The Reliable Source Live

Mar 06, 2013

Washington Post columnists Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts were online Wednesday, March 6, at noon ET to discuss your favorite gossip, celebrity sightings and their recent columns.

Past Reliable Source chats

Hello, everyone, and welcome back to the Reliable Source web chat. Roxanne Roberts will be joining us today from her snowbound Virginia home, assuming she has wireless access and, you know, remembers.


Some topics on our radar this week:

Local guy Gurpreet Singh Sarin turns into a national hero for Sikh-Americans after his vivid run on "American Idol." Chris Santos devours a week's worth of barbecue in small-town Maryland, leaves a $100 tip. Looks like Teddy Kennedy's old house won't be a historic landmark -- a developer see it as a $45 million teardown. Dennis Rodman and Kim Jong Eun: Best Friends Forever. Introducing a new feature: Judd Watch. Bob Ney says John Boehner was all about "golf, women, cigarettes, fun, and alcohol," like that's a bad thing. You thought your relationship with your ex was complicated?: Check in with Mark and Jenny Sanford. Jamie Lee Curtis talks back to Seth MacFarlane. Scott Weiland is fired via press release. All the cute couples broke up. Is Michelle Obama growing her bangs out already? Is Arnold Schwarzenegger dating again?

A real dud of a snow storm

Hey, that's good news, right?

I thought Taylor Swift would only have dust ups with ex's?

She's evolving as an artist, you see.

For those who missed: Taylor Swift is on the cover of the new Vanity Fair, and when asked about Tina Fey and Amy Poehler's pretty good Golden Globes joke warning her to leave Michael J. Fox's son alone, she sniped "There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women."

Amy Poehler, asked for comment, agreed that she is going to hell, "But for other reasons. Mostly boring tax stuff. "

Oh hey -- Rox just showed up.

Or has she just completely given up trying to justify her chronic tardiness? (I kid, I kid).

Snowstorm, baby! I was going to stay home---with iffy interent---and decided to brave it just to be with you!

Just saw them tonight(March 1) in the elevator at hotel monaco in alexandria. They were going up to the 5th floor. Very gracious to me and grandsons Max and Jake here to watch the St. Patrick"s day parade tomorrow, got off on second floor. Both extremely fit and all in black. Wonder why they are here?

Oh, someone posted early, I see. Don't you know you're supposed to bring these things to I'm not checking the chat queue five days ahead of time. . . But as you probably already know, they were here for Kevin's "Bacon Brothers" gig at the Birchmere -- and brunch at Estadio.

Is it really that smart to have Charlie Sheen as your "life" coach?

Okay by me when Charlie's life is more on track than LiLo's.

Seems to me there should be a support group, if there isn't one already, for men who have had children outside their marriage. Let's see - Domenici, Edwards, Marino, Schwarzenegger, a boss of mine, etc., etc. Who did I leave out?

Oh, and I'm sure there are many we don't even know about. Yet.

Isnt it a bit much that these snow storms are starting to get named?

I'm all for clever storm names, but I think we should wait for some accumulation next.

So I guess we know that she will be having a girl. So whats the likely name?

Do we? What if that was part of an elaborate ruse to throw us off? Kate's a careful (or should I say kareful?) princess.

With Jamie Lee Curtis and Geena Davis being critical -- what did you think? Are they being overly sensitive or was he really that tasteless?

I talked about this at length last week. So I'll just add that Jamie Lee Curtis did a pretty good job of articulating why someone might be offended by this.

Has to be 11-year-old Drake LaRoche. There were a couple of articles with absolutely adorable pictures of him in the Sports section. If I had a 10- or 11-year-old daughter. . .He's an extremely lucky young man, too, if only because it's obvious how much his father loves him, not to mention all the perks of being at spring training.

Agreed. Drake LaRoche was one of my favorite stories of the week.

Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick must be one of Hollywood's longest-lasting marriages, right?

Believe it or not, they celebrate their 25th anniversary this fall.

