The Reliable Source: Wonder Woman/Lynda Carter, Al Franken, Miss Virginia, Landon Donovan, Juleanna Smoot, Elizabeth Edwards, Megan Fox, Sonia Sotomayermore

Jun 30, 2010

Washington Post columnists Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts discuss your favorite gossip, celebrity sightings and their recent columns.

In recent columns: Wonder Woman's day in court -- Lynda Carter prevails in Potomac neighborhood squabble. Al Franken's sketchy habit. Miss Virginia's hard act to follow. Landon Donovan's complicated love life. Juleanna Smoot's too busy to party. Elizabeth Edwards has a few more things to say. Megan Fox ties the knot. And why Sonia Sotomayor won't sign your baseball.

Good morning everyone. Let's see how many questions we can handle before Rox -- oh, wait, here she is now.

I saw Stephen Strasburg. I asked him for an autograph. He said no. That is all I have to report.

Really? Where did you approach him? And he just said, "no," that's all? Any explanation?

(Note to other chatters: Can't vouch for the validity of this story, but let's see what we can tease out here.)

So, now to whom will I point when discussing the long-term effects of poor posture with my children? He was always so conveniently there to show a slouching image with deformed shoulder and say, "Do you want to look like this? Sit up straight!"

Exactly! And now where will we turn when an '80s personality dies unexpectedly? I've been telling everyone who cares to listen for months now that they have to start watching Larry King, quick, before they cancel him. That show was non-stop entertaining. Pure vaudeville. He had the ability to ask great questions and stupid questions, within the same interview! It was a classic, and now it's too late for those of you who want to get in on the fun.

Again, this woman's comments to Today and People show that she has some class. Not like Rielle Hunter. Sad to hear how much her cancer has spread, though.

Anyone else see? We've got the clip here. Every time I thnk I'm done with the Edwards story I get drawn back in.

You described his sketch of Sen. Sessions as "not bad." I think it was better than that. And who knew of this hidden talent and inclination to sketch...could be a great book someday!

Well, he's a much better draw-er than I am, that's for sure.

Steve Carell leaving "The Office" is sad, but not surprising. Like Jim Carrey and others, it was only a matter of time before he said goodbye to TV to concentrate on his movie career.

Seven years is a long time to be on a TV show. I think most actors feel that way -- though at the same time feeling guilty that they feel that way, when so many others would kill for the steady work.

Hottest spy in history? Anna Chapman? Mata Hari? Ethel Rosenberg


Who is the hottest spy?

Oh lord -- we actually have a poll about this? Well, cast your vote!

Is anyone else as sick of hearing about this as I am? What is the big deal anyway?

It's like any obsession----you either get it or you don't. I'm too old for this vampire series, but it strikes me that it's not that different from any fad. Let the kids have their moment----it will pass soon enough. 

I vote for Jewel Staite in the title role.

Is Anna Chapman googletrending today? Must be. If you haven't yet, you must read today's A1 story about the (alleged!) Russian spy sleeper cell -- they lived and worked among us! And tried to pass off their fishy accents as "Scandinavian!" I hadn't heard of Jewel Staite until you prompted me to google her just now, but I agree, she would make an excellent vixen spy lady.

Am I the only person disturbed by the anti-Thurgood Marshall statements by some politicos that are coinciding with the Kagan hearing? Is this merely a by-product of the play? Or did someone say, "All right! A chance to diss Marshall! Let's jump on that bandwagon!"? Seems to me to be in bad taste, if not just outright wrong.

I'm not sure how seriously we should take any of the speeches in these hearings. Lots of political theater. Kagan was right to question the process, althought she obviously won't admit it now.

Should there be a reality show to see who would replace Larry King?

I hate most reality shows, but I'd watch this one. Imagine the characters, egos, sex, women, suspenders.....yeah, I'd watch.

Rob Lowe seems kind of young for a memoir doesn't he ? Will you read it ?

Is it Rob Lowe week or something? News that he's producing a reality show about D.C. youngsters (good luck there: America hates reality shows about Washington), that he's writing a memoir, and some random thing on TMZ yesterday about him forming some billion-dollar new production company or something. Whatever. Anyway, I imagine Rob Lowe's memoir will be as awesome as Melissa Gilbert's (the excerpt of which I devoured in People), Marlee Matlin's (same), and Tatum O'Neal's (which I skimmed in an airport bookstore). And I think he dated at least two of them, right? I predict that THAT, of all three Rob Lowe projects you're hearing about this week, will be the one that takes off.

