The Reliable Source Live

May 30, 2012

Washington Post columnist Amy Argetsinger was online Wednesday, May 30, at noon ET to discuss your favorite gossip, celebrity sightings and their recent columns.

Past Reliable Source chats

Good morning, everyone, and welcome to unofficial summer. Thanks to the Memorial Day weekend that just transpired, we have 40 percent less than usual to discuss with you today. But here are a few things on our radar:


Maryland’s lieutenant governor finds love with a lady who gets what it takes to be a politician’s plus-one.


Commencement advice from the stars! Including a not-your-normal-advice-to-grads speech from Lisa Kudrow.


A Washington-bred writer taps network of VIP friends to promote her first novel.


In other news: Cynthia Nixon weds. . . Why was Lolo Jones suddenly Google trending last week? . . . The late Joe Robert's wine cellar is auctioned for charity. . . And some thoughtful thoughts from Monica Hesse about what we really mean when we tweet things like "RIP Robin Gibb."


Looking forward to your questions.

Where was the President born?

All evidence points to Hawaii -- but gosh, if you can't believe Donald Trump, who can you believe?

I can not thank these people enough for taking this freak show to the next level. I really hope the jury deadlocks and we keep going with this.

No kidding, huh?  For those of you who dared look away from the Edwards trial during your holiday vacation, our colleague Manuel Roig-Franzia reports that the alternate jurors in the Edwards case are a whole sideshow unto themselves: For a couple days, they arrived wearing the same color clothes, and one of the jurors seems to be flirting pretty heavily with the defendant.



John Edwards trial: Alternate jurors — all in red — are talk of the courtroom

Do you know that the Reliable Source page hasn't been updated with today's content? Do you know that this happens almost weekly and that yours is only one of the countless instances of thwarting my efforts to read Boy, a year after the fact, you all have really worked out the kinks of this marvelous website redesign!

Er, where are you looking? Glitches happen now and then, but our column is perfectly intact on its Web home (The Reliable Source), and I can vouch that all the stories went up in timely fashion yesterday and today. It also looks to be up to date on the Style page, if that's where you were looking. But do fill me in -- seems that people access the column through all kinds of quirky routes, and I'd love to know how you find it.

Our daughter and her husband got a "Save the Date" card for a wedding in September - location: Washington, DC - Embassy Row (no further details) . The father of the bride is a British diplomat. They live in Florida and wonder if it's going to be an event they'll regret missing if they don't take the time and expense to attend. What do you ladies think?

I hate to get all Haxy on you, but I think the question is, do your daughter and her husband like the marrying couple and enjoy their friends? And does their enjoyment of these people work out on the cost-benefit scale of the trip? Because at the end of the day, wherever it's held or however expensive the booze, going to a wedding is mostly about being with a group of people for several hours.

The new cheetah's just so adorable. Can we keep them, Mom, please? Please? We promise we'll take good care of them and you will never have to clean out the litter box! Seriously, though, are we going to get a Kitty Kam of them when they make their zoo debut?

Aren't they adorable? But, man, I bet they'd make fast work of your jugular in a year or so.

Zoo cheetah cubs born in race against the clock.


Let me tee this up for you: Have you handled a snake?

A lady never tells.

If a snake handler isn't safe from poisous snake bites, are any of us really?

I just bookmark and I'm in every day (except weekends and your holidays).

Well, that's a new one. I don't see how that gets you to our column, though -- from what I can see, it just takes you to our chat archives. Instead of going there, go here:

Wow, the new "second lady" of Maryland looks 20 years younger than her age! I was shocked to read that she's in her 50s -- I had assumed, just looking at the photo in your column today, that she was in her 30s. Yay, age appropriate relationships! Whoo hoo!

That's what I'm hearing from a lot of (female?) readers, some of whom may be Maryland voters. They love the fact that you'd never know the lieutenant governor's new wife is 52, and that she is 52. 


Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown marries Karmen Bailey Walker in College Park

Good or bad idea to be flirting with jurors?

Basically, we can assume that any romantic decision John Edwards makes is probably the wrong one.

I knew the Birther King would return with a vengeance. It was nice to see Wolf Blitzer smack him down

And how often does Wolf Blitzer get to be in a good smack down?

Who would be your ideal graduation speaker? I know that everyone would want a big name, Like Obama or something. But who out there do you think would have the most to add?

Bob Dylan, of course. He wouldn't talk long, that's for sure, but his advice would be so good.

The best explanation of her trending is using the virginity word

Well, duh.

What do you think: J.Lo, Randy Jackson, and the girl from Aerosmith all expected to return next season?

There have been a lot of implications that maybe the whole gang won't be together next year, according to some Web headlines I didn't have the energy to click on.

I have yet to go to a Nationals game this year, but just checking - is Clint still working?

Yes, Clint Khoury, the Jumbotron guy, is still on duty. I think. Right?

Speaking of Bob. Any sightings of him while he was in town. Any idea where he stays. Or does he just leave the Whute House and amble out of town?

No sightings of Bob. I don't think anyone has ever reported a sighting of Bob to us. I think he lies pretty low, because lord knows, I think people would recognize him.

I thought it wasn't even allowed for members of either side to converse directly with the jurors. Lawyers?

You don't have to talk to flirt, you know. It's all just hair-flipping, side-glancing body language. 

I work in the creative services industry and often find that the conversations and repartee engaged in on this chat fuels my creative fire and significantly increases my productivity for the rest of the day. Of course, other weeks it's a total waste of time, but if I were to do an accounting, I would no doubt find the increased productivity of the good weeks far out-values the wasted time of the other weeks. So on behalf of my boss, thank you for hosting this chat.

Same effect for me too! Thank you for your contributions.

Will Private Practice be able to survive without Tim Daly?

Private Practice is still on?

According to her speech, she went from brown hair to blonde hair. Is no one really a natural blonde in Hollywood?

Oh, I'm sure there are some. There's just not a lot of incentive to stay brunette there.

I'm not a woman so correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems that Beyonce's bragging about her body may be a bit off-putting to other young, more mortal young mothers who don't have the time or resources to work their post-partum bodies back into their pre-pregnancy dimensions. I suppose, though, that the number would be so small that it's not much of a risk for her career.

Hi guys---sorry for the delay; computer acting up.

As for Beyonce -- or any other celebrity mom: Shaddup already. If your job is to spend 8-10 a days looking good, working out, hiring professional trainers and nutritionists, nannies, etc. ----well, most new moms could look pretty good, too. It's always a little dumb to talk about how good you look if that's your full-time job. The rest of us have to squeeze it in along with the rest of our lives, without the resources rich stars bring to the process. Humility is always the best bet. 


What a gorgeous couple. Either that picture has extremely good lighting or they both look much younger than their age.

He's quite the looker, and while I haven't met her, I haven't seen a bad photo of her yet.

I had to look up at least three of them from your Friday article, having no earthly idea who they were. Brings back bad memories of my mid-90s graduation, where they year before, the graduating class got Corizon Aquino, and my year we got Ann Curry. We were robbed. Hardcore.

At least you remember the speaker.

Donna Summer, Chuck Brown, Levon Helm,MCA -- who are you most likely to give a shout-out to on Facebook or Twitter?

If I had ever had the impulse to hashtag-mourn a celebrity via social media, I think Monica's story would have shamed me out of it. It's really all about the tweeter, not about the deceased.

Apparently she and Tim Tebow are an item.

No, that's just wishful thinking from his teammates. Though who knows, maybe if we all will it into existence it will actually happen -- like R-Patz and K-Stew.

And, if it's about wanting to get into an embassy event, there are lots of ways to do that. They have tons of them (fundraisers, events for national promotion, etc... etc...)

And "Embassy Row" doesn't mean an embassy per se. There are a bunch of gorgeous old houses along that stretch of Mass Ave. and some probably rent out for weddings. Check the invite. 

This is why the trial court i was a law clerk in seated a whole jury plus alternates, but no one knew who the alternates were until the end of the trial, when the numbers were drawn at random. That way, the "alternates" had a vested interest in paying attention for the whole trial, because they didn't know if they were alternates. Knowing you were an alternate for a long and boring trial like this would be unbearable.

Well, the Edwards jurors are sure finding a way to relieve the tedium.

RIP Doc Watson

Here's Doc Watson's obituary, and here are some more remembrances.

Just thought I'd mention that.

And you're a great Amercian.

Not on purpose! Sunday I pick up a pile of leaves and realized there was a snake in the pile! Then Monday I was hiking in the city and a 6' black snake slithered across my path!

Most snakes are harmless and more afriad of you thn you are of them. I held my first snake in junior high science class and was surprised that they are a) not slimy at all and b) heavy. Like any animals, you have to know the risks of dealing with them and not mess around with the unknown.

I sent that absolutely wickedly adorable gallery to my mother last week and she responded thusly: "i got to hold one of two cheetah cubs at the portland zoo. i remember she purred just like a house cat. an actress -- amanda blake, who played miss kitty (really) on tv -- was visiting the zoo because she had some kind of refuge for big cats. she hated the baby chimps. i'd like to see these guys."

Lucky mom. Bu how could anyone hate baby chimps? I'm a sucker for almost every baby animal.

I watched an Inside the Actors Studio with the Mad Men cast and Christina Hendricks said she moved to Fairfax as a teenager. Have you already covered this and I missed it? Have you found people who knew her when? She of course claimed to be miserable in high school. (Just like Shirley MacLaine claimed she was a loser at W-L in Arlington, but when I was there I looked her up in an old yearbook, and she was a cheerleader. Why can't anybody admit to being happy and popular in high school?)

I knew that Christina Hendricks spent some of her school years around here, but there hasn't really been cause for a story. (Maybe when I become the terribly underqualified editor of "Mad Men Magazine" and have to pull together a "When they were in high school" edition.) . . . . And yes, when will someone admit to being happy in high school?

You think she ever gets take out?

Wait wait wait -- I know the answer, I just read this somewhere. . . .

People were making a big deal about him wearing sunglasses while recieving his award. Shouldn't we all be happy he wasn't in his normal outfit, dressed like a bandito?

Exactly. Keeping it real.

The funny thing is, I believe most of the blondes look better with darker hair. I recently looked at some photos of celebs as blonde and brunetteand most of them looked washed out as blondes but their eyes popped and skin glowed with brown hair. Go brunettes!

Each to his (or her) own.

What on earth is "the creative services industry"?

I was about to attempt an explanation and then I realized, oh, heck, I kind of know but I don't. Can the original chatter fill us in? I'm guessing maybe. . . . designer of some kind?

Please, Dear Lord, let J-Lo return to obscurity and delete her from the judging panel. Better yet, please delete AI altogether. Thank you, God. And please watch over little Timmy, too. Amen.

Wait---hasn't she already announced she leaving the show? Busy touring, etc? Or did I imagine that?

What happened to Scandal? It was the best show on television, and then it just disappeared.

It was a mid-season replacement, so there were only seven episodes of delicious ludicrosity, but apparently it's been renewed and will return. So yay! A second term for our least compelling president in history, Tony Goldwyn!

The British have that great tradition of humiliating the bridal couple during the toasts. He's usually a drunk who will sleep (and has done) with anyone prior to meeting his now-wife. She's often the same. At least according to the toast.

Bad form. Those are the bachelor/bachelorette party toasts never intended for parents, etc to hear. 

Have you seen any photos/sketches etc. of her? Not that it matters whether she's a hottie or not, and something tells me Edwards will make time for ANYTHING that gives him attention, but it is curious. I seem to remember, at the very least, she wasn't age appropriate - in her 20s or something.

I have not seen anything like that, but let me know if you see it out there anywhere. I think Manuel's story (go read it!) described her as young.

Is also a hotel on Mass Ave. Maybe they mean that. This is an interesting idea. You could send a "save the date" that says Pennsylvania Avenue and then hold the reception at the Tune Inn.

Ha! Switch and bait.

Easy. They grow into adult chimps. Then they bite your face off.

Lots of adorable baby animals grow into creatures that can kill you. Doesn't mean the babies aren't cute as a button. 

I'm not blond, but couldn't resist the crossover appeal of such a topic line today. The thing about being a blond (said the lifelong brunette) is that most men don't notice anything but the hair at first. My brother, who doesn't prefer blondes, once explained to me that it's a visceral reaction for him, and that a blond can get away with a less attractive face for a while, than if she were a brunette.

I'm sure there are plenty of scholarly books explaining the evolutionary appeal of different hair colors. Anyone know?

Is that like Mad Magazine for men? Or is that redundant?

Actually, pretty much every magazine -- Entertainment Weekly, Vanity Fair -- is Mad Men Magazine these days. So many stories about a TV show watched by relatively so few people! . . . However, I did watch this week's episode in order to catch the cameo by Patrick Brown, a promising young actor out of the D.C. suburbs, as the sexist casting director. (Proud to say he was my scene partner in acting classes years ago. Obviously, he was the better student.)

I would say that when it comes to John Edwards, no woman of any age is appropriate.


Runs the gamut: graphic design for print and web, editorial layout, logo design, etc. I also choose appropriate tote bags and gifts for members, help with photo editing, framing, award presentations, posters, signage and on and on and on.

Okay, thanks!

GU class of '80 got a one-term ex-governor of Arkansas who went on and on (or at least it seemed to go on & on in the 90+ heat). We wanted someone like Woody Allen and ended up with ...........Bill Clinton.

Ah, memories.

Of course I had to watch last night...but, honestly, why does Katie always make herself the center of the universe? She was way too cutesy for me...your thoughts?

I didn't watch for that very reason. You either like her or you find her intrusive. I'll be curious how the talk show does. 

I had a great time in high school. I also managed to avoid most of the angst of adolescence so that might have something to do with it. Does any of this count if I'm not a celebrity?

It's a start. I think we normal people need to lead a campaign to convince celebrities it's okay to admit they were not rebels/misfits/outcasts/other John Hughes archetypes.

I'm a copywriter.

Like in that show "Mad Men"?

Did American make the right decision?

ZZZZZZZZZzzzzzz. More interesting: Do any of this year's highly-touted finalists end up with a real career in show business?

We were on a family nature walk through a state park over the weekend when we came upon a fox snake eating a squirrel it had just constricted. It was fascinating to watch it in real life, instead of on a PBS nature show.

Fox snake? Never heard of that. How big? And how long did you watch?

What are his responsibilities? Other than to look good, I guess?

You have to give a lot of speeches and sit on a lot of commissions and presumably have a lot of conversations in smoke-filled back rooms. And in a state like Maryland where they're always sending politicians to prison, it means you have to be ready to step up to the big job should it come open.

I would give my hashtag to Amy

I'd rather have your hashbrowns -- you gonna finish those?

But I think that in this case, it may also involve wearing a hat. Imagine trying to carry that on a plane.

No good Amercian should be forced to wear a hat to a wedding, here or on foreign shores.

Did Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon ever talk about how they came upon the names Moroccan and Monroe for their kids?

I think they were trolling the web for baby names and the screen froze on "M."

She got married?

Don't you hate when people make news over a holiday weekend when you're not paying attention?

Ruben Studdard was robbed. There is no way the Casey James guy deserved to win.

I suspect you're mocking me and not taking this show as seriously as it deserves.

Goodbye to You is a great song. Is she still married to John McEnroe?

Fifteen years and counting.

To be fair to Miss Hendricks, she said that her father was with the National Park Service and she had spent all her youth in small towns in the mountain West before her dad was reposted to Northern Virginia, where she felt like an outsider because girls in her high school dressed and acted in a far more sophisticated fashion. As someone who had to move to different schools in the 7th and 11th grade, I understand why she was unhappy.

Clearly I need to hire you to be my deputy at Mad Men Magazine.

My commencement speaker was former Post columnist Nicholas von Hoffman. Imagine the looks on the faces of the proud parents (mine included) when much of the commencement speech turned out to be a scathing indictment of said parents for their complicity in the Vietnam War. All while the 17 year locusts buzzed loudly in the 90 degree heat.

Wow, that sounds like the opening chapter of a Joan Dideon novel.

I always saw myself as this anonymous nobody in high school, one of those schmucks that nobody paid attention to and couldn't identify in the yearbook. I mentioned this to classmates at my 25 year high school reunion and they all looked at me funny. They knew who I was, they said, they liked me, and they thought I was a good guy. I wasn't hugely popular, but it turned out I wasn't the anonymous schlub I thought I was. So when people say they hated high school, maybe what they really mean is they hated who they thought they were in high school, because they mostly had no real clear picture of how other people saw them.

This is true.

Facebook is down again today. Should we be taking a collection to help support Zuckerberg?

Heard on the news he's down from $19B to $15B net worth. Still so stupid rich that a stock loss is just numbers. 

He is married to Patty Smyth? I had no idea.

Yes indeed. Since 1997.

What's the automatic IQ reduction assumption? 20 points?

That sounds right.

In my AP English class, we did a day on snake poems and our teacher had one of the biology teachers bring in the boa constrictor he kept in his classroom. He suggested putting it over our shoulders. (It had been recently fed.) It was an extraordinary feeling to have the weight and strength of the creature on my shoulders. I haven't done that since, however.

Not inspired to try accessorizing like this?

Wouldn't that be awesome if some celeb named their kid Troll?

In the eternal quest for originality, it's inevitable that someone does.

Monroe is after Marilyn and Moroccan is because they got engaged in the Moroccan Room. I remember this because I am still trying to wrap my mind around naming a kid an adjective.

Ding! Very good.  "Nick and Mariah" for $1,000, please.

Going to a wedding when you are young is about hooking up with someone you either crushed on in college and/or will never see again. Going when you are older is about getting away from your kids and the inane tv shows/music/movies for a night.

These are existential truths.

Where can one get some decent hashbrowns in downtown DC?

I don't think I've encountered any.

I found neither one to be palatable in the early morning. What will NBC try next?

I don't like aggressive cute or earnest obvious ("How does it FEEL to be an international icon?" "Do you realize how BRAVE you are?") at any time of the day. Sue me, but I want smart and funny. Surely there's someone like that floating around? ("Don't call me Shirley!")  

The grandfolks apparently knew of the scheme decades ago when Barak was born and they took out a birth announcement in a Honolulu newspaper. This was foresight. I haven't seen such a diabolical plot launched so far in advance since "The Manchurian Candidate." While we're at it, have you seen the actual birth certificate of any President? Or of Donald Trump?

My birth certificate is totally fake looking -- and I was actually born overseas. Not sure why my parents went to such trouble; presumbly, from early on they wanted to prevent me from running for president.

1) I don't know how often he does it, but I think Garrison Keillor would be a good graduation speaker. 2) A 29-year-old obsessing about her virginity is a bit odd, especially describing it as the hardest thing she's done. By that age, you'd think that holding onto it and losing it are both overrated.

1) I've heard he is.

2) At the very least, keep it to yourself. TMI, TMI.

Did any of the other Friends give graduation speeches?

Excellent question. Googling "Matthew Perry commencement speech," "David Schwimmer commencement speech," etc., suggests that they did not.

Red and black, spotted. Kinda cute, actually. Couldn't tell how long it was because it was all coiled up around the squirrel, but I would guess it would have been a good five feet stretched out. We watched for about 10 minutes before a park ranger came and put him in a bucket, to be put in a display in the visitor center. The squirrel was only about half-way consumed and the snake didn't seem didn't seem to notice he'd been disturbed.

Oh, big! Wow.  I love the fact the snake wasn't bothered by the ranger while he was eating.

They kind of remind me of the gun safety guys who shoot themselves in the leg.

But they usually survive. Maybe a limp.

Where is that?

You mean, "What is a room in Mariah Carey's house?" -- that's the question we were looking for. . . . And now, "Famous Smyths" for $600, please.

She's still pretty damn cute, too.

Thanks for your thoughts.

...I always thought was about the open bar..

Well, assuming there is one. Never assume.

Amy, as long as at least one of your parents was a US citizen, you're good to run for President, once you turn 35.

So you're saying that I need to see their birth certificates now.

Meethinks this all about raising her profile for endorsements. Maybe attract some of the Teebow demographic. Or, maybe if that doesn't work she will auction it off on ebay.


Do you have gardens, veggie or flower? Were you inspired by Mrs. Obama's White House Garden? I like to look at the pictures but am not so keen on the actual process.

I have a brown thumb but have flirted with the idea of a container of fresh herbs and tomatos----because nothing tastes as good as a fresh, vine-ripened tomato. Will keep you posted.

With that thought, we'll say a summery goodbye for today. Sent tips and sightings to We'll be back here next week, hope you will, too. Cheers.


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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