The Reliable Source Live

Jul 10, 2013

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

Past Reliable Source chats

Hello, and welcome back to the Reliable Source weekly Web chat. Some topics on our radar lately:


With yet another George Clooney breakup, we mark the passage of the seasons.


Which Washington insiders come off worst in “This Town”? So cruel that there’s no index — that’s why we made one for you.


RGIII got married!


Kerry Washington did too, to Nnamdi Asomugha — and no one even knew they were dating!


Kevin Durant pulls off a similar stunt, getting engaged to his under-the-radar girlfriend.


Also: Mos Def’s controversial force-feeding video. . .  A health scare for Teresa Heinz Kerry. . . Won’t your friends be impressed when you move into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, er, Southeast? . . . Was Eliot Spitzer really crying? . . . And Jason Collins has a lot of issues to work out with his ex.


Looking forward to your questions.

Is there a standard waiting period until the new arm candy arrives? Should we start a pool?

That is a good question. I spent a lot of time researching the Clooney relationship timeline, and he generally has some official downtime of several months before going public with someone new. The last cycle was unusual in that Elisabetta Canalis was disappeared just weeks or months before the first signs of Stacy Keibler popped up.

In World War Z, Brad Pitt was the long haired smart guy surrounded by short haired guys. Is this a new trend? I want to grow my hair out in the office.

Now, remember, in the movie, hadn't he just quit his job so he could spend more time with the family or something? So it's possible that he had only recently grown out the standard UN official short 'do.

I had a friend who had the same thing, with the same complications, who was in ICU for quite awhile and months in recovery.

Oh, your poor friend. Yes, everyone is sick these days, and while it sounds like they caught Sir Elton's ailment in time, the L.A. Times went deep on his intestinal situation, explaining exactly what "appendix abscess surrounding retrocaecal appendicitis" entails. Don't go if you don't wanna know. 

I think I need some sort of graphic to keep track of the differences between the films and the progress of what is happening, who is signed to play and write and direct. You guys are much better at that than or Entertainment Weekly!

We try, but then again, we have a special interest in this movie because it was inspired by a Washington Post article by our colleague Wil Haygood. The latest legal fight over the title is one of those last minute squeeze plays for money -- no one is going to confuse this movie with a 1916 silent film. Warner Brothers is going to a check, and I predict the title will remain as is.

Rather ridiculous to expect Jason Collins to discuss his sexuality further with her, beyond calling her prior to media information coming out. I had an ex who became an ex because I wanted to date other guys and so did he. No long conversation - he wasn't the type. We never actually discussed any details, except that we both wished each other well. And, yes, I did briefly wonder if I was such a bad girlfriend that I drove him that way but then I grew up. Moos needs to do the same.

He walked away from an engagement with no explanation -- I think she deserved to hear why from him, rather than the media. Not marrying her under false pretenses was a kindness, and I think telling her why would have lifted the burden of obsessing what and why this happened --which actually had nothing to do with her.

Right on schedule....I would love a chart that shows Clooney's relationships, including his & her ages (at the time), when they began, first public appearance, last public appearance, announcement date of breakup. I think we would see a definite pattern. And if the graphic could include photos, it would be fantastic!

That would take more work than you think! And trust me, I tried. Part of the problem is his murky on-off years toggling between Lisa Snowdon and Krista Allen. Also, prior to 2004, there's less to go by because our celebrity-media-industrial complex was much less sophisticated -- there were fewer outlets, not enough hour-by-hour coverage, and a limited understanding of the significance of "making their red carpet debut together."

Seems the only reasons (rational ones anyway) for a woman to get involved with George are to have a good time for a while and up your profile for your own gain, which the latest ex seems to have understood. Guess if it works for all parties, who are we to judge.

If someone said to me, "You want to date George for a year and then it's over?" Hell, yes. What fun. It's only a problem if the girlfriends think they will be the special one to change his mind about marriage.

Is there a royal baby pool or something that I can buy in to ? Money's been tight kately and I've got a hunch that the future king could pop out any minute now.

Lots of betting going on, especially in Britain, with bets on just about everything having to do with the little prince or princess.

Loved the info on the match and who attended, but where is the photo of Sally Stiebel, the fiance? Was she there?

