The Reliable Source Live

Jun 08, 2011

Washington Post columnists Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts were online Wednesday, June 1, at noon ET to discuss your favorite gossip, celebrity sightings and their recent columns.

Past Reliable Source chats

Hello all. No time to give you links, so let's get started. Believe it or not, there were stories other than Weinergate and the state dinner, but they elude me now...

Here is a hint to celebrities. Send out outrageous photograpsh to people following you on Twitter. It seems that will get you a lot of press.

No kidding. I think it's also had the effect of doubling Weiner's Twitter followers in a week, and apparently, this is the most important goal for anyone these days.

NBC news last night featured a couple of people from Weiner's district who said essentially that everybody has flaws, and what Weiner did is no big deal. While it seems distasteful to me, I could get by him sending racy photos to some woman he was infatuated with, but sending them to six women seems to fit in a whole new category to me. Don't most men have affairs only one woman at a time, or am I just behind the current fashion here?

Well, here's the thing -- Weiner wasn't even having affairs!  Unlike most of our sex scandal heroes, he didn't seem to be having any sex. It's the new phenomenon of the e-ffair, as our colleague Monica Hesse describes it. Weird, weird stuff. If I were his constituent, though, I'd be more troubled by the multiple layers of very sophisticated lying.

Nancy Pelosi is my hero. She looked amazing in her dress. Other best-dressed winners in my book are Marissa Mayer and Robin Goolsbee. What was with all the blue, though?

Go figure. I was struck how dark most of the dresses were given the weather; there were a couple coral and red dresses,  but only real color trend was this electric blue---not the most flattering color on most women, but must be hot in the stores right now.

Marissa Mayer's dress is somewhat controversial -- some love it, some hate it, but it was definitely the most eye-catching. This blog post will lead you to all the photos on state dinner fashion.

I completely understand that these issues can and shoudl be covered. But the glee and gliggling that seems to go on makes the DC press crops seem like a bunch of tittering 8th graders. No wonder they call the WHCD "nerd prom" - the attitude among reports seems highly juvenille.

If you are able to describe the Anthony Weiner scandal with a completely straight face, than you are a better person than I am. I would say the same if his name were Anthony Smith. This is just weird, weird stuff.

Again the Obamas sit at the same table? It's really not good manners. Why do they do this?

Not only did they sit at the same table, but they sat next to each other----a first, I believe, for a state dinner. I do know the East Wing sought to mix up the tradition of formal round tables with the president and first lady each at their own table. I'm guessing the Obamas prefer a slightly more informal feel and have opted for a larger head table that serves the function of two tables. I was surprised, however, to see them next to each other (although it's probably more fun for them that way.) Everyone wants to sit next to them, and that eliminates two places. (By the way, the Bidens were also at one table, although not seated next to each other.) 

Hav you ladies heard any whispers of the congressman being too fliratious/weird prior to this scandal?

He had a mild reputation as a man-about-town before he started dating Huma Abedin, but nothing particularly outrageous.

Here's our full Anthony Weiner dossier. Links here to stories about his marriage and bachelorhood -- and a link back to a very, very funny after-dinner speech he gave in March.

What a crappy situation for Mrs. Weiner. Given how notoriously private she is I doubt she will make a statement. Do you think the marriage will last, or is this nail in the coffin?

That's the $64,000 question. They've only been married a short time and have no children so---from a practical aspect---it would not  be complicated to walk away. But we have no way of knowing their bond with each other, his or her determination to stay married,  and a hundred other factors that go into a decision like that. What we're not going to see is Huma playing this out in public. Whatever happens will remain as private as possible.

I saw a handful of shorter skirt lengths at the State Dinner for Germany last night - is it okay/appropriate for such a fancy event?

In the photo gallery, you'll see that Stewart Bainum's wife wore a sassy little red dress. Thought it looked cute. But yes, there's a big debate over whether short or mid-length is appropriate for these kinds of things. Anna Wintour went with a mid-calf dress last time, and Michelle Kwan's was quite short. Very controversial!

Hopefully no children. With the noses both Rep Weiner and his wife have their poor children would cursed with noses only Jimmy Durante could love.

You are a very bad person. A nosist. You think everyone should have little button noses? The world is a beautiful place because of the variety of our noses, and both Weiner and his wife have so much more character because of their noses. He's lucky, too, because he needs all the character he can get.

Fallout from Kate Middleton's stunning engagement-announcement dress?

That's a good point. Maybe. But the trend must predate that---it typically takes more than a year for a color trend to show up on store racks.

You know, I have to admit that I pay more attention to these events now, just in case there is anyone who tries to crash the party. As usual, a negative experience created a lot of attention to what I had previously considered boring, protocol-inspired events.

Crazy to think that on the night of the first Obama state dinner, I was totally off the clock. Went to a movie, in fact -- it was Roxanne's story, not mine. Now, of course, I'm pinned to a computer all night handling the state dinner story. Yes, the Salahis changed everything. Or maybe it's the Internet.

Why do the networks flock to Sarah Palin like moths to flame? Scrambling around after that bus tour was just embarrasing. Given that she seems to love torturing the "lamestream" media, why dont the papers/netwrks get totgether and assign a pool reporter so not everyone has to waster thier time?

This is a lose-lose situation for most of the media. Cover Palin and get accused of gotchca journalism if there's a hint of criticsm in the stories.  Don't cover her and get accused of ignoring a favorite daughter of the Tea Party. The only clear winner is the former governor.  

Makes us all think about what constitutes infidelity in marriage. He broke no laws (in VA, adultery is still a crime but you have to have actual sexual relations to be guilty) but was definitely guilty of bad judgment and creepy gross behavior.

Over the weekend, we did a story about political sex scandals, and what it takes to really ruin someone's career. I talked to one crisis consultant who said that novelty is a big factor: These days, it's kind of old hat for a politician to have an affair, but something involving photos on Twitter? THAT's new and weird and shocking. Of course at that point, we didn't know how weird the story would still become. I think at the end of the day, it just comes across as kind of juvenile and exhibitionist and risky and pathetic, and if any constituents are bothered by that, I wouldn't blame them. You don't have to have an affair to disgrace yourself.

Why why why are men such idiots? and weiner didn't even seem to (ahem) benefit from his stupidity really - why?

The general thought -- paraphrase many friends--is that the brain is not  running the show and thinking was not part of the equation.  As far as benefits, the objective did not appear to be having sex with these women....well, not in-the-flesh sex. Maybe the benefit was just the thrill of the on-line interaction. 

I'd say you can go with either the bold prints or the big ballroom skirt: NOT BOTH.

I disagree. I don't think that pattern would work as well on a form-fitting dress, unless it was much softer fabric, like a silk chiffon.

Let's pretend Anthony Weiner has a time machine, but he can only go back to the split second AFTER he tweeted the picture. We know that everything he did after that made things worse. What would a smart PR / crisis management advisor say he should have done instead, if he had a "do-over"? Is there really anything that would have changed it from well, what it has become for him into a blip that wouldn't have changed his life?

Let's see. What if he had said: "I intended to send that photo as a direct-message to a friend -- as a joke -- and it accidentally came out as a public tweet, aimed at stranger. My bad! Boy, I am embarrassed."

That arguably would have been true, and it might have stifled the media frenzy. But you know, it might not have: Because the reason he took super-evasive actions is because there was more to hide -- a pattern of indiscreet sexytalk with Internet strangers. And perhaps even if he had taken shrewder PR actions at the start, that stuff would still have come out.

Here's the thing: Last week, we were all saying, "Man, his PR strategy is terrible." And maybe it was, but that's irrelevant now, because the truth is that it's not just his PR strategy that was terrible, it was his behavior.

