The Reliable Source

Mar 16, 2011

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

Here's what's been in our column since last we met. Fancy people showed up to hear Obama crack jokes at his first Gridiron dinner since becoming president. How drunk is too drunk to be on the Real World? Snoop from "The Wire" is arrested, and David Simon questions the drug war. Tipper Gore resurfaces and looks great. Gilbert Gottfried fired by Aflac for tsunami jokes.  Rep. Blake Fahrenthold: I'm rich, but I'm not THAT rich! (Well how rich are you? And catching up with Ayla Brown.

Is the Post trying to make things more complex for the readers? Everytime I think I finally understand your web site, and it gets changed again. This part of an effort to drive away readers?

Oh, so it's not just me?

is still wearing her wedding ring? Are they legally divorced? Has she lost a lot of weight like a woman scorned? Are either of the daughters currently married? What does Albert jr do and is he married?

They have not filed for divorce that we know of; they're just separated. Two of the daughters have split or separated from their husbands in recent years, but a third (Sarah) is relatively recently married. Al Jr. is doing something with real-estate investment or something like that in NYC, and he's still single, ladies. Here's our catching up with the Gores item from last summer.

What's up?

For those of you who had any concerns about the state of their marriage based on his taking time off from work to ski in Wyoming -- well, they made it clear to the world that all's well by showing up together to a lot of events in NYC last month.

So are you two and Sietsema the last men standing? Are the chats are becoming extinct?

Oh, I think the past several years have been leading to that cage match of destiny....

Nothing should have changed with the chats that I know of; why, having trouble finding them? Imagine that.

What does this really say about Timothy Geithner? Maybe that he's not as cool as we have all thought? Or maybe that he just can't get his groove on....

Maybe he was worried that if he threw his hands in the air that people would think that he don't really care. Or maybe he realized people were watching him and he got self-conscious.

Isn't this what Gottfried does? He is known for making "jokes" that are edgy at best, not funny at worst. It's the nature of comedy. When you sign one of these guys on to work for your ad, you know what you're getting. If they hadn't fired him, I probably would never have heard about the comment.

Jack Shafer at Slate makes the case that Gottfried was doing exactly what comics are supposed to do -- and have done for years in the face of disaster.

You forgot the important part of this story...was she wearing her wedding/engagement rings? Did she spend any significant time with any man who might have been a date?

You forgot to read the story: We said in the fifth sentence that she's still wearing her wedding ring.

Rest assured that if she'd had a date, we would have mentioned it.

Having been led to the online archive of Spy Magazine, I have discovered what I long suspected: I can do no work for 8 hours a day and NO ONE notices. What is fascinating is that the same people who populated the rogue gallery of the famous-for-being-famous/rich/rediculous who was deserving of Spy's disdain 25 years ago... most of these people are still annoying us today! And, of course their leader, Donald Trump. It is pretty weird to read an article about whether he will run for President, and then realize its from the same year the Space Shuttle Challenger blew up! Anyway... twenty-five years from now, when the Reliable Source chats are being studied by all the great scholars - who in our time will become the next generation of Won't Go Away?

Sorry to be flacking so much for our corporate cousin Slate today, but they had a fine slide show reviewing Spy's old Separated at Births to see if the celebrities still look alike.

From Reliable Source land? Well, I think we'll probably continue to hear a lot about Jenna Bush for the next several decades. Who else? You tell me.

So any contract I have signed while drunk is not valid? Because I'm pretty sure I signed up for a Mastercard at a baseball game while drunk just so I could get a free t-shirt -- so perhaps I am not responsible for that bill?

Well, how drunk were you? Our unwilling Real World guest star had spent the evening downing Jagermeister bombs, tequila, and Red Bull-and-vodkas.

Heck, it takes forever just to find the editorials! And I thought it was just because I'm not in a desired demographic, Sigh.

Yeah, I don't know what to tell you. Bring your complaints to

Can't figure out where to comment. I guess since the paper edition is almost dead it it time to kill the website. I have never seen a more unuser friendly website.

Has anyone else weighed in to inform us they were not responsible for the breakup of Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel?

Mila Kunis has weighed in --  not her bad. I guess we're still waiting to hear from Cameron Diaz and Olivia Munn. I sort of suspect the source close to the couple who informed US today that Justin had been miserable in the relationship for years might hold their share of responsibility.

Is she still a celebrity? I cannot remember her doing anything over the past decade or so -- and never actually was that big a star then, was she?

She was SUPPOSED to be a big star----popular in France, very pretty----but it never quite clicked here, despite a big push and high-profile roles. I always found her too passive to be interesting.