Whether she goes to prison or not, please tell me Anna Chapman will get her own reality show. That's one I'd watch. If she's in jail, it might be even better.

Photo Gallery:  Alleged Russian spy posts photos online

Look! We've apparently got a gallery of Anna Chapman photos! Please click on the link and help Anna help us save our industry.

The suspects in a Russian spy ring lived all-American lives

Except they didn't. Which is why it's a great tale.

Valerie Plame could be the hottest spy in history.

I assume she's in the poll, right?

Does Brian Austen Greene know that he is a consolation prize for her, to feel better after being dumped by the Transformers franchise?

That's not fair---they've been dating forever. Then again, who knows why anyone gets married. Maybe she finally had time to focus on being a wife?

As an avid watched of Bravo I have seen the previews of the D.C. Housewives. They show the Salahis in their limo with her gummy smile saying "yes, they are going to the White House." Make it go away. Now those New Jersey women know how to throw a good cat fight.

Very curious to see whether D.C. can throw a catfight as well. The previews show at least a minor spat that I'm very much looking forward to. But I'm not seeing any hairpuling or table flipping... yet.

Larry King should be replaced by Steve Carrell. Steve Carrell should be replaced by Ricky Gervais. I should have a real network to run, instead of the pretend one in my head.

Then you might turn into a TV exec tool, which would make you the butt of late-night jokes. Is that what you really want? Aside from the vast paycheck, of course.

It occurs to me, after this story broke, that separating from your spouse and turning over assets to her as part of the separation agreement is a great way to keep said assets from being at play in any sort of civil case for damages. Is this plausible in the Al and Tipper Gore scenario.

I haven't read too much about the separating-of-assets -- just heard a bit about that yesterday. I was wondering whether that was something that makes more sense in the context of the separation: Can it really be that easy to protect your money from a possible lawsuit?

Okay maybe this idea isn't in the best of taste but I think there's a reality TV show possibility in that story about the Russian spys. Of course it all depends if they don't go to federal prison for 25 years for espionage or something.

Exactly -- I mean, aren't THESE the Real Housewives of D.C. and New York we've been wanting to hear about? Some people with some real drama going on in their lives, beyond just cocktail parties and cosmetic surgery.

Besides, since it's well established that Reality TV Ruins Lives, maybe they can work out some plea deal where they agree to provide programming to Bravo, in lieu of a prison sentence.


Anyone? FYI, the masseuse is now telling her story, on the record, with her name and photo, to the National  Enquirer. But you have to buy it to read it. Smart of them.

Okay, I felt some sympathy for her until the part where they basically lied about the dogs. They only have one dog, a lab! No, wait, they have another dog - a little tiny one! And it stays in the house! So no one can hear it bark! Puhleez! Little dogs are sometimes worse than big ones (I have little dogs at my house) and barking dogs are a nuisance when they bark nonstop and just because they are inside doesn't mean that nobody else can hear them!

Lynda Carter wins doggone barking battle

 I think their point is that only one of their dogs goes outside, so at least part of the barking may be coming from another neighbor's dog. Hard to say unless they testified in court to clarify the problem, and they didn't because the judge found there wasn't enough evidence to move the case forward.  

Was there any word if the Salahis tried to crash Megan Fox's wedding?

Probably not, sadly, unless Bravo or Inside Edition footed the bill to fly to Hawaii for it.

NJ has housewives, shore-goers, dress shop owners and hairdressers all with their own shows. What is it about New Jersey?

It has replaced California as the great American dream factory, apparently. What does that say about our times?

You forgot about "Cake Boss"---the New Jersey baker. Colorful personalities.

Maybe it's just me, can we retire the term "Love Child" arleady. I mean c'mon, how many unwed couples have children these days. Plus this lady in Britain does have a love child anyhow. She is "having" his love child. The press made it seem like she was picking out pre-schools or something.

Not as long as we have Diana Ross singing the amazing song "Love Child," no, we can't retire  it. Link to follow.

I have less than zero sympathy for the autograph hound who failed to wheedle Strasburg into giving him one. First, it's well-known that SS is very shy and uncomfortable with all the attention he's been getting, and second, most of these guys only want the autograph in order to cash in on E-bay. If you base your support of an athlete on whether he's willing to enrich you, you are not any kind of supporter. I don't believe his story anyway.

Hear that, former Strasburg supporter? Now tell us your side of the story.

Have you run into them at any events recently? Is it wierd? Do they freak out and try and have you evicted (again)?

Nope. Our last encounter was Amy's ill-fated attempt to attend the party she BOUGHT and PAID a ticket for, causing her to be thrown out by Salahi security. Sigh.

At least he can tell himself his case isn't quite as sleazy as Mel Gibson's. And how about having those two mid-life affair chicks do a joint interview with Larry before he bows out for good?

Who, Rielle and Oksana?

Not defending Mel here, but I'd say the Edwards matter is just a wee bit sleazier.

It seems something of a stretch to think that a person in Potomac is bothered by her neighbor's barking dog. It's not as if those houses are right next to each other.

Don't know the exact layout but---yeah---there's plenty of lawn up there. That doesn't mean you can't hear dogs, of course.

I thought the Senate Judicary Commitee and Ms. Kagan were debating the merits of George Thorogood, not Thurgood Marshall. The former Supreme just can't strut a Fender Stratocaster or duck walk like Delaware George whose family owns a concrete company just outside of Bethany beach. We used them to build our beach house. George initialed a footing for us.

Wow -- you condensed a lot of information, not to mention a mindbending segue, into four sentences. Say hello to George Thorogood for us next time you run into him. 

Replaced California? Jersey has been raising American dreamers for decades... off the top of my head: Sinatra, Springsteen, Tony Bennett, etc...

That's a good theory. You don't here much about the elites of New Jersey except at Princeton.

Do you think Smoot is her real name because it sounds kind of made up to me.

Real family name. I interviewed her dad, former golf pro Ed Smoot. Really nice guy. 

Two words: The Sopranos That is the origin of all Jersey chic. (or "chick" as someone from Jersey might say.)

Another excellent point.

Seems to me that if a baby is the result of an affair, a more appropriate name would be "sex child." Is there really much love involved in its creation?

"Sex child" -- I like. We'll try to make it happen.

By the way, and apropos of nothing, I can't walk past the downtown Dress Barn without singing "Dress Barn woman!" to the tune of Spinal Tap's "Sex Farm."


What is it about N.J.? Must have been asked by someone who's never been to my home state. N.J. has it all -- ocean, lakes, mountains, shopping, farms, orchards, horse farms, sports -- why would anyone need to go anywhere else?

But then why do so many people leave?

Hottest spy is pretty obviously Mata Hari. Mata Hari was an olived-skinned Dutch brunette with dark brown eyes which is pretty typical in the land of blondes that is the Netherlands. I always figured they do a biopic of Mata Hari starring actress (Famke Janssen) considering is she is also an olived skinned Dutch brunette with brown eyes. We need more World War I films in my opinion. Just saying.

I will toss that out there into the ether for you, and maybe it will catch on.

Remember when it only showed art programs...sort of a more sophisticated PBS? Now it's a HOT MESS!!!

... that is doing very well in the ratings.

My favorite thing about this show is that he is truly not the "boss" - it's his mom!

She just retired. Now the sisters yell at him.

Video: Love Child - Diana Ross

Thanks for reminding me of this: This might have finally gotten Usher's "Oh My God" out of my head for the remainder of the week.

Is Brian Austen Green going to be the new Jennifer Aniston? I see it playing out of a couple of childless years with sweet "aren't they cute" gossip and then BOOM, Megan Fox is gone and pregnant by Robert Pattinson after they co-starred in "Mr. and Mrs. Smith: The Prequel"

No, if you wanted to be more accurate in the analogy, then Brian Austin Green will end up being the new Billy Bob Thornton -- no, that doesn't really work either.

Any chance Steve Carrell's leaving "The Office" is a contract negotiation ploy, or does he think he will earn more money making movies, a few of which, every now and then, are actually funny?

Well, I don't know that the show is really getting in the way of his doing movies, is it? I suspect he realized the show has lost a bit of its magic and it's time to turn in.

I want to be really careful about discounting anyone who claims they were sexually assaulted, and so I don't want to seem critical about something I don't know anything about, but I do know a couple of things. I grew up in Portland and lived there until a few years ago and I know very well that Portland Police are some of the most sensntively trained and professional people when it comes to investigating sexual assaults in the country. While she might have felt like she didn't want to go through with it, it is undoubtedly the case that she encountered support from the police who helped her - which seems clear because they kept on reaching out to her to talk to her. If they didn't want to pursue it, that means something. Second, the only reason to go public now is to make money off their divorce. So, regardless of whether Al Gore did something for which he should be punished (and for all I know he did) I still think this woman coming forward now is crass and oportunistic.

Okay, thanks for your thoughts.