Is clueless, not that he's alone in that regard, but really, you cheat on your wife, get divorced and engaged, then grow wistful about how well the two of you were together. . . meaning she ran things well for me. Its a total guy thing, and hope she doesn't even return the call.

Or maybe he does what a lot of men do better than women: Compartmentalize. Remember, he wasn't looking to divorce Jenny -- just wanted a wife AND soulmate -- even if they happen to be two different women. I can totally see him thinking, "Jenny runs awesome campaigns. She should run this one, too." 

As the Oscars go, there are always an award or two that we are a little embarrassed about a few years later. What are your guesses for the ones that we will eventually come to our senses about?

This year, you mean? It actually wasn't a bad year, really. 


Theoretically, it's possible that a decade or two from now, if Jennifer Lawrence or Christoph Waltz don't do much more with their careers, one might wonder why she has an Oscar and why he has two. But I kind of doubt that . . . Will be interesting to see whether "Argo" stands the test of time or if people will be regretting it wasn't "Lincoln." But right now I have no objections really. You?

At least she has snow! We were told that South Central PA would receive 6-10 inches. It's raining! The TV stations are covering their rears with some mumbo jumbo about the Susquehanna River causing counties east of it to be a degree or two higher than the west, where snow is falling. I was counting on a snow day -- even went to the store to buy stuff to make homemade soup. Instead I came to work. Oh, well. Now, I don't have to miss the Reliable Source.

In Virginia, it was coming down in fast, thick flakes at 10 a.m. and I thought I was stuck home. By 11:30, it was slush and I figured I was good to go --as long as I go home before it ices up tonight. Sure looked pretty, though.

Is there a less likely athlete candidate for the diplomatic service? How on earth did he ever get a visa to enter North Korea, much less schmooze with Kim Jong Un?

Oh, I'm sure North Korea was psyched to have him. No downside for them. Remember, this was not an official diplomatic mission on behalf of the U.S. It was, pretty nakedly, a stunt: The trip was financed by a production company that's doing an HBO documentary about it.

I like them. Hope she keeps them awhile.

I'm sure no one else here has opinions on the topic. . .

Actually, Tina was indeed helping Taylor--giving her some sensible relationship advice which Taylor could well use. IIRC, Michael J. Fox wasn't keen on having his son in the cross-hairs of the huntress either.

Well, and you know, even if the comment truly stung, the smart thing would have been to make a big show of laughing at it.

Prayers to Valerie Harper!!

Yup, although the news doesn't sound like this is recoverable.

That is true. We remember how badly the Academy got it wrong for picking Titanic for best picture over a better movie in L.A Confidential

I've got no complaints about "Titanic's" win. It was cheesy but gorgeous and a deeply satisfying movie experience -- it's hard to deny that it was the movie of the year. Now, I do think that "Dances With Wolves" over "Goodfellas" was very regrettable. And which 1999 movie are you more likely to go back and watch -- Best Picture winner  "American Beauty," or its runner-up, "The Sixth Sense"?

I often drove up Route 123 right by the Chain Bridge on my way to Tysons. I know that there are several landmark homes on portion between the Chain Bridge and the CIA. Can you give me some idea of what homes, such as the Ted Kennedy home, are there and about where they are? With the leaves off the trees, I have some hope of peeking through the trees and seeing them for a change. Thanks.

Sorry, but you won't see them from the road because they are all set back near the bluff overlooking the river. Jim Kimsey, Steve Case, the Saudi ambassador all live along that stretch. It's prime real estate. 

If you were curious, I don't care at all about her hairstyle.

That's an opinion of its own. Thanks.

I had just read that JR was apparently shot on the new Dallas. I was not sure how many episodes he filmed, but assume this is finally an end of the unforgettable era?

I picked the wrong Lent to give up TV. Does anyone know if JR is dead yet? (He was tweeting as recently as Monday night, but they kind of sounded like goodbye tweets.)

Is the Washington Post still saying the big snow is on its way, or have they totally dropped that line and admitted this is a dud?

Everyone is backing off of the 5-10 inches of accumulation prediction. Here's the latest from Capital Weather Gang.

