The Reliable Source Live

Sep 04, 2013

Washington Post columnists Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts were online Wednesday, September 4, at noon ET to discuss your favorite gossip, celebrity sightings and their recent columns.

Past Reliable Source chats

Hello everyone, and welcome back to the Reliable Source live discussion -- picking up where we left off before our August hiatus.


Some things on our radar: John Wall's new $5 million mansion in Potomac makes RGIII's new place look like -- well, like a $2.5 million house in Loudoun County.


Teresa Heinz Kerry makes her first public appearance since her illness.


The latest U.S. superstar called out for entertaining a foreign autocrat: Kanye West in Kazakhstan.


Katie Couric is engaged to Wall Street banker.


Ruth Bader Ginsburg officiates at same-sex marriage.


Trouble for Mr. and Mrs. Clint Eastwood. . . and trouble for Mr. and Mrs. Michael Douglas.


New White House puppy!


And the super-hot story we left you with before starting our hiatus: Adrian Fenty is dating Steve Jobs's widow.


Thanks for coming back. Looking forward to your questions.


We've missed you! I know there are all sorts of serious things going on in DC right now, but let's focus on important things - we have a new panda cub! I know it will be a while till there is an official name and till then I propose we call the little tyke Louis. At least that's what my husband and I have been calling him/her. The cub has been bringing us great joy. We've figured out how to stream the Panda Cam to our TV so we can watch the cub and mom bond.

Hooray for the new Butterstick! Why Louis? Or Louise?

Did you even know what twerking was before Miley Cyrus provided that example at the MTV awards?

I did not. Although I am old enough to recognize it by its' old name: Stripper moves.

I did. Don't you remember Beyonce's 2006 hit "Check On It"? Phenomenal song, and first time I'd heard the word. Dip it pop it twerk it stop it check on me tonight!

Amy, you will be THRILLED to know that this season will have both comedian Bill Engval and Bill Nye the Science Guy! I know you'll definitely be watching!

I'm hazy on who Bill Engval is. And good luck to Bill Nye, but I'm betting on Princess Stephanie of Monaco and Christopher Plummer.

First, welcome back, ladies! You've been missed. Now, remember when we were making a big deal about the movie "The Butler" having to add the director's name to the title because a 1916 movie had the same name? Well, apparently a movie titled "Rush" is coming out soon. When I heard this I immediately remembered the 1991 movie of the same (unlike "The Butler," which I had no idea about). It all just seems odd to me.

Odd indeed. I just checked, and you're exactly right. I'm guessing the Butler dispute was more about money and payback than anything else.

Congrats to Katie Couric

Second that. She was single for a long time; hope she's happy.

Shows the Obamas are certified dog people now. Good for them, she's awfully cute!

Good for Bo to have a playmate, too.

Okay, know this happened a while ago, but you gals were vacationing, so what say you about Miley, did she embarrass herself, or was it a masterstroke of self-promotion, or something inbetween?

She was ridiculous, and you can't exactly call what she was doing "good" or "entertaining." But none of it should have been surprising to anyone who has followed her recent work -- seriously, a lot of the shock seemed to come from people who are just hazily aware that she was a Disney Channel starlet in the previous decade -- nor to anyone who has ever watched the VMAs before. I mean, this is what the VMAs try to be about every year -- shocking the bourgeosie and dominating the conversation. Miley Cyrus knew what she was doing and 100 percent succeeded.

"I don't pay attention to the negative." Really? She also clearly does not pay attention to the positive, or she'd behave in a more positive fashion. Yuck.

Well, she's 20 and did not have a normal childhood, so I'll cut her some slack. But this was just sad -- trying so hard to be sexy, but not.

Hi I am taking my Mom to NYC for a week, very soon. Any ideas on places for celeb sightings/hangouts? While I'm asking, since my Mom lives in the sticks, I'd like to take her to a movie that is unlikely to hit a small market. Have you seen any recently that you really liked? Bonus if it's a comedy (not Frances Ha, I saw it, and wouldn't sit through it again...) Muchas Gracias!

Anyone? I haven't seen a thing lately. And I'm so rarely in New York.

