The Reliable Source Live

Dec 12, 2012

Washington Post columnists Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts were online Wednesday, December 12, at noon ET to discuss your favorite gossip, celebrity sightings and their recent columns.

Past Reliable Source chats

Hello, and welcome to the Reliable Source's weekly online chat -- our second to last in 2012, if you can believe that.


Hey, Jenna Bush is pregnant, y'all! And here are some other topics on our plate or on our radar this week:


Washington, please welcome Michelle Kwan, bureaucrat!


Will fiscal cliff standoff force Michelle Obama and Paul Pelosi to go off to Hawaii together?


Capitol Hill lady seeks love or something like it on “The Bachelor.”


Neil Patrick Harris has so very many fancy dinners.


How much does it cost to hire Erik Estrada for your Christmas party?


New job for former most-glamorous-congressional-spouse Elizabeth Kucinich.


Don’t tell Albert Small’s wife how much he spent on that George Washington letter.


In other news: When Mitt met Manny. Axelrod loses the mustache.  VIP-laden video interview at National Portrait Gallery — is this art? Albert Brooks warns that Twitter will ruin us. Harry Reid bids farewell to Ben Nelson’s hair. Eva Longoria, power broker. Psy kisses and makes up with America at “Christmas in Washington.”


Oh, and I'll go ahead and say it first: RIP Ravi Shankar. And RIP Jenni Rivera.


Looking forward to your questions.

So where does Psy go from here? Movies? Not that I really care, mind you.

I'd like to see him go straight to hosting a talk show. Lots of personality, that guy. Oh, and have you heard? Apparently there's now a lot of dispute about whether that song of his was actually all that anti-American depending on which translator you listen to.

Is looking very strange this morning--graphically, not the comments themselves. Any idea when the gremlins will be dispatched for a more normal appearing section?

They don't look any stranger than normal to me today.

Will you opening your homes to bereft members of Congress who may be stuck in Washington for Christmas if they don't get the fiscal cliff legislation passed in time?

Bring them on. I've got a couple air mattresses they can crash on in the basement, and they go over my tax deductions and monthly bills to see how much cash I'm (not) rolling in. Life in the 99%, baby! On the plus side: My gingerbread cookies and my cats, who will donate their cat hair to the federal deficit.

Has Roxanne been sharing some of her handiwork with Amy (in lieu of card and gift)?

Amy always gets cookies -- and a gift. I like to keep her happy.

Jenna is pregnant. She works for NBC AND Southern Living? Wasn't she a kindergarten teacher? Didn't she stick her tongue out at the press? When did she get to be so smart? Where the heck is her sister? Does she have a significant other?

Yes indeed -- omnimedia juggernaut Jenna Bush Hager is now a contributing editor for Southern Living. She was teaching at charter schools in D.C. and later Baltimore before they relocated to Manhattan, and last we checked, he was still working for Constellation Energy. She recently joked about that famous sticking-her-tongue-out photo. Her twin sister Barbara has been running a non-profit, Global Health Corps and doing some celebvocacy about overseas development. Seems like I saw some hazy conflicting reports about her dating someone interesting but I can't recall or find the details now.

has really let himself go.

Oh, he's looked like that for years.

Any ideas who might be cast in the Game Change sequel? I'm voting for Romney and Ryan to be Bruce Greenwood and John Lucas. With Joe Biden as himself.

Josh Lucas do you mean? Hmmm, with the right hair dye, that could actually work. Any other casting ideas? Or any ideas at all about whether there's enough story in this election to make a movie from it?

I am truly shock and saddened to learn that PERHAPS there is "staging and salting" going on at Storage Wars! Like in the middle of bags of moldy clothes there is a $1000 porcelain figurine! Or another such valuable treasure. Then again, coming from fired ego-maniac Dave, maybe it's all just sour grapes. What's a girl to think?!

Dave may be sour grapes, but a smart girl knows reality shows are never real. By now, every treasure in storage units has been discovered and yet the show goes on. Bring on the Lladro!

I'm thinking of shaving my goatee for charity. How do I go about doing that?

I vote for a razor.

Is the paper too poor to throw one?

The Post does a big company-wide party this time of year -- in fact, it's today, at which they present the Eugene Meyer Awards to worthy longtime employees.  But the individual departments do their own holiday parties, usually at someone's house. Dan Zak was Style's host this year, and quite a good one he was.

Darn, I just totally forgot about that magic moment until it was 12:13. How did you celebrate?

Aw, hell. Me too.


You know how I celebrated? By looking at the clock and hitting "start" on this chat. 

In that story in Post about potentially charging for web content, would that include this chat???

Good question. How much would you pay? Is it even possible to put a price on such an experience?

Wit a few days off for the holidays, I'm hoping to get caught up on movies. What are you hearing about Les Miserables or Jack Reacher?

Unless you are writing your doctoral dissertation on the career of Tom Cruise, do not even bother with "Jack Reacher." . . . . Meanwhile, I feel like I've already seen "Les Miserables," thanks to that trailer that keeps telling me that they're singing live! And this has never been done before! And we didn't want to go for the pretty version! And if you don't appreciate how groundbreaking this movie it, then the problem is with you!

I usually don't care when celebrities or famous people have babies. I am more interested in the fancy weddings - sort of like an indulgence. But the royal pregnancy irks me. I find monarchies to be awfully silly in this day and age, even if they are nothing but figureheads. I don't understand it and I'm an Anglo-phile who finds English monarchy history fascinating. It's the modern obsession that I don't get. And I'm against ALL monarchies not just the English one. The Japanese one is worse. Am I alone here?

Let's separate your modern monarchy issues with the baby issue. If you don't like royals, then anything (weddings, babies, rehab) will irk you. If you love royals, then a royal baby is thrilling -- even in this day and age.

Royals hang on -- for the most part -- because a majority of the country's citizens like them or, at least, tolerate them. I don't begrudge royal babies -- these people are just trying to have something of a normal life. Then again, I'm not footing the bill for any of it.

If anyone else with Michelle Kwan's utter lack of experience applied for the job that she got, they'd be laughed out of the office. Harrumph. Signed, Person with Actual Public Affairs Experience Who Can't Get a Job at State

Point taken. Life is not fair.

I did not know that. Interesting age difference there - who's the baby momma?

Her mother was a concert producer named Sue Jones. Norah was born when Shankar almost 60, and the parents separated when she was little -- in fact, he had another daughter, musician Anoushka Shankar, with another woman just two years after Norah's birth -- and they were not particularly close, from what I've read.

Lesley Murphy must be expecting to make a career out of the Bachelor - whether she makes it or not. There's Bachelor Pad, Dancing with the Stars, and 5 trillion other reality shows she can hit up after she's booted from the show. Ok, I've talked myself into making sense out of this.

One of our colleagues was saying, "How can someone who is serious about her Washington job do a reality show?" And we said, "well, who says she is?" Indeed -- you make a splash on "The Bachelor," you potentially have a TV afterlife of three or four years.

So that guys talks about how he wants destruction of America, and there is really very little backlash. The Dixie Chicks make a criticism of war and they are banned all across the country. Where is the line here?

It's timing. The Dixie Chicks dissed the president and the war in real time; Psy's insult was years ago and he's not an American. Also, the nerves are less raw now, I think.

Do you think W. is hoping that baby Hager will end up marrying baby future king/queen of England?

That is a BRILLIANT idea.

I so prefer Joe Biden's intro in a few years. "Hey, I'm Joe Biden. You might remember me, I used to be Vice President. Now I'm here to take care of your lawn. You don't mind if there's a few camera crews in tow do you?"

Joe! I love Joe! Joe can stay at my house any time he wants and I'll give him the couch!

Why are people down on Psy? We were torturing prisoners and the invasion of Iraq is regarded by most of the world as a war crime.

I'm going to have you and the next chatter step outside to talk this one through.

Look, if you were a relative of somebody who died in the service of his country, I doubt that you would be that blase about Psy's words. Not only is he basically completely talentless, but there's no reason to parade somebody who spews hatred for a CHRISTMAS concert. He should have been replaced.

You two work this out, okay?

Getting jealous of all those people on twitter posting photos of their phones.

Never, ever, be jealous of people on Twitter.

What is her special correspondent role with NBC? It is to basically just exclusively give details about her life?

No, she interviews people and does feel-good stories . . . I honestly don't watch enough to tell you what she does.

Toby Jones and Laura Dern (hey, she did the Katherine Harris makeup in Recount) as Mr and Mrs Gingrich?

Hmmm, counter-intuitive, but I like it.

Michelle Kwan or Kal Penn? I'm thinking I'd go with Michelle. And would take them all over Chelsea Clinton, Jenna Bush or Luke Russert. Indeed, life is not fair.

And a trombone plays: Wah, wah, wahhhhh. 

How expensive would it be to get Erik Estrada's old riding partner Larry Wilcox to show up at a holiday party?

Good question. Apparently he's currently on probation for securities fraud. Does that make him more or less affordable, do you think?

Glancing only quickly at the first question, I thought the poster was proposing that Psy's next step was to join the cast of Downton Abbey. Which would be terrible and awesome and terrible and awesome.

Upstairs as an Asiann prince in England? Or downstarirs as a stable boy?

Will Chelsea try to one-up her now on MSNBC?

Oh, no, if she'd going to announce on TV, she'll do it on NBC, not cable. Ball's in your court, now, Chelsea.

They can play up the Mormon End-of-Days theme that required a Mormon President who would change the US Constitution to make it more friendly to the end of days theme. Which would explain why Romney was so vague about the specifics of his policies.

Um, I think they're going to stick with stuff that actually  happened.

Women hoping to move up career-wise to George Clooney's girlfriend, which I understand has great benefits and severance, although the competition is fierce.

Yeah, but a short-term gig.

Glancing only quickly at the first question, I thought the poster was proposing that Psy's next step was to join the cast of Downton Abbey. Which would be terrible and awesome and terrible and awesome.

Oppan Downton style! Op op op op -- oppan Downton style!

So being critical of the US and its actions makes him unwanted. However, if you beat the heck out of your girlfriend, all will be forgiven and you will go on continuing to be a global icon? Seems fair to me.

I think we already established that Life is Not Fair. That should be the theme of today's chat.

Saw him on Letterman last night. How old is he? He is not looking good these days.

He'll be 70 next summer. How do you think he should look? This is no longer an option.

CHelsea Clinton shouldn't be an on-air "reporter" or personality or whatever she is. Unlike the other two, however, she has shown some brains and ability to focus on something seriously.

In fact, Chelsea is far too serious to be a TV personality. Smart doesn't mean good on TV.

I'm sorry, but are people just realizing that privilege has rewards? People with connections getting jobs is nothing new, and it's even more understandable that in a rough economy, people would leverage their connections even more. Good grief.

More proof.

Did Tom Cruise actually read the book? Jack Reacher is a large, tall, hard looking man. It is a very key point to the books. Having Tom Cruise in the movie makes it sound like a parody.

Not having read the book, I can tell you that Tom Cruise's stature was not a problem at all. The flimsy plot, the banal car chases, the unimaginative fight scenes, Rosamund Pike's uncomfortable accent, the general made-for-TV cheapness of the whole production -- except, what was Werner Herzog doing in this movie??? -- those were the problems.

Sarah Larson was on Fear Factor with her then-boyfriend, and then after some time, became a cocktail waitress in Las Vegas. Hers was a bit of an anomaly for George. It pains me that I know so much about George's girlfriends.

Hey, there are worse things in the world.

The actress who plays Howard's wife on "Big Bang Theory" should play Calista, and maybe Jack Black (whom I can't stand, so this is perfect) could play Newt.


Who will be a more fun Gramps--Prince Charles or GW Bush?

I think they will both be fun in their own special ways.

Maybe I'm just being a cynic, but there's something about her career that has publicist written all over it. And, how much do you want to bet she ends up running for office?

I don't think she'll want to take the pay cut.

Bill Paxton plays Romney just like on "Big Love". Jeanne Tripplehorn plays his wife. Its already perfect. Freddie Munez plays Paul Ryan.

Freddie Munoz? Or Frankie Muniz? Who are we talking about here?

You can't throw that out there and not give us details. He's such a spectacularly hillarious car crash!

No details to give, but I'm guessing he was everything Erik ("host friendly") was not. I'm imaging fights about airline tickets, cars, hotel, etc. etc.  

In jail or not in jail?

Depends what happens at today's hearing. I am continually surprised by her ability to wiggle out of jail time. But the girl is in serious trouble -- again. Shocked, shocked. Even Charlie Sheen -- who gave her $100K for her taxes -- is mad at her.

What ever happened to that movie that was going to be made about the White House butler? I thought the Post was somehow involved in that, but I have not heard much about it for awhile.

The movie "The Butler," based on our colleague Wil Haygood's story about Eugene Allen (if you haven't read it yet, go do it now), wrapped up filming in New Orleans earlier this fall; it's scheduled for release sometime during next fall's prestige-film/awards-bait season. Here's a good story about it:

'The Butler’: A labor of love becomes an unlikely A-list production

Please type faster. I'm getting over the flu and need to take a nap. These delays are killing me.

Hello. I'm Roxanne. I am a terrible typer. Have we met?

So wait, is it fair?


UH - I think there are a lot of people who come to DC because they have a connection that gets them a job, not because they are suffused with love of policy or politics. (Monica Lewinsky, anyone?) Then they do something or something happens to make them famous, and that's the end of the DC career. Also, it's hard to take a PR/communications newbie very seriously.

Especially a 25-year-old-newbie. But I'm not g0ing to make any blonde jokes.

So in addition to her hypersexual expressions of late, I read recently that Rhianna is a major dopehead. I worry about her continuing to hook up with the guy who beat her up.She and Lindsay Lohan should do their own distorted reality show.

I'm very sad about Rihanna. It's not going to end well for her.

If money (and logistics) were no object, who would you want as your holiday party novelty guest?

You mean, besides Jim Vance and Joe Biden? Let me think about it. How about you?

I want that adorable monkey wearing the sherling coat in IKEA.

Is he going to have a job in the second term of the Obama Administration, or is he back to making stoner movies for good?

Good question, I was wondering if he's headed back here. Looks like he's got a couple of film/TV projects in the works, though.

Oddly I can remember being 5 years old and my brother being really into 8/8/88 and watching the clock on the stove at our family cottage for it to turn 8 o'clock in the morning.

I can't remember -- what did we do last year for 11/11/11?

How did I not know this? Is he mad at Brooke for ending up in rehab for the 19th time, too?

He's mad at Lilo for not saying thanks for the $100K. Which I assumed she had. Bad, bad, bad.

Besides world peace, winning lottery tickets and exclusive interviews?

A shearling coat like that monkey was wearing.

all these people who are outraged that people with connections get jobs shoudl apply for the job of the person who left a job to go on the Bachelor. Then all the "who leaves a job to go on a show" people can be soothed by the thoughts of the people who may get her now-empty job!

I kind of like this...

Think of it like the presidential primary process. Or one of the national political conventions. Then it seems a lot more fun.

Royal debates about breast feeding and nappies!

I sent in the Ross Detwiler/Craig Stammen question early this morning. I know you don't care about the Nationals, but some of us do, especially when they are going to visit our troops over their holidays.

Hold your horses, lady. Who says we don't care about the Nationals? We're drowning in unrelated questions here, but we answer your questions about the Nats every week! But in the meantime, I apologize -- with the sheer cavalcade of Nats weddings this season, we kinda sorta forgot about Ross Detwiler's wedding coming up so soon after Morse's. And also didn't hear a word of buzz about it. Presumably it happened. And congratulations to him!

what's yours? Mine is watching a movie or two on the Hallmark channel. Sappy, wholesome, and lots of Christmas cheer. See Christmas with Holly for ex.

Or Lifetime, which does holiday marathons every weekend in December. Happy Endings all around. Good for wrapping presents. 

Let himself go? That would be some achievement. In the 90s, Dennis Miller described Gerard Dipardieu as Masada in a bad Eva Gabor wig. Can't imagine how much worse he could look now.

I'm sure this new look of his is just for a movie role. Now, maybe you're concerned about his recent activities (i.e., urinating in the aisle of an airplane, falling off his scooter drunk). But in terms of  "letting himself go" -- that's just how Gerard Depardieu has looked since about 1974.

I remember 12:34 on May 6, 1978. Or, 12:34 5/6/78

Oh, now that's magical. How did you celebrate?

Oh my gosh, you are right! But he is a perfect Paul Ryan.

I still don't know which one you meant originally, but we'll happily bring them both in for readings.

and my grandmother would add "and then you die." Happy Wednesday!

Back atcha!

This whole time I was picturing Mark Consuelos hosting my XXX-mas party. So much better than Erik Estrada even if his movie was playing when I was born.

Your XXX-mas party. Ha.

So when newspapers quit publishing, what will newspapers call themselves? Newsbits? Newsbytes? Newswebs? Newspixels?


The Catholic church alerted me to this special celebrity day by trumpeting Mexican music (real trumpets) at exactly 5 AM this morning. Who else is celebrating?

Like, a mariachi band? Awesome.

I agree that Chelsea is very smart (how could she not be with two brilliant parents?) but her lack of focus has been kind of surprising. She worked for McKinsey, then at a hedge fund, then got a degree in public health and had agreed to teach but changed her mind, then decided to do the news thing, and apparently now has decided again to teach and to live a "purposefully public life" apparently with an eye to running for office. Dang. Pick something and stick with it, girl.

Fortunately there are broadcast jobs available for all political scions to fall back on these days.

Gary Busey as Joe Biden!!!

Joe deserves better.

Ha. I guess that's kind of what I did, though, isn't it?


(If the paywall gets you, the Social Qs advice columnist responds to a question by saying: "Given the number of times you submitted this question (three), and your rejection of my informal advice to let it go, I get it.")

Well, given my age at the time, I probably celebrated with a Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pie.

Hey, pass that box over.

I will never get that Asterix picture out of my head. Thanks for nothing.

It's been haunting me the past two days, and the only way to get it out of my head was to put it into yours.

When you invite Gary Busey to your holiday party, you are getting exactly what you deserve.

Honestly, I would want a rider in the contract in which he promises to be difficult.

Not asking who is the best movie/tv president, or your favorite m/t pres, but who in your opinion is the best looking? I vote for Adrian Pasdar on that mini-series Capital Crimes (or whatever), but Scandal's Tony Goldwyn is a close second.

Where were you an hour ago? This is an excellent question. But honestly, I don't really need much time for this. The answer is obviously the POTUS of my heart, Bill Pullman.


(Tony Goldwyn is the worst president our nation has ever seen, worse even than David Palmer's unimpressive younger brother, but he is pretty buff.)

Do you think they would react the Seamus incident?

Hope so. Just so that the Humane Society has an excuse to send its watchdogs to the set.

Also, she was going to be a ballerina at one point. Whatever intelligence she has is completely unfocused. But I can understand how having two completely driven and focused parents can drive their child to another extreme. Honestly, I wish for her sake that she had some of Jenna's fun-loving nature. Chelsea is always SO SERIOUS.

I think the ballerina dream was a kid thing, so it doesn't count. But if serious is her thing, why not hunker down in an NGO/academic/think tank job? I suspect $$$$$$ is part of the answer.

I was under the impression that real estate agents were prohibited from holding other employment, as a means of ensuring that part-timers didn't hinder the earning potential for full-timers. Is that true in DC? If yes, will the local real estate licensing board censure her?

I've never heard of a rule like that -- and it seems like I've known of many people who do real estate on the side. Maybe some jurisdictions have rules like that?

I want it to be a la carte--so I can choose to pay for your chat, Hax, Miss Manners and breaking news, but not have to pay for anyone/thing I don't like. That would shake things up.

Well, isn't that always the case? You only click on the things you want to read. Or are you suggesting we send you a rebate if you read something and don't like it? (Whoops, I shouldn't have planted that idea in anyone's head.)

But, who would play Clint's chair?

Woody Harrelson?

That would be something that only an employer could do. If the real estate board did it, it would probably be a violation of antitrust or local employment law.

Yeah, probably.

Both Tom Cruise and Brad Pitts most recent flicks seem to be dogs. They've been carrying movies for about 20 years now. Are we finally tired of seeing them run after cars, etc? Who will replace them?

No one. The era of stars is over.

Don't let Channing Tatum hear you say that.

Yo, CHANNING! I'm talking to YOU!

Wasn't she well into her teens and still dancing? I remember one year she danced the part of the Favorite Aunt, which is not something you can do at 8 or 10 unless you're very tall!

I can't remember how long she stayed with ballet. But you know, it's a nice hobby. I took piano all through high school with no illusions of going pro.

Yse, like that picture of Gerard Depardieu.

I'll be more careful in the future.

Interesting comment. Discuss.

How about next week?

The key to staying girlfriend to George seems to be keeping your mouth shut about any kind of promotion. He has said he's a poor husband and will not marry again. Believe him until he tells you otherwise explicitly. Then think hard about that "bad husband" part before you say yes.

Some men are better boyfriends than husbands. Good to remember.

i swear i'm not crazy nats angry chatter...but i don't think they were talking weddings:

Ross Detwiler, Craig Stammen traveling on USO Holiday Tour

Hey, no one's crazy here, just passionate. But yes, thanks for directing to that nice story, which was just one topic on the chatter's list; in an earlier question, the one I hadn't gotten around to posting yet, she chided us for not delivering news of Detwiler's wedding; sorry that probably wasn't clear from the exchange we did post.


And to the original chatter -- keep coming back! We love your contributions, Nats-related or not. Just be patient if we're not answering you right away. Lots of good questions here that we won't get around to answering at all on any given week.

It must be a slow week. I got 13 comments into the chat as of 1:15.

No, actually -- you're just that good.

Yes, dear, we know privilege has rewards. But if we cannot take a fleeting moment to roll our eyes with our RS girlfriends about how unfair it is and then make fun of her hair just because we're petty, well then the terrorists really have won.

Or Grinch, since it is the season. Besides, that's what girlfriends are for.

Less than two weeks to Christmas! Sent your tips, sightings (VIPS shopping would be really good), and other holiday cheer to Next week, same time. 


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