I say we send Dennis Rodman at the US representative rather than Joe Biden.

I am sure he is available.

RIP Bonnie Franklin

Yes, indeed, RIP Bonnie Franklin. I was stunned to realize that she was only in her early 30s when "One Day At a Time" began.

Is Amy going to be keeping up with Dancing With the Stars this season?

Paula Broadwell killed it last night, and Barbara Walters was great too -- but obviously Lance Armstrong is going to win this thing, even though he can't stay upright through his paso doble, just because, you know, everyone loves Lance.

You know, Sundays don't count during Lent - honestly. So if you DVR you can watch TV on Sunday, though that perhaps violates the spirit of the whole "sacrifice" thing, if not the law.

If I DVR'd and then watched on Sundays, my ENTIRE SUNDAYS would be taken up by TV. So best not to even venture down that path to hell.

Is there any chance I can borrow the jacket Rodman was wearing on This Week?

That is one fine looking jacket.

I'm not sure whether this is something I'm not supposed to ask, but does Michelle Obama wear wigs? Just because she has a stylist doesn't mean anything. My mother brings her wigs to her stylist, who says that he "does her hair." Just curious, not trying to start a huge political debate.

That's a perfectly fair question, but I would guess no. We are watching those bangs grow in real time.

Neither. What else do you have from that year?

Er, "Cider House Rules"? "The Green Mile"? "The Insider"? It was not an epic year, really.

I like this substitution. Plus, Stewart gets to do something different for awhile. Win-win in my book.

Has anyone told the screechy one that attacking Fey & Pohler isn't the slam-dunk that going after John Mayer or her twink-du-jour has been?

I've always thought the PR game she's been playing these past few years is not a particularly sophisticated one. If she's going to continue to make it all about her personal life, she has to up her game.

You ladies work from wherever you need to. What do you think of Yahoo! calling everyone back into the office?

I'm weary of the assumption we're supposed to have an opinion on this. Don't have one.

I read that Mayer made the changes because many of the employees "working from home" never bothered to log in on their computers -- and she's looking for a way to increase productivity.

I think a CEO has the right to set standard policy for all employees, although working from an office is not an ironclad guarantee of higher output. What bothers me was the media firestorm that this ruling was a specific hardship for female employees with children while Mayer has her baby in the office next door. Seems to me we should separate the topics: 1) What is the best way to increase work from all employees, male and female, 2) should there some flexibility for a variety of private reasons, including small children or ailing family members, and 3) how does the company evaluate productivity and contributions?  

Dumb name or dumbest name ever? And now that it's proving to be somewhat of a bust, why don't we just go ahead dumb it down even further by adding "-gate" to the end of it so all the local news orgs can get a head start on the "Snowquestergate" graphics for this evening's news?

You assume an outcry. I assume a lot of folks didn't mind staying home today.

Seeing as he wasn't officially representing the USA or any other soverign nation on earth, isn't it entirely possible that Dennis Rodman was actually representing his home planet and his visit to North Korea was the planet's first intergalactic diplomatic mission? I find this not only completely plausible, but also a good starting point for the plot of Men in Black 5. Klaatu barada niktu.

Basketball: The Universal Language.

You say Titanic deserved to win over LA Confidential AND that Dances With Wolves should have lost to Goodfellas? You are wrong on both counts. LA Confidential was the second best movie of fhe 90s (after Out of Sight), while Dances was an incredible, and incredibly well filmed movie.

Yeah, but it's not like the Oscar is awarded for merit -- EVER. Of course "L.A. Confidential" was a better movie; every critic would agree to that. But we know that the Oscars have that bias towards inspirational epics over moody, dark pieces; it will always be thus. "Titanic," which still holds a power over viewers today, is a far better choice than some of those self-important movies that no one bothers to watch anymore ("A Beautiful Mind,"  "Driving Miss Daisy," "Out of Africa,"  "The Last Emperor," "Gandhi") or which are just plain terrible ("Forrest Gump").

I even thought the Oscars got it wrong in 1994 with Forrest Gump winning over Pulp Fiction and Shawshank Redemption.


its an awesome movie.

Honestly, if you were to award a director for having one great idea and executing it brilliantly before never doing anything worthwhile again -- it would be for that very fine movie.

Okay, I admit it, this has all been my dream since they premiered the new series last year.

I thought your dream was that Bobby had died, only to find him in your shower.

I have read rumors that Erin Burnette doesn't want to move from prime time to mornings on CNN because $2.5 million a year is not enough money to do early morning television. Any idea how much morning anchors make?

And we wonder why TV people seem different that the rest of us. Maybe she loves being in prime time. But on what planet is $2.5 million a year not enough money to wake up early for? 

or lack thereof, any signs of spring out your way. I am so ready for some flowers and sun.

I saw some crocuses popping through the ground the other day -- you know, just in time for this weather. April is the cruellest month, that way -- you know, breeding lilacs out of the dead land, mixing. Memory and desire, stirring. Dull roots with spring rain. But apply T.S. Eliot's equation to this latitude, and it's really about March. 

Why such a backlash before anybody's read her book, including many of the people lashing back?

Because this is yet another battle in the Mommy Wars, with plenty of people quite prepared to take a position without the benefit of bothering to know more than a line about what she has to say?

I can think of a few over the years that don't make much sense in retrospect. Last year's "The Artist" comes to mind. I never got that one. As for individual winners, Marisa Tomei and Cuba Gooding Jr. are two winners who never lived up to their potential.

I disagree about Marisa Tomei. Very fine actress who has had a steady career over the past 20 years, getting two other Oscar nominations (for "In the Bedroom" and "The Wrestler") that showed she was no fluke. Not everyone needs to be a rom-com leading lady. As for Cuba Gooding Jr., though -- I agree. 

I really liked "The Artist," and in fact, liked it better than the rest of the nominees last year. Though, no, it probably is not going down as a classic everyone watches every time it comes on TNT.

by the number of people currently on line for this chat. Guess no lunch at their desks...

Oh, you're right, it is low today. We really are reliant on the desk crowd today. You think people even realize they can get on the chat from home?

I cannot wait for the upcoming Fey & Pohler song


Watched him as a Bulls fan, my take, he has a good heart, but is totally out there in many ways. The weirdest thing for me wasn't that he watched basketball with Kim but that George Steph tried to talk to him about it like he had some responsibilities to berate NK for their stances. He's a basketball player, not a congressperson!

Well, it was entertaining. Our colleague Erik  Wemple made the point that it was perfectly valid for Stephanopoulous to book Rodman on that topic.

Also terrible - Crash.

YES. Can't believe I neglected to mention that one sooner. I don't think "Brokeback Mountain" gets watched that much, but it's definitely a more deserving movie.

Is to wake up as the head of an inn in Vermont.

That sounds so "Holiday Inn."

Not much accumulation in Alexandria, but it's so snowy and windy right now it's approaching a whiteout. I am very glad to be safe and cozy at home.

Cocoa, cookies, a good book. What's not to like?

It made me laugh the first time I read it because there is no end to the ways we can take a serious thing like sequestration and make it fun.

A sense of humor is a vital skill  in Washington.

Chicken Pox, Botox, or Face Lift? She's looking pretty perky.

Or maybe she's just rested and happy?

She just can't catch a break, while Jennifer Lawrence can't do any wrong. Why do you think they have been treated so differently? I bet Anne wishes she could have a do-over of Oscar night, from the dress to the speech.

Count me among the people who found Hathaway a little obnoxious and self-involved at the Golden Globes. Having said that, I think this whole "Anne Hathaway backlash" is an Internet illusion. I mean, she's won Hollywood's biggest popularity contest, she's getting paid a lot of money to be in movies that people want to go see --she's clearly as well liked as she needs to be. The backlash is just a bunch of people who don't get outside enough writing blog posts about other people's blog posts  about other people's blog posts and extrapolating it out to a Trend. If Hathaway realizes this, she will find Zen. Meanwhile, Jennifer Lawrence -- what cool customer! A year ago, most people didn't know who she is, and she's got this freakish kind of poise and comfort in her own skin that people can't help but gravitate to. So, good for her too.