Are they still engaged? If so, what the heck is wrong with that man? Miley is as foul as can be. I laughed when she compared herself to Madonna. She also compared herself to Britney, but I'd say that comparison only fits when Brit was troubled (e.g. shaved head era). Even my 9-yr-old daughter said Miley's being inappropriate and that many young girls watch her because she was Hannah Montana. This came to mind when I was watching older brother Chris in 'Thor' on Monday.

We can never really know what goes on in someone else's relationship, and what we said about Miley and Liam six months ago still stands. I mean, maybe you find her appalling, but face that you don't really know anything about him either.

because that is Ron Howard; and he's kind of like big in Hollywood and doesn't need any introduction to his work

That's not the reason Lee Daniels' name was in the title -- it was a dispute between the producers and Warner Brothers about using the same name. (Daniels name was added to make it different.) If the same pattern took place, the owners of the original 1991 "Rush" could sue and force the new movie to change the title.

Now, this actually makes sense - this is someone with a career of note. I am most excited, however, to hear what Julie Andrews has to say about her. I'm just bummed we won't see anything from her tv co-stars - Harvey Korman, Vickie Lawrence, and the amazing Tim Conway! (And, yes, they are still alive)

Are you sitting down? I'm afraid to tell you that Harvey Korman is dead. Lyle Waggoner is still around, though.

So I guess Pippa is off the market.

Maybe, maybe not. Lots of tabloid fodder without any confirmation. Her 30th birthday is Friday, which is when she supposedly is going to announce an engagement. Don't hold your breath.

RIP Tommy Morrison. Second person from Rocky V to die prematurely.

I hadn't known much about him previously, but he left behind an interesting obituary: Tommy Morrison, a troubled heavyweight

She finally made it the swim from Cuba to Key West. Props!!

Titles of artistic works cannot be copyrighted. See sixth question down. So, if Lee Daniels wants to put his name before the film's title, he can't claim that copyright law was his motivation.

Well, the reason for the Butler dispute was that the new movie might be confused with the original Butler and therefore could not carry the same name. Must be more complicated than that.

Sounds like he's fooling himself. Also sounds like he watched a Friends re-run, and is trying to say they're on a break. It's sad, but I think her behavior says they are done.

Yeah, but she's been having all kinds of troubles, so who knows. And like I said: Can you ever really know what goes on in someone else's relationship?

I think "masterstroke" is absolutely the best was to describe her performance.

Heh heh heh. Masterstroke.

Miley Cyrus's "performance" was just the culmination of years and years of tolerating vulgarity in the name of "artistic freedom." In a way, I feel sorry for Cyrus, because she had been led to believe that her conduct was acceptable behavior for an "artist," given the latitude we've shown Madonna and Lady Gaga. It's a bit hypocritical for everyone to pile onto Cyrus and ignore what went before. In any event, the adults who are the producers and directors of the VMAs should have put told her "no" well before the firestorm.

"Adults" -- ha! They got huge ratings and I don't hear anyone at MTV executive apologizing.

That adorable Tyler Moore has come back from Syracuse and looks even better than before. There are a few new faces up from AAA as well. Tanner Roark is kind of cute, and Erik Davis has the nickname Mini-Clip because he wears glasses and looks a little like Tyler Clippard. So what are the team's good looking bachelors up to? And congratulations to a P-Nat (Potomac National to the uninitiated) who is technically a bachelor (he IS engaged). Cutter Dykstra and his fiancée Jamie Lynn (Meadow Soprano) Sigler welcomed son Beau last week.

"Tanner Roark" -- hell, that was supposed to be the name of the dashing entrepreneur/cage-fighter hero of the Harlequin romance I've been writing.

saw a preview of the Mary Tyler Moore girls reunion on Hot in Cleveland. Great to see them all in one place, hope they enjoyed getting together.

Yes, but weird to see them playing different characters.

Good to see you again, ladies! So Rooney Mara is an actress because of her first and last names? I'm gonna change mine to Gates Buffett and see where that gets me.

There are a lot of aspiring stars with more famous names who haven't gotten far, so I suspect she has a special quality in her own right. (If you haven't heard, she's NFL royalty: Her dad's family are the Giants owners, her mom's family are the Steelers' owners.)

