The Washington Post

The Reliable Source Live

Jul 24, 2013

Washington Post columnists Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts were online Wednesday, July 24, 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 live discussion. Rox is on vacation, so it's just me. Some topics on our radar this week:


Seems like Anthony Weiner, aka “Carlos Danger,” is in trouble again. (Definitely the best alias since “Ron Mexico,” though there’s lots of competition for that.)


Have you heard? A future king was born this week — and his mom’s hair still looks great.


And in other line-of-descent news, Rep. Steve Cohen learned that his long-lost daughter isn’t actually his daughter.


People you don’t expect to see at Comic-Con: Civil-rights icon Rep. John Lewis. (He seemed to have a better time than Harrison Ford, though.)


Liz Cheney and Mike Enzi have us wondering: How old is too old to be a senator?


Also: A nasty cat bite puts Scott Brown’s daughter in the hospital. . .  “The Butler” settles its title dispute. . . More trouble for Amanda Bynes brings serious intervention. . .  After relationships of three decades, Tina Turner finally ties the knot, while Michael Moore seeks a divorce. . . Didn’t you expect Rahm Emanuel to be a better dancer? . . . Mike Green will lose money on his Arlington bachelor pad.  .  . And R.I.P., Dennis Farina.


Looking forward to your questions.

Now this is much better of an alias than Whitey Bulger.

Oh, he should have gone with Whitey Bulger. I mean, just own it.

Apparently something happened in Britain this week.

Yes, indeed, and here is some food for thought: Most of us will probably be dead by the time this child becomes king.

Anthony Weiner. I don't understand. Why won't this creep just go away.

Because he has a pair of deeply entwined addictions: An addiction to sexting obscure young women who are not his wife, obviously, but also an addiction to the political spotlight.

That's just my theory. I am not a licensed clinician, nor have I personal treated the former congressman.

What a creep. These photos and messages were even worse than the original ones! And, to do that to his poor wife. Why is he staying in the race?

What are his options? This is sort of his last chance, I guess.

My cat has sent me to the hospital in the middle of the night because I made the mistake of dangling my arm over the bed and he thought it was some amusing toy. Sometimes I have to get under the covers and shelter in place until he settles down. Totally sympathetic to Scott Brown's daughter.

Yeah, crazy story, isn't it? I had a less dire but equally eye-opening experience with a cat I had temporarily adopted more than a decade ago. Clawed and bit the hell out of my arm and hand. And while I was bleeding profusely and in pain, it all seemed so superficial that I felt silly calling the hospital for advice. But they took it really seriously: They insisted I come in, and they hooked me up to an IV and gave me antibiotics and almost kept me overnight. They don't mess around with cat bites.

I understand her sticking by him before - his narrative was that he screwed up and was contrite (theoretically), but I was positively embarrassed for her yesterday. What a depressing saga all around.

She remains the most compelling and complicated figure in this drama. I mean, his issues are easily diagnosable, as I did above. But what's going on in her head? Though she conspicuously ducked the ritual wifely duties at his press conference two years ago, she stuck her neck out for him this time, and then some -- actually speaking in his defense. She explains her side in a new essay. Check it out and let me know if it gives us the clarity we ewant.

Why wait three years to get a paternity test? If I were the real dad, I'd be highly insulted by the whole thing.

I thought Steve Cohen actually explained himself fairly well on that point: He took the mom's word for it (and seems like she really believed it too), and didn't want to look like he was doubting or denying paternity by asking for proof. Also, seems like there was a big element of wishful thinking -- like, he really wanted to be someone's dad.


As for the real dad, John Brink -- sounds like he was completely in the dark about these conversations, until the news broke in February, after Cohen's errant tweets, that the congressman was claiming to be the father of his daughter. 

RIP Dennis Farina

Yes, Dennis Farina will be missed. Really compelling obituary. Did you know he had been a cop for years and just sort of stumbled into acting?

What is your Carlos Danger name? Mine is Bernardo Catastrophe.

Veronica Chaos.

Just seems weird. I mean don't you have to be in the same time zone as somebody you're cheating with? Weiner just seems to be using the 2.0 version of 1-900 dirty talk numbers. It isn't that I care about Weiner's political ambitions or disregard him lying to the press (which, let's face it, is THE real sin). Would anybody's sex life were stand-up to so much criticism. Let he who is without sin show us his internet browser history?

There's a lot more going on here than looking at some naughty Web sites. You've also got the element of vaguely exploitative behavior with obscure young women. And while lying was the big issue two years ago -- the angry righteousness with which Weiner at first denied the accusations -- this time I think it's more like, "Whoa, this guy is out of control." Like, he's doing the EXACT SAME THING he got in massive trouble for two years ago, and doing it while he's casting himself as a rehabilitated guy devoted to his family and ready for a second chance. It's the incredible scary risk-taking. (And yes, the creepiness.)

He has $1mm+ in campaign funds that are unusable after this election cycle, and no other identifiable, employable skills or experience.

Good point.

Why all the calls for Weiner to drop out of the mayoral race? Shouldn't the voters decide whether he's fit or not? We've all seen races that attract candidates of all stripes -- strippers, clowns (literally), eccentrics, etc. Unless Weiner did something that disqualifies him from holding office, the demands for his withdrawal seem unnecessary and overblown.

Good point. That's always part of the dynamic in a situation like this, though. Especially when there's a primary race going on, and then I can get why members of his own party might be saying, "hey, you're wasting our time and hurting our chances."

Really isn't the only person this actually matters to Weiner's wife Huma. We can say we wouldn't do that in her shoes, but we aren't in her shoes obviously. There are death-row inmates who are still married to their wives, so who are we to judge turning a blind-eye to some sexual fantasy with women her husband will never meet.

Arguably. But I can see how the people of New York would also want to make sure they're voting for someone of sound mind.

I think options are it -- what else can he or Spitzer do? They're career politicians -- it's all they know. If I voted in NY -- neither would get my vote!

Thanks for your thoughts.

Eduardo Sharknado


The latest revelations, especially the "Carlos Danger" thing, seems so pathetic. Even if you are in the "I don't care what a politician does in his/her personal" camp, you still don't want to elect someone that sad.

Speaking to the earlier comments. . .

Has to be "Carlos Danger" - It's such an adolescent, unimaginative pseudonym. And, why is it that so many of these seem to have a weird Hispanic element to them? Do these guys really think anyone would think Carlos Danger or Ron Mexico are hot Latin lovers? (both yukky and offensive).

Apparently Robert Hanssen picked his code name "Ramon Garcia" not merely because it's kind of sexy, but because he liked the resonance of "CIA" in the last letters of the name. Or something like that.


Whoops, just gave away one of the answers to our VIP alias quiz. How'd you do on that?

IIRC, he and John Mahoney (from "Frasier") were acting buddies in Chicago back in the day, before either of them made it big.

Indeed: According to this Tribune obit, Mahoney was another late-blooming actor on the Chicago scene, who urged Farina to try out for a theatrical production after he stumbled into that first movie role.

Bianca Arden

Nice. You make that up, or is that from one of the name generators?

I'm Fabricio Badass!!!

Hahaha. The Slate "Carlos Danger" name generator, if you haven't seen it. It's telling me I'm Alberto Calamity, but I'm sticking with Veronica Chaos.

Are you saying that any person who uses the websites isn't "someone of sound mind" or just because he's an ambitious politician?

I'm saying that someone who is sexting women who aren't his wife -- after already seeing his career ruined by sexting other women who aren't his wife, and who is working to get his marriage back on track and mount a last-chance political comeback, and yet DOES THIS AGAIN ANYWAY, leaving an electronic paper trail in the hands of a woman he doesn't even know -- that yes, this is a kind of impulsive, out-of-control behavior that indicates someone might have some issues.

Nothing you put out on the internet ever disappears entirely. Especially if the recipient has reason to feel betrayed or bamboozled.


Missy Nochat?

Apparently she's Alejandro Dynamite.

Over the years, I kinda understand why Hillary stayed with Bill--the man is smart, charismatic and totally compelling. However, I don't see any of these qualities in Anthony Weiner that would make Huma stick with him through this public humiliation.

Well, in fairness -- being smart and charismatic and compelling isn't a guarantee of being a great mate. And, you know, there's someone for everyone, and just because we can't see what she sees in Weiner doesn't make it less valid.

Don't know if anyone made this point, but a 35 year old congressman in 1785 was pretty old, too, considering average life expectancy was about 45 back then. Accordingly, Congresspersons in their 60s today, when the average life expectancy in about 78 doesn't seem too off to me.

Between this story and the earlier poster whose arm was a scratching post, it just further proves my theory that cats are evil and having one as a house pet is indicative of the "he's bad, but he'll change for me" attitude that most cat owners possess.

You might enjoy this Web site.

Will Catherine ever be Queen Catherine? What about Camilla?

Yes, Kate will be Queen Catherine -- or whatever she wants to be called -- one day. However, as part of the PR deal that Charles and Camilla got married after their divorces was that she would not take the title of queen. But they could probably change their minds about that and try to make it happen.

The Royal Family is in the business of trying to justified to a reasonable Britain and Commonwealth nations why they are need, right? It just seems like post-Diana's tell-all by Andrew Morton, hasn't the myth gone away yet? I'm not saying that Wills and Kate are happy or unhappy (I believe they are), but that "The Palace" has just staged it to look happy and normal and "just like us, but more handsome"

Of course it was staged! I don't think there's any secret about that.

Nope. Did you read his messages??? And, he didn't even bother to leave his boxers on this time! I can't help but wonder if she is in the delusion that this marriage could propel her the way Hillary was propelled, and she's just in it for that angle.

Who knows, who knows.

Seriously, could Kate and William and baby be ANY cuter? I think the queen should just abdicate in favor of them right now, and give up on Charles completely.

I don't think that's going to happen. And cuteness is not a primary qualifier for the job.

Has South Carolina's new rep Mark Sanford set up digs in DC yet? Is he cohabitating with his fiancé ? Now that it is only an hour or so from DC, do we think they will hit the Appalachian trail together?

I assume he just has some casual crash pad, like most congresspeople. Alas, when I ran into Mark and Maria (looking radiant, I have to say), they wouldn't give me any indication of her moving plans.

What is your made up name you use exclusively for anonymous twitter sexting?

"Amy Argetsinger"

Why'd she rush into it?

Maybe a little gun-shy after her first marriage -- which, as you may have heard, was a little troubled.

Actually, total aside, but that's a myth. As somebody who works in historical archiving, when something is taking off the Internet, it's gone forever which makes it pretty sucky as a record for history. Obviously if it involves a famous person and somebody got it copied before it was taken down is different, but that's an extremely rare case and history is about us common folk just as much as the famous ones.

"Obviously if it involves a famous person and somebody got it copied before it was taken down. . . "


But that's sort of what we're talking about here, in terms of high-risk behavior. For famous people, their online behavior is being monitored all the time.

I would kick this guy to the curb. Why would you want to raise a child, let alone a SON, with a man who thinks it's just cool to send pictures of your prick to strange women. What a swell example of manhood he is. (And if she has a daughter with this guy, what are you going to tell her? That it's OK to engage in phone sex with married man?)

Thanks for your thoughts.

When does O Network's Oprah Winfrey's The Butler** come out? **Awaiting copyright approval.


What are the odds that there isn't something from 2013. This guys doesn't appear to be able to control himself.

Fair point.

That is hard especially the first time and he did it effortlessly. Lots of stress with all the photos. Glad no one took a picture of me doing that.

This was all well-choreographed, I have no doubt. Kudos to him for doing the proper rear-facing baby seat arrangement.

Prince William and Kate leave hospital; no name yet for Baby Cambridge

Good to have another step between Harry and the throne. It would be really awkward if James Hewitt's son would eventually have to take a DNA test and be denied becoming King.

Oh, you are so mean . . .

"Don't know if anyone made this point, but a 35 year old congressman in 1785 was pretty old, too, considering average life expectancy was about 45 back then." No, no, NO. *Average* life expectancy back then was a lot shorter because high infant and childhood mortality dragged the average way down. Once you reached adulthood, average life expectancy was fairly high (I think 60s or 70s, but I can't put my finger on the stats quickly enough for this chat). Many of the founders (who generally had the advantage of being wealthy) lived to ripe old ages.

Interesting -- thanks.

Has the name been determined, and will they consider odd ball names like North, or maybe ESPN like families in this country has.

I'm betting on George Phillip Arthur Carlos Danger.

So if William's wife becomes a Queen, how come Elizabeth's husband Phillip never became a King?

Because of sexist double-standards involving the use of the titles. "King" is reserved for the person who rules, "Queen" can be either the ruler or the ruler's consort.

When this all went down in 2011, I actually thought it unnecessary to resign. But now he comes off, at least, as someone who has no compulsion control. The fact that this woman was massively age inappropriate doesn't help either. And, he seems to have, um, upped his game - at least in the photography department. Get lost, dude.


I guess I just think anybody's sex life is kind of creepy when you know about it. Also "vaguely exploitative behavior with obscure young women"? When this "legal of consent" drop out of the lexicon? "Hey, I'm famous, wanna sext with me?" isn't pretty mild on the exploitative that famous people do to their young fans.

Of course, there is worse behavior. But still. A lot of people want their leaders to be better than that.

... not the least of which is because there is something predatory about his behavior. There was a story not too long ago about how many of the women in the 2011 version of this felt victimized.

You're talking about this story. Indeed, Weiner did not leave a trail of happy sextees behind him.

I guess Cohen himself made this a big deal after all the tweets, but why did anyone CARE if he was tweeting a single young woman? He is not married after all - right? - so while some folks may not value May-Dec type relationships, he wasn't technically anything 'wrong'. Correct? So why all the kerfuffle?

Well, don't overthink this: The entire State of the Union Tweeting saga unraveled very quickly, and I think everyone's reactions were based in normal curiosity: First, "whoa, the congressman is tweeting some young babe -- a girlfriend we should know about?" And then, "What -- he deleted the tweets? Is he embarrassed?" And then next thing you knew Cohen -- apparently to defend the honor of the young woman that had stirred everyone's curiosity, announces that she's his secret long-lost daughter, and whoa, well, that's a story! You didn't even need to be judgy to get into it.

I don't lump them in together at all. Spitzer is a Princeton and Harvard educated lawyer with a long and impressive resume who has achieved substantive accomplishments on behalf of New Yorkers. Weiner is a show horse who I don't think is particularly intelligent and has no skills that would make him employable outside of politics. Spitzer has options. Weiner, not so much.

I'm not going to debate Spitzer's accomplishments versus Weiner's accomplishments -- but I will note that going to Ivy League schools doesn't necessarily make one any more of a quality human being.

It's my porn name - I did it the old-fashioned way - First pet + Street you grew up on. I go old school on these things.

Oh, but of course. Thank you. Now I'm going to deduce al your computer passwords and empty your bank account.

With your hint, I went 7 for 8. Still no idea about Camron whosit, even after I read the answer; that one was either patently unfair, or designed to give the wonks a distinct advantage.

It was admittedly a pretty obscure one, but the fans demanded it be included.

My identifier is Jorge Hazard.

Now, that's just lame.

Raymondo Catastrophe. I note that this thing is generating a lot of "Catastrophe"s, which is actually kind of apropos.

It's possible that this Slate Name Generator isn't as super-personalized as we'd hoped.

I'm Mateo Badass.... Welcome to the family!


Is it a double aptonym?


I was in the hospital for six nights after a cat bit my hand in 2005. My arm was up in the air, tied to the IV pole. Other than that, I felt fine...


Who knew he was even married? I'm glad he does what he does, but I find his public persona to be obnoxious. I wonder what she saw in him...

The Queen can abdicate but then Charles would become King immediately. He would then have to abdicate so William could be King. It's not going to happen. Unlike the Dutch, the Brits don't have a tradition of convenience abdication. As well, the Queen thing for Camilla is not just a PR arrangement. The hang up is that the Sovereign can't marry a person who is divorced, so technically, in the eyes of the Line of Succession Act, Charles doesn't have a wife. Blame the rules of the Church of England for this.


Most weel known as an L&O detective but check him out in Crime Story if you can find it. An unusually excellent TV show of only two seasons. Also, his first film, the wonderful Anthony Mann's Thief. He has only a small role but James Caan, Tuesday Weld and Robert Prosky are great in it.

I've heard good things about "Crime Story"

Where did all his hair go?

It's a common occurrence, you know

FWIW, those Hispanic-y aliases are amateur-ish and gringo-ish. They should use my last name (which I am not going to reveal here.) My unusual last name, which is NOT of Hispanic origin, by coincidence happens to be a VERY obscene word in the slang of some Latin American countries. Facebook would not allow me to register using my real last name, presumably because of that (although FB never responded to my many requests to let me register with my real name.) I suspect that some automated resume and email spam checkers automatically put me in the junk folder. Sometimes people from those Latin American countries, when they first see my name, just GASP and exclaim "Is that REALLY your name?!" I once had a manager originally from one of those countries and he NEVER said my last name. And googling my name results in an enormous list of Hispanic porno sites. But I've had that name my whole life and don't want to have to change it --- kind of like being born with a big ugly nose and not wanting to get plastic surgery just to make life easier.

That's kind of awesome. Meanwhile, the real Dr. Carlos R. Danger, a Miami psychiatrist, has yet to return my calls. I think he's been deluged today.

And I just wet myself (w/ tears) laughing so hard at your cat site. This is what I have been reduced to on a slow July Wednesday at work.

Pretty great, isn't it?

More power to him! Shouldn't everyone practice beforehand?

Yes, actually.

I hat to belabor this point(who am I kidding, I'm loving it), but one should view them more as revolutionaries than Congressman and revolution is for the young.

But the founding fathers weren't that young by the standards of their era.

The easiest reason: makes them vulnerable to blackmail/extortion.

Yes, that too.

Any repercussions on Leah Rimini leave Scientology after so many years? Could you please link to the classic Post article that Richard Leiby did on the church? Thanks.

Here's one of Rich's Scientology stories -- I know there were more, but it can be tricky to find links that far back.

Whoa, I didn't say anything about quality of their character. I don't know how you inferred that. I'm saying he has an impressive resume and solid work background outside of government/politics. He's not just a politician, as Weiner is and as a different poster said earlier.

Well, you kind of put Spitzer's diplomas front and center, though I see your larger points as well too.

"He has $1mm+ in campaign funds that are unusable after this election cycle, and no other identifiable, employable skills or experience." Perhaps they'll consider him for next season's Dancing with the Stars?

Oh, I'd watch that season.

Okay, time to wrap up here: There's a column that needs writing. Catch you back here next week, and in the meantime, stay in touch at

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