Sally was sitting just to the left the frame of the photo we showed you, on Mark Ein's right. The original image was a big complicated crowd shot that included, among other things, the lower half of John Riggins's face and Roxanne Roberts staring at her iPhone. So we had to crop it/zoom in for the primary figures to even be recognizable, and there was no way to do that and keep Sally Stiebel (Mark Ein's fiancee) in the picture. However, do you know what I did, just for you? I just now added the full photo to the bottom of the post, so go check it out.

but I wish you had used your format of "one in a series of parties you didn't get invited to" that I adore! It would have been hilarious!

Ha. We haven't done one of those in years! Maybe it's time to resurrect that feature. (Though in fairness, this probably doesn't make the cut as a "parties you should have crashed.")

I read all 45 articles (may be a low estimate) the Washington Post wrote about the book and was curious - is there anything in there that people outside the Beltway would want to read or would care about?

That's the question I've asked myself. If a Wall Street or Hollywood insider wrote a book about the behind-the-scenes players, would I really care? Would I take the time to read it? Probably not. This is a book for political junkies, inside and out of the Beltway, but not many more. 

Since he seems like he never will get married, do you think he will maybe adopt a child ala Cherlize Theron? Second thought - Theron/Clooney might be good together now that I think about it.

He's been married once, but not for a long time. And now that you mention it...Theron/Clooney would be a brilliant match.

Except for George Clooney, Eliott Spitzer and Tersea Heinz Kerry, I have no idea who you're talking about in that intro. Does this mean I'm out of touch or just showing my age ?

Eh, not really. Our fame culture is so big and diverse and fractured that everyone has different points of reference for what counts as fame, and yet we try to represent the full range of it. My philosophy is that if any one reader is riveted by every single personality in our column on a given day, then we have probably failed, because it means other readers are left out in the cold. But here's a hint: If you read those other stories, you'll end up learning who those other people are.

So we should assume that just because Clooney got to be a certain age, Stacy Keibler breaks up with him? How shallow can one get? Poor George, I hope he is doing OK.

It's not about his age --it's about hers. The word is that she wants marriage and kids, and George doesn't.

Until he goes back to Legends of the Fall length, I'll consider the World War Z look to be a buzzcut.

Now that was some hair. My theory is that ex-UN official Brad Pitt hadn't been out of a job long enough to get it back to that length.

Some of the NY press is reporting that Silda Spitzer, Elliot's far too loyal (IMO) wife, is refusing to campaign with him as he tries for NYC Comptroller and that she has in fact kicked him out of the family home. Can you confirm any of this?

Haven't heard a word about it.

Wasn't she shopping a book deal? Guessing that didn't work out?

In her Cosmo essay, she says she's working on a book that she hopes "will help other women."

She played it well - got something of a non-wrestling career going, stayed mum on their relationship, but when she said anything, it was fun and playful, and she seemed to know the relationship's shelf life. I could do without knowing the full ramifications of their absence in each other's lives, however. Their friends should be more discreet. Question re the timeline: if they really started separating earlier this year, how long will it be before he finds new arm candy? And how old will she be? Are all these women beards? Is he really just unable to grow up, or is he gay?

I think George is living the life he wants to live, whatever that is and for whatever reason. I expect new arm candy by the end of the year. And yes --Stacy seems to have understood the job description.

The property undoubtedly was made easier to acquire because, a couple of years back, the tattoo parlor on the block had to shut down because the lady tattooist killed her husband tattooist after a crack binge. Do you think there will be a memorial plaque?

Is this true? My searches on "tattooist crack binge washington dc" and "tattooist murder washington dc" are coming up empty, but it would probably require some more sophisticated research anyway.

Congratulations to Kerry Washington and her new husband but why did she get married in Idaho? Is she filming something there?

Don't think so. My guess is she got married there because it was out of the way. I really got to hand it to her, this whole thing was very well done in its stealth.

No. He's said that whenever he thinks he might want a kid, he invites over his friends and their kids, and is happy to see them all go home afterwards.

That's true of almost every other person's kids. Evolution is clever that way: You adore your own kid (most of the time) but that doesn't always translate to kids in general.

Do you all know if I could use my online subscription on any computer or can I set it up on only one? The details seem murky when I click on the link and you all and this chat are much of the reason I am willing to pay. Thanks.