OK - I just have to ask: Do you ladies think that Danielle is as delusional as I do? She seems to get stranger and crazier each episode. Honestly, what do people think when they watch themselves acting like this and read what people say about them? It can't feel good.

I'm not a regular watcher, but in general, I do find it hard to imagine what is going on inside the heads of reality TV villains -- do they know how they come across? Do they care?

Well, after that nasty remark (why do so many people leave?), I won't be reading this chat anymore. If you'd actually visited our amazing state instead of merely watching noxious reality trash or traversing the stretch of land from Newark Airport to New York City, you would know that it is filled with culture, wonderful people, great food and sights. I'm pretty sick and tired of people ragging on New Jersey.

Calm down----there's a million jokes about your state, including from former natives who moved somewhere else. Given that the state has some gorgeous qualities, why DO you think people make more fun of NJ than, say, Michigan or Ohio?  

Only someone from New Jersey could regard those hills as mountains

Ooh. Are you from New York or Pennsylvania? (New Jersey's highest elevation is 1,803 feet, for those of you keeping track.)

Out of all the 90210 hunks, who knew it would be nerdy David Silver aka Brian Austin Green, who would get the hot babe in the end. Are Luke Perry or Jason Preistley even still making TV/movies?

It looks like Luke Perry and Jason Priestly have been working somewhat more steadily than Brian Austin Green, if dating less prolifically.

Ha. I do this with the song "American Woman" a lot. "Dress Barn woman... get away from me.... eeee. Dress Barn Woman... mother let me be.... eeee."

That's even better.

We forget that even just a century ago, most marriages were not love matches but arranged by the parents of the bride and grooms. So a child born in marriage wasn't expect to be a child born out of love. Sex child is a bit dumb. I mean beyond maybe a Test Tube baby, who wasn't created by sex. And thank you so much for getting that mental image of my parents into my head.

Quick! Imagine Megan Fox and her groom doing something X-rated. 

Chuck Barris, no doubt. Clooney should have played him in the movie.


Just saying.

There's an idea.

Has anyone raised the question of whether Al's "masseuses" were a problem in the marriage ?

It could be a million things. But problem masseuses couldn't help. 

Usage of Social Applications on the Internet: When going on a money drop, turn off your Foursquare application as this may allow the FBI to track your goings on. In addition, when posting photos of oneself on Facebook, choose photos which do not show landmarks in the background; use photos that draw attention away from your location. Popular shots include close ups of faces, cleavage, or lingerie.

For all the challenges social media has posed for journalists, I'm sure it's been even harder for spies,

Bruce! That's all I got to to say about that.

He rocks....forever. 

Simple: Cost of living. The state is insanely expensive. I think it still ranks number one in Highest Property Tax and Highest Insurance Rates. As for why people don't make fun of Michigan or people even know that those states exist?

Oh, snap.

What's with that story about Tom Hanks donating his 2004 Toyota to a charity ?

One of those online celebrity-studded charity auctions, of which there seem to be so many. He donated his customized Prius for an auction to raise money for military families.

I'm from Buffalo so quit complaining.

I didn't mean to start a fight, people.

It is. What about "one nighter" child. ONC, for short.

And "bastard" has totally fallen out of favor, hasnt' it?

I remember years ago agoing to Frisian city of Leeuwarden were Mata Hari was born and raised until she was 13. They love her there. They had a very nice statue of her there.


How many of them have had to erase tweets about "just passed on state secrets." Oops.

Ha! Or "Missed my drop due to backup on the Beltway.  Suks!"

Now that we all have been set straight by Sarah Palin explaining that Ronald Reagan went to Eureka College in California, who is going to inform Nancy Reagan of this development?

I think maybe Ann Curry, who similarly transported an Illinois college (Wheaton) to another state (when she gave the commencement address at Wheaton of Massachusetts, and credited them with Wheaton of Illinois's illustrious alumni.)

I'm from Hartford. No one cares.

I care. Kinda. Well, I visited once. 

Will there be a Reliable Source vacation this year ? And if so when and on a side note why must you and Amy close down shop and take a vacation at the same time every year ? What about a few side "day trips" to like the Jersey shore or something?

Well, because it wouldn't be fair to leave the column to another person to handle solo for three whole weeks. August is the time of the great hiatus.

Three times I asked for Strasburg's autograph, and all three times he said no, in a very snotty way. The first time he was just sitting in a restaurant doing nothing but eating food with his wife and possibly in-laws. Jerk. The next time I was driving on the Beltway and drove past him, and rolled up the window and asked for an autograph, again - no. The third time was at a funeral. He was just standing there, and I had the pen and everything. All he had to do was sign it. No class

You had me going for the first sentence or two. Well played.

