The Reliable Source Live

Apr 25, 2012

Washington Post columnist Amy Argetsinger was online Wednesday, April 25, at noon ET to discuss your favorite gossip, celebrity sightings and their recent columns.

Past Reliable Source chats

Hello, and welcome back to another edition of the Reliable Source Wednesday live chat. Recent topics from our column: 


Ted Nugent’s showdown with the Secret Service unfolds peaceably, and since you're wondering, who is Ted Nugent anyway?


Just as we proclaim the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner celebrity guest list to be hopelessly safe and politically correct, guess who decides to show up? Lindsay Lohan.


Celebvocate Noah Wyle gets arrested in D.C., Clooney-style.


VIPs line up for the Hitchens memorial service and the Edwards trial.


Ted Leonsis has a new summer place, and Chef Geoff no longer has a speed cam to worry about.


Other stories that weren't ours but were most interesting: Romney adviser Richard Grenell faces backlash from right because he's gay, backlash from left because of snarky tweets. . . . Why Andrew Young helped John Edwards cover up affair: "I wanted my friend to become president because a lot of benefits go along with that.". . . .Gannett CEO sues next-door neighbor for building a tree-leveling mega-mega-mansion. . . Wizards/Caps co-owner Raul Fernandez is no longer casting a vote or writing a check for Obama. . . . Virginia hoops star washed out of college basketball but now plays Larry Bird on Broadway . . .


Other things on your mind? Or whatever else is on your mind — bring us your questions.

Does Paul Rudd have a date? I might be able to fit him in if he looks as good as I suspect he does in a tux.

I don't know if repeat WHCA dinner guest Paul Rudd is bringing his wife of nine years this year, but fyi, she exists.

I always thought Michaele was the resident lunatic, but apparently Tareq is the mastermind of all their schemes. She's not much better, but at least she got away from him. He has no integrity whatsoever.

"Apparently"? Watch out: If you've got firsthand knowledge to say who did what, you may be called to testify in one of the many Salahi-related court cases that will occupy the rest of our lives.

Tareq Salahi is running for governor of Virginia? How can we make these people just. Go. Away?

Tareq Salahi *says* he is running for governor of Virginia, and TMZ decided that was a story, and I guess a million clicks can't be wrong.

My personally history with this event was that I never heard of it until 2006 when a friend handed their laptop and insisted I watch Stephen Colbert's routine. I laughed so hard I didn't even noticed that nobody in the room was so I didn't get the bad reviews. Stil, wondering as WHCD turns into more and more of celeb feast, will it just implode in on itself.

I wonder that to. There's an utter meaninglessness to the whole thing; it has nothing to do with Washington or journalism or anything.  It's just another Emmys Night or Super Bowl Weekend now.

That might be the only honest thing he's said about this whole sad sorry affair. Thoughts?

Caution. Andrew Young, who is under oath, claims Edwards said it. But that's different from hearing that term from Edwards himself. (If he really said that, more proof for the old adage never to have sex with someone crazier than you.) But I think we've got a doozy of a trial going on. 

Maybe it's just me, but Sort of how you read about famous people in 1912 and you never heard of them, I don't see this long lasting legacy for Christopher Hitchens. Seems he was just such a personality and that he personally knew so many famous people, but that fades away.

Not to get all philosophical, but -- it all fades away for everyone. I was thinking similar thoughts last night when I caught the first half of "Funny Girl" on TCM. You know, there was a time -- almost 50 years ago now -- when someone decided, "hey, we should do a Broadway musical about the life of legendary Fanny Brice!" She was a very big deal in the first half of the last century -- but raise your hand if you know what she was famous for, other than being the subject of a Barbra Streisand movie you might be too young to remember anyway. 

 So Jay Leno was on "Meet the Press" talking about how Republicans are better at laughing at themselves then Democrats. It's his opinion and obviously got some experience in that.  But then I remember an article by your WaPo colleague Paul Farhi. Farhi was pointing out that during that whole uproar over a joke about Bristol Palin by David Letterman, Jay Leno had made an even cruder joke about Bristol Palin and he had made more jokes about Bristol Palin then Letterman, yet Sarah Palin was not only completely quiet on those jokes, she later appeared as a guest on Jay Leno's show. Not trying to rehash that one issue (Letterman apologized, Palin supporters organzied a "Fire Dave" rally with 14 protesters and 37 members of the press went to), but still think Paul Farhi brought up an interesting point.

We are lucky enough to sit next to Paul Farhi, and we can vouch that he brings up interesting points every day.

Did you watch Veep? I was SO disappointed! Decidedly UNfunny. The xx x language was so forced .... and thus almost childish. I'm not a prude - find Chris Rock hilarious, and he uses twice as many f-bombs - but this was a disaster. Aside from a few on-target Bidenisms, it was really bad!

Oh, really? It cracked me up. I kind of agree about the f-bombs, which didn't feel entirely natural. And yet it both evoked the smarminess of so many self-important Hill folk and the cravenness of office life everywhere -- it felt pretty on target.

Any chance Amy is still looking for a date?

Nice of you to ask, but I have to scrap for a single ticket every year myself; don't have any extras to hand out.

Is his daughter Cate pregenant? I thought she looked it in the picture that ran with Tuesday's column. I'm just thinking how fun it will be for Cate's child and Cate's half-sister/her dad's love child to grow up together.

Not that we know of. Could just be what she was wearing.

Is Lindsay Lohan looking for a date?

No, she's already bringing her defense attorney. Which, you know -- never a bad idea.

Can we slow jam today's chat, the way Obama was slow jammin' the news with Jimmy Fallon?

I already type....too....slow.

Hey, did you know there was still a Republican nomination race going on? Me neither. I really miss Callista. However, apparently Romney has hired snarky Richard Grenell, who seems to have made a career out of making catty comments, to liven things up. Grenell has asked the question about Callista I've often wondered: Does her hair snap on? When my daughter saw a picture of her for the first time, she said, "Her hair looks like the hair on those little Lego people."

I'm sorry you told us that. You may have ruined your daughter's chances for taking on a high-profile role in the Romney campaign.


Richard Grenell, besieged from both sides

Read that current White House Press Secretary Jay Carney grew up in Northern Virginia, but just wondering what is his hometown?

Don't know exactly -- but for high school, he went north to New Jersey's Lawrenceville prep school.

I saw on the news this morning that the male half of the team is running for governor of Virginia. The male anchor of the morning show on Fox (Tony?) asked, "Can we agree just not to cover this?" and the female anchor (Alysson, I think) smiled wearily and said, no, they must cover it. Does this feel like purgatory to gossip columnists?

Saying, on air, that they probably shouldn't bother covering it IS covering it, in a world-weary sort of way. And democracy is a wonderful thing, isn't it? Wouldn't you love to see Tareq in one of those serious political debates?

Thought you might like this. I fricking hate that owl. Who gave him a calculator?

Are they still hiring people to put together photo galleries like that? Because Rox would be very good at that (if someone could help her with the html coding).

Two times in DC in one season. Do you think he might be the new Rob Lowe?

Rob Lowe on his very best day (and he can be very charming) can't touch George Clooney. Just the way it is. 

Is his house on the Potomac the same one you can see across the Potomac when hiking the Great Falls trail? It looks similar from the back as the front. It looks like there is a boat dock.

No idea, I'd have to get out on the trail with some photos and binoculars and, I don't know, a map and compass to tell you if it's one and the same. Be nice, don't stalk him.

Will the public make it through another 3 years of the Kardashians?

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. So. Over. Them. Even typing this is boring.

Surely you guys can uncover the names of some of the celebrities who called up the WHCA with "demands for transportation, hotels, entourage, etc.", right?

I kind of assume those are the VIPs who didn't end up coming to the WHCA dinner  -- once they realized it didn't work out that way.

There must be some real knock-outs for SS agents to put their careers at risk. I guess they all look like Sofia Vergara.

After 3 a.m., anyway.

 Just saw a trailer for another one with the guy in "War Horse" and Dakota Fanning and seems Dakota has got a awful case of Ali McGraw's Disease. In one of his film reviews, Roger Ebert wrote that the romantic love interest was another victim of Ali MacGraw's Disease (first identified many years ago in "Love Story"), which makes you more beautiful the sicker you get. (Link)  Have to note there is a heck of a lot of films (seems even more recently) about these sad victims of Ali McGraw's Disease. Where is Jerry Lewis to do a telethon?

Don't be hating because they're beautiful. But it's a flawed strategy: You only get Oscars if you gain weight or de-glam for the part.

Do people whole live in a 6000 sq ft house really get to complain that their neighbor plans to build a 25000 sq ft house? Unless they have 10 or 12 kids and need the room they are just as objectionable as their Versailles imititating neighbors. I didn't think that drawing really looked much like Versailles anyway. There are plenty of gawdawful enormous houses out in that area already.

The rich are very different from you and me.

My sympathy for her knows no bounds. I hope she is getting all the support she needs, especially if that sorry excuse of a father goes to prison for any length of time.

She's got a great husband and lots of family friends. But this must be a terrible time for the whole family, and the only person to blame for it is her father.

How is he running for governor of Virginia? Doesn't he know it takes money to run for office in this country?

Not that much. Lots of PR bang for an application fee -- although I don't think he's even paid that yet.

Totally get you point. I'm thinking of it more like I was just watching a special since 2012 marks the bicentennial of the birth of Charles Dickens. Dickens had tons of writing peers who were famous, some even more famous then him during his lifetime, but Charles Dickens is the one getting the bicentennial of his birth marked. Feel that the coverage of Christopher Hitchens is actually like he is that class of celebrity, but I'm not buying it.

Without debating the merits of his work versus other people's work, I think a lot of the coverage about Hitchens reflected the fact that he was an extremely vivid character -- something I'm all in favor of. Also, he drew a lot of new fans in his final years because he was so open and candid about the process of dying.

Okay seriously that photo of you two on the column is starting to remind me of Ann landers when she had the same photo from the '50's on her column for like 30 years. It may be nice to feel forever young but dang ladies I want to know who I'm chatting with.

Me, but older. Saw a woman recently with so much Botox it scared the hell out of me. Which is why I have wrinkles.

What's the difference between these two dinners?

Gridiron Club -- a smallish-group of senior journalists that exists basically for the same of its dinner -- puts on a much smaller and more elite event than the WHCA. Also: It involves hokey song parodies. And: It's not televised.


OMG! I thought the same thing about his daughter but did not want to ask since no woman wants to be asked if they are pregnant if they are not!

Don't think she's pregnant and she's been under a lot of stress. 'Nuf said.

I thought it was hilarious. And reminded me of how every date I went on with a Hill staffer in my 20s went badly. Pretty spot on of a lot of them. The whole "the President said hi to me two times in the hall" thing was hilarious.

Being a young Hill staffer is like all those waiters in LA trying to break into show business. Lousy pay, long hours and a whiff of desperation.

Suppose every member of the media who routinely gets invited to the WHCD got to vote by secret ballot: A) Keep inviting celebrities, but also be forced to share the spotlight on what should be their night, or B) Ban celebrities and free up more press invites, but have the event be much less exciting. Which would win?

I have no idea. I'd be very curious to know. I know that the White House Correspondents' Association itself has no quibble about the Hollywood slant the evening has taken -- it has made the dinner a hotter ticket. However, I also know that there are some White House correspondents who no longer get to go to it. . . . . If I had a vote, which I wouldn't, I'd argue for splitting it down the middle -- dramatically reducing the number of celebrities. They certainly decorate the place and make for interesting conversation pieces. But I no longer get to meet interesting Washington people at these things because they're so largely squeezed out of it. And when you have this many celebrities, they end up hanging out with each other and talking only to each other.

Poor Jay Carney. Nobody at WaPo ever asked him what's his hometown?

All I know is that I haven't had a chance to ask him in the 20 minutes since someone else asked this -- nor did I have time to research more deeply than Wikipedia. I'm sorry for that, but you know, sometimes you people are SO DEMANDING.

What's she up to, anyway, these days? Are she and Johnny still a thing? Ugh, remember that awful picture she took with the stuffed animals?

Hard to know for sure ---going public with a romance wouldn't help his cause right now ---but it appears they are civil and see each other during visits, but the heat has cooled. We'll get a better sense after the trial if he walks.

Or lose a bunch of weight, as Tom Hanks did for "Philadelphia" to simulate his character dying of AIDS.

Or Adrian Brody did in "The Pianist."


That's awesome, in a sick kind of way.

Have you ever met one of these agents? Didn't want to ask if you had an encounter because that would sound bad. Were you surprised at what has gone down since the Colombia trip? I had this view of them as squeaky clean, Boy Scout types, talking into their wristbands, sort of like Kevin Costner in The Bodyguard or Clint Eastwood in In the Line of Fire?.

Yes, I think that's why everyone was surprised -- because these agents seem to have such a squeaky-clean, straight-and-narrow demeanor. And I still assume that's the case for most of them. But what do I know.

First Clooney, then Noah Wylie. Who's next Eriq LaSalle ?

We're keeping a close eye on Anthony Edwards.

Cate Edwards is an adult, has a family, and the memories of her life with her parents while they were together. The one I REALLY REALLY feel sorry is the poor toddler who is the child of Rielle Hunter and John Edwards. She has about zero chance of a normal life right now. Eventually, she is going to find out everything, and it will be devastating for her.

Yes, it's not a good situation to grow up in.

Those of us on Obama's reelection campaign email list know that if you donate money sometime soon, you are entered into a contest to join Obama and George Clooney for dinner. At Clooney's house in Los Angeles. Yes, that's right. DINNER WITH CLOONEY. Where's my checkbook?

Right next to your lottery tickets. Can't win if you don't play.

Hi! We're huge Nats fans. Any fun facts you've uncovered about any of the players recently?

Why, yes indeed! Ryan Zimmerman just popped the question to his girlfriend of two years. Michael Morse is engaged. John Lannan  got married a couple months ago.  And Chien-Ming Wang cheated on his wife two years ago! Thanks for asking.

I was never a fan of his, but his VF columns about dying were some of the most vivid and brutally honest accounts of dealing with cancer I have ever read. I admired his willingness to reveal so much.

Those were very compelling columns.

What I don't understand is why Edwards needed any sort of "campaign contributions" or "slush fund" to deal with Ms. Hunter. I understood that his net worth was in the tens of millions of dollars. Couldn't he just find a way to dip into his own assets?

Not without his wife finding out. At least that was the explanation back then. We're talking about some serious money, not petty change. Rielle, according to Andrew Young, had expensive taste.

Why is he dragging his daughter with him anyway? I actually sent him money when he ran the first time. I want it back.

It's not uncommon for family members to accompany defendants to court as a show of support.

Is Megan Fox now pregnant?

Yes, I know I saw headlines about that yesterday that I didn't click on. So, congratulations to Megan and David Silver!

I feel like there is a big difference pre-2006 and post-2006 when Stephen Colbert, hate it (folks in DC) or love it (the rest of us), went "viral."

I think the big turning point was the following year, when Sheryl Crow got into it with Karl Rove.

Clooney just gets better with age. I remember when he had a guest role on "Sisters" as Sela Ward's cop beau. Eventually they killed him off and, presto, he appeared in this new tv show called "ER." Anyway, in "Sisters" he was cute but dorky. And now.....sigh.

Hope he doesn't get an eye job like Robert Redford in 10 years or so. Big Mistake.

Was saddened with the death of Dick Clark.

That's kind of sweet. "Bandstand" fan?

If she is seventy, how old does that make the rest of us? How old is James Brolin? Why do women get older and men get better looking (Brolin)?

James Brolin is 71, according to the same source that told me what prep school Jay Carney went to.

(Wikipedia had no answer for the following question -- but that's not always the case. Go to a college reunion and you'll see that aging is not a fair process and it does not break predictably down gender lines.)

Baby Snooks. (I'm under 60, but I listen to Ed Walker's Big Broadcast on WAMU on Sunday nights. Plays lots of old time radio.)

We have an answer! Thanks so much.

is a euphemism for something?

I can think of a lot of things, none of them compliments.

It didn't work for Christian Bale in The Machinist!

But it kind of worked for him in "The Fighter." He was all gaunt and strung-out in that one.

Thought the President was really funny on Jimmy Fallon

I conked out before he came on.

That's so wrong it's right.


Hi Amy! Do u still like to watch Chopped on FN? What do u think of the All Stars going on right now? Cant wait for the finale :)

I only dip into it now and then, and am never sure if I'm seeing a new one or a re-run . . . didn't realize they're now doing a series of shows about the contestants. That's probably too much for me to invest in. Sorry!

I saw that min-rant on Jay Carney's hometown so figured "I'll save the day and find it." Actually can't find it anywhere using the Google so guess that puts me in my place. Appreciate you two all the more.

Hang on, I'm going into Nexis for this one. Doing what I can to make you people happy.

Any gossip for us?

Yeah! I went to the game last Thursday and I sat up in the 400 level, and there was an awesome fight between a Bruins fan and a Caps fan!

Sheryl Crow? Really? Agree with the idea of Stephen Colbert making it a bit more "relevent."

The question, I thought, was when was the turning point when this became such a Hollywood Celebrity Happening.

Whats unclear to me is if these two fools are still together? (other than him paying child support). Wasn't there a rumor going around that once his wife died, they would marry and he said he would get Dave MAtthews to play the wedding?

If that was ever true, doesn't seem to be the plan now. But like I said, this isn't the time for either of them to show off. Better to sit quietly and hope his expensive lawyers win the day ---THEN we'll see.

It didn't crack me up either. However, the show Scandal has grown on me. It definitely is heating up.

"Scandal" is hands-down the funniest show on TV. A total laugh riot.

His dad, Nick Clooney, still looks darn good! (Although I suspect George's mom has had too much "work" done on her face).

Nick is a silver fox. Good genes, there.

Now that I think about it, the f-bombs did seem kinda forced. But I still howled. Particularly like the "everyone is looking down at their blackberrys (blackberries?) all the time" touch

Yes! They totally nailed the BlackBerry Hunch.

So now People has proclaimed her to be "the most beautiful woman in the world." She's OK, wouldn't call her most beautiful. I just don't get all the adulation heaped on her. I bet 50 years from now people will know Diana Ross' music (and other Motown stars), but if you asked me today to name a Beyonce song, I couldn't do it.

She's very pretty, but you can't take this as anything more than an excuse to sell magazines.

Why on earth did he take so long to step down? I think he just ruined his chances of being asked to be Romney's running mate.

You're kidding, right? You know who was never going to be Romney's running mate? (Besides Tareq Salahi and myself?) Newt Gingrich.

Democrat, Republican, or Independent?

I'm so disappointed in the journalism standards of TMZ that they didn't ask that question.

Of course he could just keep using pictures from six years ago like some people I know...

Daggers! But, unlike Redford, our jobs aren't dependent on how we look in old pictures. Thank goodness.

Is that the same David Silver from 90210 back in the day? What's their couple name? The Silver Fox?

haha. Yes, indeed, she's married to everyone's favorite 90210 cast member, Brian Austin Green, who is now very sinewy and tattooed.

It's the Holocaust angle that gets them the Oscars. You ever seen Kate Winslett when she was on Extras? She was playing a nun during WWII, and during her break she explains this: "Schindler's bloody List."  (Link)

Another reason to love her and Ricky Gervais.

Like the idea of splitting the difference. Allow each person to invite one frivolous guest and one "serious" guest. So you could have Megan Fox and Alan Greenspan. Or Jonah Hill and Joyce Carol Oates.

I'm tired of them all. There's a reason I don't live in Hollywood.


Libertarians believe there should be no government restrictions on what parties you can get into, right?

maybe he's figuring that it might bring the Mrs. back if he's a governor. After all, you can be a rock groupie for just so long.

You underestimate groupies. Plus, rock stars are hanging on for decades these days.

Chatters, must end this for today. Lots of celebs clanking around town this weekend---send your tips, sightings and  other intel to Cheers!


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Washington Post columnists Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts discuss your favorite gossip, celebrity sightings and their recent columns.

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