlanta. And Teen Wolf is back in my house - to reshoot some scenes for the first ep of the second season. Don't forget to watch! You'll see my kitchen and den! (It's on MTV).

Again, this may be some delightful fan fiction -- the Washington Post can't vouch for the color of Latifah's alleged Bentley -- but I'm still looking forward to seeing your kitchen.

No adult supervision for the rest of the afternoon.

Well, that always ends well. Hope the kids are in a chocolate coma and fall asleep in front of the TV.

A lot of people on the hill have found this very very funny in its appropriateness. I love the woman, but she has a notoriously bad, bad temper.

She does speak her mind, doesn't she.

Is that drool I see on the First Dog? He IS a dog, like every other dog after all.

Yes, but a dog who is going to clean up on the lecture circuit once this White House gig is over.

I worked at a little coffee shop and there were regulars who got a bagel and coffee most mornings. MUCH to my surprise, one of the regulars was driving down the street, when I saw him - DRIVING A BENTLEY. Wow, I was pissed about those 50 cent tips after *that*.

Another reason not to drive one.

Hello! Have you seen Double Jeopardy? Anyway, I actually enjoy Ashley Judd and the only thing that bothers me about her is that she is a show-off when it comes to her vocabulary.

That is such a heteronormative reaction. . . . I liked her a lot in "Ruby in Paradise."

 

I think Carolyn Hax's version of it is a compound word. Therefore, it is different from Gene Weingarten's glass bowl. Would you call someone an "a*& h#$%" or an "a*&h#$%"? I think it's a compound word.

I agree.

Did anyone else see him? He not only is drop-dead gorgeous, he sings and dances quite well. I could picture God looking just like him!

There you go, commenting on the looks of poor pretty Matt. The guy's going to get a complex or something.

Chatters: Enough fun for one day. We've got columns to write and miles to go before we sleep. Send your tips. sightings, rumors, insights and other bits on wisdom to reliablesource@washpost.com. See you same time next week.

 

In This Chat
Reliable Source
Washington Post columnists Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts discuss your favorite gossip, celebrity sightings and their recent columns.

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