(Hey, sorry for the delay. I was fighting with our new operating system and---as we well know---I can barely type.)


While she was great in The Wire, I can imagine how easy it would be her to be typecast. Any idea how much a novice actress could have earned in her few seasons on the show -- apparently not enough to keep her off a life of crime.

The acting work appears to have been scant over the past few years -- though she had just wrapped an indie film ("Criminal Empire for Dummys") with Gary Oldman, Malin Akerman, Michael Clarke Duncan and Harvey Keitel, so that's something.... But yeah, I can only guess what she made in those three seasons. Probably less than $200,000. Which is nice, but not enough to retire one.

you'll still be talking about Chelsea Clinton. Maybe Caroline Kennedy's kids. Meghan McCain. Roxanne's son?

Roxanne's cats, maybe?

But I am very excited to have found your chat so I'll stay and read awhile, perhaps pick up some interesting tidbits. And yes, I've already done my fair share of spouting to "ideas@wapo."

Welcome! We've been told it's a fine way to kill a slow spell at the office or lunch hour; my personal goal is to make you laugh so much that your tightly-wound colleague at the next cubicle gives you a dirty look.

As if the chats weren't bad enough, am I missing how I'm suppose to read your daily posts? I can find you, but I have to click each story seperately - I can't just read all of the day's stories.

You can, but you have to click on the "Reliable Source" banner at the top by our pictures. Apparently, everyone is supposed to know that so there are no instructions, but I didn't and had to ask. Anyway, you can get all the stories that way. 

The best way to see our column online has always been and remains the blog form: Just bookmark it or pop it in your RSS feed, that's why we started it. Any of these addresses will get you to the same place. Forget about the "print version" or "today's paper" version -- those have always been kind of screwy.

Doesn't the Washington Post know people are trying to read their site while at work? People don't have time to wait all day for one freaking article to download. WTF

That's assuming you can find what you're looking for. :(

I'm glad to see I'm not the only one annoyed by the new format. It's way too busy, hard to focus on what you're seeing, and crazy hard to find what you're looking for. I hate writing to complain, but this makes me glad I still have my paper subscription... doesn't help with the discussions, though. (hmmmm. maybe this is all a plot to increase paper copy subscribers).

YES! I forgot to mention. The absolute best way to read the Washington Post is in the print version. We make more money that way, and everybody wins.

Love the fact that he has a fine sense of humor (Gridiron Dinner) and of gravitas (statement after David Broder's death). Thoughts?

I think both are essential skills for any politician aspiring to the national stage. It speaks to perspective.

There are fewer and fewer of them. Paul Farhi used to have one that seemed well attended, as did John Kelly. Both are gone. There used to be full days of chats, whereas now there are often only one or two chats in a day.

Managing Editor Raju Narisetti addressed this in his Monday chat.

Interesting, hadn't seen that yet.

He says:  "There were several chats that we discontinued because they were either not growing their audience or the audience--however loyal--was too small to justify putting that ahead of doing other chats."

Translation: It's your fault.

She just won an Emmy for Supporting Actress in "Temple Grandin." Makes her a celebrity in my book.

You know, I don't think I knew that. Good for her.

...we'll still be talking about Malia and Sasha Obama!

Yes, we will .

Sorry I can't call it an upgrade. Based on other similar website experiences, I think the techies take over and it doesn't occur to them that the actual users might not be wired to seek information in the same way. Please tell me this wasn't focus grouped to death before the unveiling this week--there are so many issues to confound the regular user?

I have no clue. I'm one of those folks that adapt to technology as needed, and everything has to be spelled out, so I think anything that makes it harder is a bad idea. But I'm on the dumb end of the curve when it comes to things like this.

(1) Web redesign bites, but you already know that; (2) If I claim I'm too drunk to sign a contract, then aren't I also admitting that I was illegally drunk in public -- isn't there a 5th Amendment issue there, somewhere? and (3) I realize the new Alien Overlords who manage the website won't let you share, but is traffic to the chat up or down over last week?

We're getting a lot of questions -- even a lot of questions that don't entail how terrible the new site is -- s that's a relief. Otherwise I don't generally know traffic stats about the chat, unless I do it the old fashioned way : Raise your hand if you're here so I can count!

Oops - I accidentally closed out of your Chat. It tooked me nearly 10 mins. to find the chat again but I'm back!

Yay! (We're celebrating small victories today!)

"Probably less than $200,000. Which is nice, but not enough to retire one." Maybe not but certainly not so paltry as to push her into dealing to pay the rent. I think I could live a few years on that money or, gasp, go into a different legal line of work. Seems she just likes the excitement of the lifestyle, no matter how misguided.

Yes, but here's the thing, and it happens to showbiz successes from all walks of life and across all genres: You start getting nice paychecks, and then you start living as if that's your new normal, your new baseline salary. So then it just takes a couple years of joblessness -- not uncommon for actors, in particular -- to tip them into bankruptcy.

I bet everyone is shocked that Brad's engagement didnt work out

Hey, Emily has her issues, too. The surprises here aren't the couples who implode after the falling madly in love on these shows---it's the rare couples who survive and thrive. 

The articles on this said he had suffered two strokes, so do we assume his death is related to this? And why did a guy in his 30s have two strokes? No matter what, 41 is way too young.

Apparently he'd been in poor health for a while... Read more from our pals at ClickTrack

Why hasnt Charlie Sheen added DC as a stop for his tour?

Because we have all the crazy we can handle? I'd like a cage match with Charlie and...oh, one a several dozen politicians on the Hill.

I have never watched that show, but saw January Jones in that new Liam Neeson movie. And you know what? She is an awful actress. As lovely as the day is long, but wow -- they might as well should have had cue cards up for her. I don't know how Mad Men could be that great a show with such bad acting.

Oh, how funny, I just saw that too. Does that movie have a name, or is it just "the new Liam Neeson movie"? January was definitely the weak link in a movie full of weak links. The first half didn't have enough fight scenes for my taste, nor enough absurdity -- the absurdity was all clustered at the end.

Is there a red carpet? Papparazi yelling? Questions about "who are you wearing?" Or do folks just walk in, unconcerned and unhassled? Did Jay Carney not have date (or is this not a plus one event)?

I think it's really just a bunch of people walking in, as they would for any fancy dinner. But like I said, I wasn't actually there... Off the top of my head I don't know if Carney brought his wife; he would have been there as the guest of some media organization or another, probably; that's typically how these things work.

was the 90s version of Marion Cotillard. Discuss.

Not fair to Cotillard, who is ten times the actress, sexier, and far more engaging.

Cotillard is definitely having better luck in her career. She got an Oscar for an art-house movie, and has followed it up with a bunch of successful big-budget roles. We're not yet at the point of saying, "let's go see the new Marion Cotillard movie," but she's doing okay.

Who is Emily? Did Brad Pitt leave Angelina Jolie for Emily Blunt?

These are references to that show, "The Bachelor," where, from what I hear, that guy who was excoriated for not falling in love with anyone a couple seasons ago just got crypto-engaged to a lovely Nascar widow. Or so I hear.

Whoever makes my hair goop changes their [darn] packaging every single time I have to buy a new one. And every time it's a struggle to find the thing because I don't know what it looks like. It's like the people who design the packaging have ADD or are massively indecisive. That's how I feel about the Post these days. It was very very rare that they made changes - even to a font size - in the pre-Internet days. Now they change the whole site frequently and seemingly on a whim. And it took me way too long to figure out how to get to these discussions. I'm only 37, but this site makes me feel old and confused like a Florida voter (sorry mom and dad).

The whim part is unlikely....dozens of people smarter than I about these things are deployed to get more clicks for our site. So you're supposed to be clicking more now. Are you clicking more? And is it good for you? 

For my 2 cents, what the Post is trying to do is pull in younger readers, and chats are an older demographic. The thinking is the Post is not a chat room, but something hipper. I fear the editors are chasing the New York Times (I remember when they deigned to be different), and I fear that at the end of this rabbit hole is a Mad Hatter.

Younger readers? Raise your hand if you think this new page design Speaks To You.

The people at AFLAC knew exactly what they were getting with Gilbert: a man who can talk like a duck. I am willing to bet that, until this inelegant tweeting, 95 percent of the population didn't know Gottfried was the duck's voice. I am amazed how, after all the high profile social media indiscretions that have come back to bite their posters, people don't realize that the world wide web is, well, world wide. And instantaneous. Also Gottfried evidently didn't know AFLAC does 75 percent of its business in Japan. I imagine they are facing huge, huge claims from a displaced and injured workforce. Gottfried's jokes were the last thing they needed.

Can we all just agree that nothing good comes of Twitter?

People expect the highest of standards when it comes to the voice portraying a duck hocking supplemental insurance.

Make that geo-political-sensitive ducks.

I never could like her. I was a teen in love with Brad Pitt and she was the skank who got with him and his brothers in Legends of The Fall. I am sure she is not a skank in real lifendat hey I didn't send her death threats like Bieber's fans are sending to Selena Gomez.

Skank? I've never heard her called that before. I think her probably in Hollywood is that she wasn't skanky enough.

So the Gores remain separated. Is this a common mode of dealing with an unhappy marriage in DC? At least they are more circumspect than Mel Gibson, who has never gotten a divorce from wife (and mother of seven of his kids) Robyn.

Usually in D.C., or most places, a formal separation leads to divorce. No idea what's going on here; maybe it's just too soon to know.

So, are you going to see Sheen's tour? Is it coming here? And, by the way, the title pretty much says it all. If you drop the last two words, it describes Sheen accurately.

I just assume this is going to be terrible, right? I think Sheen's great medium is interviews with incredulous TV journalists, probably not live stage.

Who is his opener? George Jones or Courtney Love?

Ha. Courtney Love seems like a good idea.

there's a nice page on the site with annotations showing all the design changes. Once I looked at that, I could find all the daily chats, etc.

There's actually a very prominent directory of daily web chats -- on the right side of the home page -- but it's just not where you're used to looking for it.

Would you get any warning in advance if your chat were not well enough attended, so we would be able to call all our friends and neighbors to flood the in-box with more Salahi questions?

Don't know. We might show up one day and find ourselves locked out. Or maybe we'll die of Sahali overexposure. Funny, I have a sudden urge for some really bad wine.

I'm 29, does that count? I have no idea what demo I fall into anymore. I read all the chats and am also very confused in the redesign. But then, I guess I'm old, because I can't remember what I'm used to looking at so I'm not sure what I can't find.

29? Too old!

...can be a consequence of cocaine usage, sadly.

Interesting to know, but let's try not to diagnose patients we're not personally treating, unless they're Charlie Sheen.

I can understand that we were talking about Trump 25 years ago and now. He was rich then and rich now. But I would think several of these famous-because-their-dads-were-famous lot will fall by the wayside. Jenna Bush, Meghan McCain, Luke Russert. To have staying power, they will have to distinguish themselves to some extent -- as I don't know that we will still care about the parties they attend 25 years from now.

Oh, agreed. But I think Jenna -- whom I never would have imagined writing a book or joining the ranks of TV celebrijournalists -- will continue to make herself a presence. I think Meghan McCain will try, but I'm not sure she's going to succeed unless she updates her shtick. Luke Russert, too soon to say. 

I thought she was perfectly dreadful the time she hosted "Saturday Night Live," too.

If you hate January Jones, then you might like the new Liam Neeson movie. That's all I'll say.

...I don't care about the site change. Maybe we younger readers are just more adaptable. :)

Well, then, youth has spoken. Glad you're okay with it. Will you do me a favor and also try buying a print copy? And encourage all your friends to do the same? Thanks!

Thanks for making me do more work to enjoy your product. This is my main issue with these site changes. I NEVER get the impression they are for the benefit of the reader - but to give the impression that there is more traffic. Why else do the editors change the headlines throughout the day without adding anything new to the story. I click on it thinking it's an update, but it's not. But you get one more click. Sigh.

It's like sub-prime mortgages, isn't it? Sounded good until somebody actually looked behind the curtain. All together now: SIGH. And thank your lucky stars there's still an actual newspaper to read.

In Spring 2002 I was in Europe, where the creature in the AFLAC commercials at the time was a soothingly soft-spoken bunny. I returned to the US, where the animal was a duck with Gilbert Gottfried's squawking voice. Don't you think that says it all re what's wrong with American advertising?

Apparently it's similar with their Japan advertising, where they're never used Gottfried's voice with the Aflac duck.

As far as I know. I was unfortunately, not entirely sober one evening near the Rayburn building and a police officer chatted with me for a bit to make sure I was ok. I asked him why he didn't arrest me or ticket me and he said "public drunkeness or loitering isn't a crime in DC or we'd have to arrest everyone" Don't know if it's actually true, but that's about all I remember from my conversation with him. Thank god I got my act together beofre Real World came into town...!

That's a good cop.

The link to the chat schedule is on the right side of the homepage (in the gray box). It is titled "Live Discussions". Just click on the weekly schedules link and it brings up a listing of all the chats for the week. It took me a bit to find it, but they altered it a bit since everyone complained in the chat of Monday...

Yep, thanks.

Who did you pick in your brackets?

I'm waiting for my ringer (my 18-year-old son) to fill mine out. I (he) did awesome last year. 

I saw the Saw Doctors were at the Birchmere this past week. Any chance of an O'Malley sighting?

You tell me -- was he there?

I watched a few minutes of the Comedy Central roast of Donald Trump and caught The Situation's turn. Sweet merciful crap he was just awful. I'm not sure anyone explained to him the concept of a roast. It wasn't like his jokes were bad, they were perplexing. All he did was talk about how many models he'd banged that week and no one could understand who that was insulting (other than those poor models).

Whatever. At the end of the day, the Internets are all busy talking about him and his bad performance, so I guess he wins in the end. No, I didn't watch. Aren't all celebrity roasts that don't involve Dean Martin miserable to watch?

So, someone who probably makes/made around $11-$12 an hour files a lawsuit for $5M because she's "having trouble getting work? Really? Are they doing clearance checks on makeup "consultants" these days? Is she trying to avoid having to work for the rest of her life, or just trying to get enough $$ to "go back to school?" Wow. She wanted to be on TV and is bummed that a show which has been on the air for 15+ years and is well-known for its editing stunts caused her to look like a drunken idiot...when, in fact, that's exactly what she wondering what bad decisions I could make this weekend that could net me a few million...

The key point is if she was a"drunken" idiot. No one can legally enter into a contract in D.C. is they can prove they were seriously drunk at the time they signed the document. The producers say that Golzar was sober, but they didn't ask her to sign the waiver until the end of a night of drinking (instead of the beginning when she was clearly capable of understanding the terms.) So, regardless of her work or lack thereof, she may have a case in court.

Was a subscriber all four years I lived in DC. Subscribe to my local paper now. Need to work on my friends though.

Thank you. And tell them to tell a couple friends. I swear, we'll make this thing go viral.

No! You don't get it. I'm not supposed to work for this newspaper. You're not supposed to make your customers and clients do work for you. I didn't need to take a tour. I knew how to navigate the site. I'm not going to keep doing this. I'm losing interest.

If it helps at all, I still care that you come to chat with us and sorry if it's a pain for you.

Is bigger than the top story's headline. Clearly, this change was made to appeal to advertisers, not readers.

Hey, advertisers are our friends, here. They keep us in business. If you're annoyed by their ads, well, you should demand your money back-- oh wait, never mind!

I don't know who Nate Dogg was? I know Snoop Dogg (didn't know Snoop from "The Wire", though). I'm pretty up on my pop culture, even hip hop, but had no idea who they were talking about when I read the obit.

See? You're learning here. That's a good thing.

I am old enough to remember Julia Ormond being called the next Audrey Hepburn, maybe because she was in a remake of an old Hepburn movie (with Harrison Ford?). That is the kiss of death for many actresses. There is only ONE Audrey Hepburn. Just sayin'.

She was NEVER going to be the new Audrey Hepburn. (She was terrible in that movie, a remake of Sabrina.) No argument here.

Harvard?!?!?!?!? Really?!?!?!?!?! I'm guessing she didn't have to take any Grad School Admission Test, is all I'm sayin'. And how cool would it be if she made a big donation and had a lecture hall or something named after her. I bet the Yalies are giggling so hard they have to cross their legs.

She's not in an MBA program but an executive-education program, which are typically more inclusive -- if you own your own company, anyway.

I just got an email sending me to a website to learn about the changes. That is just stupid--I am questioning my daily paper subscription because it is becoming obvious there is little requard to the user or the subscriber.

I don't know what more to tell you other than --

Her "big" movie was a bad fit. She's way to icy and cerebral to pull off a "Sabrina" remake. (A grumpy Harrison Ford didn't help, either). Personally I always thought she lost the attention battle with the equally lovely (and much warmer) Juliette Binoche.

Really, Americans were only going to be able to keep track of one or the other of them, not both, right?

don't cut off your nose to spite your face. If you appreciate and enjoy the content, you'll adapt to something new. I'm not young (42), but I do work at an interactive web dev agency. Nothing is certain in this life except change.

Ah, so wise.

Youtube the song Regulators. That was his best work in most people's opinion. Regulators!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That's a very good idea.

Nate Dogg & Warren G, Regulate

Does it talk? Doesn't it just quack? And they pay an actor to quack like a duck? Can't they just record a real duck quacking?

Real ducks don't quack funny enough. Or maybe one does, but the casting calls would be endless. (But I'd pay to watch that.)

Chatters: Especially today, we appreciate your efforts to be with us and hope to have you back every week. Send your tips and sightings to Have fun with Saint Paddy tomorrow but stay safe. Next week, same time. 


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
Recent Chats
  • Next: