The Reliable Source Live

Dec 18, 2013

Washington Post columnists Roxanne Roberts was online Wednesday, December 18, at noon ET to discuss your favorite gossip, celebrity sightings and recent columns.

Past Reliable Source chats

Chatters: Welcome to the last chat of 2013 -- and my last chat as a Reliable Sourcette. After eight years, I'm leaving the column -- but not Style, where I'll be writing longer features about Washington and the people who make this city so interesting. I cannot tell you how much fun the chat has been; I'll miss the weekly cat questions and typo shaming -- but especially all of you. Starting on Jan. 6, the new Reliable Source team, Emily Heil and Helena Andrews, will be taking over the column and the Wednesday chat.

With that news, let's dive in on the week's highlights: Michaele Salahi and Neal Schon tie the knot — in a pay-per-view wedding, naturally. The White House holiday parties are more low-key this year than usual. Sorry Oprah — “The Butler” was totally snubbed during the Golden Globes nominations.  To the surprise of many, Idina Menzel and Taye Diggs called it quits. To the surprise of almost no one, Khloe Kardashian officially filed for divorce from Lamar Odom. David Rubenstein bought a copy of the Magna Carta. Rep. Joaquin Castro and Anna Flores had their baby, a daughter named Andrea Elena. Kelly Rutherford talked about her international custody battle at a D.C. event. Chris Brown’s probation has been revoked because of his Washington arrest. Richard Gere was spotted at Rasika. And finally: What’s the real truth behind the Obama-Schmidt selfie?



Last week you all forgot one of the best and most overlooked Christmas movie out there. One Magic Christmas, starring Mary Steenburgen, and Harry Dean Stanton. IMDb describes it as... An angel must show a mother the true meaning of Christmas. It's not just presents and materialistic things, but the people she cares about...I look for it ever year but rarely see it on TV.

Never even heard of it. Keep your eyes out, people.

I don't think you ever did a Postcard from Pittsburgh, Tom. We are making our second trip to Le Mont tomorrow for my husband's birthday, but I understand there are three other restaurants atop Mt.Washington with amazing views of the city. Do you have opinions about Le Mont, Tin Angel, Isabela's, or Grandview Saloon?

Multitasking the chats? Reliable Source fans -- any advice on dining in the city of three rivers?

The description of the RS chat on still includes Amy. I think you should update it, and maybe ad Emily, who has been a nice addition (and hopefully permanent?).

Well thank you! Yes, that will be updated. Sadly, this will be my last Reliable Source chat -- as Rox said above, the new team starts in January. It's been such a blast getting to help write column for the last couple of months, as Roxanne and Amy are obviously wonderful.

Hope all is well with everyone. I'm sure Eliza's first Christmas will be very special. I want to send my good wishes to everyone at Reliable Source. My Christmas wish for Eliza is good health; for Amy it's good nights' sleep! For the Nationals a World Series championship. As a good Pittsburgh girl, I'm torn between the Pens and the Caps for the Stanley Cup. For the Wiz and the Skins. . .sigh!

And good wishes to you! Root for the Caps --- Washington needs a winning team!

Judging by the photo in yesterday's column, Malia is growing like a weed! She certainly doesn't look like a little girl anymore.

I covered the "Christmas in Washington" concert on Sunday night and could not believe how grown-up both daughters looked! I've never seen them in person before, but it's crazy how much older they look than in January at the Inauguration. But I guess we don't see too many pictures of them in between.

I forgot my lunch today. What should I get?

Another question for Tom? Well, I vote for a salad, what with all the Christmas parties and goodies in the next couple weeks. Easier to be good at lunch than a party with cookies calling your name.

How many people actually ponied up?

I'm currently trying to track this info down -- something tells me this will not be easy to get. But seriously, it's my mission, and I wish we could also get viewer names and phone numbers so I could ask people why.

We're losing Amy AND you?? I have faith in Emily and Helena, but this is a little too much information for me to synthesize. I suppose you wanted to pull off the bandaid fast but yeesh. Give a girl a little notice to grieve!

Nah, just didn't want the last month to be all about me. I figured slipping the news at the end of the chat was like leaving a party without saying goodbye to the host, but you'll have a couple weeks without the chat to get ready for the new team.

Can tell you dislike long good-byes by letting us know the last chat of the year will be your last. You're a "just rip the band-aid off" type of girl. We'll miss you, guess the new year will bring more changes, hope you enjoy the change in work assignments.


Wednesday at noon won't be the same. Not necessarily worse, but definitely not the same.

They say change is good, and I hope you all fall in love with the new Sourcettes. That being said, I'll miss all of you.

