The Reliable Source Live

Dec 19, 2012

Washington Post columnists Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts were online Wednesday, December 19, at noon ET to discuss your favorite gossip, celebrity sightings and their recent columns.

Past Reliable Source chats

Hello everyone, and welcome to the final Reliable Source web chat of 2012. Some stories on our radar lately:


Rich people are very different from you and me, and so are their divorces: Witness the settlement between Bill and Karyn Frist.


London Fletcher learns you can’t go home again.


Marco Rubio still has more hair than most senators, nyah, nyah.


Terrell Suggs and his girlfriend get over that whole protection-order thing by getting hitched.


Guess who decorates the Taft Bridge lions? Hint: not the city. Update: It's maybe not all that legal but you probably won't get arrested for it.


How many people can the Romneys fit into their Christmas card?


Also: Nate Silver, “ethnically straight.” Gerard Depardieu bids an angry adieu to France. The fascinating obituary of a guy who barely survived his affair with Marilyn Monroe. And no one wants your love letters, Charlie Brown!


But most importantly: Make your predictions for Reliable Source Person of the Year now!


Looking forward to your questions. It's been a great year.

The Romney christmas card had me do a double take.

I can't stop staring at the Romney Christmas card, trying to figure out the complex dress-code that ensures they're coordinating without being matchy-matchy. It's a great photo. But really, that's not such a big crowd. My extended family routinely had Christmas photos that big, until we all got too cranky to pose together.

So do we know what Beyonce calls her husband - JayZ or Shawn?

I bet she calls him "Jay." But honestly, I'm not generally there to hear. He's referred to her as "BK" in some songs.

How do you pronounce - Hila-REE-a or Hil-AIR-ia?

I believe it's something like ee-LA-REE-ah. Whatever it is, it's not what you think it's going to be.

Will Jessica Chastain be a Oscar shoo-in due to the simultaneous popularity of CIA "insider" Carrie on the hit TV series HOMELAND?

Ha. I think it's just a zeitgeisty thing that we have both a TV and movie drama centered on a young, tightly-wound female CIA analyst. But what a fascinating character, the one who inspired Chastain's character, "Maya" (no, not her real name. You read the A1 story last week about her? Fascinating.


Chastain, who is coming off a string of movies over the past year that have made her a critics' favorite, is indeed a serious contender for best actress; Jennifer Lawrence (for "Silver Linings Playbook") is also in that conversation, with a lot of growing buzz for Naomi Watts in that tsunami movie whose trailers are kind of upsetting, "The Impossible."

B. Walters named Genl. Petraeus as the most fascinating person of 2012 (it should be noted Honey Boo Boo was also on her list, so what BW regards as "fascinating" is open to debate). Obama was named by "Time" as man of the year (meaning most newsworthy, for better or worse, not honored as the best person, despite what some people say each yer). Who was on your list?

Stayed tuned for Friday's Column, when we name our Reliable Source Person of the Year.

How can it NOT be Paula Broadwell?

Hmmm, I don't know. Make a case for her. We're all ears.

I live near the bridge over Piney Branch Parkway on 16th St NW. Those lions always have a wreath around their neck this year with a jaunty red ribbon. Do you know who puts up those decorations?

Oh, you got decorated lions up there too? No idea. I sort of assumed someone would step forward to take credit for decorating the lions on the north end of the Taft Bridge, but not a word thus far.

Can I nominate Amy for Person of the Year?

You are so sweet, but really, my 2012 has not been terribly interesting (that you know of).

In what universe is Paula Broadwell not charged for sending threatening emails to Jill Kelley? Goodness knows I'm no fan of Kelley's, but this is a miscarriage of justice, methinks. Did Petraeus call in some favors?

Could be -- or the laws between states or covering cyber-stalking may be written in such a way that Broadwell wasthreatening but not in a criminal way. We just don't know. Crazy, yeah, but maybe not against the law.  

Joe Biden. He does it all, from campaigning to heading up groups for the President to landscaping!

Thanks for your vote.

Carl Kassel. Just because.

Because he's awesome. I adore Carl.

I probably won't watch. A colorful, occassionally rogue life like his can't be captured properly by his buddies. Are they really going to get into the juicy details, accusations, allegations?

Hmmm, good question. I don't think Scorsese veered very far from hagiography with Dylan or George Harrison. (Chatter is referring to Martin  Scorsese's upcoming documentary on Bill Clinton.)

Most of the time my smart phone is too smart for me, but last week I followed the chat on my phone while taking the Crescent home from New Orleans. I felt so hip!

You are SO hip. I'm amazed you could do that --- I can barely find the column on my phone.

Relatively high-profile in her own right, brings down the leader of the CIA and one of the most high-profile members of the military in a generation, does so because she's a whack job who, despite being a member of an illicit relationship, has the temerity to tell ANOTHER woman to back off. That's some good stuff there - never mind the other weird details. And, Washington connection!

My hope is that we never hear of Paula again.

Didn't you used to do this as a sweet-sixteen sort of thing?

That's in the spring -- the Gossip Bracket, our version of March Madness. Look for it in three months.

There are some lovely vignettes about war-hero-turned-politician Daniel Inouye on the Post's comments section for his obituary, including how he befriended people so readily. Be sure to check them out.

Will do. Thanks.

Cameron Douglas, Michael's son, has been beaten up in prison, getting a broken leg for being a snitch. If I'm not mistaken, he is also being punished for smuggling contraband in, with no family visits for 2 years. At this rate, he won't be getting out early for good behavior.

Reportedly, anyway. His case is up on appeal, which may have been the reason for leaking a sympathy-provoking story. That whole situation is such a mess.

Could you possibly, at least for a week or two, not post mean-spirited posts like the first one nastily comparing the Romneys to the Duggars? For at least a few weeks a year, give the partisan nastiness a rest, OK?

Stand down---no partisanship intended. It's  just the sheer size of the family; lots of folks from both side of the aisle noticed.

Does it HAVE to be a human? Because I'd like to nominate Bo Obama, Presidential confidant and goodwill ambassador for Portuguese-American friendship.

Bo has learned to type, people. That's one smart dog.

Yeah - but isn't it getting produced/funded by Steve Bing? Who is one of his BFF, and an accused co-conspirator in some of Clinton's alleged tawdry behavior. I assume to remember a particularly amusing little story about what (unprintable) name they call Bing's private plane.

Another reason to not expect a warts-and-all treatment. Here's Lisa's full story.

HBO, Martin Scorsese collaborate on Bill Clinton doc

Thanks for the link to the article about the lions! I was wondering about the decorations myself, but more importantly, I live right by that bridge and have been too oblivious for the last 5 years to notice that the bridge had a name...

Who were some previous Reliable Source Persons of the Year?

Glad you asked! Here we've got a little photo gallery that will remind you of our past Reliable Source Persons of the Year, as well as runners-up. Last year it was Anthony Weiner, the year before it was Elizabeth Edwards.

Hillary Clinton

Thanks for your vote. I sort of thought she might be Time's Person of the Year, but it's Obama, again.

You've still got 12 days left in 2012, Amy!

The pressure is on.

Is Paula Broadwell ever employable again, short of posing for a centerfold?

Paula is a highly educated woman and  should be able to hold a private-sector job using some of her skills. I'd advise staying away from anything related to the military.

Having read the "Secret Dockets" and "Bifurcated Divorce" section at I have two questions. 1. Why doesn't mainstream media have a beat reporter in family courts as they do civil and criminal courts; and, 2. What might be done to insure both zealous representation, and finding a fair and unbiased judge? (Read the "Recuse" section too.) Thanks.

1. I assume there are a lot of privacy issues keeping reporters out of family court on a regular basis; not to mention a lot of stories that have a lot of depressing sameness.

2. Maybe you're looking for a different Web chat? Good luck with your case.

Did Hillary Clinton REALLY suffer a concussion? Or was she just trying to get out of testifying before Congress this week?

I don't have any reason to doubt her because she has no history of faking illness to avoid congressional hearings. The right is having a field day with this, but sometimes things just happen.

but shouldn't an honorable mention go to Rielle Hunter for writing that book? The deep-seated naraccism crossed with complete obliviousness beyond the pale!

We'll throw her name in the basket.

When did they start showing us that number? Is it on all the chats?

Wait, where do you see that? I happened to notice that for the first time on someone else's chat . . . but now that I look on ours, I don't see it.

no fair. now I want to know....

Yeah, I have no idea. A brisk Google search didn't help either. Let's just forget it.

Bo and his mistress recently read to children at the Children’s National Medical Center:

Hahahaha! Because I've been writing about Paula Broadwell, for a second I thought you meant Bo had a girlfriend.

Davey Johnson! But if we name Adam LaRoche, maybe he'll sign the contract we're offering him.

Thanks for your vote . . . don't you think Bryce Harper might be a more compelling pick?

Why not do a search and see whose name comes up the most in Reliable Source articles, and that is likely your person of the year.

Hmmm, yeah, that's a factor, but I think there are certain ineffable intangibles in play.

My suggestions would be Michelle Obama, Channing Tatum, Bryce Harper or wait for it.......Kyle Shanahan. Everybody likes a good comeback story!

Thanks for your votes! Channing Tatum, what is the deal with that guy and why is everyone Googling on him? For those of you who care, though, I hope you appreciate our enterprise reporting determining that he will be the first Sexiest Man Alive to have a child during his reign since Damon in '08.

The link takes me to an article from September.

Sigh. Will fix. Here's the new story: Bill and Karyn Frist settle divorce

How did it get that name? Was it built with extra reinforcement so it would hold up when William Howard Taft walked across it?

Ha ha.


The bridge was built during Teddy Roosevelt's administration, actually, but named for President William Howard Taft in 1931.

Was this some weird dream I'm remembering or is there a biopic of Liberace being made starring Michael Douglas as Liberace? I'm having a hard time picturing that.

That was not a dream. Unless you're still dreaming now?

Sorry, the Metro section beat you to it with their story on Fisher Yang. I have seen that guy on the Metro dozens of times and he is awesome -- particularly his indifference to people rolling their eyes as he loudly sings. Not just RS Person of the Year, but Time magazine too (is that still a think?)

Fantastic story on the pastor who sings carols in the Metro. Please read it. There's video, too! The best part about it is that he's not a very good singer.

Hi Roxanne. Why do hope to never hear of paula again? Cuz she is an innocent victim or cuz she is an attention hog? She's dangerous? I'm curious to know why you wrote that. love the chat. thanks!

Because I honestly hope she goes on to live a quiet, happy life with her husband and kids. She became famous for all the wrong reason --- due to seriously poor choices on her part --- and is unlikely to be in the headlines again for any positivee reason. So I hope she just fades away. 

Is int he Submit Your Question bar at the top. At the moment Total Responses: 37 Currently Online: 212

Oh, crazy. I swear that wasn't there just a second ago. Hey, if there are 212 of you online at the moment, that means we have a higher percentage of lurkers than I ever realized. Speak up! Come on in, the water's fine!

Don't forget me!

You were already Person of the Year back in 2006. Don't you remember?

Either of you know what the latest date ahead of the holiday that a recent Congress with "issues" hung around before heading home for Christmas?

Amy, why are you undefined? At the top of the gray box at the top the chat, it says "Amy Argetsinger undefined." Are you having an existential crisis? Or are you caught in a rip in the time-space continuum and exist in multiple dimensions?

What? That's hilarious. Is that also new, or has that been there for years and no one bothered to mention it to me?

Nate Silver, for calling the election so accurately.

That is awesome politics and number crunching --not awesome gossip.

I'm guessing that Weingarten didn't write that article, right?

No, that was a Dana Hedgpeth story, and quite a good one. If you're looking for an excellent new Weingarten piece, check out his magazine story about the prosecutor who has spent 33 years keeping "Green Beret Killer" Jeffrey MacDonald behind bars.

There was a pretty cool singer in the 70s named Rod Stewart, who had some giant hits, "Young Turks," "Hot Legs," "Maggie May." Now there is a singer with the same name who just released a god-awful album of holiday classics with a large band, like he is trying to be Frank Sinatra. Are these two performers with the same name related?

Stop teasing me. I will remain loyal to Rod Stewart for all the years of happiness he gave me, even though he persists in testing me these days.

My mother keeps asking what she can get me for Christmas. I need nothing. What is can I say to her to get her to stop asking?

Don't be so bah-humbug. Let her ask ---she wants to give you something nice. Tell her to buy tickets for a concert, play, movie or take you to dinner at a nice restaurant. Nice experience together, and nothing to clutter the closet.

Hey, MY Submit Your Question bar only lists Total Responses: 40, not the number Currently Online. I wuz robbed!

Don't ask me. I'm undefined.

Grumpy Cat. Brave enough to look how we all feel.

Grumpy Cat can't help how he looks, so it isn't really fair to label him as a grump.

currently online number.. its now 242.. holy cow, there goes the bandwidth..

Bar the door! I think the wheels come off at 300.

It is a couple days before the holiday really kicks in. Very few people at offices being productive. So what better way to spend time in the office than to be on the chat?

Hey, that's 255 now. Who told their friends they could show up?

Tom Seitsema.

Not until you learn how to spell his name.

Jill Kelley should get the nod, for bringing down both Paula Broadwell and David Petraeus, as well as bringing closer scrutiny to the friends-of-the-Army program, and honorary consulships.

I'd like to see her and Rielle Hunter in a cage match.

Lindsey Lohan: In jail or not in jail?

Has someone laid claim to yet? You know, you could just go to the Web site every day, and it would either say "No" or "Yes." Make everyone's job a lot easier.

What about Newt Gingrich? He was a Republican primary nominee, and has managed to keep his name in circulation since. Not much of it gossipy though.

I think we cited him last year as an Honorable Mention for managing to show up in D.C. fine-dining establishments on a regular basis despite ostensibly running for president. Yes, in fact, we did.

Meant to comment on this last week. I think its hysterical that someone who encourages, neigh relishes, every American to explore their inner deviant, is himself so.... domestic! Mazel Tov to him though - he really has been at the forefront of a lot of movement on gay rights/acceptance.

Kind of surprising, isn't it?

I like it, gives a sense of how many of us are here together sort of.

Yeah, except that now I'm realizing I didn't buy enough beer.

"I don't have any reason to doubt her because she has no history of faking illness to avoid congressional hearings." Well, until now, Secretary Clinton was not being seriously mentioned in connection with running for President in 2016. She seems to be doing a good job keeping her fingerprints off of Benghazi, aided by sympathetic journos.

Jeesh. Not everything is a conspiracy theory: Sometimes people, even famous people, get sick. By that thinking, the Pertraeus scandal broke so he wouldn't have to testify as an administration official. I always get testy when, as a journalist for more thasn two decades, I get accused of partisan coverups without any evidence to back up those claims. 

I had hopes never hearing Rielle Hunter name mentioned again. There is one person who should slip away into oblivion quietly. Paula Broadwell, at least so far she has not exploited her failings for fame.

We said the same about Rielle Hunter for two years and then, boom -- she's in GQ. And then wrote a book.

Amy is right -- the best part about him is that he is an awful singer. Not pleasant to hear, but he is totally committed to it and just owns the room.

Honestly, Rod Stewart should take him on tour.

Maybe it was named for Chief Justice William Howard Taft.

Same guy!

Got to give him another vote for Person of the Year. Just for the fun facial expressions, spirited vp debate, and Costo shopping spree. Good times!

I keep saying I love Joe.

Abraham Lincoln (DDL). Still making news 150 plus years after his death. Who knew he was so personable?

Wonder if he was, in fact, personable. Smart, moody, depressed....

happy holidays, how does Lisa P Jackson get up for these good jobs like Princeton? she openly speculated about her replacement at a recent ELI event where she asked everyone who wanted her job to raise their hands, calling out former Clinton CEQ guru Brad Campbell, who had replaced her in New Jersey.

Al Kamen has been keeping track of her career trajectory, including that recent incident and the latest speculation about her next step, possibly to Princeton.

Donald Trump-amazing how he always gets back in the news, even when he has nothing interesting or new to say. Think its the hair.

It has magical properties, his hair . . . How about his legal victory over Miss Pennsylvania? are going to need snacks too..possibly wine..

And now, suddenly, the "currently online" meter has vanished, as mysteriously as it appeared. Clearly, they don't want us to know.

But it's interesting that Clinton *and* Petraeus are both not able to testify.

Actually, Petraeus DID testify behind closed doors because of the classified nature of most of the information. Probably would have been the case for Clinton as well, and a concussion doesn't prevent her from testifying at a later date.  So maybe not that much there there, but good for cable pundits to kill two hours.

I have to give her a vote for person of the year because she has managed to get hired to a high profile Washington case on tv and in real life. Also, Scandal is getting better!

When you say "Scandal is getting better" you mean  "Scandal is getting worse," right? That show is bonkers. Can't stop watching.

Maybe not, though she does have a history of prevarication- at the very least, a selective memory. Running from Bosnian Serb snipers, anyone?

Yeah, that was stupid.

He's the Fifty Shades of Gray of actors.

I thought he was the mozzarella of actors. Bland but tasty, goes with everything.

Because sex and politics should be the main criteria in determining the POTY, I nominate Herman Cain - candidate for the GOP nomination, alleged sexual harasser. Sex and

Herman Cain was so 2011.

I know there is no scandal afoot, but darn he has done wonders for this town.He is one thing everyone can agree on. I even think he should be down there on the hill in those Fiscal Cliff conversations. So likeable.

We promise to consider him.

This makes me wonder, about how many times a week/month/year do you hear references around DC to former presidents from past generations? Like Taft? Or James K. Polk? In my family, we talk about Chester Arthur once in awhile, but that's because my wife is related to him.


You know, he's actually quite handsome, even at 70. And you should've seen that high school graduation photo of him that was circulating during the election campaign -- WOW!

Joe, is that you again?

I don't know if you were aware, but you have been criticized for your snarky coverage of Track Palin's divorce, as compared to your more reverential coverage of Karenna Gore's divorce.  Care to respond (other than they're a right-wing site)?

Not really. I mean, you know how often we get accused of bias? Like EVERY DAY. And sometimes we're accused of being biased to the right, and sometimes to the left -- and meanwhile, I completely respect the desperate needs of the growing Bias Hunting Industry to find something to fill their blogs.

I feel like we're on the verge of something momentous!

Oh lord, really? Why are they hiding that information from me? I should probably just run away from the computer and duck for cover.

I think that you are forgetting a lot of shenanigans involving Hillary Clinton from her First Lady days, such as the documents from the Rose Law Firm that was mysteriously "lost" and then magically reappeared on a chair in her office. Some of us are much more skeptical than you are about her ability to slither away from trouble. That's history, not a conspiracy theory.

I'm exhausted just thinking about the next four years without rehashing the last 20. But it is all fair game if she runs for president again. 

Yeah, but he really needs to have that stupid little duck-tail of hair at the back of his neck trimmed off.

Joe, you seeing this?

"Lincoln is doing well in theaters. Historically, this has not been the case."

I hate myself that I like this.

Now it's up to 340! Must be all those people starting their lunch hours in the Central time zone joining in. You're huge in Chicago!

I think this is a sign we should wrap up . . . .

Methinks you are too genteel. That had me on the floor.

Tis the season to be nice.

This is why she won't run. She isn't even staying for Obama's second term. She's said a number of times that she's tired of traveling all over the world.

I wouldn't put money on that yet. Amazing what a year of resting might do.

Shouldn't you stay online chatting as long as the counter number is rising?

There is that thing we call a column to write. :)

What a gleeful, fun conversation we are all having from our boring offices ... this should be in person. If we all got together, wouldn't we all learn how to get along. Merry Christmas.

That's very sweet. World Peace via Reliable Source. Thanks.

Any ides where I can find myself a few dozen sea green polo shirts for my family?

Too late for sea green coordinated Christmas cards! You're lucky to squeeze off one shot where everyone looks decent. I vote  for matching Wizards jerseys or hats ---bet you can buy those anywhere for a song and then everyone can look sad or embarrassed.

Chatters! Happy Christmas, Happy New Year, etc. We'll be off next Wednesday but back on Jan. 2. As always, send your tips, sightings and thoughts to And give your loved ones a hug from Reliable Source.


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