The Reliable Source Live

Sep 25, 2013

Washington Post columnists Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts were online Wednesday, September 25, 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 chat. Here's what's on our radar this week:


A brief history of the bag-carrying Washington “body man,” an unlikely stepping stone to big careers.


Valerie Plame has written a novel, and guess what it’s about. No, guess!


Ted Turner’s modest story of his Coast Guard service: “It was back in the days of the draft. . . and I liked boats.”


Wedding bells for George Soros, and a Washington A-lister ceremony for millionaire Mark Ein.


You needed a better college degree than you have to get into Ted Cruz’s study group.


Also: Mark Zuckerberg owes it all to his wife. . . Can you spell better than a congressman? . . . Madeleine Albright joins Twitter, with style . . . Can we ever really know what happens on a Ravens party bus?. . .  Some big changes for one of Washington’s splashier galas, Fashion for Paws. . . Rep. Joaquin Castro and his fiancee are expecting. . . And how Joe Biden ended up on the Rand Paul family Christmas card.


Looking forward to your questions!

That was a brilliant impersonation of Bill Clinton.

Do you really think it was all that brilliant? Or are we just tickled by the idea of Bono impersonating Bill Clinton?

Claire Danes is a fine actress. I gather that her Emmy Awards dress was lovely. But, please, couldn't they have dealt better with that most unflattering neckline. It reminded me (alas) of Gwyneth Paltrow's pink gown the year she won the Academy Award for Shakespeare in Love. Pretty ladies, but they needed to choose gowns they could fill out more attractively.

I'm afraid I agree with you. I'm not keen on anything that requires a lot of nude mesh -- though I did see an amazing gown at the Navy Memorial awards dinner last week (sorry, no photo of the dress) where the mesh was so subtle I thought the woman had put huge appliques directly on her skin. However, even if you're pro-skin exposure, cleavage that plunges that deeply is rarely that flattering. (Claire Danes at the Emmys)

Wait, did George Soros marry Mark Ein? Now THAT would be news!

Now, you know darned well it doesn't sound like that. The comma and the "and" should tip off beginning readers there. (But yes, that would be something. And, you know, Mark Ein is still young enough.)

So her parents are about his age?

Oh, I'm sure they are older.

I was really expected Ted Cruz to read "A Cat in the Hat" during that 20 hour talkathon. What a waste of time.

I started thinking about why "Green Eggs and Ham" is the go-to read for politicians. I think it is the "I do not like" refrain.

Bono actually went to my Great Auntie Sheila's funeral in Ireland a few years. I wasn't there (admittedly I didn't even know I had a Great Auntie Sheila, but RIP to her), but my aunt told me he wore the sunglasses the whole time.

I bet he wears sunglasses to bed. It's his thing.

As my wife--who hated the dress--pointed out: "her boobs aren't big enough for that dress."

Gwyneth-at-the-'99-Oscars syndrome, you mean? Rox maintains that she simply didn't have enough support, while I'd argue that no one would look great in that dress; larger boobs might be worse.

I meant to write in last week to say how fun it was for me to see my (not-so) old high school classmate, Matt Quinn, quoted in your column about the Foley's auction. To see him mentioned, with a picture no less, a few days later in John Kelly's Washington column was pretty cool too, although the RS mention was higher in the cool scale in my book. I may have even been a teensy bit jealous.

First time I met him, but struck me as a nice guy.

Has anything further ever been reported about the tests he underwent in Houston last month? He's a good guy and his health has been a concern

Not much. He's gone back to work since then but has missed a couple of events. He underwent medical tests and some procedure in Houston last month after experiencing some weakness and disorientation

I went to Harvard Law School. Cruz is right about the study groups. I had graduated from state universities for my BA and MS degrees, and most of the Ivy grads didn't even speak to me, much less ask me to join their study groups. In fact, when I was there, the Harvard grads only studied with other Harvard grads; they wouldn't have lowered themselves to study with Yalies. Strange place, that Harvard.

Brats. Not all of them, but...yeah. The funny thing is that most of them are scared to death of looking stupid.

Post TV -- so that's a thing? Does my local cable provider offer it?

It's a thing -- part of the brave new world of "multi-platform experience" -- on the Post website.

The Emmy win I was happy about was Abi Morgan for "The Hour." Just curious if you have seen it since (not perfect by any means) it's really good and far more insight then so many "prestige" dramas set about that time period or ethics of journalism.

I watched both seasons of "The Hour" and enjoyed the first -- I especially thought Dominic West, in addition to being very handsome, gave a very poignant and nuanced performance -- but kind of got bored by the end second. To me, it feels like one of those things that would be considered fairly banal if it were an American production but seems a lot smarter because of the British accents. Speaking of which -- is that the deal with "Luther"? I have only watched the first episode but it felt like a cheesy episode of CSI, classed up by the accents and Idris Elba.

but I really liked Chris Cillizza's Mike Allen impression.

It's very subtle.

I can't remember the last time the Post's algorithm's pitched me a Boeing Supertanker during the chat. I suppose they realized eventually by my lack of click-through that I'm not in the proper demographic for a refueling jet. Now, I'm being pitched subscriptions to China Daily, which I am still not going to buy, but is a more appropriate pitch.

Well, aren't you fancy. Are you hijacking someone else's wifi, maybe? The algorithm has me pegged today for a new  Toyota Camry and a weekend at a Westin in Mexico.

If you were a Senator and were filibustering, what book would you read?

Oh, jeesh. "Moby Dick" for ironic metaphors? "Ted and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Congress?" "50 Shades of Gray" for shock value? 

Which girlfriend did he bring to last week's award? I seem to recall him rotating his four girlfriends every week.

I couldn't help but wonder if he's still got that arrangement going! Didn't seem like it would be cool to ask, though, and the lovely lady he was with, Sally Ranney, has been on his arm on many other occasions lately. Honestly, it doesn't sound like a terrible arrangement. As Robert Olen Butler, who lost his wife to the Turner rotation in 2007, blabbed to his friends at the time, "Elizabeth’s leaving me is as much about the three weeks a month she is alone as it is about the week a month she is with Ted."

This is your chance to talk about whatever you want to talk about. No topic is off-limit. Have at it!


Gee, I wonder how many people who are going about today complaining about Ted Cruz wasting time were going "squeeeee, look at her adorable pink sneakers!" when Wendy Davis engaged in her equally ineffective filibuster? Both politicians were making political points, knowing that they were not going to stop the votes.

It's political theater ---just depends on which actors you like to watch.

I rarely quote products in the Skymall catalogue, but it's appropriate timing to bring up the t-shirt that says: "Let's eat Grandma Let's eat, Grandma Commas save lives"

That's adorably nerdy.

I kind of liked Oona Chaplin, Charlie Chaplin's granddaughter, on that show. She played Marnie, Dominic West's character's wife.

As well as Robb Stark's lovely wife on, you know, what's the name of my favorite dragons-and-swords-show -- "Game of Thrones."

Or Odom? or Lamarodom? Can you tell us the truth? What's the latest and greatest? thanks PS: I should be studying but i prefer to focus on the kardashians.

All I know is what Lamar Odom put on Twitter, defending the honor of Kardashian Inc. against his tabloid-dishing dad. Otherwise, I'm unable to keep up with the news of whether or not he has a drug problem or is getting divorced. I figure it will all be on TV soon enough, right?

It's all fun and games until you become the girlfriend who is left at home when he has the big events to attend. Like you said, it always seem to be Sally Ranney he is out in public with.

Maybe she's the one who likes the big public events. Some of these things can be a little tiring.

What did you think of Lena Dunham's Emmy dress? Was the skirt too big for her height? And was she trying to color-coordinate with her tattoo? Maybe I'm just old-fashioned, but I don't think there's any way that exposed tattoos go with evening wear. And can I safely assume that she did her own makeup?

Awful. Unflattering fit and color on her (I thought it made her look huge) although some fashion experts liked it. Her tattoos aren't very pretty to me, but to each her own. And doubt she did her own makeup--some "artist" probably did and told her how fabulous she looked.

Nothing else....I just needed a brief moment of happy. That is all.

Well, there he is.

I didn't know people still said that anymore.

A wayback shoutout.

Doesn't Bono have some sort of eye issue that requires him to wear the glasses all the time? I seem to recall reading that somewhere. And yes, the Bill Clinton impression was fun the first time. Now it's just old.

He once told Rolling Stone that he has allergies that make his eyes red and he just can't deal with all the flashbulbs.

Maybe I am filibustered out but I didn't find that filibuster this morning "cute" or "productive" at all. Even the other Republicans like Mitch McConnell were like wtf is he doing?

He's doing Ted. It's about the guy, not the issue. Welcome to the new Senate.

