The Reliable Source Live

Apr 04, 2012

Washington Post columnist Amy Argetsinger was online Wednesday, April 4, at noon ET to discuss your favorite gossip, celebrity sightings and their recent columns.

Past Reliable Source chats

Hello, and welcome to April. The computer is a little balky this morning, so I'll put out the links as they occur to me. But first, did you have Kentucky at the top of your bracket? Because Kentucky did very well this year in the Reliable Source 2012 Tournament.


Send us some questions, and I'll send you some more links.

Ladies, you will never lack for things to write about. I never heard of either Dominique Strauss-Kahn or John Friend until allegations involving sex came to light. What does that tell you? Maybe I don't keep up with the news enough, LOL.

Everyone here of course is familiar with Mr. DSK. But if you haven't already read it, please do catch up with Manuel Roig-Franzia's story about John Friend and the latest sex scandal enveloping the yoga community.

Just in case you weren't already aware, Washington, D.C.-born and Potomac, Md.-raised actor Ben Feldman has joined the cast of AMC "Mad Men" Season Five.

Yes, the local chapter of Mad Men Nation has been pelting me with that information this week. (I'm afraid the link above doesn't work and I don't seem to have the power to fix it today.)

I love the idea of the Gossip Bracket, but just wish it were more interactive! Is there a reason why you don't make it so that people could vote online from the beginning? I always see the bracket in the paper, already filled in, and then a couple days later the "results." Who's voting? Why can't I? I love George Clooney, too!

It's always been kind of informal -- we post the bracket sometime during March Madness. This year we got to it late, and picked the Final Four based on buzz factors. In past years we've done it earlier; in every case, readers send their picks to our Reliable Source e-mail. Sounds like you'd like us to do it earlier next year? 

I know neither of you watch "Mad Men," but I kind of miss that there isn't anybody in TV writing online world that doesn't like this show. Sure some didn't like it, but they reviewed Season One and that's about it. Feel that it's so over praised that really wish that somebody, not everybody or even a majority, just somebody who is professional writer would take it down.

Hank Stuever has been solidly "meh" on the topic of "Mad Men." He wrote last week that "The show exasperates me, even bores me sometimes, and yet it is always difficult to look away. It’s my least favorite TV series that I never miss an episode of." And Daniel Mendelsohn absolutely excoriated the show last year. It's an enjoyable read for those of you who also don't get what the big deal is. 

Is she here this week? Is it something we did wrong?

She's back!

Do you know why Jim Vance keeps doing the sports report?

I don't know, but I'm all for it. The more Jim Vance, the better. I wish CNN would have hired him to replace Larry King.

I'm very disappointed in him. It seems very mid-life crisis-y to me. (OK, so I'm a middle aged lawyer who's had a crush on him on and off for over 20 years.) The fact that she's closer in age to his daughter than she is to him - major squick factor. I guess what really bothers me is the knowledge that a 28 year old yoga teacher will probably be invited to the White House before I will. I just have to remind myself of all of his idiotic statements and actions over the years, and realize that he's sort of a jerk.

Things to take comfort in:

1. If it is his mid-life crisis, it probably won't last that long and he'll be available again in a couple years.

2. Based on his marriage to Kim Basinger (no prize either), he's not the World's Greatest Husband ot father.  He's probably a great casual boyfriend; not so great 24-7.

3. There are easier ways to get to the White House -- donate to a great cause, etc, etc. I was covering a state dinner years ago and was struck by the number of couples who I KNEW had miserable marriages -- but stayed together so they'd get invited to state dinners, etc. Seems like too high a price to pay. 

Can anyone help us think of anything offensive about Wayne Brady?  No? Anyway, that's who the RTCA picked to replace overly-controversial Louis C.K. at their annual gala. . . . . Oh, and that story about Anna Chapman seducing a cabinet secretary? Only in your dreams. . . . Also: Levi Johnston will become a dad, again. . .

How excited are you for the next Anchorman movie?

About as excited as I was for Hangover 2.

Did you see the photo of Obama with the lady who played Uhura? Its pretty awesome.

Wasn't that a Letterman gag? "Obama, Uhura. Uhura, Obama."

Was Sarah trying out for morning TV knowing her days at Fox News are numbered?

Who knows? I watched a few minutes before realizing I was getting a Palin stump speech stretched out in bits and pieces over an hour of morning fluff. There's not enough coffee in the world for that at 8 am.

The mysterious car accident involving Gary Sinise. . . .  Famous male actors celebrate midlife with new wives, new babies . . . . Ann Romney's plan to "unzip" the real Mitt.

Most experienced news hire for NBC News in awhile?

Sarah Palin is not the child of a famous person, and she has actual broadcast news experience, so I don't know how well she's going to fit in there.

You highlighted Wayne Brady today and made reference to his sold-out show. Why did the Post style section not have any feature article or review of his 3-night show with NSO? He's a huge talent and deserved much more attention than he got which was a piece in RANT only

There was another story and photo in advance of the concert, in addition to "The Rant." I don't know what the decision was about reviewing -- I don't even know for sure that there *wasn't* a review -- but you know how it is: Big city, lots of concerts in any given week, limited newspages to cover them all in.

have you read the latest book by Arlen sSector "Life among the Canibbals"? He really has a problem with fat people, he calls Ted Kennedy a beached whale and says a former Senator needed three massage tables. Lucky you're thin.

Because he's a paragon of physical perfection? Choppy waters there, buddy. There's a real debate about health issues and body weight, and then there's just cheap shots.  I always worry when anyone feels superior about something so superficial.

Did we ever get to the bottom of Roxanne's unexplained absence last week when she off somewhere drinking champagne and feasting on caviar at noon ?

I've learned not to ask questions.

He smiles too much.

Yeah. Hate that.

Finally saw it last night, and I just want to know one thing: am I a perv if, as a 36 year old woman, I though Peeta was totally hot?

Haven't seen it -- reading the book first. The actor is *almost* 20, if that makes you feel better.

Okay, maybe not. Hangover 2 was the film I walked out on last year ("Life is too short," I muttered to myself). I saw it in Brazil (subtitled) and the theatre was filled mainly with young teenagers (well, they looked dang young to me). A more offensive movie I hadn't seen in years.

I didn't see it. Sequels don't hold a lot of allure for me.

Is Good Friday a Reliable Source holiday?

It is not. Neither is Easter.

You see that the 930 Club has rescheduled last year's Willie Nelson concert? What was the seven month hold-up?

Honestly, I'll believe that concert is happening when it happens. He canceled the last show about an hour before showtime.

Would Romney really select as his running mate the only person in America with better hair than he has?

Have we ever had a vice president with a prominent widow's peak? We're going to have to do some more reporting on this.

My DVR isn't working, how did the Flash Forward finale work out?

Don't ask me: I'm still waiting on the big series-ending reveal for "The Nine."

When you write about Mr.Clooney"s, " made for the cameras arrest ", at the Sudanese embassy is that because George has no commitment or because the D.C. police ( known the world over for their charm and politeness ) didn't tase and beat him senseless ?

Neither. It's because the arrest was organized for maximum media exposure: Clooney and Co. researched exactly what would get them arrested (standing on private property of the embassy),  then worked in advance with lawyers and the police as to how the event would go down. There wasn't an unscripted moment that day -- and still the media went nuts. The cause is not silly, but I thought the reaction to the stunt was.

New in town, could you help me figure out what "Nostalgic British food" is?

It's a sandwich made of pork crackling, bangers and marmite.

... who should Mitt pick as his vp choice?

I'd put money on a woman -- tons of coverage, plus appeals to women voters who haven't warmed up to Romney.

This whole thing is so weird. I don't really understand how this rumor started. If Figulizzi never said it, where did this come from?

I think that Figulizzi said something much vaguer, probably alluding to the fact that one of the spies was making progress in making friends with folks in the social/professional circle of a cabinet secretary. But it gave the London newspapers an excuse to run more photos of Anna Chapman, and who can fault them?

You're only *reading* the first book now? How is it you are not totally engrossed in it? How did you take time away from the book to go to work?

It's okay, and I'm about halfway throught. It's a brisk read,  but I'm not engrossed.

When the Trayvon Martin case first became public, this seemed to be a case that transcended race & politics. In fact, a Washington Post/ABC News poll found that 75% of Americans thought Zimmerman should be arrested. NOW, a new story says Republicans are tired of the media coverage but Democrats are not. The same holds true for black and white people, respectively. When did this case become partisan and race-based? It seemed to become partisan when the "Stand Your Ground" laws came under attack and race-based when the Daily Caller released pictures showing Trayvon with a gold tooth and flipping a bird; which it turns out, wasn't Trayvon after all...(the Daily Caller apologized). What are your thoughts? Would you agree?

All I'm going to say is that I'm a little creeped out to see cable-news anchors and bloggers on both sides of the issue try to turn this into an episode of "CSI."

Mentioning area connections to "it" TV shows, isn't Shirley MacLaine, who is guest starring in the upcoming Season Three of "Downton Abbey," from Arlington, Va. or am wrong about that? (Link)

You are correct, but come on, fanboy -- that's the lamest way to try to turn the conversation around to Downton.

this is the truest statement ever in your chat. When I'm especially angry at work, I find the videos of him and George Michael laughing at stories, and it cheers me right up!


Um, some of us realized that ol' Alec was "sort of a jerk" some months and even years ago, such as when he called his daughter "a pig" or when he inconvenienced an entire planeload of passengers so that he could continue to play a game on his telephone, just as a few examples. I know he's a darling of Hollywood because he's an outspoken leftie, but really, it's just camouflage for a class-A jerk.

There are hundreds of class-A jerks in show business, and the successful ones get a lot (too much, if yiou ask me) of slack. But being married to one is quite different. I kind of fell sorry for the yoga teacher right now, who probably thinks he'll be different when it comes to her. And jerks are never different, especially when things don't go their way.

Are 10,000 Maniacs still touring?

Yes, but it's been hard times. Just this week they had to lay off 2,000.

So what happens when he is dragged off the House floor in his hoodie? Is there like a Capitol jail where they send him? Or is the punishment nothing more than crossing the threshold off the House floor?

I think it's a simple "sir, you'll have to leave now."

Has anyone else seen the new segment they're doing called Vance's View or something? It's Jim ranting about a topic of his choosing and feels so much like an SNL skit. I LOVE it. If only George Michael were still around to encourage him while Doreen rolls her eyes at the two of them.

Is this for real? Then I will definitely start watching every night.

Ever noticed how much Congressman Paul Ryan and the character of Gabe on the American version of "The Office" look alike?

I hadn't, but others have, apparently. You know what Gabe is missing? A game-changing widow's peak.

I'm as liberal as all get out, and I do not understand the appeal of this guy. He's undoubtedly going to "fall up" and land another gig. Why, oh why, do some of these guys just never make room for actual new talent?

Keith is talented and as smart as a whip ---and a jerk, according to plenty of folks who had the bad luck to work for/with him. The Current officials were pretty honest about what a pain he became and he's used up a lot of good will over the years, so I'm less convinced a network will take him and his baggage on. Maybe he'll go back to sports? 

Anybody else remember Wayne Brady's appearance on Dave Chappelle's show? The joke was that he acted like a thug in real life, but everybody loves hiim so he never got in trouble (the cop said "Wayne Brady! My mother loves you on TV!")

Yes! It's pretty good (we linked to it in the Wayne Brady story), but the best part is when he repeats the joke about himself: "So I make Bryant Gumbel look like Malcolm X, huh?"

There seem to be a lot of yoga references popping up in your bits today ? Is yoga trending and does this mean I might be in better shape if I put my right foot behind my left ear ?

Flexibility is always a plus.

Speaking of Bobby Rush, did you see our rundown of other great moments in congressional dress code flouting?


If John Randolph were still alive, we would be writing about him every week.

Is it just me, or does everyone else wish twitter were around at the time of the Titanic? I was just wordering what they would be tweeting during the ship's passage.

Sir, you are in luck. Titanic RealTime Twitter. Captain says "Still a lot of interior fitting to be done. The B-Deck suites, a la carte restaurant and the Café Parisien all need improvements."

So some equally creepy lady came forward saying that her son actually has the winning Maryland ticket but doesn't want to come forward yet because he wants to lead a normal life a little bit longer. Sure. Don't you think that the press should not cover these weirdos until someone actually puts up and cashes the ticket?

Fat chance when you're talking about millions of dollars. Anyone who actually holds a winning ticket needs to shut up, secure the winning ticket in a safety deposit box, and hire a lawyer and accountant ---then figure out the best/safest way to claim the winnings. Don't blame the press for covering the largest jackpot in history -- or anyone who claims a piece of it.

Now that they're back in town (well, technically they're in Chicago, but they'll be back after the road trip), how about some news? I have some. John Lannan & his new Mrs. Lannan (only 4 months married) are on their way to Syracuse.

Aw, poor John Lannan. Though Syracuse is lovely this time of year. (Actually, it's not.) BTW, here's his wedding story.