Do you think Weiner will last as a congressman til the end of the month? I really don't see this issue deflating any time soon. The story has girth, length and staying power.

Oh stop, you.

It seem like his lying only antagonized the press, and made things a bigger story?

Absolutely. But the issue wasn't juts with the press:  it's with voters, who might forgive a personal flaw but hate being lied to. Duh, duh, duh. It's the cover-up, not the crime. 

I feel bad for his wife. They've been married less than a year, right? What's his deal?

Like most people: He wants it all. Grown-ups make choices and realize they give some things up with every choice. Like dirty sexting to other women after you marry.

Why hasn't Senator Vitter's career been ruined?

That's the intriguing thing we discussed in Monday's story. He was not just cheating on his wife but doing so in a criminal way (visiting prostitutes); and certainly for a while everyone thought his career would be toast.  There are so many variables in who survives and who sinks, but arguably in Vitter's advantage was the fact he fessed up/apologized quickly (with his wife miserably by his side)... and because he's from Louisiana, where they've seen much more shocking stuff.... and because he was well-liked and well-known in his district (compared to newbie Chris Lee)... and because his reelection was three years off.

Political sex scandals: Who survives, who crashes and burns

So, what are you two women wearing today?

Excuse me. I think that's a totally inappropriate question coming from someone who is not a close, intimate Facebook friend/Twitter groupie.

This is my biggest pet peeve when people balk about wanting to sit together! The whole idea is to spread the conversation across/down/up the table which is what happens when you split up couples. When did folks become so co-dependent/whiny that they can't be a couple of feet apart at a dinner?!?

I tend to fall in your camp----it helps creative a livier party to split couples up. But that's a tradtional, formal approach. We've gotten much more informal, and many couples don't really like sitting next to strangers and ask to sit next to their spouse.

Maybe because they've been married longer? Maybe because they like the opportunity to talk to new people, while the Obamas are just glad to be in the same place at the same time?

Who knows? I think the only real answer is that the seating was that way because the first couple prefers it, whatever the reason.

Hi Ladies, it was my understanding that the college student received the groin pic and said it was someone who had been harassing her already. Didn't she say she thought someone hacked Weiner's account and sent the pic? At the press conference, Weiner said he meant the photo for one person as a prank but sent it to all via Twitter before quickly deleting it. So...was it sent to just that young woman? Was she trying to cover up for him?

It's all kind of byzantine, but my understanding is that Weiner's Twittering had been closely monitored long before this scandal by a detractor who was suspicious of the number of unfamous young women on his follow list. Gennette Cordova, as one of those ladies, says that she had previously gotten some pesky messages from that person -- who it seems may have been the one follower to see the crotch shot Weiner tweeted/deleted. Cordova says she didn't even see it until this person re-tweeted it to her. Moral of the story: If you're a famous person, you're going to have a lot of obsessives stalking you and looking for you to trip up. Weiner tripped up, and this obsessive was there to see it. (I have no reason to believe Cordova was lying. It seems odd that he'd tweet a lewd photo to someone he'd never communicated to before -- if that's the case -- but as I mentioned previously, there's some theory that he meant to DM it to someone adjacent to Cordova on his foll0w list.)

Why is it considered bad manners for spouses to sit together? I understand it's not traditional, but bad manners?

Again, traditionally, the idea is that the host and hostess sat apart in order to spend more time talking at the dinner table with their guests. The theory behind this is they have plenty of other opportunities to talk to each other, and that the focus should be on their guests.

I was surprised to see people moan that Stewart had gone easy on Weiner. (Although to be fair the moaning was on Politico - and their writers and commenters whine/moan/pick-apart EVERYTTHING.) It seems like he was pretty tough on him, and was upfront about how hard it was since they had a prioe friendship to the scandal. Considering Stewart isn't Edward R Murrow - why can't people cut him some slack for having a human reaction to a story?