Actually, it's mostly New Yorkers who make fun of New Jersey, and since New York is the media capial of the universe, NJ gets the rep of being the most dumped-on state.

I propose some way to settle this once and for all.

But I guess at this point that's not a plus for Jersey, is it?


"Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in." Love, love, love NJ, but can we now leave the topic?

Fine by me! Or does Rox want to continue the fight?

Jersey does house a dairy that is the only dairy in the U..S that actually exports cheese back to Europe. Also the number one grower in blueberries, lettuce, eggplants, and a variety of other vegetables. Think about that when you're buying up those $1.99 pints of blueberries in the summer, and thank Jersey for it. ;o) That said... I work in Jersey, but I don't live there (sorry). The southern portion of the state is really very nice, but you do have to get past the trashy Northern Jersey image.

This sounds lovely -- though it doesn't quite explain the explosion of NJ-centric reality TV. Anyway, let's make this the last word.

I'm pretty tired of rude people, many of whom have never been to New Jersey, making obnoxious remarks about my state. People in D.C. act as if I should be embarrassed to have grown up at the Jersey Shore. My house was walking distance to a beautiful beach and bay, in a completely picturesque town. Yet, even prior to the recent spate of reality shows, I've had more than one person smirkingly tell me, "I'm sorry," when I told them where I'm from. Just because there are a million jokes about New Jersey doesn't mean you need to ignorantly validate them. Maybe you could try visiting and see how wrong you are? Then again, as my mother reminds me, the more people who think New Jersey is trashy, the less people crowding my beach chair this weekend.

If it helps, I got married in New Jersey and visited often. It is lovely. I think you just need a snappy comeback to all the naysayers. Maybe invite Snooki down for a weekend here? 


In defense of the masseuse...she did try to come forward a year after the incident happened. The story was quashed. But then again, why do people doubt this story...there had to be more too the divorce after 40 years of marriage than just "we grew apart." see: The Multnomah County District Attorney's Office confirmed on Wednesday that the DA's office was briefed by Portland Police in late 2006 and January 2007 on allegations brought by an attorney representing the woman in the alleged abuse incident. At that time, her attorney indicated that the woman did not want to pursue criminal charges. Details: Initial 2006 police reportt he woman herself came forward in 2009 and provided Portland police with a detailed report on the alleged incident. (courtesy of Portland news)

Thanks for your thoughts, too.

Can someone explain to me why anyone would want someone else's autograph other than for money? What joy does it bring to have a signature of someone. Surely the act of meeting that person when having it signed means more to a real fan than some chicken scratch.

Well, the signature, I guess is proof that they met this person. Anyway, I think autographs are going out of vogue these days anyway, in favor of the much-more-convincing cellphone picture with a celebrity.

To be fair to Ann Curry, there are actually two Wheaton Colleges. There is only one Eureka College and it's in Illinois.

They were both really dumb mistakes. Palin shouldn't have assumed that Eureka College was in Eureka, Calif. Curry should have Googled a little more carefully when she was going to talk to Wheaton College of Massachusetts.

Every summer I go to central Jersey to pick blueberries the size of concord grapes. Also, when I was a kid and we used to drive through Elizabeth, N.J., to get to relatives in NYC, I used to think that's where all the clouds in the world were made. The state's got some good parts, and some bad. Like most states. Except Delaware. What's good there?

Are you trying to bait Joe Biden to come in here and call you a "smart ass"?

So, how did that divorce happen so quick? Is everything faster in Texas, too, as well as bigger?

That was quick, wasn't it? I think it has more to do with being a millionaire movie star than the state.

"Anyway, I think autographs are going out of vogue these days anyway, in favor of the much-more-convincing cell-phone picture with a celebrity." Or having the celebrity's love/sex/one-nighter child.

DNA is so much more convincing than ink or photo.

I'll volunteer! I'll do it "coffee talk" style. " I'm feeling beklempt. Here's a topic: Brian Austin Green. He's neither from Austin nor green, chat amongst yourselves."

Sounds fun, if a bit short on know...reporting.

Anyway, we're here for many, many weeks before any vacation, so keep sending those tips, sightings and tourist tips to Have a safe Fourth (careful with those firecrackers and massages) and come back 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.

Send us tips at; bookmark us at Reliable Source and follow us at
Recent Chats
  • Next: