The Reliable Source Live

May 09, 2012

Washington Post columnist Amy Argetsinger was online Wednesday, May 9, at noon ET to discuss your favorite gossip, celebrity sightings and their recent columns.

Past Reliable Source chats

Hello everyone, and welcome back to the Reliable Source chat. Here are some topics on our radar lately:


This was the week we got to read Obama's ex-girlfriend's old journals -- and it turns out he was one of those maddening, emotionally distant guys you remember from your early 20s.


The Bidens aren't hosting the Komen Race for the Cure reception this year, but probably not for the reason you assume: It's because it's Ashley Biden's wedding day.


D.C.'s own celebrity chef Spike Mendelsohn makes an unusual career decision -- flacking for a heartburn drug.


We'll bring you more later on the story of rock star Tom Gabel of Against Me!, who is planning a gender transition. . .


In other news:  Big new houses for David Brooks and Steven VanRoekel. . . The melodrama ramps up in the Edwards trial. . . Richard Dreyfuss does not take the easy route with his celebvocacy. . . What we talk about when we talk about Ann Romney's clothes. . . There is a Ball that's on the Mall, and this ball, it is not small. . . Dennis Quaid and his wife call off their divorce. . . Rep. Kristi Noem gets her college diploma. . . Sue Ellen from Dallas and Krystle from Dynasty debut as celebvocates . . . . and Prince Harry in Washington!


And now, your questions?

Just curious if you ever did find out Jay Carney's hometown yet?

This is the first time I've even thought about it in the past seven days. Sorry.

All I could think when reading this tidbit: how the heck much do oped columnists make???

You know, I don't know how much the Times pays him -- but I would guess his income has a lot to do with outside projects, such as book sales and lecture fees.


David Brooks moves from Bethesda to Cleveland Park.

I think one of your colleagues was right. I don't care how much that shirt cost - the problem was just how ridiculously ugly it was.

I didn't care much for either, but ugly is so subjective. Not my cup of bird, but fine with me if someone wants a falcon swooping across her chest.What I think we all agree on is that it was a bad choice for a high-profile TV interview: Hard to read visually, and so distinctive that it was easy to identify the brand and cost. 

Nothing like self-promoting a movie to death with fake invites. It's amazing how long his 15 minutes has lasted. I was done with the offensive behavior at least an hour ago.

Let me go on the record to say I have no interest whatsoever in this movie. His entire career is punking people and --  while hypocrisy is a fair subject for examination -- I find Cohen to be hopelessly smug and adolescent.

Saddened to see one of the Beastie Boys pass away. Did not realize he was battling cancer

Even though Adam Yauch had to miss his Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, I think a lot of people didn't realize how serious it was.

I have never listened to anything Beastie Boys. Does that make me a bad person? What am I missing?

You've probably heard them without realizing you were listening to them. They were very much the backdrop of the late '80s and '90s. YouTube should be able to help you out if you want to catch up.

She changed her nationality? What the hell?

Guessing it's more like a dual-citizenship thing. Sounds like the whole family is doing an exploring-their-Swiss-heritage thing.


Switzerland grants citizenship to US Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (AP)

The stories about the Edwards case treat Reille Hunter as some kind of siren. Have you met her or seen her up close? What is/was her appeal? I'm a guy, and this woman would be setting off my alarm bells from miles away. Edwards was rich, handsome, famous and respected, and if he couldn't be faithful to his dying wife he could certainly have arranged discreet dalliances. He also knew he was under intense scrutiny as a presidential candidate. For all he knew she could have been part of a set-up by political opponents. How could he throw it all away for this?

I think I'd like to put this question out to the straight men in the room (anyone?): What is it that's so sexually irresistible about crazy women? I've had this conversation before: There's a certain kind of woman who has the crazy eyes -- that wide-open, light-reflecting, slightly manic quality -- and for some men, the crazy-eyes effect is a warning sign, and for some, it is the flame for which they are the moth. I've probably answered my own question here: crazyeyes = crazysex. Right? Is it more complex than that? 

