The Reliable Source Live

Nov 02, 2011

Washington Post columnists Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts were online Wednesday, Oct. 26, at noon ET to discuss your favorite gossip, celebrity sightings and their recent columns.

Past Reliable Source chats

Good morning. Apparently I had a new password today -- who knew? Anyway, here now, and will put out the links to recent stories as they come up in conversation.

is just another day at work. Love this chat!

Thank you, thank you.... sorry to have robbed you of 10 precious minutes.

Has Kim or any of the Kardashians ever had any connection to the DC area? Have they ever served as "celebvocates" for any cause (other than grabbing attention for themselves, and lining their own wallets)? If not, could we please banish them from the Reliable Source for irrelevancy? Please???

Uh, who brought up the Kardashians today? You did. In an eerie coincidence, I just watched my first episode of the Kardashians on Saturday (sound off, at the gym) and was mulling the absurdity of this whole fake news cycle about to explode on us. Why should we believe anything about the "relationship" of someone who has a profit motive in your interest in it? ... You asked for a D.C. connection, though, and that is that Greta Van Susteren attended the happy wedding back in August, having previously hosted Kim at the White House Correspondents' dinner.

Meanwhile, I refer you to my story from last year about the explosion of fake news wrought by the rise of reality TV.



Dang - Callista shops for birthday presents for her friends at Tiffany? I want her to be my friend, not even BF or BFF. I'm lucky if my "friends" wish me a happy birthday on my Facebook wall.

Depends on what she's buying for her friends, no? And if they love Tiffany's as much as she does?

So Hugh Grant had a "fleeting affair." Is that less or more serious than a "one-night stand"? Is it more substantial than is suggested by "they dated for a short time"? OK, I'll just come out and ask: Did he know her name?

A "fleeting affair" sounds more fun than a one-night stand, right? And maybe better than the "encounter" in a bathroom or hallway or whatever via which Boris Becker fathered a child a few years ago. And one assumes that lawyers have assisted in making proper introductions  by now if they were not properly made at the time of the fleeting affair. But yes, I really feel like both parties owe us more of an explanation here.

Having her pregnancy announcement compete with the Kardashian divorce announcement certainly relegated her lower on the celebrity news ticker. Of course, it was no big shock, but after Romo's announcement it seemed like she was saying, "Me too!" like she did with her engagement.

She had to chance to make headlines but kept playing coy about the baby. That's how it goes in celebrity news: timing is everything. The best she can hope for now is a cover when the baby is born---unless something more interesting happens.

You two are not the two yet-to-be-identified women who accused Herman Cain of sexual harassment, right?

Ha! Not a chance---especially since I never heard of the guy until earlier this year.

I cancelled my cable so now I'm watching TMZ on Fox (that's my excuse, anyway). The host mentioned setting up a TMZ office in DC and I think he was serious. Do you know anything about this? Would people care about DC folks?

They sure sounded serious when they said the exact same things four and a half years ago. But it never got off the ground for a multitude of reasons that I can only assume still apply. Harvey Levin gets a lot of attention whenever he talks about opening an office in D.C., so I assume he will continue to talk about opening an office in D.C. For now, though, I think he's the Chris Christie of the Washington gossip-blog world.

Well, that's burned into my brain for all eternity. That should have come with a stronger warning....

Which Herman Cain singing spot in particular? We gave you so many to choose from. If you enjoy images of the towers crashing on 9/11, I do recommend his rendition of "God Bless America."

I have seen a few pictures of her recently and noticed how red her nose is because of the chilly weather. I have to say that this makes me like her more because I, too, am of the bright-red-runny-nose people and it's always nice to see others of my kind.

Ah, the endearing traits that make one person adorable ---and another annoying. Isn't it kind of early for cold runny noses?

OK, who in the press has the courage to ask this: Do any of the Presidential candidates have tatoos?

Didn't Bush 41 have a tattoo? A Skull and Bones one or something?... Which of the current candidates do you think is most likely to have a tat?

This is probably the wrong chat, but Tony LaRussa of the St. Louis Cardinals rescued a stray kitty when he was manager of the Oakland A's about 20 years ago. The kitty had wandered on to the playing field. By now that kitty has gone to heaven, but LaRussa then established his ARF Foundation, which helps abandoned animals. Just for that, I'm glad he won the WS this year!

Better reason than most for rooting for a team.

He's hosted the Kids' Choice Awards on Nickleodeon several times. It's a similar demographic.

I pretty sure I've been slimed at at a WHCA dinner.

Wow, a whole TV episode where the joke is a 32 year old woman can't say "p***s". Great, now I can't say it, either.

That's yet another reason I don't watch this show. Turns everyone into 30-going-on-17.

So, was Kim saying that she loved Kris at first but partway through the wedding planning she wanted to call it off and felt she couldn't because of the tv special? That's what I got out of her blog post. I hope other "celebrities" wanting a big payday for their weddings are listening. Now, the real question is, why do I care?

Ooh, thanks for writing! I've been waiting for someone to bravely stand up and say "I care." Now: Can you tell us why? This is what I was wondering when I glancingly watched an episode the other day -- why does anyone care? Why not just watch "Dallas" reruns or something?

Have either of you read it (or even skimmed)? Is it worth the read or is it more of the same? I know that time was great and fascinating, but eventually it all sounds the same and it's no longer fun to read. I feel like I get the highlights in the articles written about it. As always, love the chats, thanks.

I haven't read the book, but I've been skimming it over the past several days and enjoying the skim. It's interesting if you're intrigued by society of days past, or even if you're interested in the neighborhoods of Washington. Apparently, just several years before the Pattersons built their house, Dupont Circle was considered a pestilential swampy nightmare.

Amanda Smith on the life of Washington grande dame Cissy Patterson

That is all.

Which, I suspect, is part of her statement about marrying for love. The backlash has been severe, and her reputation hurt...if anything is bad for reality star.  Late at night when I'm bummed out about reality TV and what it says about us as a culture,  I think the only bad thing for the Kardashians of the world is  if people stop talking about them.

That's okay, we let you make up for it in volume; plus, I'm presuming you're both here this week, so that makes up for the slight delay (not that we don't appreciate the single duty chats....) [total disclaimer: I missed last week, as well, Rox] So Zooey and Kim K. both have marriages break up in the same week. Coincidence? Perhaps. Or maybe its a karmic adjustment that says that for every faux celebrity relationship mishap and actual actor/musician/talents (okay, semi-talented) relationship must also be sacrificed. Just a thought.

I think the celebrity world generally produces at least one divorce/breakup a week, so sheer coincidence here. Random events will occasionally cluster or they wouldn't be random, as the seismologists say. 

How exactly did any of the Kardashians become "famous for being famous" in the first place? I understand that Paris Hilton is a descendant (granddaughter?) of Conrad Hilton, but who in the Kardashaian family is the actual worker bee in whose reflected glory lesser family members hope to shine?

Before all this, they had some strictly L.A.-area renown, based on the fact that their late father was O.J. Simpson's attorney Robert Kardashian, and their stepfather was Bruce Jenner, the 1976 Olympian. But I don't think anyone outside L.A. knew her name until Kim's sex tape with then-marginally-more-famous Ray J was "leaked." Then she had a scandal, and months later, she had a TV show. (Anyone here seen the tape? I've been told it is of an impressively professional quality.) So, if you're wondering how to become famous -- that's how.

What's up with Prince Albert and his bride, Princess Charlene? Absolutely nothing has been heard since their wedding and the stories of separate honeymoons....

Funny you should ask. They've been laying low since the wedding, but are here in the US this week for the Princess Grace Foundation. I missed their interview on "Today" this morning, but they went to some pains to knock down the rumors that she was ready to bolt just before the wedding and insist all is lovely-dovey.

I'm a serious person with a serious job and the primary support of my family. I come from an intellectual, snootypants east coast family. I'm embarrassed to think of how much of my otherwise unoccupied brain space has been taken up in the last few days with Kim Kardashian. She and her family remind me of the Gabor sisters, kind of like they are continuing a venerable Hollywood tradition. I knew that hell had frozen over when I discovered that my snootypants 87 year old father knew who Kim Kardashian was.

Thanks for sharing. But can you explain to me why you're interested in them? Do you watch the show, and if so, do you find it compelling? Or do you just follow their saga through gossip blogs and glossy magazines?

Any Roya Hakakian sightings? Yes, not a traditional celeb, even in the DC sense, but, she is in town kind of celebvocating. And, honestly, is she as captivating in real life as she is in photographs? And taller or shorter than expected in person? I'm getting a willowy Padme Lakshmi vibe. Okay, I'll stop now.

Why, you are in luck: Today's Style section features a lengthy story on the Iranian writer Roya Hakakian, complete with a very attractive photo. I will ask the author what she's like in person.

is how this husband shows up in the locker room or on the court if/when the NBA season starts up again... he's seriously going to be made fun of. That said, the clip of the show they showed on Entertainment Tonight last night had her expressing disbelief that he could move somewhere like Minnesota, where she wouldn't be able to live in NYC or LA. How does one "marry" a professional athlete without a rudimentary understanding of how they are traded like assets, not people? Good grief. These people give me a headache.

If you ask me, the poor guy dodged a bullet. I don't think his teammates will give him too much grief since it's clear that Kim left and he's upset about it. And why should Kim think the normal rules of life apply to her when none have? But---honestly---you're thinking too much about these people. 

I am proud to anonymously admit on this blog that I watched the wedding special. Kim K and Humphries didn't really seem to be getting along that well in the days before the wedding. I think she just wanted an excuse to wear 3 wedding gowns.

I haven't seen it, but TLC (Lifetime? E?) should get on the stick and rerun that baby while the story is still hot.

any chance it's been brewing for a while and they thought they could make it easier on themselves if they released while the Kardashian storm was ongoing? I can't imagine how difficult it would be to have a real relationship end and have to deal with the media onslaught... Also, I thought the new girl was kind of cute last night. I think I'm losing it.

I don't know -- do you think there would have been much of a media frenzy over Zooey and Ben's breakup? To their credit, they've been much less conspicuous with their relationship. I sort of forgot they were married.

Any truth to the rumor that you two will be doing a video chat soon ? I'm not a big fan of the video chat but would love to see how much you still look like that old photo on the column that hasn't been updated since the Carter Administration.

Video chat? Not my cup of tea. Feels too much like reality television, and pretty soon I'd want to get married just to wear three different dresses.

Ummm, isn't "Celebvocacy" advocating for celibacy? So the videos she starred in should disqualify Ms. Kardashian from ever being a "celebvocate". Don't you think? :-)

Come on, man -- are you totally new to this chat, or are you trying to insult us? "Celebvocacy" = celebrity advocacy, and we're proud to say we made up that word (variation: Celebvocate), and then the Chronicle of Philanthropy started using it like it was a real word, and we couldn't have been happier. We made "celebvocate" happen!... Please check out our Celebvocate database; we'll have another one for you later today....

Now, that's not to say that you don't have an interesting concept in germination here, but I believe that word would be "celebacy." And that could also mean abstaining from reading about celebrities, or abstaining from sleeping wtih them.


My theory is that he was picked because he's "faux edgy". A few wacky late night TV comedy bits are enought to convince some that he's not as lame as Leno, but at his core, the flat-staters think he's a "nice Italian boy". At this rate, I'm thinking Carson Daly might get the nod in 2016.

We can only dream, can't we? I'm hoping that Arsenio will lay the groundwork for his comeback at WHCA 2013.

The link didn't work for me: Meanwhile, I refer you to my story from last year about the explosion of fake news wrought by the rise of reality TV.

Ah, well, thank you for clicking! I think I had a stray bit of garble in there... Here you go:

Reality TV is affecting reality, creating a weird world for gossip, 8/1/10

There is not much "reality" in this. Discuss.

We've discussed until we're blue:  Real reality would be boring, so they have to create fake drama. People keep watching and it's cheap to produce, so I don't think it's going away any time soon. Deep sigh. 

Seems the elder daughters of Governorambassor Jon Huntsman also used that "I Am America" song in their spoof. Reading the lyrics of that song, kind of fits what the Occupy Wall Street crowd are saying. Would be kind of funny if they started using that "I Am America" song as their own.

Oh, glad to see a story on that song. I had never heard it before the Cain ad. Meanwhile, check out our story on the Huntsman daughters and their Herman Cain parody. I love the trend in recent years towards presidential candidates with tons of out-there children.

Given that E! has been teasing the impending break-up of Kendra's marriage to her professional football player husband, do you think the Kardashian Empire might have wanted to scoop her? Otherwise the timing doesn't really make sense: the announcement has forced E!'s hand on re-playing the Kim K Wedding Special, which deprives the kardashian empire of income, and it's not like we're on the verge of a new season of her show, which would give them an opportunity to exploit the "see the marriage dissolve"-ness of new episodes. For folks who are really, really savvy about the financial angle of every move they make, I'm not seeing the upside on this one....

Listen to yourself. You are just playing into their hands.

Roya I ever knew was one I went to high school with. Wow that there are other people with that name!

Tara Bahrampour, who wrote the story on Roya Hakakian, reports that she looks like her photos and is on the taller side and quite willowy.

Finish this sentence: If these two kids can't make it....

...then maybe they should look for non-actors/musicians to marry? Maybe someone with a more normal life?

That Kim Kardashian had a reputation to HURT. And I saw a clip of their New York escapade, with her in the bubble bath -- who wears spackle on their face while bathing? Oh, my bad -- that was makeup!

Sigh. I know you think you're resisting, but you are actually succumbing to the lure of this show. These shows are designed to make you say, "Look at HER! What is the deal with THAT? OMG!" Don't fall for it.

So I'm at a professional meeting with hard-core agricultural scientists, and one of them mentions the Kardashians. I think it is pretty scary that the Ks have penetrated this far, even unto the academic halls of the Midwest.

They're like pet rocks or game shows....every fad has a moment where otherwise sensible people find themselves somehow touched/aware of the subject.

I'm wondering if we can do a poll or something here to determine how many of your readers care the least bit about the word of rappers because it seems like every few weeks or so you have an item about some rapper named " L'il" something or other and I'm betting your readers know Li'l Abner more than we know about any L'il Rapper.

Who exactly is the reader in your head? Do you really think the many Kardashian analysts in this chat are familiar with a comic strip that's been out of the papers for 35 years? It's a big tent here. The column is designed for you to graze, to pick and choose what you want. Sort of like the entire paper. 

I was reading too quickly and for a second thought you said that Bush had 41 tattoos... Now that would be something worth noting.

Well, I can't say for sure that he doesn't.

I think there's no way Romney has one, way too upper crust and all that. But Rick Perry, he I can see. Maybe a Confederate flag, or more likely the Texas State flag.

The A&M yell leader? Oh yeah. I bet he's at least considered a tattoo at some point in his life.

O, Reliable Source, are there any upcoming local athlete marriages? I don't know much about whom the Nats (for example) are dating, but Tyler Clippards girl friend (I've seen her picture) is gorgeous, and she did go to the All Star game with his parents. . .

The Nats -- they're so opaque, aren't they? However, I was thrilled to learn recently that Ryan Zimmerman's girlfriend is an avid tweeter, so we'll have to keep a closer eye on her.

Rich Little is lame!

I hate to take sides here, but indeed, Rich Little's 2007 routine was very lame.

Adter 72 days, do they get to keep the gifts? Or is it just that the people who were taking advantage of the full year to get a gift, they were the big winners here?

Yes, that's why I'm always so late in sending wedding presents. Because, hey, why don't we wait and see if this thing takes?

Do you know what, if anything, is going on with OJ and Nicole Simpson's two children? Did they live with their dad or with their maternal grandparents? Attend college? Have careers?

