The Washington Post

The Reliable Source Live

May 02, 2012

Washington Post columnist Amy Argetsinger was online Wednesday, May 2, at noon ET to discuss your favorite gossip, celebrity sightings and their recent columns.

Past Reliable Source chats

Good morning and welcome back to the Web chat. What's new? Well, Well, the White House Correspondents’ Asssociation dinner, duh. The dinner, the parties, the speeches, the fashion, the stars: George Clooney worked hard, Diane Keaton had fun, Lindsay Lohan made her plane. But the most elite party of all this week? A non-WHCD party at Antonin Scalia’s house.

Other stories: The final D.C. “Housewives” marriage breaks up, sadly. The longest showbiz pregnancy on record finally culminates with a baby. Hey, Bryce Harper! Hillary Clinton writing her own memes now. Cute TV news couple gets married. Washington socialite thrills Facebook with Demi-style maternity porrait. And the bizarre one-day scandal over the “Girls Gone Wild” Senate internship. Or whatever else is on your mind — bring us your questions.

Did Roxanne aim to get in the background of every picture I saw of George Clooney that was taken at the Vanity Fair party?

Ding ding ding -- you spotted her! Just rolling out our new "Where's Waldo?" like feature (we're calling it, "Wait, wait -- is that Roxanne Roberts?") that we hope will boost circulation.

Could she actually mix a drink? I mean, good to know about in the event the whole MSNBC thing falls through.

There was even more reporting done at the MSNBC bar than our story could fully reflect. On the first reporting sortie, we asked her to serve us whatever her best drink was. She was kind of busy so just handed over something without giving us the name, but it tasted like grapefruit and pixie sticks and yet better than that sounds. Later follow-up reporting determined she'd rather serve a shot and a beer. No complaints from our end.

Thought he was better than some of the past WHCD hosts

He was. But not nearly as good as Seth Meyers last year. And while Kimmel started off strong, he rambled on maybe 5 or 10 minutes too long, and did not save his strong material for last.

So who's your pick to win it all on "Dancing" this season: Vladimir Putin, Jessica Simpson or Charles Manson?

Vladimir Putin wins everything.

Hi Roxanne and Amy. Just curious if you checked out the somewhat controversial HBO's "Girls"?

No. Been meaning to, though, would really like to see it.  Been hindered by the fact that my main HBO source has no interest in watching this.

I have a starstruck kid who is also very shy and respectful, not yelling, pulling out the smartphone camera or visibly gawking, etc. She wanted to go down and hang around the Hilton and later as we walked back to the 'hood where French embassy party was happening, one TV celeb was walking toward us on the block and tipped her umbrella to cover her face, lest she be forced to say hello; again we weren't jumping up and down or predatory or anything, and no other fans on that block but us. The few other experiences she had were similar, not the gracious Clooney style that one hears about. She's a sincere and respectful fan, I repeat, and it felt like, no real place for her but to feel like a gawker/stalker. Anyway, I've never paid attention to this weekend hoopla before but her experience did make me think. If official Washington pays so much attention to this thing and we, the residents of DC deal with it in terms of streets blocked off, our lawmakers and journalists all in thrall to it, etc. it seems like the celebs could do a more public red carpet where fans could officially observe them and they could acknowledge fans, without having fans try to slip into the Hilton and hope they walk past and that they're halfway nice ....

No argument here: There's a level of meaninglessness and abstraction to this entire event that is hard to justify. But do bear in mind that most of who you think of as your lawmakers and journalists can't get a ticket themselves anyway.

Do you anticipate there will be a point at any time in the near future where this might collapse in on itself? Its kind of become a monstrosity.

The only thing that would end it is if the president said, "I'm done." But I don't think that will happen; there's no downside for the presidents, who usually get some charm mileage out of the televised speech.

Are the guests of the White House Correspondent's Dinner given their hotel rooms by their hosts? Do the hosts plan the guests' weekend? Is there any compensation to the guests?