I'm not a regular Stewart watcher, but I watched his Weinergate routine. His options were limited: He could have avoided the Weiner story altogether because of their long-term friendship. (If he were a journalist in that situation, he would have had to recuse himself from the story.) Or he could do something that more or less acknowledge their long-term friendship, which seems like the route he chose.

Is sharing photos via twitter now part of a standard courtship ? I know that's not what Weiner was up to but for younger people who are trying to have a relationship ?

Sharing photos online is a standard part of modern courtship. Many couples do not share revealing pictures, but some do---just like in the old days, but then you had to shoot the pictures, get them processed, and mail or give them to your sweetheart in person.  It's easier to be implusive these days---and few people stop to think that anything tweeted  or emailed can end up on the Web.

Aren't we all geting ahead or oursevles with the feeling Weiner's career is toast? We would have said that several years ago about Vitter, and he was then easily reelected. If he survives another week or two without any other tweets dropping, his career's chances of survival improve, right?

It's trickier when you're a congressman and your elections come up sooner. It's also trickier to survive if, as it turned out, none of your colleagues liked you much anyway, as was suggested in Jason  Horowitz's story yesterday. But as we noted in our story about political sex scandals, anything can happen.


Political sex scandals: Who survives, who crashes and burns.

How about a congratulations to Dakota Fanning, so has graduated from high school and so far avoided any LiLo/Britney types of drama.

Oh, don't speak too soon. You might jinx her.

A few years ago, my dad was staying at the Mayflower when the whole thing with Spitzer broke. We were in the concierge lounge when someone who knew I was there emailed me that they had just identified the room number. It was one floor down from the lounge and my boyfriend and I had the bright idea to go steal the room number. It couldn't of taken us more than five minutes to get down from the moment the number came to light.... And someone had already gotten to it and stolen the number plaque off the wall! At the time, I kept checking ebay figuring the person or persons involved would sell it. But, no dice. I guess they kept it as a personal memento.

Brilliant minds think alike, huh? Maybe it wasn't stolen, maybe the Mayflower purposefully removed it... so you wouldn't.

The issue of couples sitting together at dinner parties makes me think of a recent wedding phenomenon: the sweetheart table. The bride and groom sit at a table by themselves. I don't get it AT ALL. As my husband says, "they have the rest of their lives to sit with each other in silence, why do they need to do it now?"

Especially when they've paid to have their freinds at the wedding. I forgot to mention, however, that formal entertaining makes exceptions for engaged couples (they are often seated together) and newlyweds on their wedding days and shortly thereafter. Ah, romance.

Two questions in one about two ladies I usually admire (though not for clothes): Senator Klobuchar's picture in your slideshow is almost a self-parody of someone uncomfortable in formal wear, but maybe you just caught her at a bad moment. Is there a more flattering photo of her gown? And is there something else she could wear that would be appropriate but not make her so ill at ease? Is it ever appropriate to wear a shoulder bag on a strap? I thought our new DNC chair, Debbie Wasserman-Schulz, did not appear at her best either, and the 'purse look' (as opposed to clutch bag) did not help. Think she can step up her game?

I was noticing a lot of bad postuure, but then wondering, well, maybe that's how I would look too. Looking photogenic on a red carpet is no easy feat.

I now had to explain to my middle-school-aged son why you should never send photos of you private parts to anyone. And the fact that women are not "turned on" by such visual works of art, even if men seem to find that hard to believe. He said, "Eww. This is weird to talk to you about, Mom." Oh well.

Ha! A teachable moment.

Just sayin'.

Thanks for sayin'.

Because the water is the only thing I can think of that all the politicians here--DC government, included--have in common, some sort of contamination that, to quote Hax, makes them "cannonball into stupid." I tried to think of something really witty to say, but the events of the past week have just left me...speechless. Thank goodness you're here to put some perspective on this.