Don't know what they are up to now but the kids are grown up: Sydney is 26, Justin is 23.  O.J. is still in prison serving his sentence for armed robbery. 

Can we have some over-under action on (1) when we will learn the names of the two women who had settlements with the NRA over Cain's behavior, and (2) whether they have made the Reliable Source in another capacity. I think we'll know their names by 9 pm Friday night.

I bet we will learn their names before long, but I'm guessing they will not be people you've heard of before. I was struck by the revelation that one of the woman received a payout of $35K, or one year's salary, which suggests we're talking about someone who was depressingly lower-level.

Herman Cain and his accusers

I just signed an engagement card -- "may your marriage last longer than an Armenian sex tape star's" -- is it too soon?

Never too soon for a Kardashian joke ---which is almost a redundant phrase.

With all of the hubub about Herman Cain's possible sexual harassment of employees while at the NRA, is there any other news about when he lived in this area - e.g., where did he live, was his wife here too, etc.?

Good questions -- thanks. Will look into that.

I always want to call him "Lou Grant", ever since that Friends episode when Chandler confused Hugh and Lou Grant. That said, when are these guys going to learn to use a condom or perhaps get a vasectomy?

Oh, but didn't you read? He's so happy to be a father! Very happy! Amicable! Friendly! Supportive! It's all cool.

Why on earth would anyone have ever been allowed to remake The Longest Yard? Adam Sandler is the worst.

Why is this coming up now -- were you recently stuck watching this on a budget flight or something?

Oddly enough I saw more twenty-somethings and thirty-somethings dressed up this Halloween then elementary school children.

I take it you live in the city?

I'm so confused. For days I thought that others footed the $10 million bill for the Most Anticipated Wedding Evar, and that Kim Kardashian and her soon-to-be-ex made $17 million on top of that from television rights and various other things. Now her mom is saying it is all bunk. They didn't make any money and they paid for the wedding themselves. Any idea which report is correct?

Let's see what makes more sense: That sponsors would happily paid to jump on the Kardashian gravy train or that the family would pay for everything and not profit from the event? Yeah, thought so.

Republican former cabinet secretary George Shultz, an alumnus of Princeton, reportedly has a Princeton Tiger tattooed on his derriere!

That one, by all accounts, is true.

Amy : Sorry but some of the things you say in jest lately strike me as a bit creepy and insensitive like this latest thing about the towers crashing on 9/11. Nothing funny about that ...ever. I suggest a bit of R&R somewhere sunny might be in order.

Did you see the video? I would raise that complaint with the people who made that video. Of course no one enjoys that. That is my point exactly. 

He's from Ottawa and has thought well of his hometown. The Rich Little Premie ward at the Ottawa Civic Hospital is named after him.

No doubt he is a wonderful man, who has done some great work in his career. But he failed to bring it at the 2007 WHCA.

(and I even know Li'l Sebastien from "Parks & Rec:). So, do I get some kind of prize? Or do I just get to acknowledge that I'm well-rounded in pop culture. And, don't worry, Original Li'l Abner poster, I promise to stay off your lawn.

No prize---just the satisfaction of a job well done. But be nice to the Li'l Abner fans out there.

I have it on questionable authority that Mitt Romney has a L'il Abner tattoo but I can't tell you where...

Sure it's a tattoo?

I was watching Homeland and they kept talking about Truxton Circle. I googled it, not knowing where the heck Truxton Circle was. Turns out, I live in Truxton Circle. Does anyone else actually talk about this neighborhood that way?

I do like that show and its Washington touches, but I do think it would be a bit more realistic if, the next time someone drops casual reference to "a place on Truxton Circle," someone else said, "where's that?" Ditto "Bryden University."

It's the beauty or the tragedy of this whole Kardashian thing that I've never seen a single episode of any of their shows, yet I feel that I am fluent in whatever Pop Cesspool Culture language in which we are conversing today. It's almost as if there's no use fighting it -- it's everywhere and you will be assimilated. How long before the Kardashians get their own network, like Oprah?

Isn't it amazing how we all learn about this stuff via osmosis these days?

OK, I'll defend him. At least, he appears to have stepped up to the plate by acknowleding paternity and making financial provision for the child. Lots of other male celebrities do far far less in the same situation.

Another reason why it's tough to be a celebrity hound dog.

Never too late to question why Adam Sander wanted to destroy America with a bad remake of a great movie.

I hope this comes up in the debates.

Actually, those were elementary school children dressed up as adults.

Kids grow up so fast these days.

Google "King George V and tattoos" and apparently he a bunch as did his cousin, Russian Czar Nicholas II. Back in the day, when young men of the royal, noblity and upper classes did a "Grand Tour" after finishing school but before marriage, they often went to Southeast Asia and got tattoos.

Thank you for outlining the rest of my day's activities.

Who is she again?

She's this one -- the one Hank Stuever finds so annoying. America disagrees, however: Her new show has been fairly successful.

For 2 reasons -- (1) there's a schadenfruede element that pulls me in with the gravity of a thousand black holes, and (2) I'm hoping that someday, somehow, I might be treated to an explanation of how exactly the Kardashian scam empire was created and sustained, so that I can start to learn to hate Bernie Madoff slightly less.

No scam when it comes to the Kardashians:  Somehow, they've convinced America to buy what they're selling. We can only blame all the people willing to buy/pay/contribute to their multi-millionaire dollar empire. This is a question of taste (or lack thereof), not fraud.



Definitely Herman Cain. He is somewhat of a rebel. I can maybe see a tramp stamp on his back.

Or a tramp on his front. Bada-boom!

but I have not met one single person who "likes" the Kardashians. Does ANYONE like these people? I think not. I feel sorry for Kim. She'll probably never find true love and have kids like she claims she wants...

There's a cost to selling your life.

It's worth noting that brain space taken up by the Kardashians is brain space not devoted to contemplating global climate change, youth unemployment, money in politics, etc. Wrapped up in our snuggies, we enjoy katching up with the Kardashians while Rome burns. Depressing actually.

Well, we could argue about this forever. If it weren't for the Kardashians, it would be something else to distract those viewers, right?

Yes, I've seen the Kim K-Ray J tape, and, while the cinematography may have been professionally fake amateur (think Paranormal Activity 4 -- which is actually a set up for a pretty good joke itself), well, let's just say that the performances themselves were very sub-standard and, well, boring, which I would think is probably the second-worst critique one could give a celebrity sex tape.

Thanks for the review.

when did you see George Schultz's derriere?

Planty of times----properly covered in pants. Never seen the tattoo, but have been assured the Princeton Tiger roars.

and all I had to do was have a few margaritas and go to a creepy tattoo parlor to get a tattoo I'll probably regret for the rest of my life. Dear 20-year-old self, lower back tattoos are harder to explain at 33... sigh.

What is it?? Show us!!!

They stayed married ten times as long as Kim K.

Not to get all mathlete on you, but I think they were actually married 12 times longer.

I really wish that everyone would just stop buying those celebrity magazines and stop watching those shows. Just think of how much time and money go into supporting the whole celebrity thing. I admit there is a certain fascination to it, but I refuse to spend any time or money keeping up. I just hear about Kim's divorce because of other shows, such as the Today show. You can't escape it! But, us regular people shouldn't be supporting these celebrity life-styles.

A ha! Hit the nail on the head. If everyone stops buying the magazines when they're on teh cover or stops watching the shows, they fade into Kate Gosselin-like  obscurity. (Where is she now? Who cares?) And then we'll move onto some other Hollywood obsession.

And with that piece of completely obvious advice, we'll wrap up today's chat. Send your sightings and tips to Stay warm and don't eat too much left-over Halloween candy. Next week, same time.


In This Chat
Reliable Source
Washington Post columnists Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts discuss your favorite gossip, celebrity sightings and their recent columns.

Send us tips at; bookmark us at Reliable Source and follow us at
Recent Chats
  • Next: