The Reliable Source Live

Apr 17, 2013

Washington Post columnists Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts were online Wednesday, April 17, at noon ET to discuss your favorite gossip, celebrity sightings and their recent columns.

Past Reliable Source chats

Good morning everyone, and welcome back to the Reliable Source weekly discussion.


I know it's been a sad, scary week. It's always strange to be in the news business at a time like this -- especially when, as has been lately the case for me, you're working on a beat that has nothing to do with the big story that's preoccupying everyone; and more particularly on a beat that can often accurately be described as froth. Froth has its place, though. Even in horrible times, the "other" kind of news still happens, and we still cover it, and people still read it, even if it seems strange. So here we are. Just wanted to get that out of the way.


So here's what else has been on our radar lately:  Oh, no, it’s already time for the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner? Already with the celebrity guests! Someone’s even planning a celebrity gifting suite! Alas, premiere celeb-wrangler Greta Van Susteren is skipping this year.


 Huma Abedin stands by her man, Anthony Weiner, as he prepares a New York mayoral bid.


Jenna Bush welcomes new baby Mila.


Rep. Steve Cohen says he intentionally punk’d the media with his Cyndi Lauper tweet-and-delete.


In other news: Madonna causes an international incident in Malawi, as does Justin Bieber at the Anne Frank House. Stacy Keibler has a job we can all envy. Jada Pinkett and Ozzy Osbourne fight rumors via social media — but is that a good PR strategy? Who has the better travel-to-Cuba rap — Jay-Z or Pitbull? Who has the quote of the week — Laura Jane Grace (nee Tom Gabel) or Robert Downey Jr.? The Salahi winery goes on the auction block.


And R.I.P. Jonathan Winters.


Looking forward to your questions. Thanks for being here.

Now that Kay Bailey Hutchison has been eliminated from the competition, who do you think will win it all: Elian Gonzalez, Dame Maggie Smith or Kevin Ware?

Let me first say: Thank you for this.

And then I will politely disagree: There's no way Rep. Steve Cohen doesn't win this year.


Usually I look forward to my weekly dose of snark here. Today I have nothing snarky to say, really was heartened by the United We Stand sign with the Yankees and Red Sox logos yesterday, as well as the other expressions of support.

Snark is overrated and overused by people with a limited range of eloquence.

Is it too much to ask for Justin not to invoke himself when visiting the Anne Frank museum

Do you mind if I, for just one second, take on the role as a Bieber apologist?


Look at it this way. You're Justin Bieber, 19 years old, not very well educated, and you've gone from poor Canadian obscurity to worldwide superfame in just a few years. You're still grappling with what, exactly, it means that all these little girls all over the world are screaming your name -- what must you mean to them, what do they see in you, how much of it is real, what do you owe them?  And then you go into the Anne Frank House and, in addition to getting this deeply personal and heartbreaking window into how the Holocaust affected one small group of people among millions of others, you see something shockingly universal and familiar: That Anne Frank has posted photos of celebrities on her wall in the hideaway. Just like little girls all over the world have posted photos of you on their walls. It might seem very profound in that moment. Certainly, when he wrote what he did in the guestbook, the museum staff got what he meant to say -- I don't think they meant to embarrass him by publicizing his note.


But yeah, it was a little self-absorbed.

Is the oval office only ceremonial? and the president has a "real" office where the work takes place? So when they released the picture of the President on the phone after the Boston Marathon it was all staged and for publicity?

No. It's his actual working office for most of his work and meetings.

Does he really ever get an Oscar? He's been side tracked into playing action heroes (not only Ironman but Sherlock Holmes) and while it is probably making him a fortune, you'll notice Harrison Ford has never been named best actor

Yes, but I think Robert Downey Jr. probably is making smarter choices about movies -- a mixture of actorly acting things and big blockbuster stuff, and, as he says, he's still young and eventually they'll decide it's His Time. That's actually a pretty good assessment of Oscar politics.

I say this with no disrespect intended, especially as a Jew, but there is no doubt in my mind that Anne Frank would have been a belieber. She was just an ordinary teen girl who happened to be placed in extraordinary circumstances. I think recognizing that is doing more to honor her than to act all appalled and angry that she might have had normal, human, silly impulses. And just as a sidenote, my mother compared her dad to Joe Simpson and Dina Lohan the other night at dinner, to be fair, he did exploit her. But the comparison might not be completely apt.

Lets say you're right. But by the time Justin Bieber wrote in the guest book, Anne Frank had become a symbol of the Holocaust instead of a simple teenage girl. His guest book message made the visit all about him, which isn't real the point and made him look like a self-centered jerk.

Margaret Thatcher's granddaughter apparently Pippa Middleton-ed the funeral. She's pretty, she's young, she's American. I get it. But why on earth to the papers over there keep referring to her Texas twang? In the video of her reading at the funeral, she sounds about as Texas as my GPS. And I don't have one of those fancy ones where you can change the voices 'n' stuff.

Ha. By  "Pippa Middleton-ed the funeral," our chatter means that Thatcher's granddaughter stole the show -- in this case by doing a compelling reading from Ephesians, not by showing off her bottom. I did not know that Thatcher had a granddaughter at the University of Richmond! News to me. Fascinating.

More on Amanda Thatcher -- she runs track at University of Richmond!

Did she travel to London to pay homage to her "Iron Lady" role model? --- NPR Morning edition correspondent seemed to indicate the Minnesota Congresswoman might be among the international group of mourners. . .

She was one of the three-person congressional delegation  sent over by the Speaker.

So how is it that the NY Post headline was screaming about 12 dead after the Marathon bombing, when that turned out to be wrong? From where, or from who, did they get their information from? Or is this just a tabloid gone bonkers?

Erik Wemple has an analysis of the NYPost snafu; apparently, they extrapolated from an eyewitness's guess at the death total, as reported in appropriate context by the Times. They have apparently come around on the death totals now. 

I'm from Boston and I just want to say, humor and kindess are keeping us afloat. Stephen Colbert's opening was fantastic and the Yankees rocked our hearts. So continue with the celebrity fluff!

We'll do our best.

I got here promptly at 11 to see that Tom Sietsema's chat has been cancelled. Sigh. So thank you both for being here and keeping my day from being ruined! So do you have ANY Washington Nationals news?

And thank you for joining us. No, sorry, no Nats news, but here's my absolute favorite sports story of the moment, about the time when Alex Ovechkin went berserk because he thought his fiance wasn't at his game.

The young, pre-drug era, Robert Downey, Jr., gave a wonderful, Oscar-nominated performance as Charlie Chaplin 20 years ago. Remembering that, and the talent he displayed and came so close to squandering completely, I hope that he will get that gold statuette some day!

And that's another reason he's probably right that he will win some day -- because Oscar voters do love a comeback story.

what was your take on this, read both the wow how clueless posts and heck she'd be a fan posts and am undecided. And does it matter, a whole bunch of young folks now have heard of Anne Frank that might not have before.

As I said above, Bieber manage to make it all about himself. And since Anne's story is required reading in almost every junior or high school, I think these young folks would have discovered her without Justin's help.

I have to say that I was just appalled by some of the comments that were posted under your column announcing the birth of Mila Bush. A little baby enters the world, and people respond with outpourings of venom. Why weren't these posts deleted as inappropriate for a birth announcement? Maybe I'm old-fashioned, but I had to stop reading people hating on a newborn. It was depressing.

I don't know much about the comments monitoring system, nor what was said about the Bush Hager birth. Personally, I'm more likely to look at the comments if there are four comments than if there are 400. If there are 400 comments, you know that it's mostly people yelling at each other about something that has nothing to do with the story.

She seems much more impressive that that dork she's married to, and a lovely, gracious person besides. Think we'll see her running for something someday?

She seems to have enough discipline and ambition for it. Though that fits the job description of the person the candidate needs to have behind them as well.

How did the Speaker decide who to send to the funeral. Bachman and Blackburn are pretty polarizing women.

Well, that's something everyone has in common then!

Why has nobody thought of this before? Your GPS's voice takes on a regional accent as you travel across the country -- it's brilliant! "Hang a left by the fillin' station, honey" "Hey, moron, you just missed the ramp to the Joisey Turnpike"

Ha. Perhaps this already exists?

True, he has no Oscar, but he was nominated for Witness! Speaking of Witness, little Lukas Haas has grown up. I saw him in Lincoln and he has a recurring role in Kiefer Sutherland's show Touch! He even has a mustache!

Well, he's 37 now, you know.

FWIW, I agree with your Bieber defense. He's had one messed up young adulthood, partly through no fault of his own. Being the center of so much adulation and attention has got to really screw a person up if they are not well-equipped to handle it. And the impression I have is that there's a pretty big entourage surrounding him with the only goal of getting a piece of his action. It would be incredibly hard for some one as young and seemingly immature as he is to break away from any of that to find himself. So, I actually feel a tiny bit sorry for him. But just a tiny bit.

I feel sorry for him, too. At some point even the most well-intentioned parents can't fight a tidal wave of money and fame, which makes kids like Bieber feel they can do no wrong. His last few months have been one pr disaster after the other, so I hope there's a manager or some other adult who can grab his attention and get him to settle down.

Nice touch by the Yankees last night playing Sweet Caroline

Sweet. And I NEVER say that about the Yankees.

Oh, Mark Sanford wins it all, with his "Appalachian Trail" tap-dance!

Nuh-uh. I think he has a court date on the night of the finals. You been following his latest saga -- ex-wife accusing him of trespassing at her house? He says he was just there to watch the Super Bowl with their son. Anway, well played, Jenny. 

If you can get Snoop Dogg on your GPS, I'm sure regional accents are available.

You can get Snoop Dogg's voice on your GPS?  . . . Yes, but of course, you can get Snoop Dogg's voice on your GPS. Yeah, just like that.

Could Ford win a Best Supporting Actor award for "42," playing Branch Rickey?

Good question. He's had good reviews, and the movie has done much better than expected at the box office. It is awfully early in the season, though; unless someone gets a really shrewd campaign going for him, Oscar voters are unlikely to remember a movie that came out nine months before ballots.

Why isn't VP Biden attending Baroness Thatcher's funeral? Is that the appropriate protocol? As far as I can tell, nobody from the Obama administration is attending, which seems to be deliberately slighting.

No top names from the Obama adminstration attended the service. The official delegation was led by George Shultz and James Baker, both who served as Secretaries of States when Thatcher was in office.

RIP Jonathan Winters. Always loved his role on Mork and Mindy as Robin Williams son

Was actually more interested in watching Deadliest Catch than DWTS

I think I have roughly equal interest in the two shows.

The horse left the barn with how self absorbed many are with the WHCD

It's turned into a celebrity petting zoo. And I love petting zoos, but with real animals.

Apparently they want Adam Scott, no not Poehler's Adam Scott, the Aussie golfer Adam Scott. Never gonna happen because he can already date way more attractive and famous women.

Cute for a golfer, amirite? E! Online claims that the reality show wants him. Only problem is: He's got a girlfriend and is not interested in being "The Bachelor."

Hiya. I'm one of the people who poo-pooed the new format for RS. And while I still think the actual format is yucky, I love what you've been doing with the column lately. Today's piece on social media and the links to other articles are great. Yay Amy and Roxanne!

Thank you very much!

he'd be in jail now, not on the campaign trail. What is Mark Sanford's excuse this time?

"Break in" is not exactly the term, if you believe Sanford. He says he was watching TV with one of his kids at jenny's house. It's possible tha's true and neither Mark or the son cleared it with Jenny and the whole incident got blown up.

And as for Harrison Ford, it is his time now. He will get the Oscar for a supporting role in 42. I haven't seen the movie but have heard good things about his performance. And he even has worn prosthetics for this role. Isn't there a rule or something that says you have to win if you in any way disfigure yourself?

That used to be the case, but now that everyone's doing it, other factors must be considered as well.

It must be feel bad for big-headed celebrities day because I'm finding myself feeling for Seth McFarlane. Thanks to some bozo who took wayy to much time editing an old Family Guy episode, and an article by the AP, people think that either Family Guy just created a new episode featuring a bombing at the Boston marathon, or somehow "predicted" the bombing. My question is if FOX was pulling a Boston marathon-themed episode from its rerun list, why on earth did they need to put out a press release? Couldn't they have just quietly pulled the episode from rotation and online viewing?

The press release is to make it absolutely clear that this is not a new or recent episode, and that anyone suggesting that by splicing together scenes is wrong.

Um, I can't agree. Maybe Jenny Sanford is feeling sweet revenge by trying to sabotage her ex's candidacy, but there are kids involved, and she seems to be preventing her ex from being with one of their sons. That's not good, at all, and it's exactly the wrong behavior to model for children of divorce.

What I meant was: Jenny sure seems to be a shrewd political operator.

Just want to say, I live in Boston. I need this chat today over my lunch break to deal with what is going on. Just a thank you to everyone who has said prayers and sent postive thoughts to this city.

And thank you. Glad to have you hear.

I would volunteer to be the next Bachelor, but obviously dont have the looks to be on that show.

What do you mean "obviously." You want to send us a photo and let us be the judge of that? I'm sure the chatters will have some opinions.

Thank you for your frothiness. When bad, scary stuff happens, you need some froth to keep yourself out of a funk.

I now fear we have exceeded the recommended use of the word "froth" for one hour-long chat. But thank you.

I like your assessment of the Bieber note in the guest book. But they just released photos of him play-boxing with his buddies while in the house, and I'm struggling to come up with any justification for that other than that he's a complete and total tool.

Oh, Justin, Justin, Justin. I always have to remind myself he's 19... going on 15. He's pretty immature for all sorts of reasons, and I can imagine a lot of 15-year-old boys being total tools in what is supposed to be a sacred spot.  Anyway, here are the shots.

What is Barbara Bush the younger up to these days? One does not hear much about her compared to Today Show-appearing, married, new mom Jenna.

No, but she seems to like it that way. She's in New York, running a non-profit she started, Global Health Corps. Does occasional speaking gigs.

Loved him since his days as a guest on Jack Paar's TV show (used to watch with my dad!). Why has nobody mentioned that Winters won a Best Supporting Actor Emmy for his role as Randy Quaid's father on "Davis Rules" (early '90s, I believe)? He was still great after all those years.

Well, the guy won a lot of awards. I think it has been noted here and there. Also, he won a couple of Grammys and the second Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

Gotta say that almost all 19 year old kids I know are a bit self-absorbed. I'm just glad he appears to be steering away from drugs and other self destructive behavior. From all those pix he sends of himself topless he appears to be quite healthy

That wacky Bieber. He'll be fine.

And send your profile as well. Us chatters are interested in who you and what you've done. We want someone who's not just a pretty face.

Yeah, come on. You can't win if you don't play.

Thanks for the article today. Doesn't responding to rumors potentially trap someone in to responding to ALL rumors? After all, if Jada Pinkett-Smith responds to a rumor about her having an open marriage and then declines to respond to a rumor that she's allowing her daughter to have plastic surgery (SOMETHING I JUST WROTE HERE AS A HYPOTHETICAL), that will lead people to think that rumor #2 is true.

Yes, exactly. That's the bind you get yourself in if you address all the nonsense that's floating around. Glad you liked the story. (Stars battle rumors on social media -- but is it bad PR?)

You know what he was really good in? Tropic Thunder. Yes, I just wrote that.

That's what he got his second Oscar nomination for.

From what I read, this isn't the first time Mark Sanford has snuck into his ex wife's house like this. I think his behavior is sneaky and sleezy. Now he's setting it up so the kids think mom's the mean one -- "wah, all I wanted to do was watch television with my kid " My husband would be walking around gonad-free if he'd done to me what Sanford did to Jenny, so I say kudos to her for enforcing the divorce agreement.

As a divorced mom, I think both Mark and Jenny are behaving badly -- totally understandable, given the way the marriage ended, but also not great for the kids. It takes a great deal of maturity not to undermine the other parent and settle scores, no matter how tempting.  Ten years from now, the kids will pay the real price for their parents' hatred of each other --afraid to have them both at weddings or graduations. So even is Jenny is right, I'm not sure she's right in the long run. 

Was watching HHI yesterday and a local Bethesda Gal and her family were moving to Denmark. Her Hubby is a Dane. She's a journalist. So far so good. But OMG she must have said at least 5 times what a Princess she was and that Hubby liked that about her. Believe me it showed that she was a Princess and not in a Duchess Kate kind of way. Why do people do this to themselves. All I can think of is if I ever meet this woman I will think what a spoiled so and so she is. Reality TV is the devil. But great for gossip.

You should temper your judgement. The thing about reality TV is that it actively encourages its participants to "act out" -- or they don't get cast on the show -- and it also edits them to seem like vivid, wacky characters. . . just the kind that viewers will enjoy heaping scorn upon. Something that they say as a self-deprecating joke gets taken out of context to seem humorlessly self-aggrandizing. Stuff like that. Lesson being: Don't go on reality TV.

the justin beiber documentary absolutely changed my thoughts on him. It's a few years old, but he came accross as very grounded and amazingly hard working, with a good group of people to keep his head straight. I think as he's gotten into young adulthood, some of the good influence has waned, which is why he's having his child star period now, as opposed to a few years ago.

Interesting. I think becoming superfamous is really really hard on the psyche, especially when you are young.

So Jenny's not allowed to have the boundaries of their separation agreement enforced? Oh, the humanity!

She is, but the question is how clearly the kids understood the boundries, whether Mark encouraged them to invite him over, and lots of other nuances. It's  not quite as clean and neat as you make it sound.

Good thing he didn't bring Soulmate, or he'd have been an ex-candidate (and an ex-person) for sure.

Ha. Yes.

Well played. the guy is a creep, he's sneaking into her home when she's not there, its against the terms of a legal document, which means he's breaking the law while runing to make more laws. not good, but then again we're talking SC. so....If he wants to to see his kids, do it on his time at his place.

I agree, but then there's the issue of the custody and vistation agreements and how practical it is for the kids to shuttle back and forth...Anyway, just saying that it whole thing sounds like a nasty mess.

From what I read, she had told Mark not to go into her house without her permission several times and also had her lawyer send him a letter.

And he was stupid to continue to do that. But recently divorced people do a lot of stupid things. I'm not sure making the situation public was the best solution.

Thank goodness no one cared what I said or did between 16 and 22 years old. I tried so hard to differentiate myself from others, and looking back now, I can see how obnoxious I was at times.

I think we can all agree. (Regarding ourselves, not you.)

It's all about respect. He clearly didn't respect Jenny when they were married, and continues to show a distinct lack of respect in his behavior and failure to follow rules that they both allegedly agreed to when they split up.

You might be right. Or maybe Jenny is still too angry to cut him an inch of slack, regardless of who it hurts including her own kids. So, like I said, a nasty mess.

If Mark Sanford KNEW that he wasn't allowed in his ex-wife's house without her permission, that's trespassing. Doesn't matter if he was just watching "NCIS" with his sons. Or do the rules not apply to him?

They do, but we don't know all the facts. If he's breaking the law, then a judge will either find him guilty and punish/fine him or warn him to cut it out.

If his dad loses the election, the Sanford son who (apparently) invited or allowed his dad in the house to watch the Superbowl is going to feel just horrible about what he did and blame himself. It will really be both his parents' fault for being big babies about it, but he will feel the pain. That's sad.

I agree with you. But the kids -- old enough to understand all the issues -- also have to understand the rules and make sure neither parent gets into a compromising situation.

That is my take on it.

Guess that's our theme for today, huh? Causes all sorts of problems when someone calls them on it.

So, enough bad behavior for one day. I'd rather focus on all the acts of kindness and courage this week. Speaking of kind, send your tips and sightings to See you next week.



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