I have to assume you can do this on multiple computers; pretty sure I've signed up on my own computer, on my phone and on someone else's phone that I borrowed when my battery went dead.

Any tips on how to snag him? I know I should be ridiculously hot and proximity would help. I'm 32 so I'll probably be too old for him at the next window.

I think you're right in guessing that your window is now. Unless he already has someone warming up in the bullpen.

Wow! You are so totally full service! I bet Sietsema never changes postings for his chatters! Just another reason you are the best ever!

Aw, thanks.

Beatty's personal life was sorta similar although I don't recall him being the serial monagamist that Clooney is (wasn't it Shirley Maclaine who once said he had trouble committing to lunch?). When he an Annette Bening became a public item, I remember the public thinking it'll be like all the previous ones. And yet, there they are. Beatty was 55 when he finally tied the knot so Clooney has 3 years to go before he decides to settle down and start a family. So, look for the woman he's with in about 2-3 years.

Warren (or Annette) was unusual. By age 55, most guys are either married or happily single. I wouldn't assume Clooney is going to have a sudden crisis and snap up someone just because he's in his mid-50s.

So, who do you think is really ticked off that they are NOT in the book.?

That's a good question. I'll just say that there are a few people I assumed would be more prominently showcased than they were, but they all had passing mentions -- proving, you know, that they're in the game and all -- so they probably aren't mad.

Yes. But I think that he realizes that he's not going to be present enough for a kid to be a good parent to him/her.

It's his choice not to become a parent, whatever the reason. 

just wondered but why didn't your fellow Postie Kathleen Parker get in trouble for calling "it boy" Mark Leibovich "Leibovitz" on Morning Joe? Maybe she's confusing him with Annie Leibovich? LOL. Never liked her, even before Trayvon trial.

I missed that. Why would she get in trouble? As someone with the last name "Argetsinger," I find that no one ever gets in trouble for mispronouncing my name.

I feel for the ex, who was left to wonder why her engagement was broken. I know two women whose husband left them after very long marriages and multiple children. One husband did tell the woman that he knew he was gay from the time he was a teenager and had married her under false pretenses, but the husband of the other woman did not tell her why he wanted a divorce after 25 plus years of marriage and four children. She only found out when one of their children told her that his father was dating men. In both cases, the women were just devastated. At least Collins spared her ex the fate of realizing that her marriage was a sham.

True, and I honestly think she would have come to that conclusion if he had summoned the grace to tell her why he was backing out.

remind you of Ted Kennedy? Also, did Chief Justice Roberts have a seizure on vacation and never found out what was wrong?

I had compleptely forgotten about the chief justice's seizure episode. No, I don't think we ever learned much more about that.

so it took a moment to find but here: D.C. tattoo shop owner gets 8 years in husband's killing

Good work finding that -- thanks!

Debating whether it is worth the trip to England to see the new statue of Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy in his wet, white shirt. Sure seems like more tun than the statues of old generals on their horses brandishing swords.

I don't know. I think it looks weird and kind of creepy, unlike the real Mr. Firth.

You have to admit she did always seem to be having a good time with George Clooney. Getting VIP treatment, going to the Oscars, exciting trips - okay your right this does not sound like that bad of a gig (even if it is temporary).

Who here wouldn't sign that two-year contract?

At what point does the George Clooney serial girlfriend saga cease being sorta interesting and start being sorta sad? Also, I vaguely wished that he and Sandra Bullock might connect while they filmed Gravity, but apparently nothing happened there.

That's a good question. Right now, the pattern is still just now emerging, so it's endlessly fascinating. After another decade of this -- i.e., after five more waitresses and/or C-list TV personalities two decades his junior -- it might get a little banal.

Do you think he tells all the girlfriends in the beginning that he doesn't want to get married and doesn't want a family, but they make the classic mistake of thinking they're the one who will change his mind? What I find interesting is that it takes them all 2 years to figure out Clooney wasn't kidding. Yikes.

My guess is that he's a pretty good boyfriend because he seems like a pretty nice guy overall. I think year one is all about enjoying the ride, then the wheels come off in year two when they realize that's as far as it is ever going.

Come on - let's talk about the most important story out there: the royal baby. It is unclear to me from recent articles where she is now. So is she in London waiting to pop and he is on duty in Wales? That must be tough for them.

Sure. But lots of couples have it harder. I think she's deliberately keeping a low profile; there was some fanfare a month or so ago about announcing what would be her last public appearance until the birth.

Andrea Mitchell gets my vote. She seems clueless that she is living a privileged life of wealth and comfort and utters ever single liberal white feminist cliche in the book. She needs to spend some time in flyover land with people who don't look, act, or spend like she does. It would be an education for her.

That makes her different from a lot of other people in Washington how exactly?

You see the clip going around the internet about how he discovered men are jerks when he started making Tootsie? You know, he's right. Men are jerks.

Not all men. And I found it pretty interesting that he realized he missed knowing a lot of great women because of his own prejudices.

...was his late pot-bellied pig. He might be happier getting a new one.

That pig was adorable.

Just think - it's possible that after the elections in November, NYC could have as its two most powerful politicians: 1. a mayor who had to resign a safe Congressional seat over a stupid sexting scandal; and 2. a comptroller who had to resign a safe governor's seat over a stupid prostitution scandal. Makes me proud to be a New Yorker!

Wait to see if voters elect them into office. Then we'll talk about civic pride.

I would have more sympathy if she showed a little more generosity of spirit about the whole thing. She spent years in basketball culture and knew the pressures he must have been under. Continuing her appearances after the story has died down only makes her look bitter.

Well, she probably IS bitter.

Isn't that the truth ? All these wheezing and sneezing people are enough to make anyone sick. I've recently heard about a mystery fungus in Bakersfield, CA that's making people really ill and another fungus or something that can make your cats and dogs seriously sick. Is fungus the 2013 version of the sore throat mood disorder that was going around the last few years and wwho can I blame for this ?

You know, I think I'm underqualified to handle this question. I do love the Bakersfield sound, though.

Those pictures of Bradley Cooper and Gerard Butler in matching suits at the Wimbledon finals were extremely attractive. Why don't we have hot shots like that at US athletic events?

They did look cute, didn't they? Did anyone invite them to the US Open yet?

Just curious how much time the Obama family has spend there since coming 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue? Feels like they've probably spent more time at Martha's Vineyard then back in Hyde Park.

I don't think they've spent a lot of time back in Chicago. Home probably isn't quite the same when you've got the whole presidential entourage with you.

At least she can take solace that for once, "its not you, its me" is actually true.

And maybe why they can part as friends?

Moving over to Fox and Friends. Like that was any surprise (sarcasm).


You think the Clooney two-year contract is written by the same lawyers who worked out the Tom Cruise five-year contract?

I wonder if there's a legal subspecialty for this kind of thing.

Don't you expect that some day one of these women is going to try to Baby Trap him?

I assume every Hollywood actor worries about that, but not much: Marriage isn't a given so they don't have to marry to maintain their public image, and the A-listers have enough $$$ for child support.

I found the essay in question to be pretty much a pity party. Duh, the reason he didn't call the wedding off until 4 weeks before is the same reason he stayed in the closet until this spring - he was trying to manage his life as a gay professional athlete in the only way he knew how. She was remarkably un-empathetic about the situation, and showed no deep insight - can't imagine reading a whole book of that!

I hear you. Writing that essay wasn't the most noble option for her to take. Having said that -- it all felt very honest and authentic, unpretty as it was. Breakups are hard, and when they're as sudden as hers was, I imagine there are a lot of open wounds and lingering questions, and it's not unusual for someone in that situation to crave closure, not to mention explanations for things that only the two of them are privy to.

Did anybody ask this question about Jack Nicholson? Or are we judging them differently because Clooney is much better looking and many more women would want to be with him then Jack?

It's a fair comparison. Again, I think it goes back to the fact that the celebrity-media-industrial complex wasn't as sophisticated during Jack Nicholson's more active days -- we in the general public had less of a sense of what he was up to at the time.

I am sure she will rebound fine. She's hot and her stock probably went up after dating George Clooney. I wouldn't be surprised if she was engaged to a NFL or MLB player within the next year.

I agree. She was a total pro at the Maryland casino opening. I think she'll do much better than Elisabetta Canalis.

Any thoughts on the Minnesota Iceman ? Roxanne I guess this question is directed at you but Amy feel free to chime in too.

Another version of the Do-We-Have-To-Talk-About-Our -Feelings man. Don't expect declarations of love and you'll be fine. You'll know you got a good one if he gets up in the middle of the night in January to start your car.

Would assume George has taken care of that possibility by now (snip, snip!).


Another point to ponder: Clooney's high profile friends are for the most part, happily (as far as we know) wed or in long-term relationships--Matt Damon, Brad Pitt, Ben Affleck, John Krasinski, etc. And, his parents have been married since 1959. So there's no lack of role models.

True enough.

Only 178 currently online on the chat? Is there some big event we're missing?

I'm counting 205. I'd blame the paywall, but there's also a general lack of news, which I blame on everyone checking out for the summer. Also, we're getting a ton of good questions, so no complaints here.

I read the article and she seemed pretty understanding. The quote about wanting to discuss it with him makes sense. I was in a long-term relationship with someone who later came out as gay. I can understand the thoughts of betrayal, especially when you feel that, of all the people in the world, you should know your partner the best. I mean, come on, they were close friends in college, then they dated later for 8 years. Plus, he called her the day the article came out in SI.

Thanks for your thoughts. I agree, there's a lot to sympathize with.

I figure Clooney must be a pretty good boyfriend, due to the apparent lack of tell-all exposes by past girlfriends -- because I'm sure there'd be a huge market for such books!

That, or the ironclad strictures of The Contract.

Yes - her personal life and her social life blur unprofessionally with her journalist life. BUT you gotta admit the woman has great sources at this point. I feel like very often on NBC news she is the first to get on air with something - she can quickly get to a high level source. My question is when does she sleep?

She's one of the many personalities in the book who gets some gentle mocking, but Leibovich also concludes: what can you say, she's really good.

The only woman Clooney ever married. Maybe we should hold her responsible for this somehow? But - She is one lucky lady. Now she is married to the adorable John Slattery of Mad Men.

I didn't know Slattery was her second husband. Good for her.

For all the talk and commercials and his amazing talents, he really seems like a pretty boring guy. Between him and Strasburg, DC sports are led by pretty under the radar guys. Here's hoping Bryce Harper can spice things up in This Town* (*trademark: Mark Leibovich)

You know, I kind of agree with you. (NOT THAT THERE'S ANYTHING WRONG WITH BEING BORING, she quickly added, to appease the partisans marching her way with torches.) I don't know -- did this video make you think any differently?

Are we getting closer to Royal Baby-Palooza in London?

Well, obviously, we're not getting any further from it. She's not getting any less pregnant.

What is the scoop on this and why won't they say what's wrong with her?

Because she's a private person and doesn't want to share her medical details with the world? I'm okay with that. If we were talking about a public official, I would feel differently.

It's funny that he seems to go for women so much younger, and yet their fertility is supposedly not an issue (for him, anyway).

Er, don't overthink this one. There is some evidence to suggest that men find young, beautiful women appealing for reasons other than fertility.

It's been a year since Katie Holmes split (fled?) from Tom Cruise. Has he been linked to anyone since then? Or did all the publicity about the interview process associated with becoming his companion scare off potential partners?

Only a year? Seems like forever. And I try not to think about Tom Cruise's dating life.

I rely on you guys for all my hip-hop guidance. The Post review of Jay-Z's new album was tremendous, but really -- is this worth buying?

Buy Wale's new album instead.


Is there anyone here who hasn't read Chris Richards's epic slam on Jay-Z's new album yet? Well, get on that.

Granted I'm somebody who only knows it from clips on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," but any thoughts on Elisabeth Hasselbeck leaving "The View" to replace Gretchen Carlson?

Not really. You?


(Here is Emily Yahr's story on the topic.)

Elton must have one heck of a pain tolerance! I had appendicitis in September, and it was, well, not comfortable. My appendix was "inflamed," according to the doctor--I couldn't imagine the pain if I were in his state. Side note: I had kidney stones at 17, so after that, the appendicitis didn't hurt TOO badly. But still...glad they caught Elton's in time!

Elton said it was terrible but he assumed it was food poisoning and slogged through the pain.

Elizabeth Hasselbeck and Luke Russert -- the two leading on-the-rise journalists. Boston College should be proud.

I'm sure they are.

Where do they play? I recall the stadiums set up downtown near Metro Center, but it seems they just fell off the map a few years ago.

The staduim is down on the SW Waterfront now, next to the restuarants and across the street from Arena Stage. Nice setup.

You asked: "That makes her different from a lot of other people in Washington how exactly?" Because she takes her attitude with her on the job, and she's a broadcast journalist.

She the only one?

Yes, the women who think they are this decade's Annette Bening.

Every woman wants to be the exception, but they are usually the rule. 

Actually "The Butler" would have been a great name for the movie where Gerard Butler saves the President from a bunch of rogue international mercenaries.

Feeling remiss in not having seen either of the movies where they blow up the White House this year.

Good thing there is nothing else going on in the world (wildfires in Arizona, huge protests in Egypt, and Gov McDonnell all but setting up a paypal account for financial gifts) because the gavel to gavel coverage on cable TV of the Zimmerman trial might just be a new low. Why have editorial decisions, let's watch a murder trial and then have a talking head decide guilt or innocence after each commercial break.

As opposed to Casey Anthony? At least this is about the larger social issue of race in America.

Not a bad run for Ms. Balsalm although, not being a fan of Mad Men, John Slattery will forever be to me the man that wanted Carrie Bradshaw to pee on him in Sex and The City.

Where, yes, there is that. Acting, you know.

Do we even know how she's doing? I mean, she may be doing great by Italian standards.

Yes, but by American standards, she was the secondto be eliminated on "Dancing With the Stars" and then got dumped by Steve-O. Having said that: If Italy is the place you have to go back home to, well, there are worse places to have to go back home to.

She probably just got tired of always being in the minority and often being derided and mocked by her co-hosts. She will fit in well on Fox and Friends (which I do watch). But I wonder what's going to happen with The View. Who's going to replace both Elizabeth and Barbara? Are they going to replace everyone just to put a fresh face on the show?

Nothing lasts forever. That cast has changed many many times over the years. I doubt she minded her outsider status on "The View" -- it kind of made her stand out. If she hated it, she would have left long ago.

Really??? She's a professional political spouse who has given many public appearances about her breast cancer. She's not exactly been hidden in the shadows!

But releasing private medical information is still her choice.

Shirley Maclaine said that one of the obstacles to happy marriages for her and brother Warren Beatty was a fear that neither of them would ever achieve as happy a marriage as their parents did (i.e., Shirley and Warren both had a fear of failure).

Well, there you go. Another twist, because good role models usually make people more confident.

When she did she become a "private person"? I remember her nasty comments about Laura Bush never holding a "real job" when Mrs. Bush in fact had worked both as a teacher and a librarian. She has a tongue on her.

Well, to stay on point here: The original question was, why haven't they told us what's wrong with Teresa yet. The lady's been in the hospital for less than three days, and it sounds like they don't yet know what's wrong with her. Or maybe they do, and are just not yet comfortable talking about it yet -- which is a normal reaction for anyone, famous or non, dealing with a sudden health crisis, and if you're not the one who holds the big public job, you've got a bit more leeway to not discuss.

So, they've eliminated the potential escape routes for this local cutie, and he's back on display. For some reason, this made me think of RGIII and all the Nats players who got married this past year.

Okay. . .

She's probably not in a state where she can make a decision, and perhaps her family is wisely erring on the side of caution. I remember getting multiple emails about the specifics of my uncle's medical condition when he was critically ill. I don't think he would have appreciated all of his extended family speculating on his urine output or lack thereof.

Yeah. It's all a little soon.

Kept think it was Kevin Durand, a Franco-Ontarian actor who you probably recognize from at least one of his movie.

Wonder if they face a lot of confusion with restaurant reservations.

Not on your computer. Log into your account from the library, your parents' desktop, your friend's iPad... You will be logging in with YOUR account information, not the computer's location. Better yet, subscribe to the physical paper! Always find something of interest just flipping through the pages, that I'd never find online.

What you said.

It will never be sad, because George knows how to pick 'em for maximum limelight.

And we love him for that.

Chatters, hope you all had a great holiday weekend and are enjoying the July weather. Send your tips, suggestions for George's next girlfrind, and sightings to Stay cool, and we'll talk next week.

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