My two cents: Sexual type is such a hot-button issue, and plenty of people can't explain to themselves why they're attracted to someone. Crazy sex is part of it, but so is novelty and the endless need for attention. Many men --especially ego-driven like Edwards --fall for women who tell them repeatedly how hot they are. It's sounds idiotic and simple, and yet it works surprisingly often. I think most people are more insecure (especially sexually) than you'd ever guess. 

 (Link) So looks like there is very tentative biopic of Hollywood's original "It" girl, Mary Pickford. Just curious if you and other live chatters have any casting suggestions for her as well as the other famous people in her life (Douglas Fairbanks, Charlie Chaplin, etc...) The real Mary Pickford was born Gladys Smith in Toronto, Ontario so maybe a Canadian like Alison Pill or Ellen Page?

As much of an advantage as the fluent-in-Canadian thing might be for Ellen Page, I think she's otherwise not a whole lot like Mary Pickford.

How could you tease us that Peeta was at the dinner and NOT give us a photo?

No tease intended. I never saw him, although I know he did attend.

Nice to see where the Octomom's career is taking her

Well, at least she won't get pregnant on the job.

What is it about Lost and drunk driving?

I know, right? You wouldn't think several years of removal from Hollywood for filming a hit series in gorgeous Hawaii would drive actors to drink (and drive), but that's certainly the phenomenon.

Props to her for finally getting her college degree.

Yeah, nice story, isn't it?

This whole thing is just sad and pathetic. Every single one of the people taking the stand in this are skeevier than the next - and Reille Hunter hasn't even testified! The guy testifying yesterday that they were joking about how much money they could make from the naughty video. What a bunch of icky icky people!

It's awful. I didn't think my opinion of Edwards could get lower---and now it has. What a dirtbag. The only people I feel sorry for are his kids.

I agree that a career consisting solely of punking people should be over by now, but I have to give Cohen props for his performance in Hugo. He was good. And kept his pants on and everything.

That's what's interesting: He's a talented actor, but can't seem to stop acting like a smarty-pants 15 year old. Bores me, but I'm not his audience.

One of the things I think was absolutely awesome when I was watching the WHCD video: the number of empty wine bottles on the Clooney table!

Table sat 10 guests, and it was a long dinner. George was never even tipsy, as far as I could tell.

What did you think of Brokaw unloading on the WHCD?

Nothing no one else has said before, and nothing I'd disagree with. My only quibble is that the celebrity overload is hardly corrupting the journalists involved, because journalists barely get near these celebrities anymore.


Brokaw: No celebs at White House dinner?

Finally watched the video and three things came to mind: 1) Michelle's dress was really cool; 2) Obama does have pretty good comedic timing; and 3) Jay Carney is kind of hot.

We will pass your compliments on to Jay Carney when we get around to asking him where in Northern Virginia he grew up.

So no tales of journalists embarrassing themselves by trying to mix in with the cool kids this year? Like the guy who asked Scarlett Johansen for a picture and was refused, or Ana Marie Cox's legendary drunken encounter with Jimmy Fallon?

Nope, unless you count sucking up to George Clooney. That went on all night.

As a straight guy I never found Reille Hunter all that attractive and do not really go for the crazy

Anyone else?

What is really funny about the Matthew Fox thing - as one of my fellow Oregonians pointed out: do you have any idea just how hard it is to get arrested for drunk driving in Bend, Oregon. You really have to be trying.

I've never tried!

I know a fair number of Edwards people who met her during his campaign, and one of the things that universally I heard once everything came to light was that she was just so flakey and dumb. Maybe it was the contrast to Elizabeth that attracted him, but every one I knew thought she was a ninny.

Interesting. . . . Anyone here willing to confess to being attracted to crazyeyes? (If not specifically Rielle's.)


She did complain loudly about what Brokaw said, but wasnt she the one that invited Kim Kardashian and LiLo?

Actually, if you go to her blog, sounds like she was sort of proposing a cease-fire as well.

It is worth asking again next week about Jay Carney's hometown?

Does it mean that much to you?

As a liberal liberal Democrat, I don't agree with a thing he writes, but his story about his kid turning 40 this week was really heartwarming and sweet.

Excellent and thought-provoking essay by George Will about his son Jon.

Read something kind of oddly interesting the other day -- Reille used to be married to the son of Boulder (CO) District Attorney Alex Hunter, who was very involved in the JonBenet Ramsey case. Think he was portrayed by Ken Howard (the White Shadow) in the movie that aired on TV. At the time, Reille went by the name Lisa.

Oh, Rielle had a very interesting life -- lots of paling around with Bret Easton Ellis and Jay McInearney in the '80s -- before she ever met John Edwards.

Never heard of him before his "decision"

I think he's hitting a lot of people's radars in a big way toady.

Should I count on the Capitals winning tonight and forcing Game 7?


I think it is incredibly ironic that North Carolina is going after gay people when the Edwards trial is making heterosexuals look so honorable.


"Richard Mourdock" sounds like a Bond villain. Or possibly the punchline to a dirty joke.

We do do politics, and there, it's been said.

Regarding "crazyeyes": Most men are just not in a position -- social, financial, etc. -- to have strange women throwing themselves at them. The average working schlub would never encounter someone like Rielle Hunter. I wonder if politicians are a special case in that they are universally recognized, at least in their state or district if not nationally, and they are surrounded by staffers, campaign workers, donors etc. who tell them continuously how wonderful they are. If the average guy encounters a strange woman who goes through the "oh, you're so hot!" dance, he starts thinking "What's this gonna cost me?" For a politician, it's no surprise because that's what everybody is always telling him.

Oh, I disagree. I think there are crazyeyes ladies working on every socio-economic level. If anything, a famous guy should be more wary since he has so many opportunities. When a regular guy encounters his manic pixie dreamgirl, he just thinks that light in her eyes is true love.

I'd be curious what your reaction was to Tom Brokaw's comments about the WHCD, in which he essentially said that it was not a good thing for the media to attach itself to celebrities at a black tie dinner. I believe he used the phrase "steal your soul."

Like Amy said, it's the same old, same old. Here's my take: Any serious reporter is not going to be compromised by one black-tie dinner ---or dozens. I always thought that was dumb argument, because it assumes journalists are so silly and star-struck that the mere proximity of a star will have us sputtering like schoolgirls and unable to do our jobs. 

The original intent for the dinner was for journalists and their Washington subjects to come together once a year to honor the president. It's supposed to be a night off for everyone (except the poor dogs who have to cover it) and meant as fun. I always believe seeing the people you write about in a social setting is a good thing, and allows a good reporter to get a better sense of the person and how they think and operate, which can inform future stories. Are they shy? Funny? Rude? You can learn a lot that you might not see at their day jobs. 

I am disturbed by the glut of celebrities at the event, precisely because it keep reporters from getting seats, not because I'll be unable to objectively write about them in the future if I happen upon their air space. 


Pres. Obama was also granted citizenship of a small Swiss village.

So the Swiss are kind of generous with these things, I think you're saying.

Still thought him dumping ashes on Ryan Seacrest was hilarious

And I thought he was a "it's all about ME" jerk.

She did complain loudly about what Brokaw said, but wasnt she the one that invited Kim Kardashian and LiLo?

Yup. And I would argue that neither of them --and a bunch of other stars at the dinner --added much to the proceedings. But LiLo looked so uncomfortable that I doubt she'll ever come back.

Bobby Brown getting married. Who would do that?

Life goes on for Bobby Brown. . . .

I have no doubt that George Clooney can handle his liquor! Doesn't he remind you of the Dos Equis guy?


I'm not sure that "sad and pathetic" quite captures my feelings about John Edwards' trial. That man could conceivably have been Vice President of the United States. And people were concerned about Sarah Palin????

Good point. Palin's shortcomings were evident from the beginning; Edwards was much more duplictous.

When do you think he will start looking for his next young thing? I wonder if Stacy Keibler ponders this every day. It's inevitable.

Well, sure. The best think she can hope is to enjoy the ride as long as it lasts. And it sure has helped her career.

I am an average-looking guy. Completely inconspicuous. But one night a couple of decades ago a crazyeyed woman greeted me by reaching around from behind and putting her hand down my pants. This didn't scare me, but it didn't make me hot, either. So I introduced her to the lead singer of Fudge Tunnel (with whom I was having a beer) and that was that.

You sound sane.

was not the original "It" girl. That was Clara Bow.

You are correct. Mary Pickford was, I believe, more accurately referred to as "America's Sweetheart."

With people like Tom Brokaw weighing in against it and what a mess it has become, is there any chance the Correspondent's Association pulls the plug on the whole thing?

Nope. It raises a lot of money for scholarships. They're happy with it.

I was going to be all smarty-pants and look it up on Wikipedia, but unfortunately even that Fount of Knowledge says only "Northern Virginia." Curses!

Yeah, we've been treading over that territory for the past couple weeks here.

How dare you have an item on Linda Evans and not mention The Big Valley and its upcoming remake.

Is that thing actually happening? Its IMDB trail seems to have gone cold. Meanwhile, I also failed to mention TNT's reboot of "Dallas," in which Linda Gray apparently has a role.

I can confirm this - a friend of my husband's has a surprising number of women throwing themselves at him, but they are all some kind of crazy. For some reason, he doesn't seem to mind, and enjoys the attention (and attendant drama). The downside, is that he doesn't seem to be as aware that normal women do exist... then again, very few normal women would put up with this guy. So, I guess you get what you should - in that respect.

Oh, he probably knows normal women exist and is bored by them. Each to his own.

I think you had it right when you said flattery was the key. I think those that lavish praise on married men just happen to also be crazy, drama-seeking missiles, but it's the praise that keeps the guys coming back.

Thanks for weighing in.


(And sorry for the lull in the chat -- all your questions were in cold storage or something; just got a boatload to catch up on now.)

Great sex and wild years, but everything since then belongs in a Hax chat. Friends, don't do it.

Can I hear an "Amen"?

Any sightings of Willie Nelson while he was in town, or did he just get on the bus and head back on the road again? Do guys like that stick arond?

I think he just got back on the road again. Those buses can be pretty comfortable, I guess.

I do not care where his hometown is.

That is a reasonable position to take.

I was already a long-time fan of Terry Gross on NPR's "Fresh Air" when she was approached a few years ago by Sacha Baron Cohen (or his people) in hopes she'd interview him when he was promoting his first movie, "Borat." SBC tried to get Gross to interview him in character, but she refused and insisted she would only interview him as SBC -- and eventually SBC blinked. My heroine! (Note: she's also only interviewed Stephen Colbert as himself, not his "Colbert Report" TV persona).

Good for her. That's the difference between journalism and PR.

I really loved this story because it humanized Obama for me a whole lot because it reminded me of all the silly pretentious yet charming relationships I and my friends had when we were that age.

Exactly. And filled in a few gaps about how he became the man he is today.

I imagine a big part of his problem is that a lot of the Lost cast is now working steadily in TV and movies, and he's one of the few who isn't-- and he was the lead on that show. Granted, that may be a chicken and egg argument: is he drinking because he's not working, or is he not working because he's drinking?

Isn't he? I can't think of any big jobs that any of the others have, and in the meantime, it must be nice to count all that money they earned over the years.

If a strange woman every approached me and threw herself at me. The first question would be: How much has she been drinking? For politicians it would be easier since they have fame and wealth

It would be easier for politicians to attract that, or easier for them to turn it away?

As great as Willie Nelson, did you know people could not give his tickets away at the 930 Club the other day?

I do know that, in fact -- first-hand knowledge. I think the many postponements of that show dampened enthusiasm. It was an amazing concert, though, easily worth twice the price (as I ended up paying; I compensated by taking up more space). 

Nothing compared to basketball legend Shaquille O'Neal, who first left college to play in the NBA, then went back to college in the off-season for his Bachelor's degree, and now just earned his Doctorate in Education (not an honorary degree, either). He's talking of perhaps next attending law school. Guess he's just an education junkie, although I can think of worse addictions, and it's not as though he can't afford the tuition!

Just call him Dr. O'Neal. Yes, cool story.

The allegations, if true, are horrible, but raise two questions: does washington have more sex parties than one would expect? And, why did they think they had to import the hookes? Are our ladies not good enough?

So many questions.

As a guy who has had some experience with "crazyeyes," I think the issue is that the crazy part isn't immediately obvious. They might seem to have outgoing, upbeat personalities, they might seem to be enthusiastic about some cause, and, perhaps most important, they draw you in by seeming to be interested in the same things that are important to you. Then down the road, you discover that what you have observed is basically the "up" side of manic depression or something like it, and the way they behave with you is pretty much the way they behave with everybody as long as it helps them get what they want. I have become extremely suspicious of anyone who seems to like me before I have given them good reason to do so.

And/or they are great at manipulating to get what they want or they are falling in love with some fantasy version of you. Anyone who falls in love too fast is usually more interested in the rush of being in love than the actual person.


I was a nanny living in Cleveland Park right after Mondale lost the election. Mondale lived in Cleveland Park. I was walking the toddler one fine spring day and passed his house. A dog was inside behind the screen door and barked at us. We stopped because the toddler was excited to see the dog. Mondale and an associate came out of the house and when he saw the little girl going "woof woof" (we were at the "what does a dog say?" stage), he turned around, fetched the dog and brought her down so the baby could pet her. Seriously, I know he probably didn't have a lot to do post-losing-the-presidency but I was thoroughly charmed by that gesture.

Nice story, thanks.

If Jay McInnerny thinks a girl is TOO wild, that says a lot.


Has that come out already? I have seen so much of a build up for it that I can't remember if I have seen it already, just seen the hype, or perhaps it has come and gone and I am just watching a lot of on-demand ads lately on cable TV?

I feel the same way about "Dark Shadows" -- has that come and gone already? I think "The Dictator" opens next week.

Was saddened to see Maurice Sendak pass away yesterday

Not to ruin the spin machine of George Clooney's representatives, but she isn't the "iternal bachelor" since in the techinical scene of the word, he isn't a lifelong bachelor. He was married to Talia Balsam, now the wife of John Slattery of "Mad Men."

In Hollywood terms, he's been single forever. He's never made a secret of his divorce, but never gotten close to remarrying. So that makes him a bachelor in tabloid terms. 

I think it's that they don't see the crazy eyes--they are distracted by hair, boobs, unwarranted adulation, etc. The crazy eyes are only apparent when not blinded by lust.

I disagree. I think the crazyeyes are a big part of the draw.

on the same note of how hard it is to get arrested for drunk driving there, i was trying to figure out where he was going that was open at that hour to get food! Beautiful place, though.

Surely some enterprising Oregon restaurant can put up a sign saying, "Matthew Fox loves our food SOOO much, that . . ."

Does the Manic Pixie Dreamgirl inevitably grow into CrazyEyes?

I think they co-exist; lots of overlap in that Venn Diagram.

Palin's flaws were primarily intellectual and policy lapses, and the fear that If John McCain were stricken, she would be an unprepared President. John Edwards' flaws are moral and ethical, and pretty deep at that. But you could argue that if he had been elected VP in the Kerry-Bush contest in 2004, he might never have met the flaky Rielle.

True, but if his flaws were moral and ethical, there would have been plenty of opportunity for him to do damage to his career, the administration, and the country---Rielle or no Rielle.

I am now inexplicably intrigued by the person who is inexplicably intrigued by Carney's childhood. What do you think--stalker or private investigator?

Just a garden-variety obsessive, I think. Though I suspect they're also yanking our chain.

But he's married to Isla Fisher, who I always thought was kinda cute and funny. And they have two little girls, Olive and Elula. So he must have a speck of normalcy somewhere.

Maybe, but nothing I'll buy a ticket for.

Uh, is he still married to ABC News's Claire Shipman? Isn't she "kind of" hot, too?

Yes, and yes.

What makes him so hot--is it the red hair, devilish smile, or that he's a prince. . . oh, never mind, just answered my own question :)

Glad to help you work through it.

They remind me of each other in that both can be excellent actors but have this weird thing where they can't be themselves in public, which is supremely irritating. It would wear you out to be married to one of them.

They might not even be themselves in private. Some people can't ever let go. Wouldn't marry them for all the money in the world. Exhausting.

There was an article a while ago about how only a few of the Nationals live in the area full time - Zimm, Werth (poor guy), and a few others. Who are the rest? Also, what's up with Ian Desmond? Is he smokin' or what?

Here's that story -- I think Adam Kilgore wrote that Jayson Werth (we all agree he's the best looking guy on the team, right?) is one of only three or four Nats who live here year round. And yes, Ryan Zimmerman is one too; don't know the others off the top of my head.

I realized last night that his approach is like leasing a car - 2 years and onto the next one. I wonder if he leases cars also, or if he owns his cars.

I want him to get another cute pig. He was VERY devoted to his first one.

I had a friend who was crazyeyed at times (bipolar) and when she was on the manic end, she was highly sexual and many men found her irresistible. Think it had to do with the energy and enthusiasm she projected for life and, ahem, sexual activities that drew them in.

That's a very good explanation.

This is going to be the first line of my novel about the decadent '80s in lower Manhattan.

I like it.

Michael Emerson is starring in Person of Interest, which I love. Daniel Dae Kim is starring on Hawaii Five-O and Terry O'Quinn has been recurring on it.

Thank you for the update.

I sent this in earlier & you haven't posted it. He graduated from Miami of Ohio, having left four courses short. Yes, he wore a (red) cap & gown & got his diploma on stage.

And here's a story about Roethlisberger's graduation.

any chance the Dems will move their convention out of charlotte after the disastrous gay marriage amendment vote there this week? Hope so.

Doubt it -- it's probably too late to change the location. And having the convention there highlights the issue for all Democratic candidates. Should be very interesting.

I think prominent people have so many opportunities to have sex that even if their radar is good (and that's a pretty big if for many of them, given the high correlation between narcissism and elective prominence), occasionally a CrazyEyes slips through.

True enough. Which is why we are still in the gossip business.

Why are some women only attracted to jerks/bad boys? Same principle works for men and crazy eyed women. It is a combo of "I can rescue/fix him/her" and "drama is exciting!!!" To the guy who posted "issue is that the crazy part isn't immediately obvious" - Um... yeah, it is completely obvious, you just overlook it.

Yes, I think that's a fair equivalent.

Has there ever been any suggestion that he had other affairs? It seems like handsome politicians have lots of opportunities to mess around on their spouses. In a way, the Edwards marriage reminded me of the Clinton marriage in the sense that they both involved smart women willing to look the other way for political gain of the couple.

You'd think word of other dalliances would have come out by now, wouldn't you? I don't know.

Can you explain how any woman would willingly sleep with him without money being exchanged? Honestly, I can almost see how Reille Hunter gets action more than this guy.


RIP Maurice Sendak.

Yes, indeed.

And on that sad but non-crazy note, we'll call it a day. Send your tips and sightings to Same time, next week. 


Did you just call a chatter a toady?

Ha. Whoops.

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

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