The Washington Post

The Reliable Source: Chelsea Clinton wedding; Erin Andrews on Capitol Hill, Scott Brown "Most Beautiful"; Rodarte sister act and Angelina Jolie's "Salt"

Jul 28, 2010

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

Today: Chelsea Clinton's wedding is happening this weekend -- and you probably know as much about it as the guests, who are also being kept in the dark on many details. Erin Andrews pushes an anti-stalking bill on Capitol Hill. Scott Brown, no surprise, named to the Hill's "50 Most Beautiful" list but refuses to pose. Michelle Obama gets stood up by the mysterious sister-act design team of the Rodarte fashion line. "Salt"'s goofy take on D.C. geography.

Good morning everyone! Sorry for the delay. It's on account of this wonderful new software we've got here, giving us fits once again. Let's just get started...

Well, the weather in Rhinebeck Saturday looks PERFECT (mostly sunny, high 82, low 58!). My mail carrier says she's searching hi and lo for my invite because clearly it's been lost. Who are you wearing?

I'm wearing.....flip flops. My invite got lost, too. (Like they were ever going to invite me!) Will be intereting to see who made the cut.

I am no fan of the Housewives of Wherever, but I must confess, I am looking forward to Housewives of DC. I hope Michaele Salahi falls flat on her face. Can they vote her off somehow?

I think we're still a couple of seasons away from Bravo deciding that "Housewives" should be an elimination show. I predict by 2012, they'll encorporate gladiatorial combats into the season.

One person that probably should have made it on that "50 Most Beautiful People on Capitol Hill" is Sen. Carte Goodwin (D-W.Va.). Am I wrong? Plus what the buzz you've gotten on Sen. Goodwin?

Poor Sen. Goodwin -- he was probably appointed too late. The Hill spends WEEKS putting together this list. He's probably a shoo-in for next year. What can I tell you? He's from a prominent West Virginia family. And sorry, ladies, he's married.

The ones with no credit card to provide for lodging? Or who only have a Visa debit card? Where are they supposed to stay?

Borrow money? Sell blood? Is there a Holiday Inn in Rhinebeck?

How did Amy Carter get by with nobody nosing around about her wedding? Or is it weddings? I can't remember....

Quite a contrast, huh? She's been married since 1996 to a tech guy she met in grad school. She has one kid. And largely, no one's paid much attention to her since her activist undergrad years at Brown.

Aren't we used to these movie geography mistakes by now? However, it would be a great tool to use for local historyand  geography courses. Amy, you should write a book and make some money off this! I'd put it on my Christmas list!

Eh, you know... Probably there's a web site, or several, that compile all of these Hollywood geography glitches, so there'd be no value in a book. Besides, it's more fun to talk about.

so we could stop worrying that she and Brad Pitt are on the rocks. Photo ops/movie openings have allowed us lots of chances to see the two of them together, touching, and looking beautiful. Exactly what we expect. Now, in about two months, we will see the tabloids talk about their being apart, etc.

That is the cycle. I have to say I enjoyed this week's dueling People and US covers. People has an interview with Angelina, "My Life with Brad." US has excerpts from an unauthorized biography, cover line: "How She Stole Brad."

Huge news! Amanda Bynes is coming out of retirement. I didn't know she had retired. In fact, I don't even know who Amanda Bynes is, but she must be important if she decided she's so indespensible that she could only stay retired for 5 weeks. I'm assuming that you and a cadre of Post reporters will do a five-part series on this American icon?

Amanda made the cut for a two-sentence item on account of it being July and nothing else happening. Her so-called retirement did make a fair amount of three-sentence news a couple months ago.

Who's picking up the tab for Chelsea's wedding? Also, if I wanted the Salahis at my birthday party in mid Sept, who do Icall? Ghostbusters?

I assume her parents----but that's one of the million questions for which we don't have the answer. But ignore those stories about a $2 million wedding. Chelsea will wear a beautiful designer dress, but it's highly unlikely she will pay $20,000 for it. The dress, like so many other things at a celebrity wedding, will probably be wholesale or discounted---the publicity value will more than make up the difference. It wouldn't be a cheap wedding, but nothing like the figures some wedding planners are throwing around to create buzz.

I heard the price tage is $3 million. Is that possible? For 400 people? Aren't they embarrassed?

Relax. That's just speculation on what a huge wedding with a crazy unlimited budget would cost----if you had no connections and no one would cut you a deal. The kind of wedding planners would LOVE to see more people pay for because it ups their fees.

Not the case with the Clintons, trust me. 

The Clintons haven't told anyone what this is costing. The numbers you see are guesswork provided by high-end wedding planners, and you know what? It's just their opportunity to spew propaganda on behalf of the bridal-industrial complex. Like, they say, "well, nice wedding dresses range from $10,000 to $30,000 -- but Chelsea is modest so she'll only spend $20,000." They're doing this to mess with your head and redefine your notion of  "normal" so that you, too, will think that you have to spend $10,000 on a wedding dress. These are bad people.

Chelsea's husband isn't Christian? To what faith does he belong? Thanks!

He's Jewish.

I'm guessing everyone will now be carefully scrutinizing to see if FLOTUS ever wears another one of their creations.


As a Cornell graduate, I can tell you that you are sadly uneducated in the discipline of good wines. NY has many, perhaps not as many as that big west coast state, but still... recommend you get yourself out to Wegman's and sample a Konstantin Frank vintage to name just one, even better get yourself up to the Finger Lakes for a tour and sample the wine and scenery in person.

Do you know who you're talking to? I spend most of my time in the Finger Lakes and have been guzzling Dr. Frank's wines for years. Anyway, I don't think that item was dissing NY state wines. We're just raising an eyebrow at Sen. Schumer's photo-op -- calling on the White House to serve only domestic wines, when in fact that's what they've been doing for a generation.

He won't be around for next year's list; he's a placeholder until the special election is held this November.

Aw. Too bad. The Hill insists on having a completely fresh list every year -- no repeats -- so they really need the pretty-face turnover in Congress.

You mentioned something about the wacky geography of the District of Columbia within the feature film "Salt"? What was it?

Oh, lots of little things, but my favorite was when they had street signs indicating Angelina was at 6th and Indiana... which didn't look a thing like the real 6th and Indiana. Link to follow.

I noticed that Willie Nelson is going to be playing Wolf Trap next week. Any idea where that guy stays when he is in the area, or does he and the rest of the family just get back on the bus and head on the road again?

He's at Wolf Trap this week? Why, I just saw him in Baltimore the other night. I bet he's a tourbus kind of guy. It looked like a pretty good bus. Like a band of gypsies they roll down the highway.

to getting on the guest list for Chelsea's wedding? Or are these all confidential sources you are referring to?

No one is admitting before the fact. A few will admit it after the fact (the famous folks seen arriving, etc) but plenty will not for fear of appearing to exploit their friendship with the newlyweds. 

I had no idea who Erin Andrews was until this video thing popped up, but I hope to God she sues that Peeping Tom for every penny he's got. What a pig. Same for Elin Nordegren - let her shove Tiger's libido where the sun don't shine. She's got some ferocious lawyers and good for her. How DARE he humiliate her before the whole world.

Two separate issues:

Andrews had every reasonable expectation that she was free to roam naked in her hotel room without being photographed (as long as the curtains were drawn) and is suing both the stalker and the hotels for making it possible for him to videotape her through the peephole.

Tiger's wife faces a more complicated situation. Maybe she had no clue about his infidelity, but she married a superstar, with all the baggage and risks that comes with that lifestyle. That doesn't excuse the mistresses, but it also doesn't mean that his cheating was probably not specifically directed to hurt her, unlike Andrews's case. Was Elin humiliated? Sure. But your outrage should be directed toward the health risks he exposed her to more than her reputation.  

"Salt" in D.C.: Where is Angelina, exactly?

I certainly don't care what Chelsea's costs Bill & Hillary. That's just bad manners. However, it will be interesting to see her dress, hear about the decorations and food, etc. Just like any other wedding.

I think some of that will leak out after the fact---there's enormous interest and people will probably be wiling to talk about details like that.

Why does anyone need a $7,000,000 yacht? And then try to avoid Massachusetts taxes? Wow. Why does anyone need a $2,000,000 wedding (if that's true, the yacht is the the truth). So many hungry children..... Is this the most excessive July you can remember?

Well, probably not so much need a $7 million yacht as WANT a $7 million yacht. The news today is that he will "voluntarily" pay $500,000 in Massachusetts taxes to fend off allegations that he's docking it in R.I. to avoid that cost.

The "Say Yes to the Dress" episode featuring Chelsea Clinton and her parents!

As if! Did you see the report that Chelsea and her mom stopped by Ver Wang's shop yesterday? But Hillary also swung by Oscar de la Renta. My guess: Wang is doing Chelsea's gown, Oscar is doing Hillary's MOTB dress.

What does Marc Mezvinsky do? Known hobbies or sport he likes? Is he politically ambitious? Like Tricia Nixon's groom or even going back to socialite Alice Roosevelt's groom, seems politically ambitious men like to have presidents as father-in-laws. Actually I would say that Alice Roosevelt is the most interesting presidential daughter. Presidential son would be George W. Bush, right?

He's a finance guy -- works for a hedge fund, used to work for Goldman Sachs. He's the son of two former members of  Congress -- Ed Mezvinsky of Iowa (who recently got out of prison on a fraud charge) and Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky of Pennsylvania (who some of you may remember as a long-ago local TV reporter in D.C.) He and Chelsea have known each other since they were young teenagers; they went to Stanford at the same time but didn't start dating until about five years ago.

Do you think Vera gave it to her as a wedding gift - and the bridesmaid dresses too?

Who knows? But it would not surprise me----it places Vera in the center of the biggest wedding of the year. 

The show The Hills ended on MTV. Oh no, what will will Heidi and Spencer do for money now? Plastic surgery is not cheap, my friend.

That may be why she got several lifetimes-worth all in one shot while the show was still on.

I just retired from my job. But by the time my turkey sandwich was done at Potbelly, I changed my mind and was out of retirement in time to get back before my lunch hour was done. Solidarity, Amanda Bynes.

I hope you had time to tweet the news.

I had noticed on another (though not as good) gossip site that Edward Burns was in town promoting his new movie. I had enjoyed his movies in the 90s, but he totally fell off the map. I was stunned he was still making movies. Good for him.

I didn't manage to get out to that event last night; don't know how the movie is.

I thought it was incredibly rude of the Rodarte sisters to not show up to lunch at the White House. The First Lady invites you to lunch, you show up (unless you or an immediate family member is bleeding to death). Eccentricity is no excuse for good manners.

Exactly. Either decline outright or go---but don't no show at the last minute.

How does going to Cornell make you a wine expert?O r does it just teach you how to speak condescendingly?

I'm related to many accomplished drinkers who went to Cornell, and I can vouch that they are well familiar with the many quality wines of New York's Finger Lakes region.

You were at the Willie Nelson show? What did you think? It was my first time seeing him, and I was happily surprised. Seemed he has not lost his voice at all. Oddly seemed like it got stronger as the show went on. But seriously -- $40 for a concert shirt? Some "Outlaw" he is marketing himself to be.

I know. It made the stuffed Willie Nelson dolls, priced at $25, seem almost affordable. It was a very good show, though. Carpal tunnel has diminished his most ferocious guitar strumming, but he still plays very well and sounds amazing.

Wow. I thought I was totally over the top with a $3,000 dress. Now I wish I'd just spent a few hundred on a simple white bridesmaid dress. I can't believe $20,000.

Propaganda, I tell you.

The Democrats are trying to stimulate the economy. Please don't complain:)

Exactly! Let them pour some money into the economy! Though I'm not sure what the trickle-down benefit of a quarter-million dollars in floral arrangements are.

Supposedly he has asked for a detective to be present during his visitations with his baby girl. What is that supposed to accomplish, exactly? And how did this guy maintain his stardom for 20 + years before he truly showed his strangeness?