But here's some nice news: Jayson  Werth has moved his family to Virginia, becoming only the third National to make his year-round home in the D.C. area, reports Adam Kilgore.

There is nothing on Youtube with that name. So people, please, for the love of god, if anyone has recorded clips of it, please put it on Youtube. This will change my life -- but in a good way.


Why is the picture on the twitter for Reliable Sources so awful?

Because it's a picture of me, duh. Gotta work with what you've got.

I finally got around to visiting the American Art/Portrait gallery and thought it marvelous. My absolutely favorite thing though, the massive, massive painting of LL Cool J, made all the more awesome by the note: "painting lent by LL Cool J".

What?!? I did not know about this! Just found an image, though.

I promise it's real: Link  Here, he's complaining about how people dress. Best. Thing. Ever.

Oh, thank you.

Are you print snobs looking down at online journalism and bloggers?

Snobs? Yes, if you define demanding ethical and truthful reporting ---which you can find in print, online and in blogs ---as being a snob. What bothers me are the people who don't do the work (calling sources, checking facts) and pass off rumor and misinformation as journalism. It's not. If that makes me a snob, so be it.

You are assembling a whole pantheon of Men We Love But Would Not Marry. Who else?

Olbermann, really? Didn't know he was in anyone's pantheon.

Keith Olbermann's complaint that CurrentTV didn't invest into making "Countdown" more high production value seems a bit hollow when CurrentTV is also paying him five million dollars. Why wasn't KO himself investing in his own show?

I find this entire debate mystifying. Is CurrentTV something on my TV? I get a lot of channels and I've never been able to find it.

I did not see Sarah Palin on the "Today" show as I have better things to do at that time in the morning (such as sleeping), but she did get some good reviews (but not from your paper). (Link)

Palin has always had charisma, but I didn't think it translated to morning TV. But it was a fine way to get attention for ....well, whatever reason she wants attention right now.

It seems like you despise 99% of popular TV shows/books/movies. What do you LIKE?

"Mad Men" now comprises 99 percent of popular TV shows/books/movies? And I don't even despise it -- but like the vast majority of Americans, I haven't managed to get hooked on it. . . Me, I prefer to hang out in my ivory tower with my effete friends, watching "The Walking Dead," "American Idol," and anything where Kiefer Sutherland shoots people in the kneecap.

"And jerks are never different, especially when things don't go their way" When people ask me why I don't change, I'll just say that Roxanne said I never will.

I'm not saying you can't change. But if the past is a good predictor of future actions, then a middle-aged, lifelong jerk like Baldwin is probably going to continue being a jerk. Of course, anyone can (and does) change -- but I won't put money on it. I once read that in relationships, it's smarter to believe you're not the exception to the rule. People in love always want to think it will be diffrent this time --and it usually isn't.

Is that different from the show A Current Affair, starring Shirley Povich's kid and Jane Pauley's replacement in the 1980s?

I was hoping you could tell me.

Who is next to hire him? Sees ideal for the Politico TV that I keep reading about.


In brief defense of Alec Baldwin, Kim Basinger seems a little out there too. Of course, with any divorced couple with kids, it really is unfair to pretend that we know anything about them and what they are like behind closed doors, isn't it?

It is unfair to assume we know what they're really like. It's perfectly fair to pretend that we know what they're really like, for the purpose of entertaining ourselves.

Oh, God, maybe it was an unofficial tryout for Ann Curry's job. Rumor is that Matt Lauer is not thrilled with Curry and wants her gone. He seemed really gushy with Palin over the few minutes I watched before tuning into GMA.

If all the insider gossip about Curry is true, her days as a co-host are numbered. But I seriously doubt Palin will be her replacement.

I read in the Star that J.Lo's wedding to the future ex-Mr. Lopez was happening any moment. Any word?

Hmm, doubtful, but she is overdue for a wedding, isn't she?

My big question about this has gone unanswered. Why are neighborhood watch people walking around with guns? They aren't cops.

It's Florida, Jake, forget it. . .

I am hoping to get a print of the Big Daddy Kane painting to hang in my study. Thanks for linking to it.

If they're smart, they're offering that in the gift shop.

Mentioning Twitter during the sinking of the Titanic (RIP ~1,500 souls), The Onion did a piece about what would happen when you live-tweat a disaster Needless to say, it's awesome.

Look forward to watching.

Does not seem like someone who would suffer fools gladly, yet she has worked for six years with Alec Baldwin and Tracey Morgan, both of whom are viewed as jerks in the wider world. So she has a tolerance level or they aren't as bad as they appear to be?

They may be perfect for what she wants on the show -- they are both very talent comic actors -- and slightly less jerky to her because she's the boss. The real test of jerks is not how they treat higher ups, it's how they treat the little people.


Apparently, according to the online savy kids over here, the online shorthand for "Handsomecratic" congressional candidate Joseph Patrick Kennedy III is JPK3.

You mean, "Kennedy 4.0" isn't catching on?

Who? Michele Bachmann? Susana Martinez? Nikki Haley?

I saw an interview with Haley on "Nightline" last  night---very charming, tough, conservative. SWORE she wouldn't consider the veep spot because of her promise to SC voters---which is what a politican always says. (See Rubio, Marco.) And don't forget Condi Rice.

Mad Men v. Breaking Bad v. DVD of Lost. I am told I need to watch all of these shows, and my life is too short. Which should I dive into?

I enjoyed "Lost," watched every episode of it, was not personally offended by the inevitably lame, backed-into-a-corner conclusion -- but I don't know if I would urge anyone to start with it from the beginning. That's, like, 100 hours. I've heard good things about "Breaking Bad" --  and since Hank's suggestion that one *could* pick it up from the start of season 4 did not work for me, I may yet go back and start that from the beginning. "Mad Men" I tried and, while I didn't not like it, I couldn't get motivated to stay with it. Other people will advise you otherwise, of course.  Have you tried "The Wire"? Only one I can strongly recommend.

Yeah Amy, I definitely would not let him into my pantheon.

A girl's gotta be choosy about who she lets cross the threshhold of her pantheon.

What's your feeling about when bigwigs get interviewed by little kids for some elementary school journalism program? (Link)

Wait a minute. That's no average grade-schooler. That's a grade-schooler who seems to be implying that she has her own cable-access show. We'll all be working for her soon enough, if MSNBC doesn't hire her first.

Thought it was just a publicity stunt to draw attention from Katie Couric being a host on rival GMA?

You say "publicity stunt" like it's a bad thing.

That would pretty cruel to replace her so soon. It's like she would be demoted on national tv.

Yeah, but maybe it was a mistake to give her the job in the first place. She's lovely and a very nice person, but I don't think the co-host gig is a good fit. NBC has a big summer ahead with the 2012 Olympics, but I'm curious what will happen in the fall.

to the person who sent in "Vance's View." You've just made my freaking day!!


Limbaugh, Palin, Olbermann, Maher

Oh, do we have to limit it to four?

Have you read anything about pulitzer prize winning editorial page editor of the Oregonian who was found dead and the Oregonian failed to mention (apparently while editors knew) that he had been with a 23 year old "professional lady" and so ran a story that was intentionally misleading about the circumstances. The thing about this is, sometimes I think these stories make a lot of press because the the press has a habit of over-representing the importance of other press members. The Pulitzers get way too much publicity and a lot of media member deaths get way to much coverage compared to others.

Yes, I agree.

to veep position. Doesn't have any interest in the campaigning. Which shows she's too sensible to be in office, also.

Everybody says no, no, no until they make the "difficult decision" to serve their country. I never believe any of the denials until the process is over.

barf. Today show would totally kill their audience. A one-day spike in viewership is expected when it's a novelty/train-wreck. Letting her drone on without limits? A whole different phenomenon...

I'm guessing plenty of "Today" viewers (and NBC execs) agree with you.

Bet you were joking about Joe Kennedy 4.0, but the Boston Herald calls him Joe Kennedy 3.0 all the time.  Needless to say, the Herald aren't fans of him.

But he's the vanguard of the Fourth Generation Kennedys.

Al Gore?

You've got me staring at photos, and I'm not entirely sure that's enough of a widow's peak to count.

I like that "Vote Romney and Some Lady" joke. It does feel that there is a "Some Lady" or "Some Latino" vibe to the way pundits talk about potential running mates.

Because "Vote Romney and Another Stiff White Guy" doesn't gin up much buzz.

She's biding her time until NFL commissioner position becomes available.

I know. She's a dreamer.

A friend of mine calls him "Eddie Munster," and now I can't see him any other way.

"Vote Romney and Eddie Munster." Catchy.

Okay, enough fun for today. There's a column to write -- send your tips, sightings and other intel to Have a great Passover or Easter, and we'll talk next week.


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: