The Reliable Source

Feb 23, 2011

Washington Post columnists Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts will be online Wednesday, Feb. 16, at Noon ET to discuss your favorite gossip, celebrity sightings and their recent columns.

Good morning everyone. In recent columns we told you about Clarence Thomas's ex-girlfriend Lillian McEwen's dirty, dirty new memoir. Spoiler alert: Sounds like she's still kind of smitten. Bill Cosby gets honored by the Navy  -- and returns the favor with some new stand-up material. Rod Stewart is a dad -- again! You know how old he is? Donald Trump might swoop in and buy Pat Kluge's estate in a foreclosure sale. The queen's cousin visits D.C. on official queen's-cousin-type business. The fallout from the Lara Logan tragedy: What was Nir Rosen thinking? 

There's a new fashion sheriff at the White House: Meet Meredith Koop, Michelle Obama's new stylist.

I feel that a lot of folks in Oregon are trying to have it both ways with David Wu. They say he ought to resign, but that mental illness shouldn't have a stigma in present-day society. I say one or the other. Clearly he is being called to resign over his mental illness rather then the fig leaf excuses given. Yes he did weird things with his staff (although weird isn't criminal) and yes he kept his mental illness private and so voters didn't know, but let's call a spade a spade. People are antsy about having a person with a mental illness be their congressman or be the guy pumping their gas. Being mental illness doesn't make you unintelligent and if you don't want a societal stigma attached to it, then just simply having a mental illness shouldn't in itself disqualify you from being member of congress or even writing a D.C.-based gossip column.

Thanks for your thoughts. Another compelling story in today's paper.

Rep. David Wu says he's feeling better after seeking professional help

I mean, a Tiger costume makes me think of one of those plush, everything-is-covered-up things and not something risque. How could these pictures indicate a mental health problem? Or is this just another case of only hearing part of the story?

I don't think the costume alone was the issue---but it followed some odd behaviors that alarmed his staff ehough to urge him to get treatment.

Any more freakouts by our favorite congressman, David Wu? Gotta love that tiger costume!

Not that we know of---he said he's still in treatment and taking his meds.

John Thune won't run for President of the United States. A nation asks, "Who?"

Exactly. Meanwhile, I think our editors are thinking "thank goodness we got our why-does-John-Thune-think-he-could-be-president story into the paper last week and not a minute later!"

How excited will you be to see Christine O'Donnell on DWTS?

About as excited as I am to see anyone on DWTS.

Kwame Brown has had enough problems with managing his own money - it is no surprise that he is involved in this SUV uproar. Clearly he wants to live high on the hog, and preferably at someone else's expense.

The whole story is amazing to me----in this economic climate, it's shocking that he rejected a luxury car paid by taxpayers because of the seat color.

Michelle Rhee was at the all star game with Kevin Johnson. Have they gotten married as of yet?

Not yet. There's always the possibility of a secret marriage -- but she told us several months ago that when they're married, we'll know it.

I appreciate your analysis of her book. Saves me the time and expense of reading it myself. What a wonderful public service your column is!

It's our pleasure. Sorry we weren't able to deliver many of the dirty bits in a family newspaper.

so sarah ferguson was not invited and feels snubbed. would you invite your uncle's ex wife to your wedding? is there some royla protocol that she should have been on the list?

Split views on this: Andrew and their daughters are going. So is Camilla, who took Charles away from Diana. Fergie's sin appears to be an uncontrolable urge to profit from her royal connection. 

Read somewhere that Pippa Black is very into veaganism, PETA and all that. Actually I watch "Outsourced" (I was originally in that "racist Indian stereotypes" group having never seen an episode, but it's got potential). So it's funny is that Pippa Black wasn't originally the main romantic love interest, but a distraction for the lead character, but I think Pippa Black is more appealing then the character who is suppose to be the main romantic love interest. The production folks seem to agree since Pippa Black is getting more and more screen time and storyline.

Thanks for your note. I was wondering last week, when we included a sighting of Pippa Black at Equinox whether enough people watch the show (I don't) and know who she is. What a great name, though.

I know we talked about this in last week's chat, but recent news has got me you think Gaddafi colors his hair? Isn't he, like, well over 60? And has that mass of dark hair....

Only his hairdresser -- or perhaps his Ukrainian nurse -- knows for sure.

