The Reliable Source Live

Sep 18, 2013

Washington Post columnists Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts were online Wednesday, September 18, 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 web chat. Some topics on our radar this week. . .


Ladies and gentlemen, we have a new Miss America.


Dan Snyder’s teenage daughters enter the family business — modeling Skins gear for NFL Apparel.


Tom Foley and his wife shed some old possessions at auction.


Meet the French comic who won a Monaco princess’s heart.


The young generation gets the party started at Congressional Black Caucus weekend.


Who would ever have imagined that Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth would break up? What’s that you say — everyone?


Also: Zoe Saldana weds quietly, LeBron James weds noisily. . .  Prince William leaves the military, Prince Harry enters a freezer. . .   Janet Napolitano draws up her Washington final-days bucket list. . .   Let’s hope that if you go to prison, it’s for better loot than Jesse Jackson Jr. . . A Georgetown murder home sells quickly.


Looking forward to your questions.

I read your item on Mrs. Oren and thought I had read something similar in the Post. Sure enough

A lot of people must have missed that -- including me -- because the story was the buzz of the Yom Kippur chat. Funny, huh?

In fairness, that World Views blog post is based on the same story we referred to; and it's generally good manners to link back to the original source.

I moved into a house this summer that had a small garden with one tomato plant (a volunteer, I think). About a month ago, it just started taking off and now the thing is covered with green tomatoes--some large, some small. I'm not sure if they will ripen on the vine, so aside from fried green tomatoes, do you have any green tomato ideas? Do pickled green tomatoes taste good? What about chutneys, relishes, or salsas?

Wrong chat, unless this an obscure reference to the movie, in which case I still can't help.

What do think of the idea of him playing Russia's greatest sex machine (Boney M never lies)

Oh, that as well as playing Woodrow Wilson and Howard Hughes and J. Edgar Hoover? Wow. I think he's determined to biopic his way to an Oscar.

Does anyone use the word "co-starring" anymore? It seems very 70's.

Does it? Seems like it's used all the time. Just Google News it.

So, how many of those Monegasque royalty-types have had out-of-wedlock children? It seems to be their M.O. Not something you'd see with those Windsors....

Charlotte's aunt, Stephanie, uncle Albert, and now Charlotte herself. Doesn't seem to bother the French that much, and they've god plenty of money, so it doesn't seem to be too much of an issue. And no--the Windsors are more traditional in that sense.

This does not surprise me. I have an adopted son who is a different race than my husband and me, and people say really stupid stuff to us. In person. My favorite time was when a lady standing in line in front of me & my son said, "Does he look like his father?" to which I replied, "I have no idea." Her face was priceless.

Ha! Excellent response.

Thanks for sharing, especially the link to his own writing! So many people say, "Just get your GED" like it's that easy. I watch individuals work very hard every day to get the skills and knowledge they need to pass. I don't know about you guys, but it took me four whole years to get through high school and there were some things that were really hard. Thanks, Marky Mark, for the inspiration!

Any one have any luck finding his Arsenio Hall debut, btw? The one where he and the Funky Bunch sang "Good Vibrations"?

It seems to me that the Brits recycle the same old names - Charles Philip Arthur George William Louis Harry. What about Prince Brian?

They need to get with the times: A Prince Mason or a Prince Jayden, please.

For a biopic, I'd pick Rasputin.

Who's to say he can't do both?

Had never heard of her before, but if the pic with your article is accurate, she's the spitting image of Ione Skye. So.... yeah.

Huh, didn't see that. I think she looks a lot like her mom.

I always thought the story of our Virginia governor's mansion chef being charged with felony thefts (!) seemed weird and thuggish, like there was just something wrong about it, from the very first day it hit the papers. I will be interested to see the "favorable" settlement for him this afternoon, and, if appropriate, I hope his reputation and his cooking career is restored ASAP. As for those who put him in this situation, I think there is just one lesson here: Don't mess with the chef.

Hmmm, yeah. His lawyer, anyway, is making it sound like  a whistleblower-retaliation situation.


Settlement reached in case of chef accused of stealing from Virginia Governor’s Mansion

Great, now thanks to your chat, I'm going to have "Ra-Ra-Rasputin" song stuck in my head for the rest of the day!

Could be so much worse.

That will never happen unless Harry marries a WAG and everyone else in line for the throne has some kind of terrible accident. The British are very class sensitive when it comes to names. My dad's family has been recycling the same 4 male names for several generations.

And on this side of the pond: lots of WASPy names keep getting handed down.

Just curious what you thought of two-time Oscar winner Emma Thompson's advice for younger actors who feel a bit snobby and above it to do the hard work of publicizing their latest movies?

It's one of the overlooked truths about the movie business: A big part of the wisdom behind casting decisions is based on whose going to be a good sport going off to all those junkets and red carpets in Berlin and Tokyo, etc. etc. (In fact, if you've ever wondered why some rather unimpressive actors keep getting work, a lot of it may be because they're plain cooperative and pleasant to get around.) I hadn't heard any bad stories about Rooney Mara, though. She may be an odd bird, but she seems to be showing up and doing the interviews.

Thanks to everyone who commented on my back spasm last week. It's mostly gone now, and I'm just waiting to see my massage therapist to help me with the last stages of this painful episode. I'll write something snarky later.

Good luck! And yes, it's hard to snark through spasms, so get well soon.

Just curious if you've ever played any GTA (not talking about Great Toronto Area) series?

Sorry, no. Haven't played a video game since Frogger.

What's it called? "How to be a Bad Parent?" What a wast of paper - Diane Lohan cannot possibly have anything to write worth reading.

Oh, don't get me started. It's an awful idea, but the latest in a long list of terrible books by people who have no business writing one.

With news that AMC will be splitting up season 5 will a year gap in-between, I was just curious if you still watched that show? My own take is that the split for the two year gap the series had in 2011.

You didn't complete your thought here, but I think you're saying these split seasons caused you to lose interest. Anyway, I know I'm a terrible disappointment to you today, but I never got that far with "Mad Men" -- watched the first three episodes of season one and just couldn't be inspired to order another disc from Netflix.

Might be terrible reading, but it could be great material for a Lifetime movie. Like Mommy Dearest with more dysfunction and less class!

No Mommy Dearest if her mom is writing it. Let me guess: Well-meaning mother with talent child swept into Hollywood whirlwind, fights to save daughter from all those bad people, including her ex-husband. 

C'mon, have you seen a recent red carpet interview with Rooney Mara? She does have a really annoying red-carpet persona. It was like she went from complete unknown to be "so over" being interviewed by Ryan Seacrest in a really short amount of time.

See, she's just always struck me as an oddball. The point is, she does show up; not really her fault if she's not an exuberant Sandra Bullock type, hard-wired to light up the room when she's on Letterman. Obviously, an actor gets bonus points for being adorable on talk shows, and it can help them get roles, but the truth is, a lot of actors are kind of uncomfortable oddballs. . . But the Emma Thompson comments did make me think, for example, of the "National Treasure" movies: It always baffled me why it's worth the producers' while to spend the extra money it takes to cast a pedigreed star like Helen Mirren in a nothing role, when it's not like Helen Mirren's presence helps sells a blockbuster. But then it occurred to me that when your star is Nicolas Cage -- well, who knows if he's even going to show up for the junket or the red carpet? And that's why you shell out the extra dough for a reliable good sport like Mirren.

Let's not forget that Britney Spears' mother wrote a book about parenting that was supposed to be released around the time that Britney went on her weird breakdown/rampage (the one involving shaving her head and choppers/SWAT team in her neighborhood) a few years ago. Just before it was released, it was announced that Jamie-Lynn, 17 and unmarried, was pregnant. The only interesting thing that came out of that whole episode was learning that George Clooney and Britney Spears lived in the same gated community at the time of the SWAT team visit.

And even that isn't THAT interesting. Waste of paper, indeed.

When we learned about the new Miss America, I immediately asked my wife if her talent was spelling. FWIW, both Mrs. and I are Indo-American.

T-H-A-N-K-S   F-O-R   M-A-K-I-N-G   M-Y   D-A-Y.

I don't think it's a law or anything, but in Norway, the kings have always had one of only three names. Although now that they are allowing women to accede (with the next generation), we'll see what happens.

Actually, looks like they've got at least seven or eight names to draw from. I do think it's time for another Haakon.

Now this is a Russian History 101 tutorial, but just if you think he was "mad, bad and dangerous to know" or not (yes, I know that quote is in reference to Lord Byron and not Rasputin and I'll use it again when Leonardo DiCaprio is cast in the Lord Byron biopic).

He was charismatic, seductive, took advantage of a desperate Empress overwhelmed by her son's illness, and a badass to kill. Not unlike many other top advisers to other royal families. 

Have you caught any of the new shows yet? I tuned in to just the last 5 min. of "Dads" (wanted to see the next show), and in 5 minutes I realized that it is just as bad if not worse than the critics said. Has Martin Mull ever been in a successful show?

Here's the Zagatized take on Hank Stuever on "Dads":


"embarrassingly anachronistic". . ."utter absence of originality, spirit or even new jokes". . . "The poor actors look like they’re serving mandatory sentences for the creators’ crimes of laziness. Grade: F"

Did you give up on "Downton Abbey" or still going with it?

You know how completely I gave up on "Downton Abbey"? After realizing that I was emailing and Web-browsing through most of the cheesy third season, I didn't even bother to watch the season finale, even mindful of the big dramatic twist we were going to get.

I see you lurking there, but you guys are quiet today. Melancholy week, I know.

Um...SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! TGIF staple.

And he was a regular on "Roseanne."

It is so bad and offensive that NPR had a fairly lengthy segment about it last night on All Things Considered. They have the nerve to compare themselves to the Simpsons and All in the Family, which used racism and bigotry effectively to show how stupid and toxic they are. Someone needs to put Seth McFarlane out of our misery.

Well, he won't be back at the Oscars next year, you know.

I highly recommend this 1932 pic with Lionel Barrymore as the big R. He seems to be having a blast and really hams up the crazy. Plus, Ethel plays the tsarina!

Sounds fun.

with all the terrible books written by people who have no business writing one! On second thought, nobody would buy them so it would have to be either a lending library or a museum....

It's hard to even donate used books these days. You might have to just dump them.

Discovery Channel did a pretty interesting documentary on how it the legend of him being nearly impossible to kill might just be more myth then historical fact.

Isn't that how it always goes with legends.

Maybe we should take a poll to get some chatter going? Anyone excited about... - the upcoming TV season? - the football/hockey/baseball season? - the prospect of a government shut-down? - fall fashion?

Anyone? I just know you all are going to get fired up about a topic at, like, 12:55.

Good for his career or not?

It's probably good for his career. At the very least, the whole single-and-available thing never hurts.

So he really wasn't all that Rasputin-like, based on your description of Ras?

Rasputin was a mesmerizingly charismatic guy, from what I've heard.

Got his hair cut but also looks like he had "some work" done on his face?

A multi-millionaire leading man having work done? I'm shocked! I haven't seen enough of his recent photos for any big changes to have jumped out at me; I just assume that anyone at that level of fame has had least enjoyed some continuing form of subtle maintenance. Though actually, the big appeal of "Moneyball" was how he looked his age, showed his age.

He was on Fernwood 2Night, a hilarious 70s send-up of talk shows. But generally, he seems kind of creepy to me.

Yes, but that's his great appeal.

What should we be watching for on Sunday night? NPH says he's not doing a big musical number, but surely we can expect something entertaining from him?

Of course -- you think he'd agree to host and then not do something special?

Seems like that would have been a good SNL skit....

Grappling down the stairs...

I was at National Airport on August 31, about to board a flight to Los Angeles and Jeremy Renner arrives and walks RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME to get to the First Class line. I could have touched him if I extended my arm. It was a slo mo minute. I wanted to say something to him about Modesto since I lived in the San Joaquin Valley for a while and still have family there but I was too stunned and also like to respect stars' privacy - even though I think lack of right to privacy kind of goes with their chosen profession.

Hmmm, definitely him?  Short fellow who boldly has not had work done? (Those horizontal forehead lines -- so rare in Hollywood and so sexy.) Wonder what brought him to town. Though these days at National, could have just been changing planes. . . I hear you: Always a challenge coming up with something to say to those people.

Nice to see Carlos Santana but...Billy Joel ??!!??

The Honors love musicians, because it's easier to put together a tribute segment. And give Billy his props: You all know the words to at least one of his songs.

It's surprisingly hard to do. It took great willpower to stop watching SNL, LA Law and Friends after they went bad/boring/jumped the shark. They felt like such wastes of time and it felt bad to watch them by the end. I hated that feeling - that's one reason I hardly watch series tv any more. That, and the internet.

Yep. I don't really regret the time I gave to "Lost," but I wouldn't recommend anyone start with it.

I am always fascinated by the people who get thrust into the spotlight in these tragedies and how they handle themselves. Like the doctor who did the press at the hospital and did her speech on ending gun violence, and then became a media darling of sorts. And the stories of the people who were inside. Is there a pattern on how these people end up? (BTW, somewhat related, somewhat not, but your paper is doing top notch work on fleshing out what happened, and the stories about the vicitms are amazing and do a wonderful job of pointing out the very very real human cost from Monday)

Yes, indeed, our colleagues have been doing amazing work on the Navy Yard tragedy. I've come to realize when a big story like this breaks that I'm better off ignoring the drip-drip-drip of news coming via TV and Internet (in fairness, even via our own news site), because the next day's paper will tell you everything and somehow even more than you'd get from vigilant monitoring the day of. . . . In terms of survivors of tragedy cast into the spotlight? I think they all deal with it different ways.

