The Reliable Source Live

Sep 12, 2012

Washington Post columnist Amy Argetsinger was online Wednesday, September 12, at noon ET to discuss your favorite gossip, celebrity sightings and their recent columns.

Past Reliable Source chats

Good morning everyone, and welcome back. I think this is the first chat Roxanne and I have been in together since early August, what with vacation and the conventions splitting us off in different directions.


Here's what's been going on: Another power couple breaks up, while a scandal couple reunites (maybe). A royal wedding in Washington, and the Lively/Reynolds nuptials in South Carolina. Have you met Joe Biden’s new biker pal? And check out Tim Geithner’s not-bad triathlon time.

Also, care to look back at the conventions?: Clint Eastwood, Jon Voight, Michaele Salahi, Chloe Romney, all those women in red, and John McCain’s quiet birthday. Jeff Bridges, the Castro twins, Kal Penn, Sebastian Bach’s problem with Paul Ryan, the new campaign sex book, and how to get stars to come to your party.


Now, time for your questions.

Way to go ladies. Nice to see you didn't feel the need to hide your obvious bias during coverage of the conventions. You two seemed to find the RNC a much livelier, better run, sparkling with celebrities event than the DNC. A few probably shared only by Republican officials and hard core conservatives.

Er, you want to give us some specific examples of this bias? Roxanne went to Tampa, and I went to Charlotte, and I think we had equally miserable experiences. Otherwise it may just be that Rox is a better reporter than me.


And you say "sparkling with celebrities" like that's an unequivocally good thing. Yes, the Democratic convention wasn't as celebrity-sparkly as last time -- and nothing like Clint Eastwood -- but we did highlight all these pretty people, if you're into that kind of thing. But go ahead, break it down for me, please.



Rox, rumor has it that George Clooney may soon be on the market again. Hope you're prepping for his re-entry!

Wife? Hahahhahahaha. The best a girl can hope for with George seems to be a memorable year or two. I keep waiting for George to have a Warren Beatty epiphany and find his own Annette Benning -- but I'm not holding my breath. Plus, his rep is totally denying these rumors, so I wouldn't get too worked up yet. 

Any notable difference between the two conventions with parties and swag? The two parties present such different faces, just wonder if it shows up in the parties and goodies. Great to have the two of you back!

I don't think either of us encountered any good swag. Roxanne says she got a Journey t-shirt. I think I got a cheapo pedometer. I'm sure we both got some pretty good free meals. But I think the good swag is reserved, rightfully, for people with an influential vote or the ability to donate $30,000.

Amy, what was your highlight moment at the convention? Dana Milbank seemed to be scoring a lot of goodies, hope you did the same?

My highlight moment was the morning (okay, noon) I finally racked up a breakfast tab larger than $10 at the Cracker Barrel next to my hotel. And managing to salvage and save our lead blog story moments before the networks crashed. But seeing Sebastian Bach in the flesh was definitely fun.

Is he campaigning for Obama these days, or back to his acting career? Adam Scott from Parks and Rec was here in Iowa last week looking a tad bemused.

He seems to be doing both. Was very visible during the convention but also seems to be working a lot. . . . Doesn't Adam Scott always look bemused? He and Rashida Jones were campaigning at UofI, right?

I find it interesting that Ryan Reynolds likes to get married. I know it's only his second, but he was also engaged to Alanis Morissette. So he seems to go for serious relationships over super-model flings like many of his cohorts. Hope this one lasts for him.

Was just thinking the same thing. He married both ScarJo and Blake Lively after only about a year of dating each. . . . Yes, good luck to those kids. I found this guide to his future romantic life very useful, but then I'm a bad person.

How did it sell? Did it sell? Lots of stacks at my local bookstore and I'll wager in any place else that it's still on display.

Her publisher told The New Republic (and go read the entire story) that it sold 25,000 copies, which isn't bad, really, considering no one buys books anymore.

I couldn't believe how much older the Obama girls look than they did four years ago. Boy, they grew up fast, or so it seems. They were both looking age-appropriately pretty at the convention.

True on both counts. Malia (14) was already tall, and now has shot up; Sasha (11) has filled out and looks less like a litte girl and more like a pre-teen. 

How tough could it be to rack up plus $10 at the Cracker Barrel? A chicken fried steak with hash browns and two eggs, a side of grits for regularity, orange juice and coffee gets you over ten bucks, easy.

Yes, but I didn't want a chicken fried steak. For a couple of days there, I was ordering enough food to fill up my table (usually variations involving eggs, oatmeal, pancakes, and the usual sides, plus bran muffin) and was still lingering in the $9 realm. By the way, that place is great. They need to open one on 14th Street.

Does RGIII have a girlfriend? If not, I think we can assume it will be someone famous. Which means you'll be getting in stars in town. And if he has a slew of em, that will be a slew of new star sightings for you. Natch I'm assuming he'll import his women from out of town.

He does indeed -- not just a a girlfriend but a fiancee, according to Dave Sheinin's fine RGIII story from the other day:


"Now 22, Griffin is already a man in full, with a $21.1 million contract, a ubiquitous nickname (RGIII) and the hopes of a franchise resting on his shoulders. The Heisman Trophy, earned as a junior at Baylor in 2011, sits on the mantel of his suburban Virginia home. He has a fiancee, Rebecca Liddicoat, whose high school class ring he wears around his neck day and night, alongside a dog tag with a Bible quote from Jeremiah 29:11: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’ ”"

Wow, there's a name I haven't heard or though of for a LONG time. I can't tell you how many dinners I had with my grandparents at Cracker Barrel when I was growing up. I still remember how wonderful the waitresses were to little children. Did you manage to walk through the gift shop without buying anything? I knew my grandparents were good for at least one present for me every time we went.

I, a native of the upper Midwest, cannot recall ever dining at a Cracker Bareel. Amy brought back two boxes of Moon Pies (banana, chocolate) for the office, which I also had never tried before. I ate TWO chocolate. 

Those two pieces of trash deserve each other.

So, you wish them well, it sounds like.

the Democratic convention looked more interesting than the Republican. I love the crowd shots at both conventions. I"ve known a few people who were delegates over the years and they have been crazy into politics. I can't imagine an entire convention center filled with political junkies!

It's definitely a different world, the conventions.


Having only seen one with my own eyes, hard to say which was wackier. Make sure you check out Todd Tiahrt's get-up before you decide.

I know a personal trainer who has Blake as a client and says she and Ryan are the nicest people and are really down to Earth. It's nice to know people are nice, but why is it more fun to know when they're not?

Let's break this down:

1. Would a personal trainer currently working for a celebrity client diss that person? Unlikely.

2. Celebrities get extra credit for normal manners.

3. It's easier to be Down to Earth when you never have to fly coach. Just sayin'. The real test is what happens if they get bumped to the back of the plane, in a middle seat, next to a crying baby.

4. I think stars behaving badly is more newsworthy than stars behaving well. And more fun to gossip about.



I keep wishing it were November, just to get rid of these political ads that are nonstop

It's a good season for baritone voice-over artists, though.

She must have started using the M-word around Clooney. Big No-no

It's like a drug. Every girlfriend thinks they are going to be Ms. Right instead of Ms. Right Now. I wonder if they get parting gifts.

Can we get more detail on the hottest men in DC pro sports please?

But Jayson Werth is already married! And soon, all of the rest of them will be too. Did you see Sarah Kogod's story on this? I linked to it the other day. Seven Nat have plans get hitched in the off-season, including Ryan Zimmerman, Michael Morse, Ross Detwiler, Craig Stammen, Jordan Zimmermann, Edwin Jackson and Corey Brown. So, if you were hoping that the Nats' amazing winning streak was going to be boon to Washington's social life along the lines of a Derek Jeter or A-Rod, I'm afraid that's not the case.


So, what went wrong for Bill Frist and his wife? And why do you think they were so secretive about it?

Hard to say what goes on in a marriage after three decades. You always think if a couple has been together that long, they might as well stay together---unless there's a third party involved. I can't begin to understand why they denied it for so long after it was clear to so many people that the marriage was over. Their spokesman was still insisting everything was fine when Karyn stopped wearing her wedding rings in public-- which is about the biggest "Hello?!" you can send.  All those denials just created more rumors, which is the opposite of what they apparently wanted. Weird.

Letterman? That surprised me....

Letterman and Dustin Hoffman and Led Zeppelin. (Also a jazz musician and a ballerina.) It's quite a baby boomer Mount Rushmore there. . . . Meanwhile, you know who deserves it next year? This guy, Paul Williams.

2012 Kennedy Center Honors

I love this point. It reminds me of how American Airlines' inflight mag used to profile a celebrity and his or her favorite city every issue. They were (unintentionally) hilarious because the celebs almost never had any advice that related to normal people. You'd read people like Julia Roberts saying things like "Oh I love the Four Seasons in Paris, just ask for Paolo the manager and he'll make sure everything is taken care of!" Strangely, Paolo didn't return my calls . . . .

.....because Julia Roberts was on Line One, and Blake Lively on Line Two. Busy guy.

George is more likely to be getting the Lake Como villa re-keyed. Just sayin'

I'm sure the contract has provisions to dissuade that kind of behavior.

Did someone just imply that the washpo has a right/repub bias? That is awesome!

Oh, you should see our mailbox. We are routinely accused of bias in all different directions, not infrequently on the same story.

How would they spell their last name? Would they pick one N or two? Or go the hyphenation route and compromise: Jordan Zimmermann-Zimmerman and Ryan Zimmerman-Zimmermann?

I think they'd go the Robert Zimmerman route and take the name "Dylan."

First Newt and his first two Gingrich wives, then the Edwards, then the Gores and now the Frists. Who would have thought the Hillary and Bill are the ones most likely to go the distance?

Seriously, I think that all the time . . .

The person who told me about Blake and Ryan had nothing to gain by saying they were nice if they weren't. I"m not a gossip columnist and I'm sure she didn't think I would be writing into a chat about it. If anything she'd want to say they were bad to make for a better story.

I don't doubt they're nice to her, but it's like one of those humblebrags, "I work with Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds"--which probably doesn't hurt business. That being said, I hope she's right and they a sweet couple who treat everyone right, never ask for discounts, and always pay their bills on time. 

Wow was I wrong about him. Good.

I don't envy him, the weight of expectations and glare of attention on him these days . . . .

Actually, Letterman's selection doesn't surprise me in the least. He's been making loads of in-kind donations to the Obamas over the past four years, not just in the number of appearances, but in his softball interviews. Politics ALWAYS have a role in these selections, and only the hopelessly naive think otherwise.

Oh, I think these Honors are always a matter more of who can inspire a lot of big-dollar donations to fill the seats in the theater and who will get people to tune into a CBS broadcast between Christmas and New Year's. . . . After all, remember, it was during the Bush years that Barbra Streisand was recognized.

You forgot to mention his best song of all!

Yes, "Rainbow Connection" -- I don't know if it's his best, but it definitely has a lot of resonance for people my age, thanks to the original "Muppet Movie." It was robbed at the Oscars, I tell you -- robbed. 

Better question sometimes is what took so long? Just in general, but sometimes it's just procrastination.

I once read that people stay in unhappy marriages until they are presented with a better reality. It's an interesting theory, because it makes the other man or other woman a catalyst for action, rather than homebreakers. That being said, what happens next requires honesty and honor by all involved, which seem to be in short supply under those circumstances.

I used to work at the Kennedy Center. Trust me, the presidential administration has no say over who gets those awards.

I would love to know more about the selection process. I know that "who will agree to show up" must be a bigger factor than we realize.

FYI, the closest Cracker Barrels to DC are in Manassas, Dumfries, Waldorf, and Stevensville MD (just over the Bay Bridge).

I think it's time for some urban Cracker Barrels, don't you?

You forgot to mention his appearance on Yo Gabba Gabba!

I think that's the link we just put out, right?

Do you think they will play? And, what COULD they possibly play?

No. The honorees never perform -- they sit in the box and watch as other artists perform in their honor. Which is always a little weird, especially with the musical honorees, because despite all best intentions, it's their music being performed by lesser artists. Best case scenario, the Led Zeppelin songs will be performed by (my rough guess, based on the kinds of stars they've lined up for past Honors) people like Dave Grohl, Melissa Etheridge, Bettye Lavette and Adam Lambert.

Tyler Clippard & Drew Storen are still eligible, and they are much too good looking to spend their evenings playing video games. Get them some nice girls who know how to cook. And of course cute little BammBamm Harper is eligible. . .

He's the one to watch, isn't he?

I have a really hard time thinking he is going to have more than an incredibly superficial relationship with Cate going forward...

Ah, there a thinly-veiled novel here. Cate has done everything she could to hold the family together and loves her father, despite everything. But all this has to be so difficult for her.

I would agree with the commenter that the president probably doesn't have any input. But the members of the board of directors ARE appointed by the president, so saying there's no politics involved is, yes, like the other poster said, naive. These people know what side their bread is buttered on.

Yeah, but, you're overthinking things. At the end of the day, the president -- whoever it is -- has bigger things on his plate than who gets a Kennedy Center Honor. And the people on the board (which, if you look at it, includes a lot of Republicans) know that their priority in that role is to keep the Kennedy Center solvent -- and the Kennedy Center Honors is nothing but a way to raise money for the place, from deep-pocketed donors who tend to come from both parties. Are a lot of the honorees liberal? Absolutely. As was the case during Republican administrations as well. Because the honorees are drawn from the world of show-biz, which is overwhelmingly liberal. Though Clint Eastwood got his Kennedy Center Honor in 2000.

Do you think that they keep getting pulled back together because everyone thinks they are so toxic that its impossible to date anyone else?

What you call "mutual toxicity" others might call "destiny."

Where's John Paul Jones? Why is he always left out?

Oh, he's included in the lineup this time.

Thank you, I just laughed out loud and snorted.

Hey, it's his new nickname.

In case you get a hankering, you can order cases direct from the manufacturer ... they even have the mini moon pies (a personal favorite).

Well, where's the sense of adventure in that.

Do you think this person meant Reille (sp?)??

No, I think the previous chatter assumes John's relationship with Rielle must be pretty aggravating for his daughter Cate.

So where does he rank in the US News and World Report list?

You folks are so hoidy toidy. I'm a Stuckey's man. I can drive from Rocky Mount to Jacksonville on a single pecan log.

It's all about your childhood haunts -- I was a Dairy Queen kid. No snobbery intended.

Lots of news today, so thanks for taking the time to chat. Send your tips and sightings to and enjoy these gorgeous fall days.


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