The Reliable Source Live

Jan 16, 2013

Washington Post columnists Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts were online Wednesday, January 16, at noon ET to discuss your favorite gossip, celebrity sightings and their recent columns.

Past Reliable Source chats

Good morning, and welcome back to the Reliable Source web chat. Here are some things on our radar lately:


It's a bad season for Washington power couples, huh?: We learned this week that both Adrian and Michelle Fenty and Heather and Tony Podesta have called it quits. Ditto for Britney Spears and that old guy. (The holidays are tough on romance.)


But! Happier times, though, for Ryan Zimmerman, Olivia Wilde and a newly reconciled Kobe and Vanessa Bryant.


This week’s controversies: “Zero Dark Thirty” and the torture debate; and who knew Jackie Chan hates America?


In other news: Halle Berry flies in and Gabrielle Union does her usual shtick at the BET Honors. . . ambassadors are making robo-calls for a new inaugural ball. . .  Miss New York is the new Miss America. . .  Happy 100th birthday, Richard Nixon! . . . And place your bets on when in July the royal baby will debut.

This year the best supporting actor contenders are all past winners. Has this ever happened before in the history of the Academy Awards where every person nominated in a single category has won an oscar before?

That is a good question. Not that comes to mind. Has anyone else heard? . . . If only I were backstage at the Oscars in the press room, where they have a table of researchers devoted to trivia like this, on call to answer our weirdest questions. Honestly, I should apply for that job.


To review, the best supporting actor nominees this year are  Robert DeNiro for "Silver Linings Playbook" (he won previously for "The Godfather II" and "Raging Bull"); Tommy Lee Jones for "Lincoln" (who won previously for "The Fugitive"); Alan Arkin for "Argo" (who won previously for "Little Miss Sunshine"); Christoph Waltz for "Django Unchained" (who won previously for "Inglorious Basterds"); and Phillip Seymour Hoffman for "The Master" (who won previously for "Capote").


In other words, someone's going to end up with a matched set of bookends.

and I'm sure you are sick of suggestions for the Kennedy Center honors - but there is one so obvious I don't know how it hasn't happened already: William Shatner!

I'm hoping he'll be honored the same year as Betty White and Jodie Foster.

But I am always taken for surprise when long term power couples call it quits. They have the freedom and funds to live separate lives, so it always strikes me as weird that two people who must have had a common bond at one point decide they just can't take it anymore. Oh well, goes to show you never know what happens inside the four corners of a couple's house.

Indeed -- you never know what goes on in someone else's relationship. Here's the latest story: Heather and Tony Podesta, married superlobbyists and art collectors, are separating

Ecxcept for DeNiro, who already has his.

Exactly! Must be stressful, wondering where to put your third Oscar. Daniel Day-Lewis likely facing the same quandary.

Always sad to hear about a marriage ending (well, except those abusive or otherwise truly toxic partnerships ...) but -- and now I'm being snarky -- this was Heather Podesta's *third* marriage? And she was what, 33? when they married? That's a lot of marrying at a young age, outside of Hollywood.

Some women like being married and some just have romances. Both of Heather's other marraiges didn't add up to the length of her marriage with Tony. It will be interesting to see if she marries again or remains single.

Touching and intriguing, or bizarre?

Touching, intriguing, bizarre, possibly intoxicated, somewhat obnoxious, and arguably lacking in self-awareness.


And on top of that, I'd also say it was ingenious: It's really got people talking about Jodie Foster, and thinking about her as an interesting person. For all her hit movies and Oscars and critical acclaim and the general respect she's accorded in the culture, I don't sense that your average person has been terribly interested in her for a while. This made her hot again. Overnight, she vaulted herself into Betty White Jr. territory -- "whoa, that wacky Jodie Foster, what's she gonna say or do next?"

Between the inauguration and the SB, I think Beyonce has had more than her share of exposure. She's not the only entertainer around. IMO, the SB organizers would just as soon resurrect Jim Morrison from his grave, as have Toby Keith or Kenny Chesney perform at the half time show. I think I'll watch the Puppy Bowl intead.

I love the Puppy Bowl -- adorable. But there's something special about the Super Bowl, and I'll watch Beyonce just to see what she pulls off.


This guy. German-Austrian actor who played the sinister SS officer in "Inglorious Basterds." He's great.

Jail or not in jail?

Has no one created that Web watchdog site yet? Guess it's up to me, then:


No, Lindsay Lohan is not in jail. 12:16:45, 01/16/13

Well, he did well! They are cute together, and it's proof that most ladies like a sense of humor.

She did too, I hope. Humor lasts a lot longer that looks. I always hope for the best.

I watched part of the show on Saturday and noted all the southern contestants. I was confused when I later learned that Miss New York had won. I am from NYS and know of no one who did paegants or even remotely acted or talked like any of these women. Thanks for clearing up the facts in your article (she's a recent New Yorker who moved there for FIT)! My granola sensibilities remain at ease.

She's not just Miss New York but Miss Brooklyn! And I wish I had done my research ahead of time on her. Her headshot looked good, but the fact that she was a Miss New York studying at the Fashion Institute made me assume she was just a dilettante who tried the state pageant for a bit of exposure and a few thousand in scholarship money. If I had known that she was an Alabaman who had been doing pageants for a decade, I would have placed bets on her.


Now, can we talk about poor Miss Iowa?

Just saw it and wondering -- isn't Bradley Cooper a little old for Katniss Everdeen?

I think she has too much gravitas for him, actually.

"Touching, intriguing, bizarre, possibly intoxicated, somewhat obnoxious, and arguably lacking in self-awareness." And perhaps a sign that she's been hanging around with her buddy Mel Gibson a bit much, as all of those could apply to him as well.

Oh, I love the fact that she's so loyal to Mel Gibson. Most other A-listers have dropped him like a rock, I assume. It shows a lot of character on her part that she's not just friends but publicly friends with him.

I have always avoided the official inaugural balls because they sounded like mob scenes not worth dressing up for - cash bar, really? Friends in town for the event want to go and we have been offered VIP tickets ("honored guest" category). They seem to have assigned seats but I can't get any info about what the perks are if we go at this level - shorter lines? Close to stage? What? These are $500 face value and I know the high rollers paid a lot more than that. Do you know anything about the various admission tiers? Thanks.

Don't have any official info about the ticket tiers, but from what I've seen from previous official balls: You'll get chairs (usually in a roped-off section) and maybe a little table. Most people have to stand -- so that's actually a great perk for the night. At some inaugurals, there's a bottle of champagne for certain donors, but I wouldn't count on it. (I ALWAYS tell people to eat before heading to the balls.) There may be a separate VIP entrance line but there will still be hundreds of people in it. Anybody going who can verify/refute any of this?

also somewhat inexplicably sexy, right? not just me thinking this, right?

Thank you for saying that so I didn't have to. Wouldn't you kind of love to see him playing Capt. Von Trapp? Knowing full well he'd be just as miserable in that role as Christopher Plummer was, but just as creepy-hot?

Any chance that Anne Hathaway was just so horrible at the Golden Globes that there will be a backlash against her and she will lose at the Oscars -- so we won't have to deal with her quivering Oscar speech?

Hey, I only just last night caught up with the latter part of the Globes on the old DVR. Wondering if YouTube has the part where Les Mis wins, and Hathaway makes it all about herself; constantly mugging and hugging in view of the camera. Must get to work looking for it. It's kind of hilarious.

Can't wait to see how they divide up the stuff. Especially the nude man painting!

Actually, it's a huge photo -- everything is bigger than lifesize. Need a big wall for that.

I was trying, and failing, to make conversation with my sweetheart's relatively vapid niece, and I mentioned Paris Hilton, and this 13 year old had NEVER HEARD of HER. And, then, it occured to me that she has kind of fallen off the face of the earth. Did she grow up or just grow old?

I love that! It's so telling. If you're over 25, even, then it seems like Paris Hilton's ubiquity was just yesterday. But that was 2006. When your niece was 6 or 7 years old.

No, you got it wrong. I am happy that Beyonce is performing at the Super Bowl (that should be great!) but I do think the President could have picked someone else for the Inauguration. Didn't Bey already sing an important song at the last inauguration? Give somebody else a chance!


I'm at home, waiting for Verizon to show up and connect my new home office. It's been weeks since I've been online during the chat. I'm ready to dish up some snark.

I believe snark should be reserved for those people and occasions that merit it. Like, say, serial denier Lance Armstrong.

You ever hear of a place called Flaps Rickenbackers? It used to be a bar in DC, based on the old poster of DC Pubs in my doctor's office. It must be gone, but man, what a great name.

A quick search tells me that it was at 19th and M for several years, starting in the late 70s and ending a few years after I could legally drink but before I moved back here.


I will forever mourn the lost years not spent drinking at a place called Flaps Rickenbacker.

So does Kim Kardashian supplanting Paris Hilton represent a step forward or back?

I don't think Paris Hilton made as much money being Paris Hilton as Kim Kardashian has made being Kim Kardashian.

Who are you hoping to bump into during the weekends? Any chance Clooney is going to be present?

No word that George will be here, but they'll be so many other celebrities that we'll be tripping over them.  It's always tricky to know exactly who will show up -- some pop up at the last minute, some cancel. I always feel a little sorry for them as they scramble to be at the A-list events. 

I saw Amy today, and it made my day

No you didn't.

I thought the speech was bizarre--asking for privacy at the Golden Globes--but I do admire her loyalty; she and Robert Downey sitting with Mel Gibson nowadays shows a certain sang froid

Jodie can be loyal to whoever she chooses -- that doesn't mean the people she's loyal to are worthy or should be forgiven for very bad behavior.

I'm glad you mentioned her antics at the Globes. Not just her speech, and not just her stealing the microphone to say a few more words before the producer gets to say anything. But once he is finally talking, she is mugging behind the camera, doing everything she can do to make sure viewers are watching her and not the producer. At the risk of making a dated comparison, but it was like watching Rudy Giuliani's son at his inauguration (as played by the great Chris Farley).

Okay, found it. Watch this. She is out of control. It's a classic of awards-show megalomania. Can't believe there hasn't been more chatter about it.

We've already been through that with Janet Jackson.

I do not expect a wardrobe malfunction from Beyonce. She's just that good.

We shouldnt feel too bad about Brittany. She looks to be headed to a multi million dollar payday in Vegas

Go figure. I wouldn't pay a dime to see her show. 

I'm really hoping the era of Beyonce is coming to an end. She is not becoming less annoying.

As long as she is still creating art like this that inspires Snuggie-clad lads to create their own art, then the reign of Beyonce is a good and benevolent one.

Lucky kid. Oh for an existence without the knowledge of Paris Hilton.

Who, though, are the major pop-culture touchstones for a 13-year-old these days? (I'm guessing we don't have any 13-year-olds here to tell us.)

This restores my faith in humanity and the future of our civilization! Thank you! I love this chat!

Really, it should just make you feel old, that's all.

Both Duchess Kate and Kim K are expecting in July. I bet Kimye planned that on purpose in order to upstage the Royals.

Let's see: Future king or queen of England vs. reality TV baby. No contest, not even big story unless both babies are born on the same day.

While splitting the art during a divorce, how do we think that is done? Do you get it all appraised and sort it out, or do the divorcing parties pick out emotional favorites? I have never liked a girl enough to have to plan splitting art with them, so trying to figure these things out.

What kind of art are you talking about, anyway? Nagel posters? Sports Illustrated swimsuit calendars? Neon Guinness signs you stole from a bar? Anyway, if you find the right girl, she won't want to separate you from your old "Ishtar" poster when you break up.

I like the dress that she wore to the BET Honors better than the dress that she wore to the Golden Globes. Much classier - although she has the body to pull off both.

She's gorgeous and has a great body and great fashion sense. But the Golden Globe dress was a a print and cut in such a way that her right breast looked weird. Just sayin'. Her stylist should have known how it would look on camera.  

Can we just skip over her performance and go right to the snuggie version?

That's the link I was actually looking for, but this one came up faster. More proof of Bey's world domination.

I think she's like a magical unicorn and does everything right. What is the cause of the dislike? She's beautiful, sings well, and is a bit a wacko about managing her image, but she seems pretty awesome and inoffensive as far as super rich people go.

I've no reason to hate. Superstars are WAY different than you or me, but I can't point to much that rubs me the wrong way.

How long do you think before she runs for office?

I don't think she'll actually run for office. If that were her plan, she would have gotten involved in politics by now. I'd bet her career lies more with the family business, i.e., keeping the Clinton Global Initiative going.

Definitely go. Don't bring a coat. Eat/drink beforehand. Park on the street. And then you never have to go again!

Park on the street -- if you want to walk blocks and blocks because of road closures. Metro is the best bet. There's no good way to get there if you're a normal person -- and even the VIP limo crowd is restricted.

What is the Mars Flower?

Here's a story I googled up about it. It's a pebble photographed by NASA's rover that kind of looks like a flower but isn't.

It's sad when you see it coming with couples in the public eye. However, I had just said to someone, what are the Fentys doing now? Little did I know....

We all wondered when she took a job overseas last year.

I give her credit -- I respect her loyalty to Mel Gibson, despite his being a Hollywood pariah. Of course, I can't understand how you can beat up your girlfriend (Chris Brown) Murder someone (Ray Lewis) and be forgiven, but say some idiotic things while drunk and your career is over. Good for Jodie for standing by him.

Well said.

Yes, except that sometimes those separate lives involve other parties. Maybe the spouse A, who has not moved on doesn't want to have to deal with people's stares, whispers or comments about who spouse B is hanging out with. Maybe there are tax or inheritance considerations. It actually surprises me that as many of them stay together as long as they do - people change over the course of a decades-long marriage, particularly if one or both were young (ie under 30) when they got together, and it is rare that they will change in ways that accommodate the other's changes. Also, I do wonder how two people with big personalities and big careers can even stay together for more than 5 minutes. Just sayin'...

Well, judging by the number of times we've had to type "D.C. power couple splits" in the past few years . . .

but Kate Winslet married a guy who changed his last name to Rocknroll. What a tool! You think she would have better sense!

Oh, that is so two weeks old.

Are we supposed to feel sorry for her because of her gaffe, or because of the name her parents gave her?

I've been searching and searching for an explanation of how they happened to name their baby daughter Mariah Cary, post-"Vision of Love" (feel old?). I may just have to call these nice people in Muscatine and whether that was intentional tribute or an accident.

Until I saw her retrospective, I had no idea I had seen so many of her movies. When I checked IMDB, I realized I'd seen 10 of them. She's more prolific than I thought. Quietly so.

I still think my favorite is "Bugsy Malone."

Did we not know that he was gay?

I knew he was gay, and it's not like I'm inner-circle. Not sure why everyone's making a big deal about this.

I had a friend (he died of AIDS many years ago) who would have a mammoth Oscars party. He also was one the first person I knew who had a VCR. He would watch and re-watch (in slow-mo, with heavy use of the pause button) the split screens showing the nominees for the top awards just as the winner was being announced. Some years he even made a montage of them. It was vicious but brilliant.

That's a good party. And that was a lot of work back then, pre-DVR!

Is that true? I thought that was just grocery-store-line-publication nonsense. Like Alien Babies and Bill and HIllary's divorce and Oprah and Gayle's gay relationship. If it is true, heaven help us all.

It's true. It's really happening. K and K are spawning a new generation of exhibitionists -- unless the kid rebels and becomes a recluse. Even then, expect a decade of their kid-related reality nonsense.

I thought it was likely attributed to my fascination with Germans/Austrians and their quirky ways and senses of humor, but now I feel better about it. And yes, him as Capt Von Trapp would be lovely, though he'd likely kill Rolf.

Well, if Tarentino were directing this new version, he'd definitely kill Rolf.

How did American Pie 4, American Wedding get shut out? Is there no justice?

Guess we'll have to wait for Jason Biggs to get the lifetime achievement award.

What does he get to do for the inauguration? Wouldn't that be awesome if they brought him to the ceremony?

You know how some couples have their dog as the ringbearer at their wedding? Maybe Bo can balance the Bible on his back.

He didn't murder anybody or beat up a girlfriend but he sure put some hate out there for Jewish people. He has a lot of power/influence and doesn't need to use it hatefully.

I wrote off Mel years ago -- not so sure he didn't beat up a girlfriend, and spewed enough hate and intolerance that he lost me and, I'm guessing, plenty of others.

That clip is hilarious. It's like an SNL skit on an over the top egomaniac self centered actress.

Please, everyone, share this with your friends.

Say what you will, I just love that chick, partially because she is a bit a goofball. I think she was just psyched (and maybe a bit tipsy?), It was pretty funny though.

Enough, already, with the "I'm so, so shocked" act. Really? The frontrunner? 

CBS, ABC, NBC all interrupted their normal programming for his speech. But not the Reliable Source chat. I respect that.

Uh, the president gave a speech? Oh, hey, you're right, he did!

I disagree. This whole role for her in the inaugaration is exactly the type of stepping stone type thing. I say she runs for something local in NYC within a few years.

I'm afraid I agree with you. Although I'd prefer that she stay in the Caroline Kennedy model: No elected office, just lots of do-gooding.

Does it count you as a new person online when you refresh your browser?

The mysteries of the web elude me.

Didn't Mel Gibson beat his wife/girlfriend?

He was investigated, and I believe he pleaded no contest on a misdemeanor charge. It was a very, very murky case. And make no mistake: He's basically a bad guy. But the chatter's point was that Gibson, whose prove-able crimes have mostly been ugly speech, was ostracized far more than felon Chris Brown, who beat his girlfriend into a bloody pulp and is still praised and lauded and rewarded.

Didn't he deny the holocaust at one point - or at least the severity of it?

Something like that. Not a guy I want to spend any time with -- or spend money to see him. 

Was met with a "yeah, so?" -- I think this non-event has finally shut the door to this being an event/newsworthy in and of itself. Unless,of course, it's Scarlett Johansson (let male fantasies run wild on that), or Tom Cruise ('cause everyone's just waiting for that).... Or a big-name athlete - that would still get some play.

I'm surprised that it got any pickup at all ( Victor Garber is gay, he confirms) -- but it's also been a very very slow and quiet week in showbiz-celebrity news.

I'm not 13, but I know some... One Direction, Bieber, Selena Gomez, RPat & Kristen, Miley (but she's in decline, but they loved her when they were 7 and she was still on Hannah Montana)...

Yes, I would think that Miley is fast receding from the tweenage consciousness. . . .

Shouldn't this be called Swifting, after Taylor Swift?


Come on, the poster is taking a flip cheap shot, but he was cleared of everything related to that - and apparently has gotten a better class of posse.

Well. To be clear, Lewis was charged with murder, but took a plea deal to a much lesser charge in exchange for testifying against his friends, who were acquitted when the jury decided it was self-defense. Still, very very ugly stuff to be involved in.

It's gutsy for a not pencil thin actress to do what she's doing, and to create, write, direct and act in the show. And I know I'm not the target audience. But isn't Girls just a half hour of 20-something yentas in New York (a demo I am well acquainted with) acting like they're 17? I know (or hope) that she must have some awareness of this, since she's the writer. But I don't necessarily want to invite these people into my house every week, Golden Globe winner or not.

Have you seen the show? I think it's pretty funny. Reminds me of Larry David and Louis CK's shows -- except instead of skewering neurotic, self-absorbed middle-aged guys, it's skewering neurotic, self-absorbed millenials. And yet it also reminds older generations of what it was like to be in your (neurotic, self-absorbed) early 20s. . . . A lot of the criticism of the show seems to be based on the "well, the characters are annoying" argument. They're supposed to be annoying! A sitcom filled with noble characters would be pretty dull, don't you think?

Have you ever commissioned an economic development study that shows how many jobs The Reliable Source creates? I bet it's quite a few.

Oh, really? And how is that?

My favorite part was her hug from behind of Amanda Seyfried the entire time once she'd left the microphone, and the fact that no one from the cast was named specifically in the clip.

There's so much going on there. There's a certain fleeting look on Seyfried's face I found priceless. And also, the producer finally getting his word in edgewise and saying "well, I haven't forgotten to thank anyone yet because I haven't spoken yet."

Can we get someone to bankroll that and the Biden/Vance lawn show? They're both great ideas.

I thought you were going to start a Kickstarter page for me, no?

Did we make it through the whole chat and not mention him? I'm very proud of my fellow chatters!

Hey, you guys, it's serious now. He's really really running for governor, for real. Of course, he's running as an independent and doesn't have the ballot signatures yet. But hang in there.

I've been struck by how Jennifer Lawrence has been able to keep indie cred, star in a mega-blockbuster series, swish around as the "it girl" of the moment and handle the media and spotlight as if they were old friends. She always seems to say and do something that's just a little an endearing way. Like RGIII, she seems to have a preternatural affinity for the life she has chosen. Good for her.

I thought her speech at the Golden Globes was pitch-perfect. Very endearing. Mature, yet authentic. She's just a natural. Very charismatic.

"Oh, I love the fact that she's so loyal to Mel Gibson. " How far back do they go? I'm forgetting the connection. I give Mel credit for one thing -- if not for him, we wouldn't have RD Jr. back. (They had been friends since "Air America," and Mel personally put up the bond for RD Jr. to do "The Singing Detective" when he was uninsurable because of his past problems. Without that step, no "Iron Man," no "Sherlock Holmes," no "Avengers" -- nothing.)

They were in "Maverick" together, way back in the '90s. And yes, her best buds appear to be Mel Gibson and RDJr. Good times.

I still have a promotional poster from a Pretenders concert in 1984 hanging on my wall.

Oh. Now that's kind of cool.

When is that dreamy George P Bush, Jeb's son, going to run? Eye candy! Is it just a bad time to be a Bush. Too soon after W. But happy to hear Gampy George H W is out of the hospital. He is such a sweetie.

He's already running for Texas Land Commissioner, or something like that. Alas, like Prince William, he's one of those guys who isn't quite as handsome as he was a decade ago.

I assume it creates jobs because for every 8 of us on here for an hour plus, 1 other additional person had a day of work to do?

THAT's the formula.

Mel Gibson's FATHER is a life-long Holocaust denier, but Mel has acknowledged on more than one occasion that he accepts the Holocaust as fact. Let's not let the sins of the father be on the head of the son (because Mel has enough of his own sins to worry about).

We can control our own tempers, after all, but we can't pick our relatives.

I believe that the Source and this chat have saved my sanity, improved my mood,and made the world a better place!


talking about BLEEP BLEEP. Just so you know, I failed in my resolution and brought up BLEEP BLEEP to my SO yesterday. But I'm starting anew today.

God, I'm now obsessed with who or what "BLEEP BLEEP" is. Lindsay Lohan? Downton Abbey? Puppy Bowl? Harry Reid? So many possibilities, so little time.

Must tear away to write a column. Here's where you all come in in the next few days: Sent any and all sightings of VIPs and celebrities as they wander through D.C. and the inaugural parties to The more details, the better: What they're wearing, drinking, eating and who they're with.

We'll owe you. And then talk all about them next week. Stay warm, chatters.


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