The Reliable Source Live

Nov 13, 2013

Washington Post columnists Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts were online Wednesday, November 13, at noon ET to discuss your favorite gossip, celebrity sightings and their recent columns.

Past Reliable Source chats

Hello and welcome back to the Reliable Source web chat. Joining us today is the clever and capable Emily Yahr, whom some of you may know as the TV writer and longtime Lisa de Moraes sidekick, who more recently has been helping Roxanne with The Reliable Source while I've been off doing other random stuff. At least I think she's joining us. Pending some technical difficulties. . .


Meanwhile, here's what's been on the radar lately:


How did Jimmy Kimmel’s China joke become an issue for the White House?


Speaking of which, Idris Elba drops by the White House for a screening of his new Nelson Mandela biopic


Sam Donaldson’s drunken driving case was dismissed, and you’ll never guess why.


Scalia and Kagan took another hunting trip.


Bill Cosby was effortlessly charming at the Thurgood Marshall College Fund Gala, until he had to meet a Redskins player.


Amy Robach revealed she had breast cancer, and only found out after participating in a cancer awareness segment for “Good Morning America.”


Also: After the painful loss last Thursday, RGIII turned up at the W Hotel. . . Miriam Judd’s letters reveal the loneliness of being a congressional wife. . .  Seth MacFarlane is a science geek. . .  Elizabeth Vargas checks into rehab. . .  The FCC fines Conan O’Brien’s network $25,000 using emergency alert signals in a promo hyping Jack Black. . .  Levi Johnston files for equal custody of 4-year-old Tripp. . . And meet Terry McAuliffe’s wife and five kids!


Plus, breaking now on Al Kamen's embassy beat: Tina Turner relinquishes her U.S. citizenship in Switzerland.


Richard Cohen defends a controversial op-ed.


And apropos of nothing, who knew you could lock yourself inside a gym bag? Do not try this at home!


Looking forward to your questions.

Don't tell my husband! Forget Thor--Loki is Da Bomb! And I just bought the first season of Wallender, which stars Kenneth Branagh, and TH plays one of his assistants with his natural blonde wavy hair. I still love Tyler Moore and Tyler Clippard, but there's room in my heart for all three of them.

He also played F. Scott Fitzgerald in "Midnight in Paris." . . . By the way, I appreciate the way you slip in a Tyler Clippard reference so that we know, "Oh, it's the Nats fan girl!"

So, whatshername is claiming that Levi whatever owes her $66,000 in child support. (First off, he would owe it to her child, not her). But, for a lone 4-year old child, that is an outrageously high amount of monthly support. And, that is assuming he has never made a single payment. I call bull.

That has to be a total of back payments owed, not monthy support. Wonder what happened to Bristol's TV money?

Prayers to Amy and hope she makes it!!

Let's hope so. Her surgery is tommorrow; in her announcement, she said she didn't know what stage the cancer was in or if it had spread.

She is living in Switzerland, speaks fluent German, and is giving up her US citizenship. But I want to know what she sings at Oktoberfest. Is it "Take Me Home (Country Roads)", "Sweet Caroline", some other catchy tune, or all of the above?

Now that we're onto the German taste for rousing singalongs, I'm guessing they probably could turn "River Deep Mountain High" into an Oktoberfest touchstone.

If you could take a week vacation anywhere right now, what would be the first destination that comes to mind?

Trick question, because I'd be tempted by so many different options: A warm beach and good book, London or Paris for the food and culture, Vegas --- but I need sleep and I wouldn't get enough. Also depends who's paying. 

Appropriate for a date or too serious?

Haven't seen it, but was told it's too serious for a casual date.

You gotta love how that poster couldn't even bring herself to write Bristol Palin's name. The total amount over four years comes to a monthly payment of $1375, which probably includes statutory interest on the missed back payments. Hey, kids are expensive.

Maybe grandma's new book royalties can help.

Do you ever check out his late show? He fawns over many of his female guests and they often reciprocate. It's the most sexually charged of all the late shows. All in good humor of course.

I used to watch it much more in my insomnia days. The entire show is so loose and loopy -- that magical "it's 12:30 p.m. and no one is watching" vibe. I like it.

I do enjoy his incessant weirdness. Like that awesome rattle snake mug someone brought him a gift and he just kept it on his desk. He doesn't seem like he's trying too hard (i.e. Conan) and he's just naturally bizarre -- it's a gift.

Last week, we talked about marriages between political opposites; this week, we try to handle how two people with such vastly different political views can maintain a good friendship and even be around each other with loaded weapons! Let the questions of "how can he/she tolerate her/him?" begin!

Something I learned several years ago -- when we wrote about the Supreme Court getting together for a movie date, watching "Red River" at the Library of Congress -- is that the justices are friends. Which makes sense. They're at a unique level of fame and prominence -- who else could they possibly relate to? It's like the revelation that John Lennon and Ringo Starr were best buds, hanging out all the time in the '60s -- we think of them as being so difference, but who else could relate to being a Beatle?

Or do you think "Proud Mary" would be a better Oktoberfest song?


Anyone, thanks to whomever gave me license to start spending work hours browsing through vintage music videos. One of the nice parts of my job. Every now and then I like to do things nice. But we never do anything nice and easy. You see? Because we like to do it nice and rough.

Am I reading the Donaldson story correctly, that he hasn't denied (or admitted) being drunk while driving?

Never got to that point in the court case -- the judge ruled the officer has reason to pull him over because his was partially driving on the shoulder. But there were so many errors and omissions in the incident report that the case was dismissed based on that. Never got to the question of his breathalizer results. And Sam's not addressing the question. 

Back to the topic of who to take to "12 Years a Slave". . . our colleague Veronica Toney had an interesting essay last week wondering why her white friends all want her to go see it with them.

Good on you, Amy. That is excellent preparation for parenthood.

Eight years of crybabies in the column was good preparation, if you ask me.

Wow, who knew she was even still alive? could a that have been an accident?? WHY would he padlock himself in a duffel bag on purpose if he was all alone? I am no conspiracy theorist, but it smells awfully fishy.

Oh, you think? Read the story; they're thinking this might have been some kind of solo sex game, working out  some kind of clautrophilia. Or maybe that's just WHAT THEY WANT US to think. Either way: Don't try it, okay?

Does Mrs. McAuliffe work, or do you know what kind of work she did?

I believe she has a law degree but I don't think she's a practicing lawyer. Raising five kids kept her pretty busy.

I wrote in last week about how awesome it is. Well, I am even learning about our fair city. Did you know there is a East Farragut Metro Station?

That is good to know! I'm assuming it's right next to the giant park that "Homeland" tried to make us believe was Farragut Square. Also, I'm glad "Blacklist" is doing well, because its timeslot rival "Hostages" is just so boring.

I was watching last week's episode and I am starting to think they might not actually film that show in Washington.

Based on what this time? They should just go more the route of "Scandal" and not even pretend to have any relationship to Washington. "Homeland" trips itself up by trying too hard, namedropping "Ivy City" or "Truxton Circle" -- you know, places that actually exist here, but which don't get namedropped that way -- or suddenly trying to tell us that Carrie's Fairlington-ish suburban apartment is in "Adams Morgan." It's too bad, because otherwise, the Charlotte suburbs do a perfectly good job of resembling the D.C. suburbs. . . What snapped me out of last week's episode was the revelation that a key scene had happened in "Bethesda," and I was like, "Nuh-huh! That I-270 exit number you gave was more like Clarksburg than Bethesda!" And then I thought, I need to get a life.

I read the article. What intelligent person (or dumb one, for that matter) would LOCK themselves in a bag? Zip it maybe if you are...whatever you are. But padlock it? I think not.

I guess what I want to know is, did he have a plan for getting himself out? Or was someone else supposed to come along and do that?

Please tell me you've seen SBC's antics when accepting an award at some BAFTA gala in LA. I'm not usually a fan of his schtick but this one I found hilarious. The instant reaction in the room is priceless.

Here it is for those who missed. I think it's getting harder for him to pull off these pranks, but there is a delicious moment up front where people clearly don't know whether to laugh or not.

Usually I think these are dumb and serve no purpose, but the emergency alert system is annoying for a reason, so I think Conan got what he had coming.

Late night comedians are like smart 12-year-olds who think everything they do is hilarious. Without moms to give them the look.

His bizarreness comes from being Scottish. We're an odd people, and we like it.

We like that about you.

Is so hot, but I feel weird going to see the Mandela movie with that attitude. Suggestions?

Give Mandela credit for being hot when he was younger. See? No conflict.

Is everyone away from their computers huddled around open fireplaces trying to escape our seasonal reacquaintance with chilly Arctic air?

It's picking up now. I will never understand why you all act like a bunch of middle schoolers at a dance during the top of the hour, clinging to the walls and afraid to talk to anyone.

is dating a 19 year old? Isn't he 40? yuck.

THAT'S what made you decide he was yucky? Late to game, my friend.

I like on the Blacklist how you can drive to Baltimore from downtown in 15 minutes. DURING RUSH HOUR.

Oh, is that set in D.C.? I had no idea. But here's Hank's review.  It took me 4o minutes to get to the Kennedy Center last night, which is about a mile and a half away.

Is this why they suggest you not touch abandoned luggage, but call the authorities? Because there might be a dead spy inside?

Or some other random claustrophiliac. I guess so!

Aaaaah, there's a long tradition of Hollywood messing up DC geography. (Probably other cities too, I bet.) You really can't get mad about it; you just have to turn it into a drinking game. "Hey, that's Gaithersburg, not Anacostia! DRINK!"

I actually really liked when all the reality shows were in D.C. and we got to see real-life places being hyped up -- like this really exciting restaurant that the "Real World D.C." cast went to was...the Buca di Beppo near Dupont. And they spent every night at Tom Tom.

For calling out the crybabies in the column, but not in the chat.

There are no crybabies in the chat because we run them off.

Son Jack certainly looks like his uncle JFK, Jr.

Here's a photo from the swearing-in that has everyone talking about the resemblance.


And just posted: Roxanne's story from the post-swearing-in reception at the Japanese embassy. . .

Caroline Kennedy: The new ambassador to Japan celebrates happy chapter in her life

To fix their flubs on DC-based shows and movies

Oh, they don't care.

Seeing If/Then -- and she was looking at her phone most of the time, which was incredibly rude and annoying. And I'm on her side! I didn't know it was Pelosi until I saw the item yesterday, but saw security come whisk them away during the curtain call. There were other, just as rude, "glows" in the dark as people checked their phones (really? you can't live without it until intermission or until the end of the show?) Could have been Mr. Pelosi, but the glow from that row was constant. I'm sure if we had declared war on someone, the Secret Service agent could have tapped her on the arm and let her know. If you can't enjoy live theatre (VIP or not) without your phone, then please, do the rest of us a favor and stay home.

Aside from that, how was the show?

Television has had a blissfully optimistic view of Washington, DC traffic and location since The X-Files. Mulder was able to commute between his apartment in Alexandria and FBI HQ in about 10 minutes. I always thought that was the most unbelievable part of the show, never mind the aliens.

It's the fantasy segments of EVERY show and movie based in D.C. Crazy that they never get it right.

Is that near the outdoor metal detectors across the street from the White House that Kerry Washington is waved through on her way to stop in on the president in Scandal?

Oh, most definitely. Speaking of fake D.C. geography, I'm still mad at the person who ruined "The American President" for me by pointing out that the adorable "stuck in Dupont Circle" banter didn't make any sense considering Sydney was headed to Capitol Hill.

How do you even tell if he's drunk? He always acts/talks like he's on something, IMHO.

Sam has always had a flair for the dramatic. Doesn't mean he wasn't sober.

I keep hoping for a crossover episode where Olivia ends up on Homeland of Carrie on Scandal, you know the way that Ross from Friends would end up on Mad About You or Magnum PI showed up in an episode of Simon and Simon.

That would be amazing. It's not like "Homeland" is that much more realistic than "Scandal" these days. And maybe Carrie could borrow one of Olivia's pretty trench coats. Meanwhile, anyone else have these questions about this season of "Homeland"?

His being friends with justices who are on the left is nothing new. He and Ruth Bader Ginsburg are very close. Their families vacation together, attend the opera, spend new year's eve together, etc. He and his wife have been reportedly very helpful since Justice Ginsburg's husband's death. They are just people, after all.

I applaud the maturity it takes to disagree intellectually and still respect each other as colleagues.

And thought the first two episodes were AWESOME and they seemed to get a lot of the elements of DC right - like houses on the hill are NARROW. Is it filmed here?

No, sorry, it's filmed in Baltimore. . . .

I had just read a troubling news item this morning that Paramount is developing a TV show based on the Swayze/Demi Moore classic Ghost. This was Swayze here. Is nothing sacred? It there anybody alive who can step into the Swayze shoes?

Oh, hell, why not? I suggest they go with Josh Lucas, the go-to guy for being the TV version of the movie guy. Anyone else have any better ideas?

Is there amy hazing at the Reliable Source as Amy leaves and others are brought in?

No hazing. I expect dark chocolate as a sign of respect.

I've been hazing Roxanne for eight years, and my reign of terror is now at an end.

Kristen Bell and Dax Sheppard.

Agreed, and especially after reading Kristen Bell's very reasonable and surprisingly normal answer about why they're not sharing pictures of their new baby daughter. (Because she's not a public figure. You would think more celebrity parents would think the same way.)

If you want a Tina Turner song that was more popular in Europe than the US, and that would sound best with an accordion and a tuba, I think the choice is clearly "River Deep Mountain High." Or, as they would call it over there, "Fluss tief, berg hoch."

I've just spent way too much time looking for a YouTube version of "Fuss tief, berg hoch."

You all know he's in Thor and Thor 2, don't you? Of course I was too busy looking at Tom to notice. . .

I didn't know this. Why does no one talk about this?

Needs work but has promise. The singing was phenomenal -- and not just Idina Menzel!

Good to know, thanks.

They will have to find a new bad guy too, with Tony Goldwyn already working these days.

Acting as badly as he can over at "Scandal." He may be an even less likely president than David Palmer's unimpressive younger brother.

NCIS ischock full of geography boners. Last night they went "over" to Quantico from DC in about 15 minutes and apparently the Falls Church police have worldwide arrest powers. Did you know there's a Chevy Chase Village in Falls Church?

That sounds awesome.

Criminal Minds is another one that always gets me... if they are working out of the FBI at Quantico, why do they all live in DC? And one time they flew their jet from DC to Baltimore. i guess that's possible, just not very realistic.

Would certainly help you make it there in 15 minutes during rush hour, though.

"Magnum PI showed up in an episode of Simon and Simon." -Incorrect. Simon and Simon showed up on an episode of Magnum prior to being spun off into their own series.

You guys want to take this outside?

Appears to have gone to the Marion Barry school of political career management.

Oh, but Marion Barry handled it so much better. . .

I live in Fairlington, when I explain where I live to people - I always say close to Shirlington. I didn't know Fairlington was that well known to be named dropped in a WP chat about Homeland.

I grew up in Alexandria, so my points of reference may be a little arcane.

They kind of care... at least with certain flubs, because back when I was a kid, my parents (both Navy officers) would receive rough cuts of JAG and were asked to point out errors in uniforms, protocols, etc.

I think that's true, but these trafffic bits are always wrong to preserve the drama of the stories. Can't race to save someone in a traffic jam.

My favorite spin on this is the British version where they basically say, "Well, he's Welsh so he probably did weird stuff."

Can I buy a vowel?

Anytime the media writes another story about a controversial Richard Cohen column about marriage, shouldn't they be obligated to mention that Cohen had an infamous affair with Peter Jennings' wife?

Kids these days don't know that history. I wish People magazine still covered stuff like that.

Is when they go from DC to Norfolk in an hour.

On Sunday morning, with a really fast car?

Zac Efron having his jaw wired shut. Good for his career or no ?

It was great for Kanye's career. But his career wasn't based on a pretty face. Whatever: It sounds painful. 

Any relation to star of 1980s movies, Leaf Phoenix?

One and the same!

A standard military-style duffle bag (no zippers) has a link and a grommet on the outside for a padlock. I can't even visualize how you could lock yourself inside. Are there any pictures of how this is supposed to have happened?

I'm sure you could try to Google something, but maybe wait til you get home.

Seriously? Why would anyone want to stalk him? His ego is big enough as it is.

It is so sad there aren't cameras to capture the madness seems to be happening in the courtroom -- the New York Daily News and the sketch artist did a pretty good job, though.

I just don't understand how somebody with no diplomatic experience can be made ambassador to a major ally like Japan. Does she even speak Japanese? I know that both parties do this to reward major fund-raisers, but it would seem to belittle the country itself. Wouldn't a major trade partner and world power want somebody with more experience and little more diplomatic heft? Or is the theory that career foreign service diplomats do all the heavy lifting and the ambassador is just a pretty face (male or female)?

Non-career types get named to major countries all the time. Part of the theory is that these people are actually close enough to call the president and have him pick up, and part is that the staff in these embassies are the ones who have the working knowlege on important issues and will advise/brief the ambassador.

If they can make a stage musical out of it, why not a TV show?

How did I forget about that? And with music by Dave Stewart of Eurythmics. Looks like they skirted controversy by casting non-famous people.

Does anyone else object to duck hunting being refered to as "sport" ? If you arm the ducks then maybe, but otherwise it amounts to murder.

It's their sport. Not my cup of tea.

It is a true tragedy that Chris Farley is no longer with us, because he would make an EXCELLENT cameo as this buffoon on SNL.


"Blacklist" had an actual DC Police car in Monday's National Airport. *head shake*


Last night I saw Penny Marshall and Cindy Williams guest star on a Nickelodeon show, "Sam and Kat." At first I was happy they were alive and working. Then I got a closer look and I am reconsidering that thought.

Yikes, what are you saying -- that you wish they were dead? Or that they were barely working?

maybe it's all an elaborate plot for Bryan Cranston to get another Emmy for the final season of Breaking Bad??? Essentially remove Damian whatshisface from the "lead actor" category?

Ohh Emmy conspiracies...definitely a possibility. And a neat trick by Damian Lewis, especially if he's getting paid for a whole season.

Magnum did indeed appear on an episode of Simon and Simon. You may recall that since the shows ran back to back, there was a two-part crossover in October 1982 that started with Magnum at 8 and finished with Simon & Simon at 9. So they both appeared on the other's show.

Just don't get me involved, okay?

And, Japan in particularly, expects a "name" ambassador as a matter of protocol. These embassy's aren't po-dunk operations and there are plenty of people around who do the heavy lifting. An ambassador of a country like this is as much as social ambassador as a diplomatic ambassador.


The Japanese were actually very worried that the President WOULDN'T appoint a big name to the position.

Yes, they have a history of high profile names in that job. 

Can we talk about SofA and Jax? I just started watching the series on Netflix (thought it was on a couple of seasons - had no idea it has been on since 2008!) Oh that Charlie Hunnam/Jax is a brooding hottie.

Would you have taken him more or less seriously if he had stayed Christian Grey in the '50 Shades' movie? Speaking of which, here's the guy they found the replace him, pictured with Dakota Johnson for the first time.

No way will Cranston get the Emmy. It's Spader all the way! He is amazing.

That's right, Spader will be in the race this year. Network shows have trouble in the drama category, though, so he'll really have to kick the creepiness up a notch.

I didn't know about the stage show. How did they handle the scene where Demi is getting physical with her boyfriend Patrick Swayze, who is inhabiting the body of Whoopi Goldberg? That scene killed any romance the movie had for me. Also, what is the scoop on Elizabeth Vargas? Usually checking into rehab is preceded by some well publicized embarrassing incident.

The national tour of "Ghost: The Musical" kicks off this week -- want to roadtrip to Durham or East Lansing to see for ourselves?


No more scoop on Elizabeth Vargas. I think some celebrities are perfectly capable of realizing on their own that they have a problem to work on, without agents or the Los Angeles court system or Harvey Levin getting involved. Philip Seymour Hoffman did a similar quiet trip to rehab this year that he didn't acknowledge until he was out.

Yeah, I saw them on TV together on the Sam and Cat show too, I was going to explain to my 9 year old who they were, but I thought the better of it.

They're there for you parent viewers, not for your kids.

NCIS is also guilty of using "the" in reference to highway numbers. I live in Chesterfield, VA and laughed out loud at the references to "the 288." Also at the place they claimed were alongside it, none of which looked like anything within 3,000 miles. As to the Pelosi complainer -- maybe if you'd kept your eyes on the show, instead of the cell phone glow, you wouldn't have been nearly as annoyed. MYOB. Works wonders, my mother swears it does.

Oh, I can relate. The cellphone glow can't help but draw your eye.

when people bully the model on the healthcare plan website? That's just nuts.

Bullys rarely consider the facts before they act.

Do they have Reliable Source merchandise yet? I would love an umbrella....

Sweet to ask -- but not happening for this year's stocking stuffers. Besides, I think the Weather Gang has first dibs on umbrellas.

Chatters -- time to sign off for today. Much to do, never enough time. Send your thoughts and tips to Stay warm everyone.


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