The Reliable Source Live

Jul 17, 2013

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

Past Reliable Source chats

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


Thank God Justin Bieber and Bill Clinton have finally made peace.


Maybe you don’t need connections to get a White House internship, but it certainly doesn’t hurt.


Matthew Perry never went through drug court, but he’s become a devoted booster.


Teresa Heinz Kerry is doing better but still no word on what happened.


Eliot Spitzer has nothing to say about the current status of his marriage.


Stevie Wonder will boycott “stand your ground” states — what exactly does that entail?

Also: Cute couple alert, D.C./L.A. division! . . .  President Obama doesn’t eat that much candy. Congresswoman will break own record by having third child while in office. Big week for musicians to namedrop politicians, and political types to namedrop musicians. Does Adam Levine have a type or what? And R.I.P. Cory Monteith.


Looking forward to your questions.

I thought Cory Monteith looked like Blake Shelton's younger brother. Another senseless tragedy.

You're totally right. Thinner, but really cute. What a shame.

I shook Tucker Carlson's hand this morning as he was hailing a cab at 17th and I Streets. Probably not as exciting as a Hollywood sighting, but still.

Did it make your day?

That was the fastest ever! How long did we have to wait for toxicology from Whitney Houston? Weeks and weeks. Canada is so speedy!

Yes, I was kind of surprised by that. There had been some tabloid burble about how the coroners intended to move fast because of intense public interest in the case. And officials were quick to say that they were still investigating. But I suspect there's always some leeway in how much you can share, depending on the case. Some deaths have more murky circumstances than others, and sometimes there's probably good reason for authorities to hold back on some of the key knowable knowns until they have the full picture. Here's the story: Cory Monteith died from heroin and alcohol, coroner says

LIz Cheney has given the Beltway to start using the totally underused term "Wyomingite."

And I do like it. Is that a permissible word in Scrabble?

Sharknado - any comments? What did they ever do to deserve this?

I have it on my DVR, haven't watched "Sharknado" yet. Is it worth watching late, or did you really have to be tuned in at the same time the chattering classes were tweeting about it last Thursday night?

Will he really carry out the vow never to perform in Florida?

That's going to be interesting. He made the announcement less than 24 hours after the verdict was announced, saying he had made the decision that day. Doubt he talked to managers or agents, so it seems it was his decision alone. I wonder if he realized the full ramifications of the boycott: Almost half the states have  Stand Your Ground or laws that echo it, and giving up that income (especially the lucative corporate gigs) could be a real blow to his bottom line. That being said, he still has plenty of money.

In TV news or especially the Sunday shows, you'll see somebody talking and then underneath that person in the lower-third of the screen, they've the name and a title i.e. "Chris Christine and underneath Governor of New Jersey (R)" and just wondering what that wording is called. Is it something like "ki-ron" or no?

That's the chyron.


You're welcome.


Now, tell me who "Chris Christine" is, and why he/she is underneath the governor of New Jersey?

Did Angela Bassett go to Bryce Harper's stylist, or did Bryce go to hers?

Ha. You're right! But you laugh now; next summer we'll all have the same haircut.

I thought I read that she had a grand mal seizure. Did I make that up? Or did someone else?

It was reported she had symptoms like a seizure, but I never saw the grand mal reference. She's in rehab now. 

Its hot outside, but I will not complain. Still remember how cold it was in March.

It was indeed a long cold spring. And now a long hot summer. Weather -- it's something else, isn't it?

I need to plan my life.

Last half of August, when you should be on a good beach with a bad book.

I guess every woman thinks she's the one that will break his philandering ways....Seems like an unsafe bet to me, that this guy can be a monogamist.

Is he a philanderer? Just because you're a serial modelizer doesn't make you a philanderer. And, hey, look, he's actually marrying one, or planning to. That's kind of a game-change.

Am I the only person who wants this woman to just go away?

I do not predict big sales for this book, frankly.

All this Spitzer coverage has made me wonder about him. What does he do with his time? Any chance he can join the comeback train?

I just don't think he can. Don't ask me to get into a dissection of why not, it just doesn't feel possible. But who knows.

One thing about Stevie, he doesn't have to perform to make money, just show up. He's also at that age where he should be slowing down some, so I doubt this hurts him at all.

He's already slowed down,  so this may be fine and another principled stand on his part. But he will really have to refuse all shows in those states -- people will be watching now.

I didnt even know that she broke up with John King.

They did indeed break up, more than a year ago. But they've worked together on air very civilly since then.

How is an intern authorized to talk to the press?

He wasn't. I assume he thought he was being helpful---but why and how?

Interns are often assigned to answer phones, which may be under review.

Is Wyomingite okay to use in Scrabble? Apparently it is, but only recently.

Wow, I had not heard that. So can I take some certain unnamed relatives of mine to court for denying me potential points on proper nouns since 2010?

Have always thought he was appealing, and his honesty about his lifelong struggles with addiction is commendable. No doubt this week he was thinking, "That could have been me."

The guy is clearly committed to the cause, more so than most celebvocates: He is so frequently on the Hill talking about this that we'd just stopped paying attention until we finally realized we had never showcased him as a celebvocate. And he struck all the right notes at the conference Monday.

I was amazed at her inability to identify her own racism.

Isn't that an interesting element?

That Post piece over the weekend was kind of devastating. I have to say, though, I just can't stop wondering what they were thinking. "Don't his up constituents for Rolexes" is kind of every more rudimentary than Political 101.

I am endlessly fascinated by the McDonnell story. I want to know more about how someone gets to the point where they can rationalize that it's okay to take all these gifts.

Every time I see/hear her name, I am amused by the fact that there is a journalist named Bash. So everybody she interviews can say they were "Bashed"....

It is funny, isn't it!

I mean, really???

Thing you might not know about Bill Clinton is, he loves to talk.

Well, I think she won't sell many since she basically shared the book "I'd never done this before. It was hard. We agonized. Some cried. It's over." What else is there to say? They had really bad coffee?

The juror pulled back and said yesterday she decided not to do the book after all. That's after her agent dropped her.

Yeah, he said something about how he's promiscuous because he just loves women so much. I like him, but ewww.

Oh, you're right -- we used that quote and I totally forgot about it. Wow. You know, that's so loathesome that you can't loathe him for it. He surely knew how hilarious that would be to say.

Jennifer Aniston cut her hair, in a bob. It's on E! and everything! Quick - make your own appointment for a bob!

We interrupt this program to bring you news of Jennifer Aniston's new haircut.


More information coming into the newsroom now: It now appears that Jennifer Aniston is wearing a wig, for a movie role.


We apologize for the false alarm and now return you to your regularly scheduled program.

Really? It sounds as if you just need to choose your parents wisely. I am not claiming that power is concentrated in the hands of an aristocracy--just an oligarchy

I don't think that's really fair. There appear to be a lot of qualified kids --including some with famous parents. Unless they go through a blind admission process, famous names are probably always going to get some of the slots. Unfair if the kid is unqualified, but also not easy for the qualified interns with the VIP parents, because everyone assumes the only reason they got the job is connections.

So, the Gaylord had to shut down because of the water main replacement. I'm glad they waited until AFTER Matthew Perry had spoken to the drug court folks! But what about everybody else? They sure didn't give much notice.

I think the drug-court conference (some 4,000 people) was due to wrap up today anyway, but no doubt the conference center had a lot of other business coming in soon. Some details in this story.

Impermissible in Scrabble, because it's a proper name.

So don't even try it.

If Dave Matthews needs to hitch a ride for his next show, I would perfectly be happy to give him a ride.

I loved that story. So random. And who picks up hitchhikers any more?

When it comes to idea of cable news fixture Liz Cheney getting elected to the U.S. Senate, I feel like people are either going to really underestimate the electorate of Wyoming or they are really going to overestimate the electorate of Wyoming.

Either way, this is not good for the state's GOP. I'm a little baffled why Cheney decided to challenge Enzi.

It seems like Dan Stevens has given other actors a lesson in how not to leave a hit TV show for an aspiring movie career in Hollywood.

One big movie and all will be forgiven.

How does one become one? Obviously, some have longstanding personal ties (i.e., Michael J. Fox and Parkinson's), but others seem more ephemeral. Do the causes go looking for likely spokespersons? Do the PR reps go trolling for likely causes for their clients? Not to denigrate anyone's sincere interest in a cause, but some of the pairings of advocate and issue seem a tad off.

There is a big range across the field of celebvocates -- some are more impressive than others. In general, those who have a personal connection to a cause are better able to make a compelling case for it. Which isn't to say there's anything wrong with a celebrity taking advantage of their wealth and fame and free time to adopt a cause -- some become quite good at it. . . It can be a double-edged sword for the advocacy groups -- many are eager to find a VIP face and will scour news stories in search of a celebrity who might have a personal connection to their disease/environmental concern/etc. -- and many are thrilled with the exposure they get. But celebrity wrangling can be a lot of work, and I suspect that some end up being more trouble than they are worth.


Sorry, that was a long answer.

So after having let my subscription lapse for a few years, I'm getting home delivery again largely for the digital access. And oh my gosh, it's incredibly cheap! With the specials and rebates, it's around $25 for an entire year! I tried to do the right thing, but $25 isn't going to go far in keeping you two gainfully employed, so sorry about that. Hopefully the paper will actually arrive next Sunday, but for the money, I can't complain too much about missing papers.

All right! Really, $25 for the entire year? That's great. (And don't worry, it's not so much about the subscription price you're paying -- what's more valuable for newspapers is having a high circulation to tout to advertisers, who are the crucial source of revenue.) Anyway, thank you.

Since the chat where someone first mentioned it, I have heard AGAIN that Justin Bieber has a new monkey. Who keeps giving him monkeys? Why does he need so many monkeys? Can't he try a cat? That's a self-sufficient pet if there ever was one!

I cannot vouch for your information source about Bieber monkeys.

I thought B37 decided not to write the book? Or did she change her mind again? I hope it doesn't get written. The world is wacky enough without jurors trying to make a name for themselves. But maybe that's just me...I refuse to read/watch these "big name" cases.

No, I think the book is off the table for now and four of the other jurors have disowned her remarks. And there's another interesting issue: Should jurors even be able to profit from serving on a sensational case? Could it influenece their ability to render a verdict?

Did you see she finally got married. Good for her.

Lots of social media heat over their decision to use a flattering pix of Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on the cover. Maybe they should have Photoshopped him to look more evil?

I don't really get the fuss. I'd seen that photo in scores of news outlets since April -- it's hardly a new glamour shot. they're introducing to the world. I disagree with the argument that magazine covers are reserved for Good People getting the Seal of Approval -- magazine covers are for news. And honestly, the most compelling (and frightening) thing about the Tsarnaev story is that this was a seemingly normal, attractive, well-socialized American kid who got radicalized somewhere along the way.

Maybe they got the jobs because of their connections (or names), maybe not -- but that's just the tip of the born-lucky iceberg. Most politicians are wealthy (usually before election/appointment, not because of it -- though of course there's the lobbying cash-in afterward), so their kids already had a leg-up in education, travel, ability to self-fund unpaid internships, and so on. And then they got into the most prestigious schools, thanks to that money, education, tutoring, and, often, legacy preference because dad/mom/grandparents went there. By the time you've gone through Prep Academy and are attending Ivy U., with a born-and-raised interest in politics and a nice resume of unfunded volunteer opportunities, you're already in the top tier of applicants even before anyone notices the name on the resume.

All true, and part of the ongoing discussion of class and privilege in this country. But I don't think it is just an upper-class issue -- parents of all classes try to give their kids a leg up. None of this is new. And I do think the various institutions are very aware of this and work pretty hard to be more inclusive.

I suspect--SUSPECT--that Stevie isn't going to have any trouble making rent. And I admire it when stars act according to their consciences, not their pocketbook. I think this was an ethically, not financially, driven decision--a jarring realization considering that it's so rare nowadays, even among stars who REALLY don't need the money. (J Lo in Turkmenistan, anyone? Beyonce in Libya?)

Good point. Some will argue that the fact that Stevie Wonder won't be crippled financially by this boycott undercuts its significance: Sure, he can afford to do this. But face it, if he were a guy who needed that Ocala gig to pay the rent, then he wouldn't be Stevie Wonder, and we wouldn't particular know or care about what statement he was making.

She also tied the knot.

She did. Not her most astonishing family news this year, but indeed, congratulations to Halle Berry.

You have NO IDEA. I worked for years at a non-profit advocacy group where funds were perpetually tight and overhead limitations were constantly monitored because of our participation in CFC and United Way fundraising. During this time we had two separate celebrities who just didn't understand the limitations of our organizations funds. No, you can not stay at the Four Seasons on our dime! That kind of stuff.

Oh, you should email me. I'd love to hear more about this kind of thing, even if it's off the record. (

I don't know if it's a defense of the well connected, but if you have parents who have been on the inside you are both aware that there is an internship program that you might be qualified for and know when and how to apply. That's where a lot of people miss out. They just don't even know that the opportunities exist or how to go about getting to them.

You are absolutely right. A lot of really smart kids don't even bother to apply to top tier schools because they assume they could never get in or never afford it, when they could and get scholarships or other financial aid. The sophistication of the parents or the school has a lot to do with where kids land.

I work at a USG agency and we get thousands of intern applications. Rest assured that if we become aware of a Heavyweight Name, we are encouraged to hire them.

Interesting. Any reason given?

Seems to me the real connection is between the governor's wife and the donor. Which is starting to feel like another shoe about to drop.

Clearly, but just as a walking bank account. I haven't heard any suggestions of another relationship.

I think the issue with the Rolling Stone cover is that it was so consciously an effort to appeal to the band of nitwits on the net who think he's Too Dreamy to be Guilty.

I see what you're saying. But let me make another point: Rolling Stone has a big (I assume) story about Tsarnaev, and they feel like the story is worthy of the cover. . . and what other photo are they going to use of him? There aren't really any post-bombing photos of him.

When oh when will he or she arrive?? I'm dying here!!

Oh, you'll be fine.

I have a friend whose nephew was a WH intern two summers ago. He was just a high school civic teacher from NC. No special connections or anything. He applied, did everything right, and was chosen!

Glad to hear it.

You're "baffled" that a Cheney would make self-serving decisions without regard for how it might damage cause others? Nothing baffling about DNA.

I was trying to give the benefit of doubt.

Check this out, with our perpetual favorite, Dominic West.

Dominic West in a race to the South Pole against Prince Harry?



He's a perfectly pleasant actor but I don't see much in the way of unique star power. I think he caught David Caruso fever. Pretty dangerous.

And there is NOTHING scarier than David Caruso fever! Yeah, I hate to say it, but I predict that in a few years, Dan will have come to terms with signing autographs at the "Downton Abbey" fan-girl conventions.

Gay marriage is legal, with the Queen's approval.

Oh, missed that. Guess it just happened. Thanks for the heads-up.

My favorite part in that is where it says he talks about gang violence for Prince Charles' charity, and that he was recruited after Prince Charles saw "The Wire." Now that blows my mind - trying to imagine Prince Charles watching "The Wire!"

Why not? It's a fantastic show. BTW, just wrapped up season two of "The Hour." Not nearly as good as I'd hoped, though DW was fantastic. Looking forward to seeing him play Richard Burton, who was even hotter than Prince Harry.

Blah blah blah. Now THIS is news!

Seriously! Have you ever more wanted to go smell a stinky plant?

"All true, and part of the ongoing discussion of class and privilege in this country. But I don't think it is just an upper-class issue -- parents of all classes try to give their kids a leg up. None of this is new. And I do think the various institutions are very aware of this and work pretty hard to be more inclusive." Yes, that's true, and I didn't mean my comment to sound so cynical, or bitter. I do know plenty of people who made it to such schools and internships without the money and connections, but I just meant to point out that the kids of the famous and political get into that pile of resumes thanks to an entire history (fair or not) that has a lot more to it than just the names.

I think it's such an interesting question, which John Edwards, to his credit, tried to address in the 2004 presidential campaign about Two Americas. Some people are born with advantages -- I don't blame them unless they think they are better than those who don't -- and are given opportunities that place them in this country's ruling class.  It's never fair, but perhaps fairer in this country than many others.  But I'd like to see more discussion about class in this country---we talk a lot about individualism and meritocracy, but that's a lot easier when you're already ahead in the race.

Didn't you meet him a few years back? I seem to recall you saying he is MUCH better looking in person.

Oh, well, I'm a big fan of his work, so I think he's great looking on screen too. The great thing about meeting Dominic West (at a WHCA after party a couple years ago) is that he is everything you want Dominic West to be. Loose, funny, rakish, a little drunk, completely awesome. And he was hanging out with Michael K. Williams, aka Omar.

A friend has a child with a rare, debilitating disease, so there's not a lot of money for research. He was walking around Greenwich Village one day with his child, and a famous actress saw the kid and commented on how cute he was. The father wasted no time in explaining the kid's condition, and within a few days, Famous Actress signed up as the celebvocate for the disease. She has testified before Congress and lobbied the NIH and everything. Apparently she is tireless and has raised the profile (and research funds) of the disease.

Well that's good to hear.

I still can't get used to thinking of McNulty as British.

Oh, but like half the actors on "The Wire" are. You know that Idris Elba, aka Stringer Bell, is as British as they come, right?

There are reports that Sharknado 2 is already in the works. Wow. I have no words.


Prayers go out to Randy Travis.

I'm feeling really bad about Randy Travis. It would be terrible to lose him and George Jones in the same year. Was lucky enough to meet them both at a Kennedy Center Honors dinner a few years ago. In fact, now that you've mentioned it, we've touched on almost all of my satisfactory fan-girl encounters here today. Lyle Lovett is another. Now there's a star with good manners.

When do you predict the first same-sex marriage will be held involving a member of the royal family?

You know, I couldn't begin to guess. The British always throw off my gaydar.

Back when Tony Randall was co-starring in "The Odd Couple" on TV, his rep told him to get involved in a cause, and suggested Myasthenia Gravis. Randall was reluctant, because he had no connection to the condition and knew nothing about it, but decided that if he was going to get involved he wanted to learn as much as he could.

Interesting. Well, if you're going to do it, do it right. A funny excerpt from his New York Times obituary:

During this same period he became national chairman of the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation, a post he occupied for some 30 years. Myasthenia gravis is an incurable neuromuscular disease. Mr. Randall disliked maudlin pronouncements, and so when he was asked why he became involved with the foundation, he replied, ''My agent told me I needed a disease.''

Very hot guy, good singer. However, I fear his only lifelong love affair will be with himself.

Aw, why is everyone so cynical about poor Adam Levine today? Have we completely lost faith in the potential for true and enduring love between a pop star and a supermodel?

There really hasn't been much of a market for these things, anyway, has there?

None come to mind.

Is this the week the royal baby finally arrives. It hasnt been the build up to this event that the William and Kate royal wedding was.

Yes, this is the week that the royal baby finally arrives.


Oh, who am I fooling. I don't know. Why are you listening to me?

They are currently having a bit of a heat wave - unusual for a place where I had to wear a sweater in July. I feel for the Duchess of Cambridge - it's no fun to be hugely pregnant in hot weather, no matter what your status in life.

I have to assume the Duchess is happily tucked into an air-conditioned space, so no worries there. But the last few days of any pregnancy is just a drag for anyone woman. I hope she's sleeping well.

I'm not. I've never even heard of the guy before today.

Well, maybe he can have a fair hearing from you, then.


Actually, you've probably heard him. He's everywhere on the radio these days. I'm not really a fan, actually -- something about him always just annoyed me.

I am voting for him to be the next Dr. Who....and he is HOT!

I think his career has moved beyond that point already, sorry to tell you.

I watched Bull Durham again recently - I'd forgotten what a great movie it is, and how cute Kevin Costner was then (I do not like him at all.) What made me sad was the realization, once again, that Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins have broken up. Apparently, he had a mid-life crisis and broke up with her, which is kind of hard to imagine given who she is. I'm feeling sad just writing this.

I'm sorry that the movie re-opened that wound for you.

If they came up with something new about Tsarnaev, that's fine. I think I'd rather read about being on the bus with Willie Nelson.

Haven't seen the story. If it's a solid, revelatory story, I have no problem with him being on the cover; if it's a rehash, well, then, I'd be more sympathetic to the complaints.

In that picture with her new haircut she looks like Maggie Gyllenhall.

Wig, wig, wig. And isn't obsessing about her hair so 1995?

Time to turn our attention to breaking gossip and draw this chat to an end. Send tips, sightings and ideas for beating the heat to And stay cool, my friends.




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