The Reliable Source Live

Aug 01, 2012

Washington Post columnist Amy Argetsinger was online Wednesday, August 1, at noon ET to discuss your favorite gossip, celebrity sightings and their recent columns.

Past Reliable Source chats

Good morning and welcome to the last Reliable Source chat before school starts again. That's right -- after Friday, we'll be on hiatus until the week of August 26. And then it will be all convention coverage for two weeks, and then it will be the middle of September and we'll all realize, as we do that time of year, that we're growing old together.


In the meantime, here's what's been on our plate lately. Not that I know. I'm already on vacation and haven't seen a newspaper since Saturday. Let's see if I can catch up. . .


Michelle Obama's jacket cost how much?!?!


Michele Bachmann makes The Hill's "50 Most Beautiful" list -- why not sooner?


Lady Bird Johnson gets a postage stamp to mark her 100th.


Also: Oh, this is interesting! Kati Marton, who always marries well, has a memoir about her life with Richard Holbrook. . . . Gov. John Hickenlooper and his wife want you to keep inviting them to parties even though they're breaking up. . . Oh, and another Taylor Swift fauxmance. Not falling for it. . . . Redford and Leibovitz come to the Post newsroom, won't talk to reporters. . . Mork as Ike?!?! R-Patz and K-Stew, sigh. . . The Jackson family, sigh. . . Buy Gilbert Arenas's mansion . . . Look, it's another princess! Mette-Marit of Norway. . .


Anything else? You tell me.

Is this just a move to get us to talk about him? It worked.

It was either that or another airport arrest.

Hoda going to London. Isnt this a red flag as to the ratings trouble the Today show is in. Obviously, Savannah wasnt the answer

NBC says that was always the plan. So why do I remember her saying she wasn't going just a few weeks ago? Anyway -- anything that helps: This morning I turned it on, heard Matt say to gymnasts' parents, 'Does this make all the early mornings worth it?" and clicked off. My brain can't take that much "well, duh" before coffee. 

What is a "stamp"?

Sigh, kids these days.

I have now added: "When you have to use a burner phone because your partner/his church is monitoring your cell phone" and "Your partner would rather read '50 Shades of Gray' than "talk" with you" . Any more recent news that can add to my list?

"You are dating Taylor Swift."

I need to know, so I can plan my lunch dates.

It's the last until August 29, assuming they'll still have us back.

What do her children say? And will you read this one, so we don't have to?

I read both the Vogue excerpt and the book. Our item is pretty much what you need to know -- except I didn't have room to drop all the names.

A U-Haul? R-Patts stars in a wildly successful movie series that is basically printing money for him, and he rents a U-Haul to move out? Do you think he rounded up some friends to help him carry the heavy stuff and thanked them with pizza and beer? Stars--they're just like us!

I've largely been abstaining from news, but I did get an email from US Weekly insisting that the widely-reported U-Haul wasn't for him. Who knows. I'm still reeling from the revelation that Pattison and Stewart were actually dating.

Mostly because I thought he was already dead.

Good bar bet -- last night.

did not answer my question of, why her? I get the 100th birthday, but why does she deserve the honor more than some other FLOTUS. After all, Lucretia Garfield's 180th was in April....

It was there  -- her environmental efforts and wildflower program to beautify America. But mostly, I think, the 100th birthday.  And I was surprised that she's only the fifth first lady to get a stamp.

I am so tired of Taylor Swift's reported love life

Two weeks of bliss and heartbreak = new material for her songs.

....she's on my list of "women not to date unless you want to be the topic of a song telling the world how awful you are." Others on the list: Pink, Kelly Clarkson, Adele. Anyone else I should add?

Almost every country music singer?

Gotta be Peter Orszag, doesn't it?

Ha! He's the default VIP shagger guess? I doubt it -- I heard about a journalist and some Hungarian dude.

So, she's 22 and dating an 18 year old Kennedy kid? That's just weird.

Not if she's 22 going on 16.

Is there a finishing school that celebrity children can attend to become less self aware? Today's example comes from Paulina Gretzky who SHOCKINGLY, has decided to follow in the footsteps of other LA starlets and start a music career: Awesome quotes on normalcy, ranging from studying at Interlochen to this gem, "I live such a down-to-earth life. I'm completely normal. People are amazed by how I present myself. They think I'm gonna be this total brat when I'm not." presented adjacent to a photo of her nude from the waist down with 99 tattooed above her crotch. Comic gold, I tell you.

There should be an L.A. bootcamp, mandatory for all celebrity children, in which someone gives them the toughlove talk about how they should go get their real estate license or whatever because, no, lightning is NOT going to strike twice in their family and they are NOT going to have a career in showbiz, no matter how entitled to one they feel.


Meanwhile, I don't want to tell you to look more closely at Paulina Gretzky's crotch, but she is not nude from the waist down. She is wearing flesh-colored panties with 99 printed on them.

and I was talking to a guy, and guess what: he went to high school with Jay Carney! SO I KNOW. And, I'm not sharing!

Lawrenceville prep school in New Jersey, right? It's public knowledge. The so-called mystery is where in Northern Virginia his family actually lived.

Where there any sighting of Jacob Dylan when he was in town? He would be totally recignizable, right?

I appreciate how you inserted those misspellings to conceal your identity. But no, I didn't hear of Jakob Dylan being seen around town, though indeed, he would be very recognizable. He looks good, you know? Exactly the same as he did in the mid-90s, which is more than you can say for a lot of those guys from those bands in the  mid-90s.

The queen of the cautionary tale is Alanis Morrisette


and I hate my job and I need something to cheer me up. Go!! (You two are very good at this sort of thing.)

It's your birthday? Go, shawty.

Flech-colored panties with 99 printed on them? Are those special-made or some sort of Wayne Gretzky-line?

You know, I try to be helpful, but some questions have answers beyond my reach. Perhaps even beyond my attention span. But I'll put it on my list to try to resolve later.


Of course, now I'm worried that if I ever run into Jay Carney, I'll get flustered and confused, and instead of asking, "where in Northern Virginia did you grow up?", I'll ask, "any idea where you can get those flesh-colored 99 panties?"

However, you stated that he "did not talk to reporters". How was that managed, in a building full of them? He didn't talk to anyone but Annie? And where's all the usual info - clothing, what he ate, description of his sparkling blue eyes, etc.?

You know what? I tried to interview him but he was "really busy," "didn't have time to talk," etc., etc. for a five minute chat about Watergate. He was in the newsroom for more than an hour and it looked like he only talked to a few higher-ups. Annie wasn't talking either, and her people referred me to Vanity Fair's PR person in New York because she didn't really want the shoot to be written about. (And they told me all this with a straight face.) On the scale of 1-10 on the Ridiculous Meter, I score this a 9. I spent most of yesterday shaking my head. No cheery details because I didn't get close enough to see his eyes.  

Whoooo...who can conflate those two? Me! Anyhow, the thing that continues to amaze me about Swift is how she cuts a swath through men that would make the late Liz Taylor take notes, and yet she still manages to pull off the girly, "Oh, you guys, I can't imagine this is happening to me" attitude. She's either brilliant or a sociopath, or both. As for Gore Vidal, he's probably the last real "man of letters" we will see. Serious novels, screenplays, TV plays, mysteries, incredibly cogent essays. I don't think anyone is going to work so effectively in so many genres ever again. And what can you say about a guy who allowed that, "The three saddest words in English are 'Joyce Carol Oates.'"

Oh my god, did he say that? Withering.


And I second your idea. Vidal and Swift would have enjoyed each other immensely, I think.

I just read the novel-length Remnick profile of Springsteen. I thought he was a journalist, and was excited to read it. Instead, it was like a 30-page backrub for the Boss. Shouldn't he have an editor to tell him it would have been easier if he just took out a full-page ads that announced "I got to hang out with Springsteen backstage" and have no further value to add?

Backrub! You're so discreet!

In addition to her beautification efforts, she was a real catalyst for the development of the Head Start program, one of the most successful (and surviving) elements of the war on poverty. She was a quiet but very effective activist as first lady, and I'm proud she'll have a stamp.

There you go.

Any guesses on the album that deals with an eventual breakup with RFK's grandson? What rhymes with "Kennedy"?

"Can't you see?"

Really? What song? And who was it about?

Oh, come on, everyone knows this by now. "You Oughta Know" was inspired by her relationship with "Full House"'s Uncle Joey,  Dave Coulier.

Katy Perry and Justin Timberlake. Throw in Britney Spears.

Marry them off, quick, so we get a break from the drama.

I see that Duchess Kate and Prince Harry are tops, but poor Prince William is left out. I thought he always looks sharp, so why?

He's not on the best-dressed list? I don't know, they probably just want to keep it interesting, keep you guessing.

So, is all the publicity about Kristen Stewart having the (maybe) affair with her director a good or bad thing for movies that she and RPatz have made? I guess my question is whether there is any long-term impact on careers with this stuff, which happens all the time throughout every demographic.

Well, the movie series is almost over, right? It's hardly going to hurt the final movie this fall -- those tickets are already sold. Might even ramp up the drama. And it makes them both a little more interesting going into the rest of their careers.

Has Dennis Kucinich weigned in on this yet? I had heard they were friends.

He did this morning in a statement:

“America has lost a man of singular brilliance, a towering intellectual figure of immense heart and wit whose mere passing will revive the power and integrity of the adjective in the English language.

“Gore Vidal was a dear friend as well. This is a deep personal loss, an unfathomable loss to the world of literature and politics, whose consolation shall be the counsel and affliction by Gore’s writing for generations to come. We shall miss him, but he will not be gone. He will just be away.”

The article specifically talked about her styling for her pres run, didn't it? Styling does a lot of good. The snarkier side of me would note that people can only be on that list once, adn perhaps Ms. Bachmann had to, um, wait her turn.

No question that the presidential bid stepped up her game. She never looked better.

but there's no denying that the Kennedy kid is good-looking. He is a bit young, though.

Kennedys are funny -- they either get the great looks or the overbite. 

Is it fair to say that pressure from expectations caused this? Or is it a combination of desire for success, pressure/expectations, and a hole in professional ethics? And, do you agree with Jayson Blair that this happens a lot more than we know? It seems the two of you are the only ones I can trust....

I found it absolutely astonishing that someone working at Lehrer's level would be straight-up making up quotes. Setting aside the sheer wrongness of that kind of mendacity -- wouldn't a writer who came of age not only after the Janet Cooke scandal but the Jayson Blair and Stephen Glass scandals and into an era of unprecedented media-on-media scrutiny realize that HE'S GONNA GET CAUGHT? But I guess there are probably deeper, weirder problems going on in the head of someone who does something like that. Hard to figure. But yes, I do agree with Blair that there's probably more of that going on than we realize. Not much more, but some.

Is NBC trying intentionally to be so awful? They are censoring the opening ceremonies, and making boneheaded errors like previewing the gold medal winners on the Today Show tomorrow -- right before the event happens? Total bush league.

No one tries to be that bad---just too many people with too many agendas trying to suck up ratings. But there's a LOT of stupid stuff to build up fake drama.

Not too hard to research. Go to public libray, find phone book from the year the dude lived here (they used to be kept bound, might be on microfiche now) and look up his dad's name. The address will be there.

Actually, I've already done the digital equivalent of that, so I do have a sense of where he grew up. But those things are never 100 percent accurate, so I'm holding off until I know, which will be whenever I have a chance to ask him or someone close to him which will be. . . . well, remember, this topic completely leaves my brain by 1:15 p.m. on Wednesday, to be forgotten until the following Wednesday at noon rolls around.

People would put these two harmless shmoos on the a no-date list before: Bobbi Brown, Mel Gibson, that Kardashian baby daddy, Gary Busey, any Jackson (male or female), Chris Brown, or Lindsey Lohen?

Oh, they're pikers compared to your list. But still, I'd wave my friends away from them.

Well, as sorry as one can feel for someone who was on the top Hollywood earners list last year. But still, she is only 22 and that is really young.

I agree. It can't be easy to become super-famous at 17, nor to have your mundane dating life scrutinized and blown up huge by the media. It would be terrible, in fact.

This show has jumped the shark! This morning I tuned in hoping to see athletes and what are we treated to? The gang trying to play beach volleyball dressed in the most garish outfits you can imagine. I pitied the volleyball duo -- those imbeciles couldn't even get a ball over the net, so the 2 team members were left to just stand around.

Sorry I missed. Was Kathie Lee involved?

And that represents.....?

The number of problems she has? No, it's her dad's old jersey number.

Well, at least the cheating gives Robert Pattinson a good reason to break up with her. It's probably just me, but I always found her dark and boring. She only is appealing in the Twilight movies.

No accounting for love. I never found her all that attractive, but I'm so out of the fan base that my opinion doesn't count for beans. 

Any relation to the mi-20th-century Iowa pol Bourke Hickenlooper? Of course, it IS a common surname...

The Internet is offering me no immediate response on this. John Hickenlooper grew up back east, though, so maybe not.

I have nothing to add, no idea if this story is "true" but it's fun

Well, Gore Vidal vouches for it on his own Web site, which means -- well, exactly nothing, except that it's a good story. I'd be inclined to believe, though.

Not to beat a dead horse, but I thought Michelle Obama looked beautiful in her expensive jacket to meet the Queen. If she can afford a jacket at that price, it makes perfect sense for her to wear it to meet the Queen.

Three points:

1) I wasn't that impressed by the jacket on the first lady -- I've seen her in things I believe are more flattering on her.

2) The White House has always said she pays for clothing out of her personal funds, so of course she has the right to spend whatever she chooses on her wardrobe.

3) Wearing a $6,800 is a luxury for the very, very wealthy -- and I wonder about the wisdom of that choice a few months before the election when the economy is such a big factor for voters.


Just wanted to say that The Today Show Olympic cheesiness and overkill has made me jump ship to Good Morning America too!

Matt, are you listening?


Small time, poor, etc. Am I showing my age?

who? what? huh? P.S The only reason I would ever watch Today again would be Savannah Guthrie & Natalie Morales. Savannah got her national start on CourtTV -- very very smart-- too smart for duhmbed downness of network morning talk? you guys rock! but Katie what?

Are you two enjoying the odd sports showing on the TV this week? Of course I love the swimming and gymnastics, but find myself also captivated by men wearing bonnets (water polo) and women lifting weights (seems so 19th century). Any favs?

I've only seen a few hours of it. Fascinated by the physiques of the swimmers and the gymnasts. So unlike normal people.

Or, for the women only, the Skeletor look. Though that one can vary in severity somewhat by age and weight.

Too skinny doesn't help.

Spend a few days reading Romenesko and it's a surprise to see that it's actually not that unusual in smaller papers, and especially at college papers. Seems like a week doesn't go by that some college journalist doesn't get fired for stealing or making stuff up. They apparently don't teach Blair or Glass in journalism classes.

Yeah, but -- those are kids. They're not New Yorker staff writers.

Shouldn't we be thinking of this whole thing in terms of the end of a college relationship? They dated/got together when they were pretty young and had the whole "we're making movies and spending lots of time together" thing going on. Then, when it's over, it's kinda over.

Makes sense to me.

I live in Iowa and never heard of him. He must be a myth.

He was your governor and your four-term senator. But back before you were born.

She went through the door during her 2nd and 3rd marriages. I wonder how many times she went through the door in her unmentioned first marriage. Temptation is often around; that doesn't mean you have to succumb to it. In the Olympic spirit, I give her "low marks."

Ah, yes. Well, some of us are better at temptation than others. I'm not sure why she included all that in the book. Then again, I'm not a huge fan of most memoirs.

Speaking of jumping the shark, when I turned on this morning, there were 4 women in retro bathing suits dancing with beach balls. Very weird.

Again, I require strong coffee to tolerate that in the morning. I'd rather see an actual shark.

I guess it all depends on who marries who. My girlfriend told me that when Mark Shriver (son of Eunice Kennedy and Sargent Shriver) used to come in to the headquarters of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the women who worked there would get the word out and suddenly everyone would flock to wherever he was spotted. I mean women of every race, age and political persuasion.

Mark is adorable -- and really one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet.

If there is no honor in badminton, what is this world coming to?

I did glimpse that one, just now catching up. Want to break it down for me? How do you get a better tournament spot by losing games? And if that is possible -- well, isn't that perhaps a fair bit of strategy?



South Korean appeal rejected by badminton federation, Indonesia withdraws its appeal

Some of us watched the Opening Ceremonies live, instead of waiting on NBC's lame tape delayed coverage

Some of us watched it the next morning on DVR, fast-forwarding though the boring parts.

for serious, people, come join me at the Early Show on CBS. It's quite good--actual news, very little nonsense during the first half hour of the show (all that I usually get to see), and Gayle King is very infrequently on until the second hour, when even her "fluff" is better than a lot of what's on Today and GMA.

No kidding, really?

What are the odds she makes it as host to the end of the year of the Today Show?

Not that good. I was surprised she was named as Ann Curry's replacement. No doubt smart but there's a forced quirky adorableness that hits me wrong.

I like the analogy of the college break-up for Stewart and Pattinson, because to me the director guy is like the creepy professor who goes for the co-ed. I think in this whole thing that guy (whose name I can't remember nor care about) is the biggest jerk.

Like Donald Sutherland and Karen Allen in "Animal House," you're thinking? We shouldn't pretend that we know what's going on in these people's relationships -- but that is part of the fun, isn't it? 

If John and Bourke Hickenlooper are related and John grew up back east, might that explain how?

Well, it's not like they're father/son. And don't ask me what level of cousin they are -- I simply don't have enough information for this one.

Just because she pays for the items out of her personal funds (which is stated to make it clear its not tax/campaign dollars), hardly means she paid full retail. Except for the way it lays in the back, which may just be because the photo was taken mid-stride, I like it a lot, and seems to be the good balance for meeting the queen in a semi-formal situation.

Another opinion.

for putting up with LBJ. He had to be difficult to stay married to. I love her name too, it's like a dog's name, but so Texan. RIP Gore Vidal, who had the brawl with William F. Buckley back in the days when intellectuals were interesting.


I think that the network's response to this is so ridiculous. Everyone does THAT. If you are another patron going to go to a place like that, you know that everyone is going to be doing THAT. It's practically the most appropriate place to do THAT outside of your home. It's not like he was sitting in the back row of Ice Age 3 during a Saturday matinee. He's an old guy, this was how you saw dirty movies back in the day and he wanted to go Old School. You don't think the network suits and their syncophants have their own salacious/tawdry/illegal smutty lives?

Honestly, I was surprised to learn that police still patrol these places. For public indecency cases, doesn't the spirit of the law require that you're actually causing a nuisance or offending those around you?

I am reminded why everyone with children should list a guardian AND at least one back-up, not to mention have trustees who truly have the best interests of the children at heart. Your will = last chance to make people do what you say.

Again, I've been out of the loop these past several days -- has Diana Ross come forward yet to crack the whip and set out some standards?

are compounded by the ridiculous Bob Costas. Two nights ago, talking to legendary Bella Karolyi, he tried to make a comparison about the new rule where gymnasts for the all around are determined by country (top 2 per) instead of by score. He used an NCAA basketball reference that Bella could not understand. D'oh! He could have just said "it's like when all the fastest swimmers are Americans in the preliminaries, but only two can go to the finals." Bob is never so ridiculous as when he tries to look smart.

Oh, but that's what I love about the Olympics. The pomposity, the arcane knowledge, the opportunities for cross-cultural offense. (BTW, it's a one-l "Bela.")

No worry--Michelle's jacket pales in comparison to the million dollar horse, three million dollar homes, etc, etc., etc. the Romneys have. If wealth is a race-loser, we;re looking at 4 more years of President Obama.

Interesting point.

Maybe its just that photo - but she looks a lot like Amy Pohlener.

I was thinking the same thing. Sort of a cross between Amy Pohler and Grace Kelly and Daryl Hannah.

The article specifically talked about her styling for her pres run, didn't it? Styling does a lot of good. The snarkier side of me would note that people can only be on that list once, adn perhaps Ms. Bachmann had to, um, wait her turn.

I know people can only be on the list once, and that's why I was surprised she hadn't been on before because, frankly (and we get in trouble for saying this), she's kind of stunning. But as the folks from The Hill noted, she didn't really start to turn heads until she got herself done up for the presidential campaign.

That Diana Ross quip was good Amy. Actually, Diana Ross did a good job of raising her children and probably would have given Michael's children a more normal upbringing.

I agree.

The strategy is, at least for the Chinese, to ensure that the two teams don't meet until the final. How you get seated in the single elimination stage is dependent on results of the Round Robin portion and the Chinese wanted to make sure that both teams would make it to the final.

Complicated stuff.

I second the Early Show on CBS. Charlie Rose is such a calming presence in the morning.

Go figure.

I suppose that analogy works OK if the breakup is related to one partner's affair with a married professor...

It happens.

She actually wasn't bad as Joan Jett.

I liked that movie, and liked her in it.

Couldn't be any worse than David Marsh, who's been giving Springsteen backrubs for a good 35 years now.

Ha. If you haven't read it already, here's Remnick's Springsteen profile.

Happy Birthday! And I think the Pauline Gretzky stuff should crack you up, just a little...

Think of it as a gift.

So I guess she proved yesterday that she deserved her spot on the team! Looking forward to seeing Reed Kessler in the show jumping - her last name may not be as recognizable as Jessica Springsteen's or Georgina Bloomberg's, but she is certainly an interesting addition to the team.

Okay, we'll keep an eye out.

Has there been a more lame controversey in recent memory than the Krauthammer-Pfeiffer pissing match over a Churchill bust? Wouldn't these guys be better served reading some nice TMZ during the day to clear their minds?


Yep! Guy stayed at his parents house for a weekend once. (He was also very very attractive.)

Oh, are we turning into the "missed connections" column for you? ("ISO attractive guy who went to prep school with Jay Carney. . . ")

With Baltimore hosting the National Sports Collectors Convention, are you thinking that we'll be graced with the likes of Mike Tyson and Reggie Jackson swinging through DC? Or would you expect them to be more focused on the meet and greets with what surely will be middle aged guys wearing jorts and Hawaiian shirts?

The latter. Hope you have fun! Bring back photos.

I thought Batman was an absolutely incredible movie. This gal I went with wasn't completely enthralled by it. That's good enough reason to break up, right?

You're calling her a "gal" in the passive-aggressive hope she'll break up with you first, right?

I'm tired of the notion that voters expect wealthy politicians to pretend they're poor because the economy is bad. The Obamas were wealthy before he wrote a best-selling book and became our highest-paid elected official. They can spend their money however they want, and unless they claim to be "regular folks" with the same economic concerns as everybody else (a la Gingrich), the press should lay off. Same goes for the Romneys.

Here's Dan Zak on that very issue.

Ann Romney wore a $990 blouse: So what?

No amount of do-over fixes the crazy eyes.

Men love crazyeyes. That's my theory. I think we've had this conversation before, though.

I would have asked Amy to go with me to see Batman, but was afraid I used the gal reference a little too much

Oh, I saw it. It was okay. I wasn't completely enthralled.

I thought Charlie Rose would be like a sleeping pill in the morning, but he's much better that I thought he would be. Erica Hill is as steady as always, and meshes well with him when they do joint interviews. When Nora O'Donnell subbed for Erica, she did not come off well--stiff, awkward, as if someone someone were slipping her notes as she was talking. And as for Gayle King, well, fortunately, I leave for work by 8.

Who knew this many people were watching CBS This Morning? That's three of you! (Assuming you're not all the same person.)

Why do you guys have to go at the same time? Are you taking vacation together for the doubles discount? What are we supposed to do for two weeks? Work?

Work, and yearn for us: We're trying to keep the magic alive. 

HOWEVER, the fact that we're gone does not mean you should rest. Please keep sending us tips and sightings via Our colleagues here will be keeping an eye on stuff that matters. Signing off now. Enjoy the rest of your August. Dan's story here should put you in the mood:

A digression for August, as summer rots

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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