It's amazing, isn't it? I'm beginning to think all politicians must have borderline personalities. Or maybe it's all men.

I mean, nice that they are filming here (I assume it boosts the economy a tad), but I'd much rather have a chance to see Denzel Washington!

I'm bummed no one recognized and phoned in a sighting of the great Brendan Gleeson. "In Bruges" is a very funny movy.

I work in public relations and my boss is always looking for a way to get our organization in the news. He didn't appreciate the humor of my suggestion that our president take a photo of her crotch and accidentally Tweet it.

You sound like my kind of PR person.

I may be wrong but did Speaker Boehner prove to be a no-show even though former Speaker Pelosi was on hand for the Merkel STATE DINNER; was this the first for Chief Justice John Roberts?

You're right: the Speaker declined his fourth state dinner invitation from the Obamas.  I think this was Roberts' first, but can't remember for sure without go back to the guest lists.

My husband & I agree that the man is scum. What we disagree on is whether he should go to prison. I see this as basically a victimless crime--after all the money was contributed to help him win the election, which keeping Reille & her daughter secret would definitely have done. And he does have three small children. I can't see any benefit at all to incarcerating him.

This is the big debate. It will be interesting to hear the rival arguments in court.

I asked my daughter if she wanted one, but she said she & her fiance did not. They wanted to sit with their parents, the maid of honor and her guest, and the best man and his wife. I was very glad because I don't like the idea of the sweetheart table at all.

Good for them. Every meal on the  honeymoon is a "sweetheart table." 

I like that the guest list gets printed in the paper. I see the titles of government officials are included with their names, but the other people have no indication of who they are or why they are invited. Is it just a space limitation? Are invitees and their +1s always listed together? Is everyone allowed a +1? For instance Juergen Klinsmann is listed alone. Couldn't find a date?

It's basically the list as given to the press by the White House late on the evening of the state dinner. They include some titles, not others. Online last night, we did a quickly analysis of who's who on the guest list.

I really don't want to be catty - If I were in her shoes over the past year I'd be stress-eating like a champ. Given that she is engaged, and was looking a little larger when she left the courthouse with her father I couldn't help but wonder if she was pregnant?

Just saw her about six weeks ago and she looked great with no obvious signs of a baby on the way.

My friend told me he saw Jose Andres going in to Cafe Atlantico this morning - any idea how long he's around? (My friend did *not* wave and scream like a girl like I would have!)

He's pretty well based here; may even be his full-time home. Has multiple restaurants in town, you know.

I would consider an emotional affair an affair.

Yep. It's damaging.

What is the criteria for the invite list? Why was a VP at Google there (even if her dress is pretty awesome!)

Not a clue. The guests are typically selected for some connection to the guest of honor or country. Marissa mayer is orginally from Wisconsin---maybe some German ancestors?

Amy, I'm guessing you're a LITTLE sensitive about yours?

Actually, no. I have a nose that the nosist chatter would probably consider perfectly acceptable within his/her limited range. But there's just something a little offensive to me about people who fixate on large noses as somehow inherently unattractive. You know what I mean.

Am i crazy or is the Chief Justice at al these State dinners? Is that common practice or do he and the Obamas get along really well?

He's not at all the state dinners, but there are generally one or more justices at each dinner. They're kind of A-list around here, you know.

Actually, in between then and now, there were Polaroid photos -- thus circumventing the need to have the pictures developed by a shop, where if they were too racy the business might refuse to print them.

Forgot about Polaroids! But then there was only one picture, which could be destroyed easily. 

I think they try to avoid it in Hollywood, but do you know of an instance where two people showed up to a big DC event wearing the same thing?

At the 2006 Kennedy Center Honors, three other women showed up wearing the exact same red Oscar de la Renta gown as Laura Bush. The first lady discreetly changed dresses between the White House reception and the Kennedy  Center show.

His mouth is the least attractive part on him. I found the pec/torso shot on The Daily Show to be creepier than the shorts shot. That is one seriously unattractive mouth and chin. He looks alien.

Come on, be fair. What about his personality? Right now, that is his least attractive part.

Is reporting a picture of his naked lap sent via e-mail or twitter.

Not his lap, exactly.  NSFW. But, yes, it's out there now.

It really isn't, ask anyone who has done internet dating w/in the past five years. What surprised me about the press conference is that there was no announcemnt of his going to rehab. When did that stop being de rigeiour for politicians explaining their way out of a deleicate situation?

I was grateful for the two major script-flippings with that press conference:

1. No humiliated wife by his side.

2. No rote announcement of "seeking professional help."

If I were his constituent, I'd be troubled by the outright stupidity and carelessness of issuing the Meat Tweet. I expect politicians to be sleazy, but not this brainless and self-destructive. What a boneheaded move.

Honestly, so many of us last week were inclined to believe the "hacking" claim, because, well, WHO WOULD BE SO STUPID AS TO DO THAT???

Is it ever a good omen when Bill Clinton officiates your wedding? Sigh


i think the fact that he put soooo much attention into personal grooming in the pics also seemed to up the creepy factor to the scandal.


So, that cute little Piper Palin said to the press that they were ruining the family vacation. Is she still your fav? Or has she now morphed into another publicity-seeking member of the family?

She is still my fave. Can't wait until she's a teenager.

Piper Palin speaks out

Robin Goolsbee. I'd say more but I need to go back and look at that photo some more.

She is very striking. David Cronenberg. He seems to understand the nexis of technolgy and creepy sex fetishes (Videodrome, Existenz, The Crays, Crash - the one w/ Holly Hunter and James Spader).

That sounds like the awesomest movie I will never want to see.

There are media reports that Bill Clinton is very disappointed in Weiner. Are you kidding me...

I'm sure Chris Lee is disappointed in Weiner too. "Dude, at least I didn't write to ladies who knew who I was a congressman!"

That's what you think. I worked in a photo shop in college and we most certainly kept a tee-hee file that contained copies of the more... interesting shots that we developed. I bet its still in my attack somewhere.

You mean attic? Freudian slip? But I meant a Polaroid. I assume every photo shop had a x-rated stash in the back. 

I don't understand what people don't "get" about why Weiner should resign. Forget about whether he committed a crime, technically violated his wedding vows or not, or whether he misused government facilities. ABC News replayed his pre-confession interview with one of their reporters, and Weiner cooly, repeatedly, and persistently lied the entire interview. In light of his confession, his performance during the interview reveals an almost sociopathic ability to lie and lie and lie. To say nothing of the fact that he lied to his Congressional leadership, thinking that he could get away with such lies. Weiner is completely separated from reality. Who would want him in any kind of position of power, much less Congress? And who could ever believe a word that emerges from his mouth in the future?

Yes. If you go back and watch his interviews from last week, you are just blown away by the sophistication and deviousness of his lying.

We had a sweetheart table at our wedding because my husband's divorced parents refused to sit at the same table, and we didn't want to have to decide which one of them sat at our table.

Okay, that makes sense. You get a pass, and I'm sorry you had to deal with that at your wedding.

So her new show doesn't start until Sept 2012. What is she going to do for the next year? Shop at the Arlington CVS?

Ha. I loved the banality of that sighting. Stars -- they're just like us!

Last week you accepted Weiner's lies that his twitter account was hacked, apparently with no investigation into the likelihood of that possibility. Given his history of lying, why are you accepting, without question, his claims that he hasn't had an affair?

Good point. As I just said, the guy has been proven to be an incredibly gifted liar. What was so compelling last week was the fact that he refused to say "with certitude" that the photo wasn't him. You heard that and thought, "well, clearly he's confessing to one embarrassing thing... because he cares about veracity and doesn't want to be caught in a lie." Ergo, he must be telling the truth about not sending it -- right? Right? WRONG. That kind of lying is next-level stuff.

There are actually two victims to John Edwards' alleged violation of campaign finance laws. First, those who contributed to his campaign who expected that their money would actually be used for legal, intended purposes. Second, and more broadly, candidates themselves, especially those who aren't rich enough to self-finance their campaigns. Donors won't be as willing to give if they think their money is going to diverted to other purposes, such as supporting a mistress and her child (well, maybe Bunny Mellon wouldn't be upset). There are victims, which is precisely why campaign finance is regulated.

The interesting legal question will be if Mellon (the other donor has since died) considered it a campaign donation or a personal gift to Edwards. I assume there's paperwork and if the money went to the campaign, it would be considered a donation regardless of her intent. But I'm not a lawyer nor expert on these things.

Do the Majority and Minority leaders have "standing invites" so to speak?

Not that I'm aware of, although they obviously are invited to0 a number of these dinners.

Thank you for putting into words what I haven't been able. It's so high school dork-esque. Reminds me of people I knew who had online boyfriend and girlfriends they'd never met but would spend hours online chatting to. But waaay worse. Pathetic. How humiliating for his wife.

Sad for all involved.

At one level, i can understand what Weiner did. I'm a middle aged guy, far past my glory years, and whenever a young, attractive woman sends a signal that she views me favorably, well, I still get a little thrill. I'm sure that's not just men, either. I'd bet that middle aged women get a similar boost when a man sends a similar signal, that momentary sense of wishing you were 20 years younger and not married. So I'm sure Weiner acted upon a similar thrill. However, this does not excuse actually behaving like you're 20 years younger and not married. Whatever sense of middle aged brotherhood I have with the man came to an end when he focused the camera on his nether regions and clicked.

I hear you. That doesn't justify his behavior, but it explains it. It's all ego -- it went to his head.

Ruth Marcus had a good column arguing that the Weiner incident speaks to the pathological neediness of so many politicians.

On the Talk they pointed out that the happiest person with this Weiner scandal is Arnold Schwartzenegger since it takes the heat off of him. I think it's true. I forgot about Ahnold and Maria...

The heat was cooling off for him anyway....he's not running for office again, and Hollywood forgives fast if it thinks there's movie to be made.

I must say, I think one of the reasons that this has been all the rage (at least on The Hill) is precisely because he didn't have a reputation for being a perv. I've been up here for ten years and EVERYONE knows who the deves are. There are any number of Members who if this happened to, everyone's response would be "of course he did" but Weiner just doesn't have that type of a reputation. No one was surprised when Foley, Craig or Ensign got caught, but Weiner just doesn't (or at least didn't) have a reputation for beings shady. Oh well.

Proves you just never know.

True Blood?

I do hope that the next political sex scandal will involve vampirism. It's time.

Participating in a "Girls Gone Wild." Or raising one's shirt during Mardi Gras in New Orleans in hopes a Krewe member on a float will toss a string of beads your way, and having it commemorated on video, then posted online.

Or, you know, engaging in sexytalk with a congressman you met online. The women who emerged lately in the Weiner scandal didn't exactly cover themselves with glory either.

Wow, what a bunch of blah, fug dresses. The Google VP & Nancy Pelosi were the only ones who looked at all decent. That short red dress on Sandy someone looked like a prom dress circa 1990 - it was a bad idea then and it's a bad idea now.

The short red dress was actually beautiful in person, but I tend to believe short is too informal for a state dinner. (Although Jane Roberts also wore a cocktail dress.)  

He is best-selling author. Crime thrillers? Books about wizards? I was unaware. What does he write about?

History books. I know, surprising, right? Here's one.

Maybe Mrs. Biden asked to be seated separately. She has heard all her husband's stories.

Doubt it---and they always seem pretty tight. But they've been around Washington for decades, and are probably used to the formal seating routine.