To speak about Hugo?

I don't know, but I do hope that CNN brings in their A-Team Death Squad, i.e., Larry King, to do a proper show on this tonight, featuring Sean Penn. Or Oliver Stone, if he can't get Sean Penn.

Shakespeare in Love over Saving Private Ryan? I can't agree with that! Ryan was a masterpiece and one of the best war films ever made. Shakespeare isn't even shown on the cheap stations late at night.

Another good example.

How he could have beaten out Edward Norton (I forget the exact name of the movie, but Richard Gere was his lawyer and Norton was fantastic!) or William Macy for Fargo is beyond me. Norton was nothing short of amazing!

The Edward Norton movie was "Primal Fear."  Yes, not a great call, but I think the dynamic there was that "Jerry Maguire" was a hugely popular movie that they wanted to  reward in some way in a very competitive year, and it wasn't going to be Best Picture, Actor, Screenplay, etc., so it was going to be Best Supporting Actor.

"And which 1999 movie are you more likely to go back and watch -- Best Picture winner "American Beauty," or its runner-up, "The Sixth Sense"?" I would have said The Insider far exceeded either of those films that year. And Russell Crowe's Oscar for Gladiator was definitely an apology Oscar for not wining in 1999.

Yes. And then they felt stupid because his "A Beautiful Mind" performance the following year was so much better.

I read in an article somewhere (maybe here?) that Hollywood loves nothing better than Hollywood, so movies with a Hollywood or even LA angle (e.g., Crash) tend to win.

That does tend to happen.

I would also argue that "There Will Be Blood" was about 10 times better than "No Country For Old Men," but I know you're going to shout me down on that one.

I think part of the backlash is also class related. Here are two enormously wealthy women seeming to tell other working women (and men, in Mayer's case) how to best handle the work-family balancing act. There's a big difference between the life of an executive and the life of regular employee. Even if they make good points, those points are going to be lost due to their wealth.

Absolutely true. I did an article a decade ago about the book "I Don't Know How She Does It" which featured a spoiled-rotten main character who found herself after she quit working. Hated it and challenged the author that most working women don't have that option. Most working moms just want flexibility --- which wealth gives these CEOs.

Why not make it so no movie is eligible for voting until at least five years after it was released, like they do for the Baseball Hall of Fame? So we'd be voting on whatever was released in 2007 now, instead.

Then no one would watch-- or care. We're all about instant gratification.

No love for The Thin Red Line? Personally, I thought 1998 was a really weak year for the Oscars all around.

I did not see it. And I don't know anyone who did! It just wasn't really in the conversation -- "Saving Private Ryan" was the movie everyone saw and was talking about that year.

I knew someone would bring up Crash. Am I seriously the only person who thought it was a great film and very deserving of the Best Picture award?

No. A plurality of Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voters agree with you.

Will Wes Anderson ever get one? I really loved Moonrise Kingdom, and his writing and creative impulses are definitely Oscar-worthy.

Nah, he'll probably never get one. And I say this as a fan. I thought "The Darjeeling Limited" was his moment to break through -- for a few feverish hours, I thought that was the best movie of 2007 -- but it turned out to be a total non-starter.

The year: 1980. And the Oscar for Best Motion Piction goes to.... "Ordinary People." Over "Raging Bull." Nothing more to add....

That's been the conventional wisdom, but when I finally saw "Ordinary People," 30 years late, it was much, much better than I'd been led to believe. I'll say the same about "Kramer Vs. Kramer."


I guessed everyone's power is down. You know, with the 1/8 inch of rain on the ground.

Ha! Or we can't compete with a day of afternoon television.

Chatters -- whoever is out there today -- many thanks for joining us. Stay safe and warm, and send us your ideas, tips and sightings to Happy snow day!

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