I missed the last couple of weeks (sorry, out of the country, blah blah blah) but I have to add my favorite Christmas movie: "Just Friends," with Ryan Reynolds and Anna Faris. So it's not exactly Christmas-y (though it's set during the season) and some (my sisters) would find it crass, but I howl laughing every single time I watch it. Anna Faris is ahhmazingly funny.

Was this one of those friends-with-benefits movies? A bunch came out at the same time and I never bothered because I assumed they all ended with the couples in love. Romcoms don't work if the movie ends with, "Yeah, I don't mind sleeping with you but you're not girlfriend material."

UNACCEPTABLE! Losing both of you and your depth of knowledge of the ridiculousness of Washington is a tragedy!

No yelling! Amy and I will still be writing for Style -- just not every day. Plus, eight years is a really long time in this job-- double the time anyone else has done it. There's something to be said for spending Sundays drinking mimosas with friends instead of at the office.

they lie

Well, that makes me feel SO much better.

Do Schon and Salahi live in the LA area? What are the chances of her popping up (uninvited, of course) on RH of Beverly Hills? And by uninvited, I mean with full knowledge, consent, and film crew by Bravo.

Mostly they tour: she's been on the road with him for the past two years. San Francisco is his base, so the LA is probably not happening --- although I do wonder if the wedding was just the beggining of their own reality show.

Roxanne : We knew this day would come but it just won't be the same without you. I've been chatting with you for at least the last six years and can't imagine breaking in a new team, so I'm hanging up my mouse and won'tl ever post on this chat again. Perhaps there are some who will find a bleassing in that.

Ah, give them a chance. You might like them even better. :)

As a faithful Celebritology "Lizard," I was heartbroken when Liz Kelly left. But ya know what? We quickly fell in love with Jen Chaney, too! (Gosh, I miss Jen).


Couldn't let the ex take all the spotlight. Are you a registered Virginia voter? Are you willing to put him in the Senate?

Yeah this timing sure is suspicious for this one. But his campaign for governor didn't go so well...

Rox, you're not leaving "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me" too, are you?

Not a chance--I've been with "Wait Wait" 16 years with no end in sight. (I'm on Saturday's show from Memphis, so tune in.) 

Will you guys ever Guest Chat?

That's up to the new team, so we'll see. Give them a chance to settle in first, okay?

How about a middle ground - spending Sundays drinking mimosas at the office!

That sounds like the worst of both worlds.

I wasn't too surprised, actually. In interviews with either of them other the past few years, they always seemed to be working on separate coasts. I think that makes it hard to sustain any marriage.

You are far more perceptive than most (including me)..the most common reaction I found was "REALLY??" or "Wait, they were together?" But either way they seemed like one of the more stable celebrity couples out there.

I'll certainly miss both you and Amy at the Wednesday chats. I'll look forward to reading your longer pieces and make sure that I listen for you on Wait, Wait. All the best, you've built the chat an column into a wonderful place for us, something I'm sure the new sourcettes will appreciate

That's very sweet. And a tip of the hat to Emily Yahr, who stepping in for Amy these past couple months and did a great job.

What's you favorite part of the holidays? I treasure those quiet moments spent looking at the lit up tree curled up on the couch after a full day of shopping/baking/card writing is over.

It's not Christmas for me without the tree, gingerbread, wrapping gifts and the music. I'm a sap.

What do you think is behind its lack of recognition? My personal suspicion - people secretly hate Oprah.

People are envious of Oprah, but it might also have been the screenplay-- I haven't seen the film yet (one of the many things on my catch-up list) -- but I heard the civil rights movement was treated in a slightly romanticized way.

Still, I feel compelled to wish you the best, Roxanne, and welcome Emily and Helena. They have big shoes to fill and I eagerly anticipate getting to know them chat-wise.

Compelled! I love that! See, it IS the season!

Are you going to cover it? I mean, you get to cover some pretty ridiculous weddings already.

Nah --only royal weddings get international press. But I guarantee everyone will be looking at HER bridesmaids dresses. I'm betting they'll have flowly skirts so no one will surpass Pippa for Best Bridesmaid's Rear.

that Obama selected Billie Jean King (an open lesbian) as the head of the delegation to Sochi. Take that, Putin!

And the Obama's are not going. A little tense.

I couldn't focus on Sasha and Malia Obama because I was too distracted by AJ McLean's beard. It looks like that old timey toy where you can use a magnet to draw a "beard" of metal shavings on a face.

Perfect description...most of the Backstreet Boys have not aged what you would call "well." But their harmonies are still impressive, and their dance moves adorable.

I'll try to keep this short: Ryan Reynolds' character had been unrequitedly in love with his female best friend during high school; when he unexpectedly comes home 10+ years later, a successful Hollywood agent with his obnoxious pop star client (Anna Faris) in tow, he tries to hurt former female best friend, but he just comes off as a jerk, and former friend calls him on it, and Anna Faris is HIGH-larious as a "Britney" type marketing-created monstrosity of a human being.

Is this the one where Ryan Reynolds also wears a fat suit in flashbacks? I think I saw it on a plane without the sound on.

Huh, no kidding, I read months ago that it was well known that he cheated on her often and that it was just a matter of time before things ended. (I actually thought I read it here but must've been another site.)

Well known? That's the problem with gossip: unless one of the two people in the bed talk about it, it's just rumor -- and nasty ones at that. We've always tried to be very careful when it comes to reporting things like this. But anyway, too bad for them --they were a cute couple. 

Is a few years older than the "friends with benefits" movies; and features Ryan Reynolds trying to woo his high school crush during an unplanned trip home, and everything he does goes terribly wrong. Good luck to everyone departing and coming onboard!

I'll put it on the list. And thanks.

Well, if that isn't a lump of coal in our stockings. You and Amy both abandoning us as 2013 winds to a close. We will miss you, but wish you all the best in your new (amended) gig. Hope you will enjoy penning the longer features rather than the short blips on RS, and we will look forward to seeing your byline. Oh, Merry Christmas to you!

Thanks so much.

Will Kate be her sister's Matron of Honor? Maybe Kate will upstage Pippa at this wedding -- after all, turn about's fair play, right?

It would be weird if Kate wasn't her Matron of Honor. And yes, Kate will upstage Pippa for the rest of their lives. 

good luck!

Ack! I know! Scary! But good, I think!

What did you get the kitties?

I usually break out the cat nip after all the wrapping paper is in a big pile, then watch them bliss out. Except they usually start fighting and smack the heck out of each other. Mean drunks.

Rox, what do you think were Reliable Source's greatest hits under your and Amy's aegis? Busting the Salahis at the State Dinner at the White House? Could you maybe do a top-ten list before you leave this beat?

Friday is our last column of the year, and that's the annual year ender. Greatest Hits? The state dinner crash obviously would be on the list, and the Fenty-Steve Jobs's widow romance was one of our many scoops. But, personally, I'm most proud of bringing a smart, thoughtful eye to the comings and goings of all the great stories of the past eight years -- so you could sound even smarter than you already are.

At least they attack each other - I give mine cat nip and they form a collective and come after me!

One word: Waders.

where Jay Carney grew up. :-(

Ooooh. Maybe the new team will know.

Then celebrities must have very tiny souls.

I find this very sad and poignant, as I do with many celebrity stories.

Now that I'm over the shock... what are you going to miss from this beat, and what are you happy to rid yourself of?

Will Miss: The fun, the humor, the chats, the "can you BELIEVE that?" stories, the variety of people I've met doing the column, working with Amy.

Not Miss: the 24-7 pace producing the print and blog versions of the column. It's a tough job to do well, and required more nights, early mornings and weekends than most beats. I'm looking to a little more sanity and a chance to read more thick novels.

So now Tampa "socialite" (and Jill Kelley's twin sister) Natalie Khawam is getting her name out there. Is this the sort of reputation-restoration that Judy Smith would engineer?

Natalie is in the midst of a nasty custody fight. I'm not sure getting her name out there is the best idea right now.

I thought the Dallas Buyers Club would be a shoo-in for a best picture nod. And, I was surprised that George Clooney didn't get a nod for gravity. He was great!

I thought George Clooney was the best part of "Gravity." No offense to Sandra Bullock, who did carry the movie, but he was just delightful as usual.

Do you have a person (besides Amy) who made this beat truly worth it? A person/persons that you just couldn't get enough of? Anyone you will be happy to never think about again?

Not a single person, but the reality of human folly: If you wrote a novel with a congressman named Anthony Weiner who texted shots of privates, a smart editor would tell you be write something more realistic and a little less obvious. That's why I love journalism and all the real-life characters who parade through Washington. You cannot make them up.

But I also appreciate all the times I covered a charity dinner and, in the middle of the speeches about some awful disease or tragedy, was given the opportunity to appreciate how lucky I am to have a house, job and healthy child. It's easy to get caught up in unimportant things, and I was reminded of that many times over the last eight years.

No, I meant that for the Reliable Source. I trust you. And right you are about the salad! Done! You're such smart cookies. (Mmmm... Cookies...)

I know! Christmas cookies are the best.

Everyone, it's been a honor. Wishing you a wonderful Christmas and a very happy New Year. Best wishes to all for 2014.

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