Yeah, right - they ARE the Bourgoise. I find these televised "music" awards shows so incredibly lacking in originality. What would be shocking would be if someone just went up there with an original act that was good and didn't rely on distracting costuming and production so that the viewers don't notice they're just incredibly mediocre. - Off soap box now -

Distractions are a way of hiding lack of talent. But what do I know? I don't even twerk.

any thoughts on the 50 Shades movie? I can't help thinking it will not live up to the book in terms of excitement and dollars earned.

I have no thoughts whatsoever. Sorry! Except that Charlie Hunnam has had an unusually long run as a Star of Tomorrow.

Are either of you playing poker on your IPhone while you're chatting with us? (Like Sen. McCain at the hearings yesterday)

I'm already a show typist, and need both hands on the keyboard. so no.

Wasn't everybody just raving how sexy and cool Miley Cyrus's twerking was just a few months ago? I guess she should stick to doing music videos and not live performance where people can really see what's she's doing.

Was Miley getting raves for her twerking? I don't know. But regardless: She is a twerking veteran of many months now, the rest of you just hadn't been paying attention.

I am so glad you're back. That is all. Oh, wait--one other thing: the headline on the Ginsburg article clearly should have been, "Ruth Bader Ginsburg marries John Roberts in same-sex wedding."


So, any thoughts on why the fans are so upset/surprised at the no-name casting? I can't imagine why any actor with an existing career would take a risk on this. It could easily be an awful, embarrassing mess.

Like any popular book, fans have perfect actors/actresses in mind for the movie and I doubt either of the announced leads were on any list. This could launch their careers or break them, and I think you're right about established actors steering clear. And yes -- it will probably be a mess because the writing of the book --based on all the reviews of people I trust ---is just dreadful, which makes a great adaptation even harder.

For the poster asking where to go...try the West Village for dinner. I have friends there who are always seeing someone. Not so much during the day since celebs do work. On a different topic...thoughts about the new line up of judges on American Idol?

Thanks for the suggestion. . . I'm cautiously optimistic, or, rather, less than entirely pessimistic about the new AI judges lineup. J-Lo is pretty good at this thing and will be better this time around: Two years ago, she spent way too much time wanting to be liked before letting her natural impatience shine through. And Harry Connick Jr.  will be great -- he's the guy they should have picked years ago. Meanwhile, Keith Urban will remain the affable piece of plywood that certainly caused no one any grief last year. . . .I think the Nikki Minaj departure is a huge loss, though -- the first half of last season was fantastic until she stopped caring. But the show has bigger problems that really don't have a thing to do with the judging panel -- notably, the tyranny of texting tween girls who voted in a succession of Cute Boys that no one really cared about, until they finally rigged the results last year to less than satisfying effects. I don't know, but it's a problem.

Lots of credit to the Washington Post for the obit you guys did on Josh Burdette, the security guy at the 930 Club and one of the most recognizable guys around town. Very sad about his death, but the Post did the city a great service with that article.

Thanks for mentioning it. Yes, Adam Bernstein did a very thoughtful job with his obituary of Josh Burdette.

Honestly, I'm surprised that the main observation about her act is that it stunk. I mean, it was just BAD. Over-sexualized, sure, but nothing we haven't seen from a former child star before (see: Bieber, Justin). But it was just so BAD. She had no rhythm, was out of breath from beginning to end, and inexplicably lip-synced to Robin Thicke's part of the song. When Madonna does controversial stuff, I don't mind it sparking discussion because she's an outstanding performer. But Miley? Clearly the girl has no idea what she's doing.

Agreed. She was cute as Hannah Montana, but Taylor Swift has the adult version of that act locked up.

In case anyone here actually cares, movie titles can be registered by film studios with the MPAA's Title Registration Bureau, which also arbitrates title disputes for titles that are registered with it. The MPAA TRB does not take any action of its own accord -- only if a studio lodges an objection.

Thanks. Yes, this was a really complicated case: Seems that there are duplicating titles all the time, and odd that Warner Bros. would make an issue of a century-old film. However, the controversy certainly hasn't hurt The Butler, which will probably hit $100 million in another week or so -- very unusual for a drama.

I was more offended at how Miley Cyrus was using the foam finger.

The foam finger inventor was offended. Hard to cheapen a foam finger, but she managed to do it.

Why all the criticism exclusively aimed toward Miley? Last I saw, she was grinding up against Alan Thicke, and no criticism toward him? Likewise, the VMAs were honoring Justin Timberlake who somehow avoided criticism when ripping off Janet Jackson's clothing at the Super Bowl, while she is still scarred by the attention. Is this all just sexism?

Yes, EXACTLY. And the parallel is dead-on. I never understood why JT didn't get any flack for the Super Bowl incident. But then I've never understood anything about the way other people react to Justin Timberlake.


(BTW, chatter knows damn well that it was Alan's son Robin Thicke, so hold your fire.)

When reading about his separation from his second wife, I was amazed to read that he was married to his first wife for 31 years, and has now been divorced from her for nearly 30 years. Just amazing longevity. Though it should be noted that his first wife and the Sondra Locke era seem to overlap a little bit.

The guy has been unusually productive in his later years, hasn't he? Hell, he should have performed on the VMAs.

I'm sorry...but who are you to decide what is vulgar and what is not? I'd rather tolerate "artistic freedom" than let blowhards decide what *they* deem is acceptable or not (sorry, that statement really got under my skin).

There's a decency line and Miley did NOT cross it ---but "artistic freedom" doesn't allow or forgive anything and everything. But yes, as a general rule, we're better off as a society tolerating junk than censoring it because it's so subjective.

Having never heard of Robin Thicke until just a few months ago, I have to ask if that's his usual shtick, imitating early-career Prince with the falsetto and horn dog lyrics, only with Prince it sounds hot and sexy and with Thicke it just sounds creepy.

Yes, that's his usual shtick -- and a pretty good one, I have to admit. I kind of loved "Lost Without U" a few years ago, though I'd rather listen to him than watch him: He does kind of have that special quality that makes you want to punch him in the face.


By the way, if not for Rod Stewart, we'd never have Robin Thicke: Rod made the world safe for dorky white guys with shameless horndog lyrics. Just a thought I've been eager to share with you, inspired to multiple listens of a certain 34-year-old Greatest Hits cassette I found in my car during vacation.

I imagine that stripper polls and grottos can be added later if necessary?

I assume so. Stripper poles are seldom found in those real estate ads. And those house hunter shows could be much more interesting: "And here's the master, with an en suite, walk-in closet and, of course, a stripper pole..."

OK really. Who actually wathces any of those shows except pre-teen girls?

I think The Voice is watched by 7-year-old girls. I think DWTS is watched by middle-aged Middle Americans. I think American Idol used to be watched by everyone and is now only watched by me.

Not to pile on Miley, but her outfit also looked extra trashy at the VMAs. At least when Lady Gaga and Katy Perry dressed revealing it still looked somewhat sexy but Miley's outfit just did not flatter her figure at all.

I think it was her tongue more than the outfit.

Kind of hope that the movie adaption of "Fifty Shades of Grey" doesn't Twilight itself in that he is strictly loyal to follow the pretty badly written source material. The more freedom the film production has, the better.

Oh, I LOVED "Twilight" the movie. It was brilliant. Very funny, subtle, clever and ironic on so many levels. Or maybe that was the booze talking. Can't say as much for what I've seen of the sequels. Boring.

I kind of hope that Catherine Zeta Jones some hunky under-25 actor and see how the press and public reacts to that May-December romance.

Won't happen. Actresses rarely put themselves in a position to be called old.

Miley's act was a business decision, pure and simple. Her goal was to bury Hannah Montana once and for all, leave behind her old fans who want her to still be Hannah Montana by offending them, and start to build a new base of fans with a whole new image. There was nothing artistic about it. All business.

It's the classic child-star move. Nothing new here.

the lightbulb goes on, I thought it was Alan Thicke, couldn't figure out why he was only 36, 38? He looks a LOT like his dad.

I know! And when he talks, the Canadian really comes out, though he grew up in L.A.

Did you manage to get a cameo as one of the exposition talking-head pundits in Netflix's "House of Cards" yet?

Never entertained the thought. Weird, I know.

So it was Robin grinding with Miley, not Alan? Just getting it straight.

Correct -- though we can always hope for an upgrade to Alan at her next performance.


(Everyone up to speed here? Alan Thicke, the dad from "Growing Pains," the songwriting genius behind the "Facts of Life" theme song.)

True, but in a free society we're also free not to spend our money or time on it. With any luck Miley will either find a more entertaining act, or else wither up and go away.

Free market, baby. No accounting for taste, though: Lots of crappy acts/shows/movies make millions.

Robin Thicke doesn't usually sound creepy. Just try to block out the mental image of him in a hideous black/white striped suit with a young poorly dress starlet grinding away on him and waving a foam finger.

Hey, it's not his fault -- he had just come off his shift at the Foot Locker.

I just watched the epic documentary on The Eagles on Showtime and was wondering -- what band would you most like to watch an in depth 3-hour documentary about? I'd vote for Poison, which coincidently featured Timothy B. Schmidt on some albums.

What do you know -- I just watched the same thing, and am now working on a theory that the more boring the music, the more fascinating the band documentary. Perhaps it's because I feel cheated by the lack of material on the Stevie Nicks/Don Henley relationship, but I now feel the desperate need for a four-hour documentary about Fleetwood Mac. After that, I guess, a five-hour documentary on Pure Prairie League.

Due to aging issues, reportedly. He was a giant--three Academy Awards in a 50-year career. Who in the current crop of pretty boys will equal that total?

Apparently this is the subject of a new speculative story, which makes me feel dumb, because just three weeks ago I was wondering the same thing -- is Nicholson done making movies? -- and come to the same conclusion with zero reporting.

Maybe I'm just a lazy, unmotivated middle-ager, but I seriously don't understand her crusade. I read that she spent the last several hours of the swim vomiting from ingesting salt water. What exactly was the point, except to prove she could do it? And for people who don't know her, so what? I've got a buddy who does those ultra-marathons--like 100-mile runs that are a pretty amazing feat. He doesn't get blasted all over the headlines.

Well, it's like asking why someone climbs Mount Everest -- or why, in fact, your buddy does those insane ultra-marathons. And yeah, she gets the headline, because she just did something no one has ever done before, and done it at twice the age when she failed at the same task.

J-LO, Madonna, Halle Berry, Susan Sarandon... Heck, even Ruth Gordon was 17 years older than Garson Kanin!

Exceptions, not the rule.

Do you remember that movie with Russell Crowe that was adapted from a British mini-series of the same name? Ben Affleck plays a "rising star" congressman who turns out to be cheating on his wife and then ends up to relieved as totally corrupt. Turns out when Affleck was doing research for the role, he shadowed (of all 435) Anthony Weiner.

Yep. I was a big fan of "State of Play" -- it's one of the smartest movies about journalism I've seen.

If Kanye West was as bad performing for Nursultan Nazarbayev as he was performing at the VMAs, the Kazakhstan president deserves a refund. I thought the whole Miley controversy was just designed to get people from talking about how lame Kanye seemed.

I haven't seen Kanye's performance yet, but you're the only person I've heard ripping on it.

The news about Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones makes me sad. They were in my "Hollywood marriages that might actually make it" category. (Speaking of which, holy cats, can anyone believe that Mariah and Nick Cannon are still together?)

I think Nick Cannon is a very smart man.

I read a bit of the book and the writing is definitely horrible. But The Bridges of Madison County (book) was beyond awful and parts of the story were completely ridiculous, but it made a darned fine movie. Go figure.

Well, you know, Shirtless Clint Eastwood and Meryl's Iowa accent. Can't go wrong.

He does all the sex music, but is married to his high school sweetheart. They've been together since they were, like, 15.

Well, let's hope she's his inspiration.

As someone who baked a wedding cake for Joe and Rhoda's wedding (I was in college at the time, which makes it only a little bit less ridiculous), I was so happy to hear that Valerie Harper is doing well and will be on DWTS. But now I have to vote for her no matter how bad her dancing is, and I'm sure loads of other people feel the same way! Well, at least it's only DWTS, where results don't matter a whit.

I saw Valerie Harper on her book tour. Utterly ingratiating.

How many times does he have to go before they are required to keep him there?

Getting close by now, I imagine.

I confess to having read all three of the awful Shades of Grey books. The writing was indeed atrocious. I do think, however, that Dakota Johnson will make a good Alexandra Steele. She was terrific in Ben and Kate. OTOH, Charlie what's-his-name is nowhere near good looking enough to be Christian Grey. That should have been Matt Bomer's role, although I'm guessing he had the good sense to decline it. As for Miley's performance, I actually think that when she used her foam finger on herself, she totally crossed a line. That was disgusting, as was that tongue of hers. Ick. It's a shame she doesn't seem to have anyone to advise her of how to age gracefully into young adulthood. A chat with Emma Watson might do her wonders.

Sexy movies are hard to make under any circumstances. While we're dream casting: Emma Watson as Alexandra?

I would argue he was done ten years ago, and then went through the motions for the past decade (How Do You Know, The Departed, The Bucket List, Anger Management, Somethings Gotta Give).

Yeah, I'd agree -- except for "About Schmidt." That was tremendous, and he was tremendous in it.

Your colleague Chris Cillizza apparently hate-hate-hated the character of Zoe Barnes, the reporter who has an affair with Rep. Underwood in order to get inside information from him. Chris basically said that the character insulted female reporters. I didn't see any implication that ALL women reporters uses their "feminine wiles" to get stories, so I wasn't insulted, but I was wondering if you shared his reaction.

I've only seen one episode.

They should have waited for the NY mayor's race to be over, when Mr. Weiner will be looking for something to do with his free time.

Oh, ouch.

Additionally, he wrote the theme for Diff'rent Strokes and he hosted the short-lived but classic late night show, Thicke of the Night. He is a (North) American treasure.

Does he get the spot on the Canadian Mount Rushmore alongside Wayne Gretzky, Michael J. Fox and Celine Dion, or should that honor go to his ex-patriate son? We are now open for your nominations! Oh wait, look at the time. . . .

Also referenced in "Sexyback" by that dude, that maybe won something on the VMA's and was in a boy band?

Oh, you're right! Also a 2006 song, though it turns out that "Check On It" came out in late 2005, a few months earlier. Yes, they used "let me see what you're twerkin' with," though some lyric sheets represent it as "what you're torquing with." Ha.

Noting that was in 2002 and not on the list of movies that he walked through, according to my well-reasoned question about his retirement.

Ah, you are correct.

She had the good sense to tell the press thsat she was revolted by the idea of playing that role when the rumor first surfaced eons ago. Good on her.

There you go.

I'm old enough to recall (and cheer) when The Mary Tyler Moore Show debuted. I'd never heard of Valerie Harper at the time, but recall that prior to that role, she'd been a Broadway dancer. So if she remains in remission from her illness, she could do surprisingly well on DWTS.

Dancer? That's news to me and would be a great surprise for the show if she's a natural.

That's wicked about the Weiner connection to "State of Play." Amy really did like that movie and glad she still does (although it's British original was WAY better, but that's just my take). But I LOVED that article by WaPo Metro reporter who acted as the technical consultant for the movie.

Yes, my former editor R.B. Brenner! I have to think he was a huge help on that production.

Actually in a later episode, the lead political reporter that has been ragging Zoe Barnes throughout the series admits that she also had sexual intercourse with sources to get information implying all women in Washington do it for a story when they get started.


if you don't think Charlie Hunnam is good looking or has the sexy stuff, he is very very good on Sons of Anarchy. He is plenty intense and steamy there.

Oh, I'm not saying anything about his talent or looks. Just that there's been buzz for, like, a decade that he's the next big thing.

Nelson Eddy, Leslie Nielsen, Lorne Greene, Mario Lemieux.

Okay, I'm going with Leslie Nielsen, Christopher Plummer, Wayne Gretzky and Avril Lavigne.

Should we just have Dennis Rodman as the official Ambassador to North Korea.

Only if Tom Lehrer is elected president.

Chatters, glad to be back. Hope you all had a great summer and are in back-to-school mode. Homework: Send your tips, sightings and ideas to Same time, next week.

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