Strangeness in Hollywood depends on success. For a long time, his movies were huge hits and he could do no wrong----especially since he was seemingly happily married with kids. My guess is that his wife took the brunt of his abuse, and other hints of weirdness were dismissed or brushed under the rug by agents and managers.  

I'm not up on my Chelsea gossip, so please forgive me if you're already covered this. Does she still work for a hedge fund? I know she did at one point, and I used to wonder why she basically got a pass for working for one of the entities that supposedly destroyed our economy. Could you imagine the reaction if one of the Bush twins worked for a hedge fund? So, what she does for a living, if anything? And her fiance? Thanks.

I hear you. Not sure if she's still with the hedge fund, but last fall she started studying for a graduate degree in health policy and management at Columbia.

Happy early birthday to Marian "First Granny" Robinson. It's actually Friday. Is Granny Robinson going to Spain too? Wonder if she isn't, is she going to stay in the White House with just her and "First Pet" Bo.

Smart money says she goes. There will be several people (Spanish reports say a couple dozen) on the trip, and she was in England and France with them last summer. 

Don't worry, they get cheaper. For my third wedding, I went off-the-rack from Nordstrom. A couple hundred bucks. Nobody seemed to mind.

Hey, why not just re-wear one of your earlier wedding dresses?

I recall reading bits about this last year, and it sounds horrible to be stalked. But had a question -- how would the stalker spy on her? Would he actually drill a hole to look through? Wouldn't the hotel notice this was going on?

My understanding is that he put a camera up in the peephole. But yeah, what you said -- that's why Andrews is suing the hotels.

I remember reading about it back when it happened in a magazine. Maybe People?

Yeah, but there was much less coverage, right?

Maybe the reason the bad guys could not catch her is because they got Route 1 and 395 mixed up?

Clearly, that was the start of their problems.

Does it seem like there have been an inordinate number of "celebrity" weddings this summer? I reluctantly put Chelsea in the celebrity status although she seems to want nothing to do with that lifestyle.

Intersting question:  Lots of big names tied the knot this month, but it is summer. There's probably a celebrity wedding website where were could compare----if we cared enough. Anybody?


So both the girls married nice Jewish boys. I heard that Ivanka actually converted. Has Chelsea?

No one knows what Chelsea's plans are.

Also a lot of poking fun.

In all, though, it was more than anyone had paid attention to  Amanda Bynes in a while.

Who are you cheering for to replace Simon on American Idol? Aside from Larry King, of course.

Larry King gets my only vote. That would be magnificent.

Can we get the nasty blogosphere to stop trashing the son for the sins of his father, please? Besides, I understood that Ed Mezvinsky's problems derived, sadly, from severe hard-to-treat bipolar disorder.

Fair enough on the first part. But plenty of people with bipolar disorder don't commit bank fraud, so let dad off the hook that easily.

U.S. Rep. Charlie Rangel is up on corrupt charges, but he mocked Luke Russert. That makes him okay in my books. Rangel apparently didn't know who Luke Russert was so lucky him.

"While you're young, I guess you need to make a name for yourself." That's a brilliantly subtle dis.

Why are the Clinton's not on top of stopping all those crazy cost sestimates from the wedding planners (who know nothing) -- it get's reported as fact everywhere and it get's them bad PR? Just sad on Chelsea's behalf...

They (or Chelsea) have decided to no comment everything. That's what happens.

I think it's great you are exposing those who "sell" weddings for the marketing hounds they really are! I paid $360 for my wedding dress in 1995, and it was (and still is) wonderful! You are exactly right that if they make $5,000 seem reasonable, then they can make $10,000 seem okay, and so on! Celebrities just help feed this monster!

Am I the only one who gets a little upset at the amounts brides spend on "Say Yes to the Dress"? I worry about the  burden it puts on some of the families. 

So, if you were planning a four day, three night trip with your 30-something boyfriend somewhere in the Finger Lakes, where would you go? And just to keep this question chat-relevant, do celebrities vacation there?

I believe one of the D.C. "Real Housewives" vacations up there -- does that count? And we have some very big deal race car drivers come through Watkins Glen, but they're working, not vacationing... If I were you, I'd try to rent a cabin on Seneca or Cayuga or Keuka Lake, and then take some day trips out to the wineries.

I was actually hoping that Larry King would join "The View"

Can't he do both?

Yeah, but there were also fewer famous for just being famous people around. Amy Carter wasn't really doing anything interesting at the time. Today, she would have been covered ad nauseum. I'm sure she likes being left alone. If I remember she was really shy.

Lots of different dynamics. There's a bigger celebrity/paparazzi culture. There's more fascination with weddings these days, for whatever reason. And the public always had a stronger protective feeling about Chelsea, as the only child, than it did about Amy Carter, it seems...

I bought mine at a consignment shop for $500 and thought that was a lot of money.

It is a lot of money! For a dress you're only going to wear once.

Roxanne--I've always wondered if for the game "Bluff the Listener," do you as panelists write the bluffs or the show's writers? How much of the show is you, versus scripted? I'm just so curious!

Panelist write our own bluffs---it's one of my favorite parts of the show, although I feel a bit guilty misleading a caller trying to win. The producers send all three of us the real story the day before the show, then one rewrites the real one and the other two come up with something with the same theme and try to make it crazy/realistic enough.

We're not allowed to know any of the questions on the show: the brilliant staff puts that part together, but everything panelists say is spontaneous. (If you've never been to a live taping, you should try and come---it's a great chance to see the process.) 

I have seen "Inception" twice and I still dont get it

What do you need me to explain to you? Did you get that it's about dreams?

Sorry, I meant to say: Eccentricity is no excuse for bad manners. But I'm sure all y'all knew what I meant. I'm on deadline and just stopped by for a moment.

That's how I read it.

I cannot believe Lindsay Lohan has been behind bars for a week. How much longer and are you aware of the "Free Lindsay" rally?

It was estimated that she'd be out by early August.

So, when the First Lady travels without the president, does she still get to take Air Force One?  I'm assuming they're not flying coach!

It's only called Air Force One when the president is aboard.  The first family isn't allowed to fly commercial for security reasons----they'll be on a military plane.

Don't foreget that Clintons spent time up in Skaneateleas.  Hmmm not sure I won't to let that one out though, it's good to keep some places to ourselves. . But I really wanted to say, if you go up there stay at one of the many wonderful B and Bs.

That is correct, they did.

Wait till Lindsay Lohan gets out of jail. That will be covered ad nausem

Maybe on Saturday! Tabloid explosion! "Cut to, back to Lindsay!"

If his wife, daughters and mother-in-law are out-of-town, does that mean that Pres. Obama will have to look after Bo? (I ask this naively without noticing the massive White House staff)

Yes----national security will have to wait while Bo pees.

I bought mine for $30 on the "mall" area in Charlottesville. Cost me $30, but $45 to tailor. I've worn it to other formals since (it's a Chinese dress - I married a Chinese dude)

You don't see "Chinese" and "dude" in the same sentence that often. Good for you.

The guy would call the hotels to find out what room she was staying in. The hotels gave him the info, then he'd ask for a room next to hers. Totally creepy.

Worse than creepy. Dangerous.

I'm sitting outside under an umbrella. Can I get a sun burn through this. It's not entirely opaque .... oh and um, Lindsay Lohan. Sorry needed to make this relevant.

Yes, if you can see the sun through that umbrella, then you can get a sunburn through it. Trust me on this. It may be the reason why Lindsay Lohan is so freckled.

Amazing deduction!

Hey, there: it's about 99% better than most of the wedding "commentators" out there---and I have a pretty good chance of being right!

Kids, with all this wedding bliss, time has slipped away from us. Got a column to write. (FYI: I'm headed off next week for a little vacation, so Amy is flying solo. Then we'll both be gone for two weeks of well-needed R&R. )

Stay cool, and send every single tip and sighting (summer is quiet in these parts) to Cheers.


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