I thought there was something weird about the announcement. Tara de Nicolas surprised many socialites with the news she's leaving the job next Monday. Tara de Nicolas wrote WHS "will be taking over F4P and taking it in a different direction. I was not involved in the decision-making process for this new direction." To me, that sounds like a bitter back story. But later in the story it seemed she had just decided to move on from the org.

The tone of her announcement definitely peaked our curiosity for the same reasons you cite. So who knows what went on behind the scenes. But the explanation she and WHS gave when we called to ask made sense, too. This is the trajectory for a lot of "young benefactor" events (your pool of donors starts to age out) as well as for galas that have one strong central organizer running the show (who can only go back to the well so many times with their network). It's possible that while their numbers were still strong, everyone saw that things would change in the future and decided to move on sooner rather than later.


Doggone? Washington Humane Society taking Fashion for Paws gala ‘in a different direction’

It has been a few days now and I have not heard from anybody about memorable clips that I need to go check out on YouTube. Anything I should go check out that I missed? Kanye and Katy Perry perform together with the guys from Big Bang Theory or something?

Don't ask me -- I had a family reunion that night and missed the show. Even if I were home, though, the Emmys usually only get my scattered attention. There are too many categories, and too many awards that go to the same people year after year. I guess Michael Douglas made some news in his acceptance speech, though.

Why do I have the sense that the only person who benefited from Ted Cruz's study group was Ted Cruz ?

Some people are savvy that way.

So glad there's sanity in the chat about her dress. I saw it was on some of the best-dressed at the Emmy's lists and I was starting to think I was weird for thinking it just wasn't flattering.

Forget the dress -- I thought the hair was brassy and the lipstick too harsh. Not her best look.

and the Viet Cong weren't attacking Catalina Island.

Yeah, that was the subtext, and I don't think Ted would quibble with you about that. His enlistment would actually have been sometime in the late '50s/early '60s, before the U.S. was deeply involved in Vietnam, but still, it was not unusual at the time for young men at loose ends to volunteer for a more pleasant assignment rather than take what they got in the draft.

Do you think that many of the women who end up going to events like the Emmys in something akin to what Lena Dunham wore, look at themselves in the mirror before hand and say, "oh, God, I think I look horrible in this, but the stylist keeps on saying it's great, and what do I know"? I just find it hard to believe that so many reasonably intelligent women could just be so wrong about what they've chosen to wear.

Remember how insecure Hollywood is in general, then layer the pressure to look good on a big night with stylists trying to make their client stand out. Train wrecks waiting to happen. It's takes a huge star with great fashion sense to beat down the noise, and even then they screw up.

Any word on the James Spader show premiere Monday? I couldn't get over his lack of hair--only those with a lovely cranium should adopt that look.

Hank Stuever gives Spader a good review but "The Blacklist" a "C" -- which still places it above average on the Stuever curve this season.

What type of alcohol is acceptable to order at a lunch with one's boss?

Wine. One glass. Unless you're at a Tex-Mex place and the boss orders beer, in which you can, too. One.


Is it? Are you sure? I was mulling the two and was concerned that this is one of the cases where "pique" is often misused. . . but no, you are correct, as it turns out.

Yeah, it kind of sounds like when I used to watch Celebrity Apprentice and wondered how some stars were able to keep getting their "friends" to donate such large amounts of money to their causes/events each week.

You have to call in a LOT of favors --and reciprocate later on.

I dunno, if it had fit well it would have been charming. Needed more top, less skirt. Would probably be adorable in a cocktail length.

If. Or on someone else.

I loved Carrie Underwood's dress. It was elegant, worked with her skin tone and hair, and fit her perfectly. Kudos to her stylist, who should be hired by most of the other women. (Men have it so easy at these events, don't they?)

Meh. Didn't do much for me one way or the other.

Which dress are we talking about? Looks like she had a costume change.

I'd still marry her in a minute.

Okay, but it would be a full-time job.

Seems like the commenter is trying to swiftsailboat Ted Turner.

"swiftsailboat" --  nice turn of phrase.

When was the last time you saw Yoko Ono without glasses? I think it's because they think they look younger with them on.

That was always Warren Beatty and Jack Nicholson's trick.

I was referring to the purple one. I liked the sculpted layers in the skirt and the color.

I agree that's the better of the two. Nice color, good fit.

How many flashbulbs were there at whoever's Auntie Sheila's funeral?

Good question.

Thought there should have been an individual tribue to Larry Hagman that lasted longer than 3 seconds. The Cory Monteith tribute wasnt warranted to be that long.

Badly conceived all around.

Kind of curious to hear Miley Cyrus' post break-up album. Granted Taylor Swift goes to that well way too often (I don't think I could name you a Taylor Swift song yet I know that about her), but the post bitter break-up album seem to be a career maker for a lot of solo female singers (i.e. Adele, Alannis Morrisette, betting other live chatters can think of others).

Can you twerk to a break-up song? Dumb question. Of course you can.

Easier to say.

I think you need a hyphen there -- I keep reading it as "swifty" something. So, swift-yacht. Accurate, too.

OTOH, Sarah Silverman looked smashing in a $60 little black dress.

There were plenty of tasteful but not "fashion moment" dresses that didn't get a lot of attention. Probably better that way for the actresses.

Lena Dunham always seems to make the worst dressed list and I am starting to wonder if she is doing it on purpose. It's like she wants to be a fashion rebel or something.

Who knows? I don't think that looked like a rebellion, just a poor choice. But really, not worth too much ink, much like her show.

Those were really weird in a not good way. Just uncomfortable all around.

And yet we watched. Lesson learned, people.

Isn't she close to 80 now? She probably NEEDS them. Besides, Sophia Loren has rocked glasses-wearing for decades now -- take THAT, Dorothy Parker!

Since you asked. . . Yoko just turned 80 in February. Sophia Loren just turned 74 last week.

Does twerking in skinny jeans work?

Give it a try and get back to us.

Made me thinks she's a character actor... It was definitely the kind of thing Hannah would wear not realizing it was completely unflattering.

Well, it was interesting, and it gave us all something to talk about, so good for her for that.

That would be the Helena Bonham Carter (or Bjork) ploy for attention, right? If you can't be the best, be the worst, so at least you'll get media attention.

And it works, so what do I know? Sounds awful.

All this talk about what Danes and Dunham wore, but what about Ferrell's three boys?

I wasn't sure if a) those were his kids and b) why they did that bit. The boys were cute, but it all seemed like of random to me.

I didn't, but now that Hank's told us we can go full out into the 80's nostalgia, I'm in. I'm searching right now for some Falco for my telephone ring tone.

Oh, didn't you read the review? Hank says not to bother with "The Goldbergs" at all. But I highly endorse the plan to sit around looking up old Falco videos on YouTube. God, how I miss him.

For the poster who needed happiness..... It's Wednesday and the Redskins win streak starts this week!!

Oh, is this the week it starts? Must have missed that on the calendar.

I think she has a relationship with Prada, since they've lent her most of dresses she's worn at the award shows. They keep putting her in these really long a-line dresses. I guess it's to make her look taller and skinnier. She would look so much better if she was more covered up on top and less volume on the bottom. I'm pear shaped as well, it's not that hard!

Hope she reads this.

Does Sen. Cruz have health insurance to cover the medical care he'll need after such a long talkathon?

That is seriously not good for the bladder what he was doing.

Yoko Ono turned 80, and Mick Jagger is going to be a great grandfather. Now I'm depressed.

This is just the cycle of life. Embrace it.

I wasn't trying to do that at all. Just trying to translate "I like boats" for unhistorical types. If it was before the buildup, there was actually little chance he'd have ended up seeing Viet Cong. And I know all about it cause lucky me had a draft number of 346 and didn't have to choose between getting shot at and living in canada.

Well said. Anyway, I thought it was fascinating to see Turner -- he really seemed a little sheepish about getting the award, considering how brief and banal his service was. But that's kind of the beauty of these awards, pointing up this common experience that so many men of a certain generation used to have.

I remember hearing Sen. Byrd take a good t deal of time on a tribute to his late dog "Billy Byrd" when I work for the senate many years ago now. So little of substance actually goes on in the chamber besides the occasional vote. I do remember Strom Thurman colasping made for some excitement on CSPAN until they cut the live feed. The senator I worked for (now retired) once told us he did a great deal on negotiations in the men's room because, "A promise over a urinal is the most sacred promise a man can make." I am pretty sure he was joking, and his point was so much of want goes on is closed door negotiations, but it always struck me as funny.

Bathrooms ARE sacred places, especially for men, so maybe it wasn't a joke.

Chatters, on that colorful note, we'll wind up. Send your tips and sightings to See you all next week.

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