Am I missing something here, but why wouldn't the royals invite some representative of the administration - at least as a shout out to our long-standing alliance blah, blah, blah. It seems like more trouble and effort to not invite them than it would be to invite them.

We don't know for a fact a U.S. rep isn't on the list (could be the U.S. ambassador to London, for example)----the palace isn't saying who got invited. But remember: William is not the direct heir to the throne, unlike Charles when he married Diana in 1981, and the wedding is considered more of a personal than an official event. But it's a big deal and since there will be 1,900 guests at the ceremony, I'm guessing a few Yanks will be included. 

Saw Purple Rain over the weekend on VH1. I knew it was never a very good movie, even when I watched it in high school when it first came out, but I didn't realize how awful it was. Some of the lines and the acting are laugh out loud bad. But the music was great and that's all that counted. Those guitar jams in "Let's Go Crazy" changed how I looked at the world.

I think I knew, even as a callow and sheltered high school kid, that it was a pretty terrible movie. But I'd probably watch it all over again if it came on cable.

BTW, Slate recently had a great article about the perfect movies to watch on cable. Their argument was that the movie shouldn't actually be so good that you can't turn it off, and they made a provocative case for "The Sweetest Thing." I would counter with "Rock Star," which I watched  non-sequentially at about four different occasions over the past week.

When getting his honorary CPO designation, he had the same mischevious grin from the Jell-O commercials, or when he was up to something on his tv show! Fun!

It's funny to see him live in a setting like that. On the one hand, you can tell he's kind of a prickly, grouchy guy; on the other hand, he can absolutely light up a room without even trying very hard. He seemed like he was enjoying himself last week, and good for him.

This is a little OT, but I was in that "racist Indian stereotypes" group too, gave it three episodes, and am still in that group. Awful, awful show. For whatever it's worth, I'm Indian American.

The few minutes I've seen of it are cringeworthy. I've wondered if it makes more sense if you watch an entire episode. Thanks for your input.

The main thing about David Wu is that he doesn't have a lot of friends lying around to get his back. He didn't come up through the Oregon political system, so he has no institutional loyalties, he has had tough reelection races because he has been such a ho-hum Congressman (the Oregonian didn't even endorse him last time around) which means the Dems are always worried about that seat (and freaking Portland Oregon, so the shouldn't have to be worried about holding on to it - ever). There have been rumors of weird behavior for awhile, but no one really even knows him well enough or has enough access to him to be able to tell. There is a deep Dem bench in Portland and there has been a strong sentiment that its time for David to move on - if anything, the mental illness might garner him sympathy and some trepidation about being too mean when challenging to him that wouldn't have been there otherwise because he was almost gauranteed to have been facing a tough primary battle in 2012 although now people are actually chilling a little bit.

Interesting----although him getting help for mental issues doesn't mean he's a good congressman. You can be sympathetic to his issues and still not vote for him. 

I agree that she should be on the outs for her willingness to profit off being royalty. She should do it the old fashioned way -- by bilking the Brit taxpayers -- like the rest of the royalty.

Too late!

Maybe they consider Kanye West an ambassador to the U.S. Why else would you invite him to a royal wedding instead of the Obamas?

We don't know that's true----a lot of rumors floating around. But I believe Kanye has met the prince. Maybe he's a fan.

So the ballots have been cast. Who has the momentum, Annette Bening or Natalie Portman?

Seems like Annette's turn (the Academy likes the reward careers), but Portman has won all the awards leading to the Oscars and has the mo.

Any advice to the people of Chicago for dealing with their new mayor, based on your experience?

1. Shorter than you expect.

2. I don't think there is a #2. The guy has been covered so extensively -- and parodied so widely -- everyone pretty much knows what they're getting.

Freaky thought, if a person were born on or before January 3, 1983, that person will be age 30 when the 113th Congress is sworn-in and therefoe eligle to run for U.S. Senate. 1983! That's freaky, right? Oh, and the #1 single in the nation's charts in January 3, 1983 was this. So think when you heard that song on the radio: A baby born then could be a U.S. Senate in two years! What's even more freaky is that the cover of the January 3, 1983 issue of TIME Magazine. Apparently the cover article was the freaky thought that computers were going to be (shocker) inside the household!?!

I still think it's a bad idea to have computers inside the household.

If you're invited to the royal wedding in April, what do you wear? Weather still likely to be dicey and surely there are rules about modesty?

End of April, weather should be fine. Day wedding----hats and no cleavage. Dressage a shot at poor Camilla? 

Every scene featuring Morris Day and the Time should be in discussion for greatest moments in movie histiory.


Is it verboten for Christine O'Donnell? And when will Julian Assange show up on DWTS?

Let's see, I think that Julian Assange is schedule to show up on DWTS... why, let's see, what a coincidence, he'll be there on the season that I watch!

Any idea what they were filming at R St NW & New Hampshire this morning at rush hour?

Not off the top of my head. Tell us what you saw at

I'm an ardent Obama supporter, but if I had to choose between West and Obama coming to my wedding...sorry, Mr. President. One of these people just looks more fun than the other. And if I were to invite any politician from the Obama administration, it would be Biden because I kind of want to see Kanye West and Joe Biden in the same room together.

You think princes have the option of putting together guest lists based on "fun"?

Folks need to listen to his early records. He was a foul mouthed as George Carlin and Cheech and Chong.

The Navy Secretary was waxing nostalgic about certain riffs from those old records.

What would you think if your boss sent you photos of him/herself at 1:00 am, dressed in a tiger suit, from their work e-mail? Wouldn't that weird you out a little?

You're talking to newspaper people here. I don't think we'd be rattled by it, and what makes you think it hasn't happened?

What is the diagnosis? I have a couple of friends who suffer from very serious mental illness and while I think they have the right to a good life, I honestly would not want them to represent me in congress.

Unclear. He only said he sought help, got treatmant and meds, and is "in a good place now."

I feel like I've helped to create this monster. I Netflixed the movie last year during snowmaggedon. It was cute. I watch the tv show sometimes, it's not good but it's not horrible. but it's decent background noise while I fix dinner or wrap up a conference call and get ready for 30 Rock.

"Decent background noise" -- can't you say that about so many shows? I think I "watched" an entire episode of "Castle" the other night under similar circumstances.

When does the new season start with J.Lo, Randy Jackson and the girl from Aerosmith?

The Botoxed walnut, you mean? We're at least halfway through "Hollywood Week" already. Can I tell you a secret? I'm shocked and appalled by how entertaining it is this season. I'll complain to you endlessly, and accurately, about the new judging panel, but I have not missed an episode.

As we all live vicariously through you guys, is there anybody or anything you are really looking forward to/hoping to see at the awards this weekend?

I'm hoping to see Jack Nicholson in person. He's eluded me the past two Oscars.

I'm also an Indian American and "Outsourced" is fine with me. Usually there's maybe one rando background Indian character at best. So betting the six Indian-American actors who leading roles wouldn't agree on the benefits of being unemployed or having a one-line character rather a series lead.

Interesting argument, thanks.

Wouldn't it hurt her political aspirations to appear on Dancing w/ the Stars? I mean, isn't that show better suited for celebrities who have actually accomplished something and are trying to get back into the spotlight?

Doesn't seem like a good idea for anyone who doesn't aspire to Lisa Rinna's career, frankly.

Sex Shooter was the worst song Prince ever wrote, sung by the worst singer ever in his musical stable.

How did we get on this topic again?

I'm not going to believe it until you post pictures of your coworkers in tiger suits.

Just another day at the office, really. I don't even bother to save them anymore.

Isn't the answer to why the Obamas weren't invited to Prince William's wedding obvious: the Brits are offended at the multiple diplomatic stumbles that Obama has commited, including returning the Churchill bust, giving the Queen an iPod of his speeches and a bunch of DVDs that don't play overseas. The Obama administration has been less then diplomatic with the Brits, and now it's payback time. If the Post wasn't so married to the Obama administration, you'd see that.

You vastly overestimate the importance of the gaffes compared to the strategic alliance between the two countries. You are free to dislike the president, but serious diplomats would never let something that minor get it their way---especially with the recent election of the new prime minister. 

I just read in the Post that 500 men are about to storm Fort Sumter. No wait, that is a 150 year old tweet, if twitter existed 150 years ago. Nevermind.

Don't you sometimes find yourself thinking, "Gosh, the Civil War would have been so much more AWESOME if they'd had Twitter then!"

You're welcome.

I'm sure actors of Middle Eastern or Indian descent playing terrorists in blockbuster movies don't mind the paycheck either, but there are a lot of people who have problems with actors only getting roles that are stereotypes. A lot of actors, too. There's a reason you've never seen Sendhil Ramamurthy from Heroes taking on terrorist roles--not everyone is "fine" living down to expectations.

It's a big debate.

Congrats to Alyssa Milano on her pregnancy. I am surprised to read that her husband is her agent in your column. I assumed she was married to a pro football player since she appears in the NFL jersey commercials with Washington's very own Daniel Snyder.

Yeah, that was a little random. I think she's just a fan.

So the Style Section story referred to Kate as the "common people's princess." What does that mean?Doesn't seem too common of an upbringing. Most common people would never come across a prince. And it seems like it is just totally reaching to relate to Tony Blair's reference to William's mother as the "People's Princess." Really, what on earth do any of these people have in common with the common people?

Here's the story: Let them be Kate

Oh come on now, be nice. Fergie says she has a prior engagement on that day and had to turn an invite down.

Ha! Actually, she said she wasn't invited and never expected to be. I appreciate her honesty.

I think he put his foot in deeper with his explanation. He said "Had Logan been a non-white journalist, this story would have never made it to the news. Ahmed Mahmoud, an Egyptian journalist, was killed in cold blood and nobody ever heard of him. Dozens of other women were harassed." I don't agree with this sentiment. Had Logan been a non-white AMERICAN journalist, this story would have been huge in the US. Because we know who the journalist is. That's why it's such a huge story here. The fact that the story was reported here, and other stories were not, doesn't take away from the awfulness of any other stories. 

Rosen told me later that part of his complaint (not that his tweets articulated this) was the "celebrity culture" that pays more attention bad things happening to famous people. Agreed, it's not fair, but that's also just the way things go.

Do think there will be any overt nod or mention of Diana at Will and Kate's wedding? (A single rose in her memory?) He clearly remains proud and attached to his mum. Will this be a purely religious ceremony with all the COE trappings?

I would not be surprised by a mention during the ceremony---after all, the boys adored their mother and Kate is wearing Diana's ring.

What do you want to win best picture this year? I thought The Social Network was a very good movie, but I don't know if it was necessarily best picture material. Then again, I haven't seen some of the other nominees yet.....

I loved "The Social Network" but have mixed feelings about it; I know that any historical drama has to take liberties with the facts in order to make a compelling story, but when the tweaks (the idea that Zuckerberg was an asocial character who invented Facebook to get back at a girl) are propping up your overall message, then it makes me uneasy. But what can I say -- I loved the movie and felt like it got so many things right about how we live now.

Should we start a play-list for her? Witchy woman You put a spell on me Superstition I'm sure there must be tonnes more

 "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered."


Nir Rosen was thinking the same snide, sexist thoughts that many so-called progressive men think - and say. The overheated takedowns of Sarah Palin & other conservative women (well, Hillary also) have emboldened men to just say sexist crap out loud. Hope he stays unemployed for a loooong time.

The Internet is a disgusting place. You see the most astonishing things written either via anonymity or via the assumption you'll never come face to face with the person you're writing about.

She has an interesting life. Deeply in debt, she share a home whenever she wants with her ex, and goes on vacations with him and their daughters. Yet, she doesn't have to do all those boring royal engagements, or what Buckingham Palace tells her. Maybe the best of both worlds?

I don't know. Still doesn't seem fun.

Yes! I have my own rating scale. 1. Theater on opening day 2. Theater during 1st run 3. Netflix 4. Cable, recorded on purpose 5. Cable, caught by accident while home sick 6. Broadcast TV, caught by accident while home sick 7. Discount Theater, after 1st run and I've got nothing better to do and need to get out of the house and it's cold or raining 8. Airplane 9. Find clips on the Internet, but never watch entire movie 10. Will never, ever watch even if home sick laying on the couch and remote is across the room.

Really, you put caught by accident on TV above discount theater? The latter requires more effort.

Roxanne, you vastly overestimate the importance of the gaffes compared to the strategic alliance between the two countries. You are free to dislike the president, but serious diplomats would never let something that minor get it their way---especially with the recent election of the new prime minister. Let's assume you're right. Then why weren't the Obamas invited?

Because this isn't a official, diplomatic event---it's a private family wedding. There's no reason for Obama to be invited: he's not a friend of the family and certainly not of the bride or groom.

I'm not running for president either. Where's my front page article?

Maybe if you sent us a picture wearing a tiger suit?

Wait, she got married before she got pregnant? That's so 1950s!

Pretty shocking for Hollywood.

It seems that Lilliam McEwan keeps talking about how great Thomas is. Shouldn't he be out bragging? Why on earth would he be no-commenting?

That was the surprising thing about the book. She was clearly just crazy about him. Still, trust me -- it's not the kind of book you want to be in.

She has a line of women's apparel that is for female NFL fans who don't want to wear oversized clothes. Some of it is cute. Some ho-y. Kinda like her and her movies!

Apt, I think.

This is a no-brainer: you invite the President to the wedding, and West to the bachelor party.

Perfect. And make Kanye pay for the stripper.

All the sexism is directed at conservative women? Rush Limbaugh, Rush Limbaugh of all people, rediculed Michelle Obama's body because she doesn't (at 47) look like a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model. Really?

Women of all ideologies who happen to be in the public eye have the most wretched things said about them.

Larry King is to appear on the bastardized version of his show that now stars Simon Cowell or Hugh Grant or whomever. To watch or not to watch? I'm firmly in the `no not watch' camp. Unless he is showing up to reclaim his desk and send Piers Morgan back to the UK.

Might be fun---he doesn't seem to care for Piers that much.

Hattie McDaniels, who won an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for the role of Mamie in "Gone With The Wind," often got flak for "stereotype" Black maid roles. Here was her response: "Why should I complain about making $700 a week playing a maid? If I didn't, I'd be making $7 a week being one."

By the way, I meant to take note of the Butterfly McQueen centennial last month, but utterly forgot. RIP, Butterfly. Her birthday was Jan. 7.

Honestly, people. No heads of state who aren't RELATED to William are invited, because it's not an official state occasion, because he's not the heir to the throne, yet. Put your anti-Obama claws back in and get the facts straight, please.

There you go.

You would trust Kayne over Obama at your wedding - at least you know that Obama wouldn't grab the microphone during the toasts, and accuse your of being a racist and undeserving of the honor at hand.

"I'm happy for you, Wills, and imma let you finish -- but Harry is the hottest British prince."

I was dreaming about the day I'd have a computer in my home. Now I have 4 computers and I don't like any of them.

See? We need to get rid of these things.

Wasn't it Bush II who gave the Queen DVDs that were incompatible with British DVD players?

It was Obama's gift to then-PM Gordon Brown.

Mentioning controversy over historical dramas, just wait for April with the release of Robert Redford's new drama about Mary Surratt, the lady put to death over her role in John Wilkes Booth killng Abraham Lincoln. WaPo had a live chat with a major Lincoln scholar who said that Mary Surratt was guilty as sin while the movie presents her being railroaded and unfairly convicted and executed.

Ah, but you can't have a villain as your central character.

came out in 1939. We should hold Hollywood to the same standards in 2011 as we did in 1939?


Do you think there is a B list of guests?

There's a B and C list. The C list is everyone invited to the ceremony at Westminster, the B list is the 600 invited to a lunch at Buckingham Palace hosted by the queen. The A list are the lucky 300 who scored the ceremony, lunch AND the dinner-dance that night at the palace hosted by Prince Charles.

How do you misspell Miller Lite? Miler Light? Mueller Lyte?


So since Rush Limbaugh is hinting that Michelle Obama is not looking like a supermodel, can we make fun of how Bristol Palin looks without seeming to be bad people?

Nope. We're taking the high, non-fat road.

I'm already making plans for the government shutdown! Who to tweet to get the word out?

Everybody. (Zzzzz.)

Ever performed for the Queen?

Good question! I'd love to know that, but it's a tricky one to Google, you know?

I thought Lindsay Lohan was going to wear another short skirt today for court. So Disappointed!!

Busy chatting, so haven't seen LiLo's courtroom dress code today---will check it out asap.

Signing off---Amy's headed to LA to cover the Oscars and will be chatting Monday about the show; we'll both be here next week for more questions. In the meanwhile, send your tips and sightings to Have fun watching the Oscars, congressmen in tiger suits, or any other royal pains.

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