Truth is, I can't give you exact details because, in past years, guests of the Washington Post lived here in DC and just showed up in time to join us for dinner. I imagine it's different for every news organization and celebrity guest: I've never heard of any being paid to attend the dinner, but it would not surprise me to find out the airfare, hotel rooms and car service are paid for by the hosts, as well as their seat at the dinner itself. The only specific thing required by the stars is to show up at their host-sponsored before or after-dinner parties; other than that, they're on their own.

Were we not provided with a photo of Daniel Dae Kim in a tux? Because he cleans up like nobodies business?

Let me see if I can find one for you.

Was there anything else known of her visit to town? Seen anywhere, or just flewin, went to the dinner, and went home? I assume she is now allowed to leave the state lines and doesn't have one of those ankle monitors on her anymore.

Her big appearances were at the Saturday morning brunch in Georgetown and then later at the dinner itself. She did not hit the after-party scene, and no other sightings of her emerged that we heard of.

Woody Harrelson seems like an awesome guy.

You know, depends the mood when you see him.  Woody was at his best, but I've heard bad Woody stories. I think every famous person has a certain amount of charisma --  they get extra credit when they're nice and extra grief when they're having a bad day in public. 

I gave to give him credit. We have known he was a horrible father for decades and he still gets press for talking about it. Good for him.

Do you ever hate-click on something? Like, yesterday, a friend sent me a link to Ryan O'Neal's interview on "Today," with the warning, "classy guy," and I thought, "Ugh, Ryan O'Neal! I can't stand it. I'm not going to click on it -- oh wait, yes I am." And then I'm glad I did because it was kind of hilarious. I can't tell whether he's truly an ogre or if he's executing a Speidi-caliber kind of performance art.

You guys making donations to the Salahi for Governor campaign?

I'm afraid that all those stories over the years inadvertantly count as in-kind donations.

I know there were lots of bold-faced names, but it sure seemed like the dinner and events were underwhelming. Yes, great that Clooney was there, but is all seemed rather dull. Where are the arguments with pop stars and under cabinet secretaries?

That's the problem nowadays: Fewer mashups with celebrities and politicians. Stars now cluster together and allow themselves to be stared at, or just talk to each other. The Great Clooney was an exception, which is one of the many reasons to love him. But yes---far less interesting than it used to be in years past. 

For some strange reason, I will give the Kardashians a pass, but Lindsay Lohan has no business being at the WHCD - I don't care whose guest she was.

Tell me, though -- who does have any business being at the WHCD? What are your criteria?

So it turns out my Mrs. Robinson Crush was at the same restaurant I was on Saturday. Had I seen Mr. Pattison, you two would have been the second people I contacted - after blasting the interaction on Facebook of course. When exactly was he there? It would make me feel better to know that I had already left by the time he arrived. Why was he in town?

R-Pattz was at the Majestic from about 10 p.m. Saturday to 1 a.m., and we still don't know why -- his flack never called us back.

Have you guys stopped collecting data on celebrity tips. It seems like forever since you had this. How much did LeBron tip for a bottle of Moet? I'm dying to know!

Happy to hear from a loyal, longtime reader---because the tipping schtick was Lloyd Grove's, who left this column and the Post in 2003. We write about celebs in restaurants, but not what they tip because sometime the tip comes from someone else in the party, not the star, and it's not fair to pin a bad tip on the wrong person.

Okay, who was looking for a photo of Daniel Dae Kim in a tux? Just added one to the blog, just for you, here.

I think I read that he has some terrible disease, so maybe he's trying to improve his karma and improve whatever legacy he might leave behind.

He also has a memoir to sell.

Was Diane Keaton (WHCD attendee) drunk when she appeared on Colbert (former host) on Monday? Sure seemed that way.

Didn't see her on the show---but could be her trademark slightly loopy personality. Seemed sober at the dinner.

Do you know what I loved the most about that photo: she actually wore her name tag! Unlike most celebs, who would just assume, on principle, you know who they were.

Oh, good catch! Yes, nice little detail. I'm not very impressed by celebrities anymore, and I know I'm supposed to be an impartial reporter -- but she was just incredibly cool and likeable and I want to be exactly like her when I grow up.

Quiet celebrities Debra Winger and John Mayer step back into spotlight

Did Uggie have a play date with Bo? Talk about an awesome campaign photo op!

Not that I know of. Bo didn't come to the dinner, and I don't think Uggie was invited to the White House. But I can tell you this: Uggie is one great dog, patient and well-trained. He was at Vanity Fair's afterparty until 2 a.m. where lots of people (including me) got to pet him; he was sweet as could be but tired (yawning by night's end.)

Just curious who were the FNC celebs. Doesn't it kind of "out" that person as a conservative?

Are the Kardashians conservatives? Do the Kardashians have politics?

In the not too distant future the Scots are going to vote for independence from the UK. Any chance Sean Connery ends up as ambassador to the US? (he's a bigtime Scottish nationalist)

That would probably be a step down for Connery at this point in his career. Would require going to a lot of receptions and ribbon-cuttings, etc.

Do Washington bureau reporters for non-national outlets (i.e. reporter for Denver Post or Indianapolis Star or wherever) get an invite? Seems weird to me that a bunch of press who are based in New York City get invites.

Yes, the Washington bureaus have their own tables or seats. When you see the New York media types, it's mostly TV anchors and what not.

I hope he does run. He would have to file financial disclosures!

Oh, please. Disaster upon disaster. I honestly don't think there's much of anything to disclose.

'Don't think she was drunk. This seemed to me to be her classy loopiness. I actually found it quite charming; she reminded me of my puppy dog. Colbert seemed pleasantly surprised by her level of loopiness. It's not often that a guest outshines him in this respect and I think he kind of liked it.

Good for her.

What restaurants do you think many of our local celebrities hang out at the most? My sister and BIL are coming for a visit and he works in the media business and has requested dinner at a restaurant that will offer the best chance of seeing a media or political personality. Thoughts?

Best places to spot a VIP: The Palm, Cafe Milano, Bourbon Steak at the Four Seasons, the restaurant at the Hay-Adams, the bars at the Ritz-Carltons, Fiola, maybe the W rooftop, the Oval Room, and definitely Rasika.

I'm a woman in her mid-50s, and I find HBO's Girls to be very, very depressing. How did we fail the latest generation of women that they ended up so lacking in self-respect yet with such an inflated sense of entitlement? And the most depressing thing is that, based on the recent college grads I see in my workplace, the characters are based in truth. Ugh.

I guess that's what's so compelling about the show, right?

Thank you!!! My how I miss the sexy men of Lost...

You are welcome.

Did you learn what's Jay Carney's hometown yet?

Sorry, no. It kind of slipped my mind.

Who checks who is to be let in? I am just envisioning someone reading down a list of names going "Clooney...Clooney, oh, yes, there's your name. You may enter."

No list of names ---but a tight rule on tickets. No ticket, no admission, even for some of the pre-dinner receptions. Lots of party crashers shut out this year.

Can we set up a date to get Mary and Rich back together? They were my favorite couple out of all the Housewives shows.

They were pretty good sports, weren't they? Always seemed to get the joke about being on a reality show.

What is that all about? Is the fad over? It's getting pretty silly - in a non-funny sort of way.

No, I'm sure someone else will soon come up with some other cutesy way to fetishize the secretary of state.

Did any of the relationships last?

None of the marriages you saw on that show have endured.

You know how Clooney just seems like he knows how to be a movie star, well, it seems like Bryce Harper is teaching people how to be a phenom baseball player. With playing softball on the Mall and heading to the Palm, he is what DC baseball has been lacking.

Plus that excellent new hair-do that all you guys will be wearing by September. I tell you, it's the new Cooley short-shorts.

Was Scott Disick -- Kourtney Kardashian's baby daddy in town -- this weekend? I thought I saw him standing outside the Churchill Hotel (across the street from the Hilton) this weekend talking with some man about when he was returning to NYC. This was before I consciously knew that Kim Kardashian and mother Kris were going to the White House Correspondents Dinner. Is it possible that the entire entourage travels together at all time? I checked pictures for the event and before- and after-parties (something I am also embarressed to admit that I do), but saw no sight of him. If it were him, he is actually better-looking and taller in person than he appears in reality-life (again something I am embarressed to notice).

Sorry, don't think it was him, just some other dude with slick-backed hair.

Some of the Nationals can be found at the Liberty Tavern; my daughter saw Ryan Zimmerman there.

Well, there you go.

at the correspondents dinner? Because I bet Peeta would look amazing in a tux.

Three "Hunger Games" stars were actually at the dinner: Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks and Peeta himself, Josh Hutcherson. Only saw Banks in the crush of celebs.

I think her loopiness is part of her appeal. It was cute to see her get star-struck at the WHCD by Colin Powell. Don't really get the hats though.

It's her thing. Whatever. But I thought her white fedora at a black-tie dinner was a bit much.

Born James Carney (1965-05-22) May 22, 1965 (age 46) Washington, D.C., U.S.

Sorry -- the original question was where in Northern Virginia did he grow up (you'll see this if you keep wiki-ing), city birthplace notwithstanding.

That is horrible to read about that tv star and that starstruck kid. Yes, I understand celebrities (like everybody else) want their privacy respected but they were going to a highly publicized event. The least that actress could have done was smiled at her fan. Some of these actors don't realize that they might not be that famous in five years, so they should be nice now or could end up on the Celebrity Apprentice seeking attention!

I've got mixed feelings about this. On the one hand -- yes, you should be grateful and gracious to the fans, they're the reason you exist. On the other hand -- I've seen the way these people get pawed and gawked at at the dinner, and I have no doubt it's kind of exhausting, and sometimes you just hope *not* to have to be recognized so that you don't have to be "on."

Ugh, he clings to Farrah Fawcett's memory and mentions her all the time. It makes me sick. I don't see or hear love for her, I hear him using her fame to make himself relevant. He is gross.

Oh, I'm sure he loved/still loves her, but it's all about him and probably always was. Men like that are exhausting.

Thank you for providing the perfect name for something I do every day (is that coinage yours or has it been around for a while and I just missed it?). Although I actually resisted the urge to click on a story about the Octomom being willing to do porn for cash. Had to draw the line somewhere.

I might have coined that just now, to be honest. However, it's sort of a derivation of  "hate-read," which has been going around the Internet for a few months at least now.

To the lady in her fifties, when baby bloomer start knocking girls, I do kind of hear that song "Talking about my generation" in my head. Every generation thinks the one that comes next is too spoiled and entitled. They're not, you're just old (harsh, but c'mon... you telling me how awful I am based on the year I was born).

"They're not, you're just old." Way to win the don't-label-me-by-my-age argument.  

Watch for yourselves since aware you're busy but it isn't a long interview: Link

Keaton is sort of acting as if Stephen Colbert just showed up at her door rather then being booked to promote her memoir. Maybe she just toke his off-camera advice a bit far: Link  (bonus of that video, Stephen Colbert and Sen. John Kerry discuss Colbert's bit at the WHCD and it's awesome)

Judge for yourself, people.

But the ambassador title is cool and lasts a lifetime, and to be the first from Scotland . . . he might get a kick out of it for a year or so.

Cooler than "Bond....James Bond." I think not. 

She did a PSA for a government agency on a serious disease. She insisted she didn't want a script, which I can tell you made for some serious nervousness on the part of the client and agency. But she simply talked off the top of her head, at great length, about how this disease was important to her because her beloved grandmother had died from it. She went into detail about why her grandmother was important to her, etc. When edited down to 29 seconds it was a marvelous and passionate piece and the longer form was even more impressive posted to the web. Diane Keaton has her own way of looking at the world and while it may be eccentric to some, it's not addled.

Another view.

The listing for her new, undoubtedly appalling show, raised the question: which is the Real Housewives "artistic" endeavours has been the lousiest? Her song was horrific and stupid, but there is a lot of competition.

Obviously, my expertise in this field is limited to the blessedly sparse artistic output of the D.C. "Housewives" -- but in that category, I think "Bump It" (which isn't terrible, you know?) may have finally been outdone by "Resonate."

Although that question does sound a bit naughty...

Good. And don't be turning cookies in something dirty because I ALWAYS try the cookies.

Maybe he was just as bored with George Clooney as the rest of us...

Those L.A. people stay up way too late for the rest of us.

Among the stars, only those celebvocates who really walk the walk -- i.e., Clooney and Michael J. Fox caliber.

Okay, we'll consider that.

From Rox's occasional cohort on public radio, Charlie Pierce: Link

The money quote "...a diorama of a courtier press corps..."

I love Charlie.

You know he's planning to incorporate a tiger into his final dance, right? That has to be a winner!

I think he'll have all his opponents poisoned anyway.

One of the people posting on the sports page said he looked like a "ferret was humping (sic!) the back of his head." Give me nice clean cut Ryan Zimmerman or Jordan Zimmerman or clean-cut but longer-haired (not too long though) Tyler Clippard (my Mrs. Robinson crush).

But you know who you're more likely to recognize on the street? Bryce Harper.

What celeb would you like as the WaPo date next year?

You know, enough with the celebrities. I think the tickets should go to the actual reporters who cover the White House. Too many of them got shut out by the glut of A, B and C-listers.

So, who at the Post has to watch it for the sake of journalism?

Ewwwww. Ewwwww. Ewwwww. Not me. Yuck.

The problem is labeling a generation based on life stage behaviors. I'm an X-er and we all were labeled directionless, slacker cynics... when we were 20. Isn't everyone a little directionless in their 20's? Especially when there's a recession? Maybe the low self-esteem & unearned entitlement has more to do with being just out of college and just getting your feet wet in the real world than it does with being of a "generation" After all, a lot of those hippie, free-love, egalitarian boomers turned into suburban dwelling, SUV driving, Ivy-striving, helicopter parents.

Excellent point. I spent a decade trying to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up.

Are Peter Sagal and Carl Kasell as cool and funny as they seem on the radio? To me, Carl is the epitome of the perfect announcer--NPR's answer to Don Pardo.

Yes and yes. Smart and really, really funny. And sweet. Oh, stop me before they get a big head.

Does the fact that the Jonas Brother is doing a reality show mean they are past their expiration date of being dreamy to the teenage set?

Only grownups think the Jonas Brothers are still a big deal. You know when they were huge? 2008. Which seems like a blink of time for you. But if you're a 16-year-old, that's the band you're embarrassed to think you really liked when you were 12. Tastes evolve really fast at that age.

It has always seemed odd to me that the press has collectively show the restraint to not invite a Sahali to the event. Good for you!

I sort of thought someone would do that in 2010 -- that would have been their moment, but it passed without anyone seizing the opportunity.

I know this sounds nuts, but when I saw the photos of Uggie at the WHCD, the only thing I could think of whether he got something to eat and who had the task of walking around with the plastic bags tied to his leash.

He was with his trainers, who dote on him and slipped him treats. He was tired but seemed fine. My favorite guest of the night, because I am a pushover for cute. 

How did I miss this? My God. Just, wow! You are right - that is worse than Don't be Tardy to the Party. Or, maybe it was their audition tape for their own reality show - which you just know at least one of their reps has pitched.

I thought you'd like it.

This gives me an idea! Why not next year have the WaPo table made up entirely of former (and current!) James Bonds. That would be the awesomest table ever!

It would be totally awesome, but dangerous --- Daniel Craig himself would cause a stampede. We could drink martinis all night and ignore the crush. In my dreams!

Kids, we've got a column to write, so enough for today.  Send you're tips and sightings to Next week, same time.



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