The Reliable Source Live

Apr 10, 2013

Washington Post columnists Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts were online Wednesday, April 10, at noon ET to discuss your favorite gossip, celebrity sightings and their recent columns.

Past Reliable Source chats

Hello everyone, and thanks for returning to, or joining, The Reliable Source weekly live discussion.


So much to discuss! This was the week Brad Pitt was in town — and we had to hear about it from Eric Cantor?

Beyonce and Jay-Z went to Cuba and caused an international incident; seems their trip was authorized by the feds for "educational" purposes.


Things you really can't do when you're famous: David Gregory throws a huge public fit over neighborhood parking.


Is Justin Bieber truly on the path to ruin? Nah, we swear it's not as bad as all that!


Also: Remember when David Stockman was the “cute Cabinet member”? Magic Johnson encouraged his son to come out of the closet.  A Spanish princess snagged in an embezzlement probe. Richie Sambora grapples with “personal issues.” Halle Berry and Olivier Martinez are expecting, say it was a “surprise.” Michaele Salahi gets an apology from a British tabloid; fellow White House crasher Carlos Allen has a new sideline. Vladimir Putin = Benny Hill.


And Michelle Obama is totally growing her bangs out! Oh wait — think she just trimmed them again. Never mind.


Looking forward to your questions.

Gregory is lucky that no one taped his boorishness and posted it on YouTube for all to see. I know someone who was there and she says he was awful. When told that the Show House is a benefit for Children's Hospital, he said--and I'm paraphrasing--he didn't give a dam* about children or hospitals for them. I see you all left out that part, the most damning part. I guess he does have friends in high places. David Gregory sounds like an absolutely dreadful person!

We don't know exactly what Gregory said (except for one or two sentences) but witnesses say he behaved very badly. I understand it's easy to get upset (justified or otherwise), but someone with his high profile just can't go off like that in public and not get talked about. And you know -- a month of difficult parking is just not worth the bad publicity.

My parents just went to Cuba. You would think we would want more people to know how bad it is there. If anything Beyonce is doing a good thing.

This is a very hot button issue, depending on your perspective. The one thing most people agree on -- except for a small, passionate group of Cuban-Americans -- is that the travel ban and embargos are probably not the most effective tool in this diplomatic mess.

Then again, neither was Peter Orszag. Just sayin'

We're talking cute-for-Washington. Stockman was QUITE the catch back in the day. 

So 40+ years ago, Annette Funicello was asked not to wear a 2 piece in her beach movies and she did as she was asked (obedience - a lost art?). Nowadays, I have to wonder if Disney would ask Selena and her ilk to do the same thing, or what their reaction would be - an eye roll?

Eye roll? fall on the floor laughing.  Modesty today is a  tattoo smaller than a quarter.  

Any info. on what show/film was filming in front of Union Station on Monday around Noon? There were notices that Warner Brothers was in production & crowds of onlookers were gathered to watch the crew filming three twentysomething guys sitting on a bench. After I had lunch & came back outside the actors were gone, but the crew was moving the equipment.

You know, I could probably have found an answer for you if you had written me on Monday. I see now that you submitted this on Monday.  But we're not looking at this thing until noon on Wednesdays. Next time you want to get our attention? Email us at Meanwhile, I'll see what I can find for you.

Of course he leered. All of the KGB agents had their way with the female trainees, especially those who were sent to overseas to live as undercover Americans. Or so I'm learning from that documentary on FX about Anna Chapman's life.

There's an FX documentary about Anna Chapman? Need to see that.

In your story about the Lady Podesta buying a new house, you said it was near their old place, but didn't say what neighborhood. And, I'm way to lazy to google!

Yes we did. We said it's Kalorama. We said it in the text, we said it in the headline -- but it's such a pretty word you can repeat it over and over. Kalorama! Kalorama! Kaaaaaaaa-lo-rama where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain!

I am outraged at that country song that I've never heard. Just like I'm outraged at that movie I've never seen, that TV show I never watch and that book I haven't read.

Keep it that way. You don't want your outrage diluted by, say, actual facts.

Maybe he was labeled that, but did he ever sleep with Annette Funicello?

Note to self: Look for "Stockman, David" in the index of  Paul Anka's book. That guy's got all the stories.

Why is Anthony Weiner trending??? I'm afraid to look!!! \

Relax-- it's Safe For Work. He and Huma gave an interview with the NYT reaffirming their love for each other. And, oh yeah, he's still considering running for NYC mayor.


Has it been decided who will be the WaPo's date this year? Who are the hot gets that news organizations are vieing for?

We generally bring proper Washington officialdom types and national politicians. Ask me next week. . . . I am actually underwhelmed by the list of names coming out (we'll have a post up in an hour or so on that). I mean, they're popular Hollywood people, but they're the SAME popular Hollywood people year after year. Why does Elizabeth Banks have a lifetime pass to this dinner? I do not know. (We discussed this phenomenon of repeat WHCD guests last year.)

Are New Yorkers really clamoring to consider this guy for Mayor? I guess if Mark Sanford can win a primary with his mistress/fiancee at his side, Weiner has to figure he has a shot?

Weiner is still clamoring for Weiner to be mayor, which is usually all the encouragement politicians require. And he won't know unless he tries, right?

Do you think we'll see the same mourn/celebrate dichotomy with Cheney as there is with Thatcher?

Dude, don't scare me like that. I've been offline for half an hour, and your question thing, "what happened to Dick Cheney?" (Answer: Nothing. He's fine.) But yes, there will probably be an equally complex reaction when that day comes.

Yeah or ney?

I'm having a hard time getting used to it. It makes him look more like a James Bond bad guy, rather than the affable Russian who gets sadly killed in the first reel.

I don't mind the ones that actually hang out in DC, don't just drop in and then hide in their hotel rooms. The ones that bar hop and seem to dig the city are pretty cool and are always welcome back in my book. (And, George Clooney. Always George Clooney).

That's not a bad test. And, yes, always George -- but doesn't look like he's coming this year.

What is the over under on how many of the cast of Modern Family will be there?

The cast of "Modern Family" also apparently has a lifetime pass to this thing. Don't ask me why. I expect we'll have Sofia Vergara and at least two others TBD.

you know, I'd be more likely to let this new song slide if his previous one hadn't been all about how touring made him learn that not everyone goes to church on sunday, drives pick up trucks, and has morals and work ethic ("Southern Comfort Zone") or if he hadn't previously had his lovely song "I'm Just a Guy" which has a lovely part about how he's "just a guy" if his woman wants a back rub but he takes it too far....

Here's the lyric:

But when you say a backrub means only a backrub
Then you swat my hand when I try
Well now what can I say at the end of the day
Honey, I'm still a guy.


Are you complaining that Paisley. . . is a hack?

Yea or nay?

They're grownups. They can make their own decisions without me.

Remind me why we cant go there again? I know the Castros are really bad guys, but aren't we friends with many worse (Saudi Arabia) and I can freely travel to many worse places?

Yeah, something like that.

Has a right to be disgusted at the sleazy commentary on her issuing from the mouths of Mitch McConnell and his staffers. But, the question is, was the McConnell oppo strategy meeting leaked by someone hostile to Mitch (Tea Party sympathizer) or someone wanting to make him look more appealing to the base?

Hard to say, but there's plenty of speculation. But what I thought was fascinating was the peek into campaign opposition strategy. (She cra-cra-crazy! ) As we've said before, politics is not for sissies.

OP was just making a joke about the FX series "The Americans."

Oh, okay. Been meaning to watch that.

Not judging whether he said anything or not. But if he did say what he was quoted as saying (I know all the politicians in town), he should be fired by NBC. Using the threat that he would reach out to people be covers as an impartial reporter and ask favors from them -- that seems like it crosses a line. How on earth could he claim to be impartial is using his journalist rolodex for his own gain?

He denies saying it. (Everyone up to speed on the David Gregory tantrum story, btw?)

Wasn't trying to spook ya with Cheney. I've been really struck how vehement the reactions to Thatcher's death have been, after being long out of power and a debilitating illness. Made me wonder about Cheney. I don't think even W would inspire quite as much reaction.

Remember when Nixon died? It was similar.

Didnt understand why she went on Letterman when her rehab stints might get addressed

Oh, I"m sure she knew it would be addressed.

One thing about him that drives a little bit of this is his parents, who are well connected and seemed to have been the ones that spearheaded his original Congressional run.

Look, the guy was deeply ambitious and still is, despite a scandal that would send most of us to a small town with a name change. But no --he still wants to be mayor and thinks he might be able to win. His parents might be a factor, plus Huma's tight relationship with Hillary.  Mostly, he just WANTS it. 

GRUMPY CAT! If they can bring Uggi, they can bring her!

That was Donald Trump a couple years ago.

He's got the whole package.

And so it begins....

Just saw Glenda Jackson was trending on twitter and was worried that the great actress was dead. She was tremendous in A Touch of Class. Turns out there is a Glenda Jackson who is a British politician that was critical of Margaret Thatcher. Had me scared.

Oh, you know that Member of Parliament Glenda Jackson is the same as Two-Time Oscar winner Glenda Jackson, don't you? Anyway, here's why she's trending.

Say what? Then I realized it wasn't Lilo.

The world moves awfully fast these days, though, so be prepared.

I'm modest. My tattoo is smaller than a quarter. Though my mom still gives me grief about it.

The test is how many people can see it. If we're talking beach or hot tub only, you're probably cool.

Featuring Justin Timberlake? What -- none of the Backstreet Boys were available? I look forward to the next White House Music-fest: A Night of Hip-Hop, featuring Charlie Daniels.

Ha. Here is Chris Richards' story about last night at the White House: Justin Timberlake, Mavis Staples and more bring sounds of soul to the White House

Could we maybe pick a different tag-line?

Politicians WANT it all: Love, respect, attention, power. It's an apt description. 

Are there any other Oscar winners who have entered elected politics?

You know, that's a good question. Does Clint Eastwood count? He didn't win his Oscars until after he did his time as mayor of Carmel.

Has that movie come out yet, the one with her and a porn star that is supposed to be her big comeback? Or was the Elizabeth Taylor/Richard Burton movie her big comeback? Tough to keep track.

No, I believe that movie -- "The Canyons," directed by Paul Schrader and co-starring James Deen -- is supposed to be out this summer, though I am not sure they have a distribution deal. The NYT had a great story about the filming.

I thought she did okay with Dave but she looked a far ways from good. Thought Letterman looked a little uncomfortable there at the end.

She looked a little shaken, and Letterman looked a little surprised she was shaken. Which was more interesting than just joking around. 

was it jfk who said no to cuba way back when? Are we still angry about the cuban missile crisis? I mean, technically, we could always go to russia, right? There were no bans way back when?

Why are you asking us? Isn't there some good Wikipedia article you can look up on your own?

can't wait for weiner to run. i mean, none of them will vote for him, but my comedian friends looks at it as, well, some fun he can have.

The gift that keeps on giving.

Have you heard of this new thing we people inject their foreheads with tremendous amounts of silicone and then impress the spot to make patterns in the swelling! What is wrong with people sometimes?

Oh, you're making that up.

It is a beach/hot tub/Clooney only thing. And Modest Tattoo would be a great band name.


I have yet to make it to a Nats game this year, so am relying on you for guidance -- how is William Howard Taft doing so far as a racing president?

Don't ask us, ask the folks at Let Teddy Win. According to their stats, it's three wins for Washington, two for Jefferson, and zero for Lincoln, Roosevelt and Taft so far this season.

A heck of a basketball player and happy to see him win the NCAA championship. And through his twitter relationship with some gal, I have learned two new phrases I didn't know existed: "twitter-model," and "heaux." I can sound out what the second one is, but the first -- what exactly is a twitter model?

You know, I tried googling "Twitter model," but I kept coming up with the same Peyton Silva. Apparently it's a brand-new job classification with the Department of Labor.

Good news -- Gangster Squad, the best movie since Takers, will be on DVD next week.

Aw. I  kind of wanted to see that in a theater. Should have moved faster.

Does head of the NRA count as politics?

Ah, good one.

The full, fluffy hair on some famous men makes me wonder about how common hair pieces are for men. Some members of Congress seem extraordinarily well endowed up there. Men I know in real life don't wear man wigs, as far as I know, but they're regular guys and not famous. Is good hair is another one of those physical attributes that leads to success, or are hair assists more common among men in the public eye? Also, please help me stop fixating on this question.

Interesting you should ask: I once tried to do a story on male politicians over 50 who dye their hair-- and you would have thought I was asking about murder. Seriously, power hair is an extremely touchy subject. Good hair, like height, are part of the ideal candidiate package. Honestly, I can't answer the congressional man wig question (I'm guessing not many) but there are other assists. Have we all forgotten Joe Biden's hair plugs way back when?

Hello, You can only travel there on official business or if you are a muslim going to the Haj. They do not issue visas for tourism. So, it's not a U.S. rule but it is a Saudi rule. I figured Beyonce and JayZ's trip was pre-approved. There has long been approved trips for cultural exchange, particularly in the area of arts and musics. See Buena Vista Social Club documentary, it is excellent.

Those are Saudi Arabia's restrictions, though, correct? (Here's the latest on Jay-Z and Beyonce's Cuba trip. Yes, it's been "educational" for us, too.)

The "doughnut" forehead swelling thing was written up on the Wapo website awhile ago. Obviously, you missed it.


Of all the places in the world they can travel, why pick Cuba? Yes, I understand that the embargo is a bad policy, but that advantage is there of a high profile visit? If you don't explicitly (and rightfully) criticize the Cuban regime, there's an implicit assumption that you endorse it by visiting the country. This is not as bad as when Penn visited Chavez in Venezuela, but it still stinks.

Maybe they just wanted to see it. Maybe the people who said, "That's not a great idea" got fired. We are talking about superstars who are used to getting what they want.

Oh, I see now, it's a Japan thing. (And/or a Daily Mail thing). They're very fashion-forward.

I think because of the Michelle Obama star power she gets overshadowed. She looked absolutely phenomonal in that photo at the Italian Embassy that you ran.

Pretty great dress, isn't it? (Bidens at the Opera Ball)

I went to the game a week ago and Taft's (adult) great grandson was there. He yelled "Play ball," then got a huge hug from Bill. It was oddly one of the more adorable things I've seen in a long while. Go Nats!

That is sweet. Personally, I would be unnerved if they turned my great-grandfather into a foam-headed mascot. But presidential families have to deal with so much weird stuff.

Or maybe you feel that the current travel restrictions are wrong and you want to publicize it. This comment will be taken back if they met with Castro, said they were friends forever, and Cuba threatens us with nuclear war.

Okay, we'll hold you to that.

Close to 20 years ago I interviewed Martinez in DC on his first trip to the US. He was promoting a period piece film called Horseman on the Roof, in which he costarred with Juliette Binoche. What I remember is how open and eager he was talking about being in America--his principal reason for coming, he told me, was not to promote the movie so much as the trip gave him the chance to go to New Orleans and Chicago and hear the blues. He was incredibly excited about the opportunity to see Buddy Guy. He was very sweet and without guile--I gather he's changed.

Based on what?

Okay, It doesn't quite rise to the late Senator Stevens describing the Internet as "a series of tubes," but McConnell showed how technologically out of touch he is with that comment. I can go to Staples and buy a tiny digital recorder sensitive enough to pick up a discussion anywhere in the room. Put it somewhere inconspicuous before the meeting, come back when the meeting is over and, voila, you have the evidence, Of course, it's more delicious to think that there is a mole in McConnell's cadre of advisers who was wearing that same recorder in a jacket pocket.

Indeed. Still a gutsy move, however it happened.

from the love boat never won an academy award. sonny bono either.

Usually if you're winning Oscars then you're happy to stay with your day job.

though, cuba is an incredibly beautiful country. i know some people from there, and others who have visited, and it's an incredibly diverse wonderful country, even after castro has tried to destroy it. talk to some canadians, too, since they are allowed to go - they will tell you have wonderful it is. so yeah, it would be great to go there, but there are also tons of other countries to visit too.

Including plenty in the Caribbean.

Then why do celebrities feel the need to come to Capitol Hill and get all up in everyone's business??? (Though it was good to know Kyle McLaughlin is still alive.)

Er, most of them aren't winning Oscars.

Given the unavoidable razzing, it's surprising so many women sit down in the first place: Lilo, Paris Hilton, Kim K., Farrah...

A Letterman spot is just irresistible. Moths to the flame.

Are Spanish princesses still called Infanta [Fill in the blank] or is that gone away?

yes, it's still the official title for daughters of the king who are not heirs to the throne. 

If great follicles were all it took, President John Kerry would be enjoying presidential retirement, not Pakistan.

Ha! And Scott Brown would still be a senator -- he had great hair.

I know, it's politics, they're all hypocrites, etc., but I think it's interesting that more and more politicians are saying we need to remove the stigma from mental health and we need to be more open to people with mental and emotional disabilities and we should be more accepting of people with mental health issues, but when someone with mental health problems wants to run against you in an election, then it's OK to ignore all that and go ahead and demonize them as freaks.

Which is why the meeting transcript was so interesting.

The thing about Weiner is... well, that scandal was just creepy. It's not like it was just an affair or just someone trolling Craig's List for no-strings-attached hook-up. He was just taking photos of his junk and sending them to people. I don't know why, but it just seems ookier to me.

That's why Weiner got in more trouble than a politicians who actually follow through and have the affair: Because it was so weird ane exotic and new. "The first social media scandal of its time," a strategist told us when we explored why some politicians survive scandals when others don't.

He is not only still alive but he is appearing on a number of television shows including a recurring role on How I Met Your Mother. I believe it's MacLachlan, but I could be wrong.

You are correct on all counts. Very ingratiating guy, btw. Lovely voice. Celebvocate: Kyle MacLachlan on cancer research

I figure never give up an excuse to use the word "Infanta" in one's every day conversation.

Depends, of course, who you're talking to. "Princess" works a little better than Infanta for royal adults, I think.

Part of his charm for me was that he remained a Midwest guy, writing for the Chicago papers and hosting an annual film festival in his hometown of Champaign-Urbana, IL. RIP, Roger.

In a chat full of bad behavior ---yes, a nod to a sweet Midwestern guy.

Folks, that's it for today. Please send your tips and sightings to And get out there in this gorgeous weather and smell the cherry blossoms. Next week, everyone.


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