Hated it. Did it not translate well into print? Otherwise, it seemed like she thought she was going to prom. She and her husband are a great looking couple though. Amy, saw you on tv (Today Show, was it?) and you were great!

See, I told you it was controversial. Everyone who saw it in person loved it, it seems, and newspaper photo editors thought it had tremendous impact. But a few friends of mine saw the photo and hated it. Thanks for watching me on Today yesterday! (Topic: Weinergate, the wives in sex scandals.)

I'm unclear about the history of Paul Revere. Could you educate me?

Oh, just look it up on Wikipedia -- er, never mind.

In order of most disgusting behavior to least, how would you rank the following: DSK, Tiger, Ensign, Edwards, Arnold, Weiner, Spitzer

I think we can all agree that the crime DSK is accused of would put him at the top of the list.

From there, you've got so many variables of skankiness and betrayal that it's really all in the eye of the beholder.

I get that point of view. But c'mon people - if you feel that way, why bother leaving your home? The only way ot make new friends/acquantences/contacts is by overcoming momentary personal discomfort and chatting them up. Besides, if you go to a party - the hostess' word is law - if she wants the couples spit up, that's what they should do.

And yet, some say the hostess's job is to make guests feel welcome and comfortable. I think a great deal depends on how formal the event is and why the couple is attending. But an hour or two  apart at a dinner party shouldn't be that big an issue

Isn't this more like being a twitter-flasher? It's more exhibitionist than anything else, IMO. And, when are they going to start a chapter of idiots anonymous (IA)? There must be some kind of self-help group for those that are just too dumb to help themselves, right?

"E-ffair" is the phrase that our colleague Monica Hesse grudgingly adopted. It's definitely new territory.

is one of 2 restaurants Andres has in that space, and it's being relaunched as a different restaurant after next week. I imagine Jose will be there a lot for the next couple of months.


I find Michael Imperioli extremely attractive and sexy, and he could play Cyrano de Bergerac (if Cyrano had a Brooklyn accent!).

Yes. Nose variety makes the world a beautiful place.

Are they laughing at us in France? re: weiner

They're probably laughing at Weiner for (as he tells us) not having a proper affair.

This state dinner was the new social secretary's first. Was it a big success because it was an elegant, understated evening (Bauhaus!) with perfect weather -- or not such a good job because we were pretty much down to James Taylor and a beautifully gowned Google VP? This is certainly not to diss Mr. Taylor -- it's just that usually there would lots of other "names" too. Glamorless fail or perfectly pulled-off dinner? Please advise.

The social secretary has no say who is invited. It's his job to make all the elements come together beautifully and see that it all goes off without a hitch, which he did. It was lovely. 

Did you or anyone else at the Post investigate Weiner's claims that his account was hacked and his past history on Twitter, or did the Post press room just ignore the dubious nature of Weiner's claims and let Andrew Breibart do the hard work?

I don't know that Breitbart did any more investigating on the hacking claim than any media outlet did -- or could. We could all make phone calls to outside experts who say, "this is how it's possible to hack someone," or "this is how it's difficult to pull off that kind of hack" or whatever (and you know there were endless conflicting theories about that) -- but without Weiner handing over his computer to us to analyze, it's not like anyone could definitely prove or disprove this.

The Post sex scandal chart reminded me of something: a number of years back, one of my best friends worked at the NRSC when the whole Ryan scandal broke and I called him and said "Only a Republican could get in a sex scandal with his own wife!"

Ha. Yes, that was a good one. Jack Ryan in Illinois.

I think that means we need to stage our own red carpet photo session. Everyone comes dressed in their best and photographed just like at a real event. Then we discuss the photographic outcomes.

Isn't that what weddings are for?

Enough photo fixation for today. We've got a column to write, so it's finally time to sign off. Thanks for all the questions (and sorry for the ones we couldn't get to) and for making this one of the best hours of our week. 

As always, send your tips and sightings to Next week, everyone.


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