I cannot be bothered watching any of the current TV shows referenced in this chat so far. I mostly watch news, sports, and (anomalously, because it's fun) RuPaul's Drag Race. But I did get sucked into an old episode of Inspector Morse on Sunday (with a very young Sean Bean!). It was all good (if low-def blurry) until the end, when it said, "To be continued...". That was just low. Thanks, PBS.

Oooh, a young Sean Bean. That's nice. Old Sean Bean is good too.

I don't know the Ra-Ra-Rasputin song, but now I have the probably much worse Marky Mark's Good Vibrations on a permanent loop in my brain. Thanks a bunch.

Glad to help.

Definitely should go with the museum - then you'll have a chance of being on the "quirky neighbor" segment they do on CBS Sunday Morning.

Which is what we all aspire to.

It was definitely him. Some people who got in line behind me happened to walk over with him and they were laughing because they saw a women hang over a railing to take pictures of him. I love his intensity in movies because of his blue eyes but in person / casual realness he was underwhelming. BUT THEN when i walked through First Class, I looked at him, he looked back at me with THOSE EYES. We made eye contact, I smiled slightly and looked away. So thrilling.

Ha. That's great. I've definitely experienced that, the way a certain star can be less impressive in person -- or, suddenly and abruptly, more. (Like, "Wow, I never realized how attractive Gary Oldman is!")

There's a really interesting/cringeworthy diary series on the NY Times website in a blog called The Motherlode. The diary series is by a 42 year old woman, and is about her attempts to get pregnant via an untested type of IVF. She gets a lot of articulate criticism about airing her feelings in such a public way and some of the flippant comments she makes, as well as her self-delusion about getting pregnant at her age. We could send everyone there to read it and comment on it if we're running out of comments to this chat.

Well, when you put it that way, why not simply fall back on the great national pasttime of speculating about Jennifer Aniston's ovarian health?

I have to say I was surprised that MOnday night Colbert and Stewart shows didn't even mention the Navy Yard shootings. Not humor I realize, but it seems like it was at least worth an acknowledgement.

I think expecting those shows to comment on the shootings both overexalts their role and asks too much of them. I know they both face the difficulty of taping in the mid or late afternoon for shows that air late at night, and there's the risk of holding forth on sensitive topics where the news is still emerging and developing.

bite your tongue. whenever that song comes on the 90s station on satellite radio I feel like I've hit the jackpot! one day it was that, followed by "Poison" by Bel Biv Devoe.

That 23-year-old song is EVERYWHERE these days. Why is that?

In his heyday (1983 or so) I was in a restaurant and Sylvester Stallone walked in. I was shocked to see how short (5'6", tops) he was. Made me wonder if Rocky was standing on a milk crate for those crucial boxing scenes.

The Internet claims he's 5-10. Do you think he's shorter than that, or is it just that you expect him to be 6-2, and therefore his (alleged) 5-10 registers as more diminutive?

Just saw this on my twitter feed: "Times are bad. Children no longer obey their parents and everyone is writing a book." - Cicero, circa 43 BC

Hahaha. That can't be for real.

I gave up on HIMYM last year. I just got bored with it. I would rather read a recap online in 1 minute.

This whole last season is just the wedding ---I can't see how that can be compelling for a whole year, but maybe it's a way to ties all the clues and loose ends together.

So seeing Jeremy Renner was thrilling but I do have a famous cousin. I thought of her because she is someone who is great on Leno, etc. but she really isn't a very nice person. There, I said it.

Well, that happens with non-famous cousins, too.

My friend from Vietnam eats them with sugar. And the pickles are yummy

Don't know where the green tomato thought came from -- did I miss a thread? -- but here's my green tomato accomplishment from last month. God I'm hungry.

He was 5'6". I'm 5'8" and I could see the top of his head.

Just another example of Hollywood size inflation.

well, I like to think it is in part due to my doing my patriotic duty of requesting it at every wedding I've been to in the past 5 years. (surprisingly, everyone loves to dance to lines like "never trust a big butt and a smile" at weddings!)

Oh, so you're the one!

Which combines two posts in today's chat - giving up on Friends and lurking on an infertility diary website. Brilliant.

It's so much better when we combine three or more threads, don't you think?

And to think that Rhoda did it in only 1 episode. Kids these days.

Indeed. I'm sure we ancients will find plenty to complain about.

Chatters, many thanks for joining us on what is (technically) the last Wednesday of summer. Send your tips and sightings to See you all in the fall (next week!)

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