The Reliable Source

Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, February 6, 2008; 12:00 PM

In today's chat: The British ambassador's wife and her super-secret government job. John Mellencamp nudges John McCain to stop playing his songs. Vanity Fair cancels its Oscar party. And toxicology reports say Heath Ledger died of an accidental overdose of prescription drugs.

Reliable Source columnists Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts will be online Wednesday, Feb. 6, at Noon ET to discuss your favorite gossip.

In recent days: Harold Ford's mom-- happy to be a mother-in-law. The Swedish embassy's cup runneth over. Gilbert Arenas denies those Mya rumors we inadvertently helped start (sorry, Gil!). Wayne Newton is an Aqua Velva man. Marion Barry sings! And our analysis of the Britney Spears saga (i.e., how long can they keep her off the streets?)

E-mail and bookmark us.

Reliable Source Columns

A transcript follows.

E-mail and bookmark us.

Reliable Source Columns


Amy Argetsinger: Good morning everyone. Looking forward to your questions. In addition to the stories listed above, we have the just-breaking news about what killed Heath Ledger -- an accidental overdose of painkillers, sleep meds and anti-anxietals. Sad.

Also: In all your hours of TV viewing last night and on previous big campaign nights -- which talking heads have emerged as your new crushes? (Besides Romney flack Kevin Madden, of course.) Let us know, so that we can do some reporting and tell you everything you want to know about them, Tiger Beat style.

_______________________ Ledger Died of Accidental Overdose ( AP, Feb. 6)


The Coolest Thing You Wrote This Week...: is today's piece on the British Ambassador's wife! Wow! It's great to see people in these positions who are still themselves -- and doing great good. How refreshing! Thanks for the info -- I'd love to have lunch with this woman. The British Ambassador's Wife, Pulling Double Duty ( Reliable Source, Feb. 6)

Roxanne Roberts: Thanks. Lady Sheinwald is intensely private, so I doubt she'll be lunching much with anyone---but if you do, let us know every detail!


The Vanity Fair Party: Why did they cancel, with all the press that the strike is almost settled? Or is this our big clue that those news reports about the strike ending are just wishful thinking or patent falsehoods? Won't VF be embarrassed if the strike ends, the Oscars happen, and they don't have their party? Another Strike Casualty: The VF After-Party ( Reliable Source, Feb. 6)

Amy Argetsinger: Well, I asked them that. Our first assumption was that it was getting close to the deadline to put a big fat deposit down at Chateau Marmont or whoever they have these things. But the VF folks said that they still had another week before party-planning logistics deadlines kicked in -- and that they just simply decided, Oscars or no Oscars, it's not the year to party in Hollywood.

The real loss is that we won't be able to read another Bill Booth/Hank Stuever story about the VF party. Please follow the links I embedded in the story to read their past coverage -- these are some of my favorite Style stories every year.


Curious Reader and Imbiber: Your column is titled "The Reliable Source."

The bar at the National Press Club is named "The Reliable Source."

Who pays royalties to whom?

Roxanne Roberts: I think they had it first---so we should probably send over our 2 cents. Thankfully, they haven't asked.

_______________________ Ledger's Death Caused by Accidental Overdose ( CNN)


Ledger death: That was quite a list of prescription drugs. Were they all prescribed to him, and what kind of doctor would prescribe those drugs in a seemingly obvious lethal combination?

Amy Argetsinger: I don't think we know yet whether a doctor -- or doctors -- had prescribed these drugs. It's very possible. My guess is that there was no doctor who realized he was taking all of those medications.

Just to review, here's what the medical examiner's office said it found in his system: Oxycodone, which is a big-deal pain-killer, not unlike morphine; hydrocodone, another pain-killer, which some of you may know better as Vicodan; diazepam, which is Valium; temazepam, a sleeping pill sold under the name of Restoril; alprazolam, another ant-anxietal better known as Xanax; and doxylamine, the sleepy-making ingredient in Nyquil, also found on its on in those little blue sleeping pills you get without a prescription at CVS. (Never again...)


Falls Church, Va.: No more codeine, Ambien and Xanax nights? Well...there goes my fun tonight.

Amy Argetsinger: This is going to be a teaching moment for a lot of people I know.


Vanity Fair Party: I thought the strike was coming to a close. Are reports of a deal with the writers premature?

Roxanne Roberts: The two sides are close, and there's another meeting Saturday---which is no guarantee of a done deal. Even if there's an agreement, I expect the parties will be affected---it's pretty late to send out invitations, line up the guests and entertainment, blah blah. I'm sure there will be some ad hoc gatherings, but the traditional blowouts will probably be canceled or scaled back.


Falls Church, Va.: What, you gals couldn't have just found Gilbert Arenas's MySpace and asked him yourself about the Mya thing? Come on now...

Amy Argetsinger: Hey, WE never said he was dating Mya. We just said he was out at a restaurant with her and five other people; it was them crazy bloggers who read that and leapt to assumptions and started spreading crazy rumors.

Meanwhile, we love any excuse to quote Gilbert's blog. He is the finest blogger in the NBA, possibly the finest blogger in Washington. He's got a job here anytime he wants one.


Woodbridge, Va.: I'm late with this, but did that picture of Mary Meyer (the JFK paramour) remind anyone of Mary Kay LeTourneau? Mary Meyer/Resurrecting Memories of JFK's Slain Mistress ( Reliable Source, Jan. 29)

Amy Argetsinger: Ooh, you're right. Weird.


Washington, D.C.: Where is Mr. Tucker Carlson through all this campaign coverage? Is did he just drop off the map?

He must just hate Keith Olbermann.

Roxanne Roberts: We was in Arizona at McCain headquarters. Caught a quick glimpse of him during the coverage, but I was flicking back and forth between channels and may have missed more from him.

Oh---and he and Keith seemed to get along.


Potomac Tuesday state: HELP! I'm going to a "casual mixer" this evening for one of the candidates. All of my fair weather footwear is in storage. Do I wear heels even though it's "casual" or boots despite the warm temps?

Amy Argetsinger: What looks better? And who says you can't wear heels in a casual setting? I wear heels everyday. Also: It's gonna rain tonight. Wear high-heeled boots.


Bethesda, Md.: I read that Britney's parents obtained a restraining order against her manager. What about her Pap boyfriend? He rode to the hospital with her mother, do they have a working relationship with him?

Roxanne Roberts: The whole situation is so weird I don't quite know who or what to believe. The paparazzi boyfriend is still in the picture, but he's a bit player in this story. The real battle will be between Britney, the people who make money off her, and her parents.


Cork: On Friday night I was at Cork with a large group of friends and acquaintances when a beautiful woman walked in. The girlfriend of a friend asked if I'd seen anyone that I thought was attractive. I immediately mentioned the woman in the tan jacket and black blouse. Sadly, my friend kept referring to a taller woman in a black top who was standing at the bar between the three of us and the woman I had noticed. In spite of my best efforts to discretely indicate the woman in question, my friend insisted on craning his neck and staring rather pointedly, much to my chagrin. I was engaged in conversation with others and couldn't do anything in that moment to apologize. I felt as though she may (must) have noticed our bad manners and was owed an apology. When next I looked in that direction she was gone. If I ever do have the good fortune to see her again, how should I apologize for causing the staring? Or should I just hope that she didn't notice or has forgotten the incident. I know this is more of a Hax question, but a bell was faintly rung that night and I think I might know who the vision was.

Oh, and the rumor was that Tom Sietsema was at Cork that night too. Much as I appreciate his work, I'm much more concerned about the woman in black and tan.

Amy Argetsinger: I was at Cork Friday night and am determined to make this all about me. So pick one:

1. Why, I don't even remember what I was wearing! [blushes]

2. Sorry I embarrassed you by pointing and staring at that chick -- why are you even friends with me?


Alexandria, Va.: What is the latest and greatest re: the McCartney/Mills split -- have they agreed to term$?

Amy Argetsinger: Just off the wires: Heather Mills isn't just a gold-digger -- she's also crazy! Plans to represent herself in court, according to Page Six:

"HEATHER Mills will be hopping around on her own in divorce court next week. The soon-to-be ex-wife of Paul McCartney plans to represent herself in a bid to win a substantial chunk of the ex-Beatle's $1.6 billion fortune - but she's ready to accept whatever happens, her flack says. 'She's preparing for it and is in good spirits,' Michelle Elyzabeth told Page Six. 'Whichever way it goes is OK with her. She's got to get on with her life.' The one-legged former nudie model had been represented by Mishcon de Reya, but the powerhouse matrimonial law firm severed ties last year, claiming she owed them millions in unpaid legal bills."


Philadelphia, Pa.: Is there any way to attempt to correct Chris Matthews from pronouncing Illinois "Illinoise"? Especially when we know it's's quite embarrassing for the rest of us and it happened over and over again yesterday....

Amy Argetsinger: He's just doing it to get attention. Ignore him.


Capitol Hill: Is seeing Chris Dodd at Ash Wednesday 7 a.m. mass considered to be a celebrity sighting?

Amy Argetsinger: Absolutely, thanks for that. Did he score a nice clean cross on the forehead, or a big, ambiguous smudge?


Alexandria, Va.: So what is the status with Chelsea? Is she fair game to be criticized, or are we still respecting her privacy, as her family as requested, even though she is everywhere these days campaigning for her mother?

Roxanne Roberts: Chelsea is an adult, which means we are free to discuss what she says (or doesn't say) while she campaigns for her mom.


Houston, Tex.: Hello Amy and Roxanne, You asked about last night's coverage. I was tuned to MSNBC all night. Enjoy Keith Olbermann, not so much Joe Scaraborough, (not sure how Mika Brzeniski puts up with him). Chris Matthews is okay, sometimes a bit too hardball in his questioning, he's firing a ? before the last ? was answered.

Who did you watch?

Amy Argetsinger: Don't have cable, so I was flipping between the networks...

What we're wondering is, who are the breakout new faces you're suddenly seeing every day on TV -- the campaign flacks, the commentators, the campaign reporters, the analysts -- that you find crushworthy.


Falls Church, Va.: You wear heels every day? How tall are you?

Amy Argetsinger: I'm not tall.


RE: Campaign Crushes:1. Michelle Obama

2. That interactive TV that John King uses

3. Michelle Obama

Amy Argetsinger: All right, then.


Casual mixer: You can't go wrong with heels, pants and a nice but not fancy top. It will fit in with any casual evening mixer -- as long as you're not going to an outdoor BBQ where jeans and tees would be a must.

Wait, what is this, the fashion chat?

Roxanne Roberts: My question exactly!


Potomac Tuesday again: I just want to make a good impression, in case said candidate is hiring in a few months.

Roxanne Roberts: Clever.


RE: It's gonna rain tonight.: The forecast is for "strong thunderstorms." Whatever you're wearing is going out tonight to be soaked. Go buy a raincoat!

Roxanne Roberts: P.S. Umbrellas are cheaper, but a trench is cool.


Britney: In light of the the restraining order that came to light yesterday, maybe Britney is not as crazy as was thought in recent months. This Sam (or Osama, now there is an indication) is a real creep!

Amy Argetsinger: It's really tragic, isn't it? So exploitative.


Baltimore, Md.: Marlo is a bad, bad man. He needs to go down. I'm counting on McNulty. Please pass along my good wishes to your good friend Jimmy McNulty.

Along those lines, what do you think of the season?

Amy Argetsinger: Last Sunday's episode was the first that I was devastated to see come to an end -- cannot wait to for the next episode (if only so that I don't get hit with any more spoilers from that pesky trainer at the gym who watches a week early On Demand). Was so excited to see the previews showing a return of poor little Randy. I miss my corner boys and stoop boys.

I was really down on this fake-serial-killer angle until Lester Freamon got involved with it. Lester is so smart and reasonable, I thought, "well, if Lester's buying into this, it must not be that preposterous." Clearly I'm having a hard time distinguishing real-life from make-believe, but that's always been my issue with The Wire.


Washington, D.C.: What is NBC 4's sports reporter Lindsay Czarniak's deal, single or taken? She's hot!

Amy Argetsinger: Just huddled with our TV reporters and sports reporters, and we are almost sure that she is not married. But yes, adorable, isn't she?


Britney: Maybe this is good news -- the 14 days in the hospital. Get her cleaned out and evaluated. It is shocking to see that apparently a nobody like Sam Lutfi can get that close and get that much control of a major celebrity (and her money.)

Roxanne Roberts: It's a classic Hollywood story----needy celebrities with bad judgment and a lot of money who get sucked into horrible relationships. Remember when we thought KFed was a bad influence?


Super Tuesday Crush: John King!

Amy Argetsinger: Okay, thanks for your vote...


Wearing heels: Every southern gal knows that you can wear heels with anything you want -- they make your legs look great!

Amy Argetsinger: And flats hurt my feet.


Chris Matthews is okay, sometimes a bit too hardball in his questioning, : Well, his show IS called Hardball, so...

Amy Argetsinger: Yep.


Craig Ferguson: Delighted to have him join the citizenry and now he is going to emcee the White House Correspondents Dinner in April. Sure to be livelier than Rich Little, but not as quirky as Colbert, right?

Amy Argetsinger: Actually, I think he'll be way quirkier; Colbert's style is awfully dry. You ever watch Ferguson's show? He's a trip. Cracks up at his own jokes, which I find endearing.


Obtaining prescription drugs: Personally I don't take anything stronger than a couple aspirin, but if I wanted to all I'd have to do is order them online. Heck, not a day passes that I don't get several spams offering to sell them to me. So it wouldn't have been hard for Heath Ledger to obtain a lot (if not all) of those meds without a doctor's prescription.

Roxanne Roberts: Point well taken. I'm completely chicken about anything but aspirin and cold medicine, too. I can't remember the last time I had a prescription for anything, but I could get a pharmacy mailed to my house.


Heath Ledger: So sad, but more common than any of us would like to believe. A good reminder of the importance of being very careful about what you put in your body. Some years ago, my mom got "pharmaceutically-induced hepatitis" from a mixture of prescribed medications. And she was fortunate!

Amy Argetsinger:"Pharmaceutically induced hepatitis"? Lord, that sounds awful. Poor thing.


Beverly Hills, Calif.: Why hasn't anyone written a big story on Osama (Sam) Lufti, the most fascinating person in Hollywood these days? A combination of Rasputin, Yoko, Dick Cheney and Paris Hilton to Britney Spears. And his name is Osama.

Amy Argetsinger: Well, you probably saw the stories (there was one in our paper today) about the allegations that he drugged and isolated Britney to gain control over her affairs. I think we'll be seeing a lot of big profiles about him in the next couple of days.


Primaries: I have been watching too much of this stuff on CNN -- I'm starting to think Bill Bennett is good looking. Who do you guys like?

Amy Argetsinger: Wow, you're really bad off. I haven't watched nearly as much TV as that, on account of my no-cable-having-ways... Did we mention Kevin Madden? They should just include him on that Romney Boys blog.

Rox, any nominees?

Roxanne Roberts: Must be getting old---I was watching the numbers and the speeches. I did, however, notice that Hillary didn't wear that awful gray and black jacket that looks like a blanket.


Super Tuesday crush...: Joe Scarborough. If wanting him is wrong, I don't wanna be right.

Amy Argetsinger: Huh. Really? Okay.


Heather plans to represent herself in court?: You know what they say -- anyone who represents him/herself has a fool for a client.

And I'm an attorney, so I should know!

Amy Argetsinger: Word.


John King: Is he the one with the magic display board? A cool gizmo always gets the ladies' attention.

Amy Argetsinger: John King is indeed the fellow with the cool gizmo.


Super Tuesday Crush: John King! : Egads, he's so PINK!

Amy Argetsinger: Those Irish complexions...


Tall: Amy Argetsinger: I'm not tall.

She ain't kidding, either. She maybe comes up to the bottom of my sternum.

Amy Argetsinger: Why, I have NEVER done that!


"but if I wanted to all I'd have to do is order them online.": Right, and it's the real drugs, too, not a scam at all.

Amy Argetsinger: But a lot of them come from overseas, and Customs and the Postal Service are alert to these kinds of things...


Heath Ledger question: I was having this debate with some friends the other day, and couldn't reach agreement. Who did you find better looking -- Heath Ledger or Jake Gyllenhaal?

Amy Argetsinger: Heath Ledger. Gyllenhaal is adorable, but Ledger had an appealing maturity to his looks.


Maryland: So what if Britney doesn't ever really recover? What if she is truly seriously mentally ill and always will be no matter what the drug cocktail (I have a cousin like that and no matter what the drug, he acts in irrational ways). How should we, the respectful but curious celeb-watchers, respond?

Roxanne Roberts: Depends if Britney regains legal rights and control of her estate. If so, then she'll probably continue doing what she's doing, with the predictable results. But if her parents (most likely) get control, then they would also be able to decide her treatment and cut off her money supply for illegal drugs or any other not-good-for-her meds. Plus they could force out guys like her manager.


Curious: Did J.Lo have those babies yet? Any predictions on names?

Roxanne Roberts: Nope, but her dad is telling people she is, in fact, having twins.


Cork sighting: My friend went to Cork on Friday! Was she tall with long blonde hair?

Amy Argetsinger: I tell you, the place was so crowded that night, I wouldn't be surprised if you were all there.


Cork 2: Well, I think I explained the situation badly. Because, I do believe it was you that I saw and to whom I and my staring friend owes an apology. I didn't realize it that night, because I've only seen you once on Carlson's show many months ago. If ever we meet again, I'll make a point of apologizing in person. Since I now know that it must have been you, I'll just say that you are lovelier in person.

Amy Argetsinger: Aw, thanks! That's very sweet of you.


If I ever do have the good fortune to see her again, how should I apologize for causing the staring? Or should I just hope that she didn't notice or has forgotten the incident.: She didn't notice you in particular, and she's already forgotten about it. Because she gets that reaction all the time and dismissed your friend as just another annoying gawker. If you ever have the good fortune to see her again, leave her alone. Unless you want her to think you're creepy.

Amy Argetsinger: Another opinion.

I still don't know if I'm the person you saw because, as already established, our entire readership was at Cork on Friday night. Also: I didn't notice anyone staring or pointing at me. Then again: I am fairly oblivious and self-absorbed.


Chevy Chase: Watched the returns with my neighbors last night. She loves John King, he loves Rachel ( I don't know her last name) I love Anderson Cooper.

Amy Argetsinger: Oh, Rachel whoever, from MSNBC, right? One of my editors mentioned her.


Heath Ledger or Jake Gyllenhaal?: Heath. Jake looks like a muppet character to me.

Amy Argetsinger: Thanks for your vote.


Washington, D.C.: Did my eyes deceive me that Barbara Bush's aunt threw her a wedding shower? How gauche! If we can't rely on blue bloods like the Bushes to know that family members don't host showers, is etiquette dead?!

Roxanne Roberts: You're not a regular to the chat, are you? It's Jenna, the blonde twin, who's getting married and her dad's little sis, Doro Bush Koch, who hosted the shower. And yes, etiquette (when it comes to who host wedding showers) is pretty much dead.


Falls Church, Va.: What the heck is Cork?

Amy Argetsinger: Sorry. It's a new wine bar/restaurant on 14th Street in D.C.


Hydrocodone: I haven't been able to take hydrocodone (or any of its drug relatives) for two years -- when I found out it makes me pass out. And hit my head on the wall. Can easily see how these things kill people.

Amy Argetsinger: And do you know, some people take it for fun?


"Talkin head crush": KEITH OLBERMAN! He is cute, smart, and funny. I watch the Sunday night football halftime just to see his bit -- I love Countdown! I loved him on ESPN. There just isn't enough to say about how great this guy is (don't tell my husband)....

Roxanne Roberts: It's our little secret.


Yes We Can: I hope you've had a chance to appreciate the "Yes We Can" video. It's pretty cool, even if you aren't an Obama supporter. Video: Yes We Can Obama Song ( YouTube)

Amy Argetsinger: What does anyone else think? I don't know, maybe it's just me and my beef with the Black Eyed Peas...


Washington, D.C.: I was very disappointed with the commercials through the Super Bowl. Was I missing something? Were they actually brilliant and they just flew right over my head?

Amy Argetsinger: Haven't heard as much buzz this year about the ads... I didn't turn it on until after half-time and then got so busy with online Scrabble that I didn't really tune in.


Huh?:"And flats hurt my feet."

Now I've heard everything! Can't we all just agree to wear sneakers with everything?

Amy Argetsinger: No.


Mr. Cork: Stop flirting with Amy already! We're trying to have a chat here.

Amy Argetsinger: Yes, I think we're done making this all about me. For now.


McLean, Va.: Re: Lyndsey. Adorable yes, but what's with the hair? Always looks like it could use a good washing, and that asymmetrical part is sooo last year.

Amy Argetsinger: You think? I admire her for having non-big hair on TV.


Pa. Mom and Morning Joe: Joe Scarborough -- a secret crush of mine for some time. Now, I'm out and proud!

Amy Argetsinger: All right then.


NOT at Cork Fridiay night: I was in Florida, so your entire readership was not there. Sorry to have missed it, but where I was the weather was definitely better!

Amy Argetsinger: Is that you, Mom?


Ferguson and quirky: Did you know that he wrote a book called Between the Bridge and the River? It has cloven hooves, snake handlers, fake TV preachers and other deranged characters. Imagine Leno writing something like that!

Amy Argetsinger: Interesting. And is it just me, or is he kind of vaguely attractive for a stand-up comedian?


Omaha: I saw a few pics from recent awards shows (SAG, I think) and, across the board, the women seemed unusually curvy. Was it the togas or is "healthy" back in? Or is it just wishful thinking on my part?

Amy Argetsinger: Anyone else notice that trend? It would certainly be a good one.


Brittney: Are her parents married or divorced? How did the dad land control as opposed to the mother? Wasn't she more involved (for better or worse) in her daughter's career?

Roxanne Roberts: Parents divorced. Britney's mom has been more involved, but the two have had some major blowouts. Court seems to think dad might have a better chance of getting through to her.

_______________________ Super Bowl Ads Discussion ( Station Break with Paul Farhi, Feb. 4)


Alexandria, Va. : Sen. Clinton would do herself a BIG favor by hiring a fashion consultant. Her clothes look awkward at best and hideous at worst. Maybe she is dressing that way on purpose -- people in Nebraska and other out of the way places may find that look familiar and are comfortable with it.

Amy Argetsinger: She has good days and bad days. I liked the brown suit with the turquoise accessories at last week's debates. I'm actually okay with her sunburst orange and yellows. I hated her New Hampshire primary jacket, the big black-on-gray pattern.


K-Fed: Now that he has sole custody has he asked the court for child support? I know his pre-nup money runs out soon so this is his best chance for some real money....for the "kids" of course.

Roxanne Roberts: Can't imagine he's not getting court-ordered child support from Britney, and that should not change, regardless of who controls her affairs.


Wire follow up: Are newsrooms really like that? Clueless bosses, reporters making stuff up, and only a few hardworking decent journalists in the whole place -- and they are underappreciated and getting buyouts?

Amy Argetsinger: Reporters have been grumbling about the portrayal of our community on this season -- that it comes across all one-dimensional and cliched. But, hey, who knows, maybe drug dealers have felt that way about the show all this time. (Certainly Martin O'Malley is not keen about its portrayal of Martin O'Malley-like politicians.)

The reporters who make stuff up are, happily, rare occurrences. But the grumbling, the buyouts -- that's all pretty true to life.


College Park, Md.: I saw Priscilla Presley on something recently and thought that it's too bad Scientology doesn't also prohibit plastic surgery...

Amy Argetsinger: Sad, isn't it? She was so beautiful back in the day, would probably aged naturally pretty well too had she let herself.


Just sayin': While I feel sorry for the loss and sorry for the people who loved him, I don't think anyone in their right mind is going to take the combination of drugs that Heath Ledger took and not imagine that there could be some adverse results. I don't think it's a great big secret that doubling/tripling up on narcotics and benzodiazepines is not a safe choice, just like drinking and driving is not a safe choice. Calling this an accidental death seems wrong. I think unintentional would be a better choice, since we're assuming that he wasn't suicidal, and at the worst, ignorant of the proper way to take medication.

Roxanne Roberts: Unintenional is a good word, but we don't know if Heath took the combination of pills before with no problem and assumed he would be fine.


Rachel whoever?: That'd be Rachel Maddow, of Air America. She's freaking brilliant.

And ditto for Keith. He could read the phone book to me and it'd still sound dreamy.

Amy Argetsinger: Okay, thanks...


Oakland, Pa.: Ladies, did we ever hear more from the chatter with the polite cop neighbor who was always doing her favors? I've been dying to hear what happened.

Amy Argetsinger: Hey, you're right -- what happened there? I hope she didn't figure out that I'm not "Ask Amy" and decide take her great story to another chat. Please come back and tell us if you ever kissed him!


Let's go back a few nights...: Forget Super Tuesday, what about the Super Bowl?

I, personally, cannot get that head-bopping "What Is Love" Diet Pepsi ad out of my head.

Oh, and apparently there was a football game, too.

Roxanne Roberts: AWESOME game! Giants totally deserved to win, and although I would have toally bet on them with points, I never expected them to pull off a victory, especially in the last 2 minutes. Thrilling.

And I'm such a wuzz---I loved the Bud commercial with the horse and the dog.


THAT Amy Argetsinger?!?: Are you the Amy Argetsinger from Salt Lake City that won at the NPC Gateway Classic Bodybuilding and Figure Championships?

Southern Musclec

Amy Argetsinger: Oh my god. No, I'm not. But I'm flipping out because I thought I had all the nation's Amy Argetsingers accounted for... Unless this is Amy Argetsinger #3 (as I like to think of her), and she's moved from Missouri to Florida... Well, thanks, now I'm going to be spending the rest of my afternoon in another Google identity crisis.


Blame it on the....:" P.S. Umbrellas are cheaper, but a trench is cool."

Umbrellas don't do so well in the sideways rain, 20-mph plus winds we'll be getting tonight. Besides, everyone needs one nice raincoat!

Amy Argetsinger: Thanks.


Amy Argetsinger: Would our chatter who ran into Mr. Wolfowitz please e-mail us at


Cross: I hate it when you get one of those smudgy ones. Makes it look like you were in an accident or something and don't realize there's a mess on your forehead. With a nice, clean one, people know what it's about. The priest at my church does the greatest ash crosses ever. You could hang them in a museum.

Amy Argetsinger: It's a lost art...


Maybe this is a question for Howie Kurtz: Does Maria Shriver think she can ever work again as a journalist? Being first lady of California required a hiatus, but I was somehow surprised by the Obama endorsement. Was she dragged in by her cousin Caroline and her gal pal Oprah?

Amy Argetsinger: That's a good question. My guess is that she's made the calculation that she will not be working again as a journalist.


Maryland: Since we're giving dating and fashion advice today I'll chime in with a question about new neighbors. We just bought a house in a modest neighborhood. When I mentioned this to a local shop owner she asked if I had noticed the house with the (car model and color) and I said that I had, it's across the street. She told me to make friends with the resident because he has his own jet and flies to my home state weekly. Should I be subtle or just start mowing his lawn now?

Roxanne Roberts: I couldn't help notice that "we" moved in. If the we is a roommate, set up a tent on your neighbor's lawn. Otherwise, just be nice at the next block party.


So what is the status with Chelsea? Is she fair game to be criticized, or are we still respecting her privacy, as her family as requested, even though she is everywhere these days campaigning for her mother?: We've been criticizing her in this chat for several weeks now!

Amy Argetsinger: Everyone is fair game!


Chevy Chase: I"m from Nebraska and no- she does not dress that way to appeal to us because believe it or not, people in Nebraska have taste too. So step off Alexandria.....

Roxanne Roberts: Smackdown! Don't be dissing the heartland!


Prescriptions: I think lack of sleep might have played a part here -- I know a few times when kept awake by a bad cold, I've caught myself wondering if I took something, or just meant to.

Amy Argetsinger: I hear ya. Been there myself.


Amy Argetsinger: I'm not tall.: How tall is that? You don't seem particularly short on TV. Are we talking Tom Cruise short, Dakota Fanning short? Michael J. Fox? Danny Snyder? Dana Milbank?

Amy Argetsinger: No one seems short on TV, because we all fill up the screen pretty well, and you don't have the comparison of other people standing around you. Also: generally sitting down on TV. I'm 5-2.


Craig Ferguson is totally hot.: Massive, massive crush on Craig Ferguson. Funny, good-looking, and empathetic. I'm pretty sure I fell in love with him when he did the monologue about not picking on Britney. His book was weird, but reading it demonstrates how oh so very dreamy he is. (sigh)

Roxanne Roberts: Dreamier than, say....George Clooney?


Va. for Ron Paul: Ron Paul is the only candidate that makes any sense in this race. However, the media has discounted him from the beginning. Is it fair for the media to favor celebrity candidates -- and what does that say about our celebrity obssessed culture?

Amy Argetsinger: Here's the thing: Reporters follow the story. It's ridiculous to say that media should lavish equal time and attention on every single candidate in the field, including those whose lack of a fan base or funding mean they do not really have a shot at winning. And it's ridiculous to imply that media coverage is what will make or break a candidate. Mike Huckabee made an amazing surge despite getting arguably less media coverage than Ron Paul in the first year or so of his candidacy. Ron Paul similarly made amazing gains; and for both of these candidates, their ability to draw support led to their rightfully drawing more coverage.


Celebs with mental illnesses: Patty Duke (who played Helen Keller in "The Miracle Worker") was horrendously exploited and abused by her (foster) parents, then acted out badly in her teens and 20s. Turned out she was bipolar, finally got the necessary treatment/meds, has apparently led a happier (albeit low profile) life for some decades.

Roxanne Roberts: Remember, we haven't established mental illness in Britney...yet. Could be fine if she de-toxes and throws out the pill bottles.


Pneumonia: Supposedly Heath Ledger had pneumonia. Take it from me, it's hard to keep track of what meds you've taken and how recently, when you're that sick & feeling worse than awful. I resorted to writing down what I took and when after a comparative minor OD brought on by being too sick to remember.

Roxanne Roberts: Like we said: Really sad.


More Britney:: You know, we all know people with mental illness, and I can't help but think how impossible it would be for anyone to stay healthy and maintain their therapies when everything they do is captured on film, mentioned in a blog, or fodder for late-night. I'm not sure this girl has a chance....

Amy Argetsinger: I agree. I think she's so completely damaged that she will need to have years and years of very intense therapy to even get to a point where she can basically function as a human being. But she's never going to have that chance, because the pressure on her will be to follow the traditional 30-day Hollywood recovery trajectory -- you know, where you show up on a talk show within a month of your arrest or hospitalization to say "everything's fine!" It's sad.


What did will.i. am do to you?: What beef with the Black Eyed Peas?

Or have I wandered onto the cooking chat again?

Amy Argetsinger: They just... annoy me.


Re: Campbell Brown: Glad to see her back on the air -- but she looked a bit different to me. All that hair, maybe. She looked like she's lost her baby weight but I think her face is a little fuller (not that there's anything wrong with that). Will she be based in N.Y. or D..?

Amy Argetsinger: I think she's based in New York...


Super Tuesday crush: Kelly O'Donnell! What a babe! Seriously though, something about the skin, hair, husky voice, and obvious intelligence gets me. Of course, I have no idea what she looks like from the neck down.

Amy Argetsinger: I did notice her the other night. Cute!


My Crush...: Definitely Bill Hemmer. He had me and my friend, two ultra-liberals, flipping back to Fox News all night. And made many more pointed observations than the other pretty boys, Anderson and John King.

Love Keith too, but it's strictly platonic.

Roxanne Roberts: Poor Keith.


Dana Milbank?: He's short, really? And where can he be spotted around town?

Amy Argetsinger: When he's here, he's in the newsroom, on the Hill, or at the Post Pub. But he's one of our many colleagues who has been dispatched off on the campaign trail. I haven't seen him since before the holidays, sadly.


Falls Church, Va.: Hey all, and thanks Oakland, Pa. I submitted an update a couple of times, but it didn't make the chat, so I figured interest had dried up. We've been out a few times and co-hosted a Super Bowl party. And yes, we've kissed. We've both agreed to take it slow considering we have to see each other every day. But I do like him.

Amy Argetsinger: Oh my goodness, is that really you? Sorry your updates didn't come through. So glad to hear from you -- that's excellent news! Can we take credit for giving you good advice? Not that I can remember what advice we gave you.


Back in the 'Ville: Ladies! Hope you can help clarify...why are the Bush-Hager nuptials scheduled during finals? What's Henry supposed to do, go get exemptions so's he can make his own wedding? Don't think that's going to go over well at Darden...

Roxanne Roberts: Maybe he's got permission to take his finals a few days early?

Amy Argetsinger: My understanding is that the wedding is scheduled for the weekend after finals but before graduation -- which means he just misses Beach Week. Will check the schedule again, though.


Gaithersburg, Md.: Has Sen. Clinton had any work done on her face or eyes? She has been looking refreshed recently. If she did, her surgeon did a good job, subtle yet you can see a difference.

Amy Argetsinger: Could just be lighting and makeup. There are blogs devoted to this nagging question. has spent some time mulling the very pretty eye makeup she sported during some of the debates.


Lyndsey:: She ROCKS the baby-fine hair. There isn't much we ladies with that hair type can do...I'd actually love to know who cuts it!

Amy Argetsinger: Good question, we'll try to find out.


Oxycodone: Isn't that what Jack was stealing from the hospital pharmacy on Lost?

Amy Argetsinger: Oh, good question. Of course, Oxy-Contin is the drug that people rob pharmacies and their ailing grandmas for, but oxycodone is kind of similar.


Are you kidding?: Way dreamier than Clooney!

Amy Argetsinger: Thanks for the endorsement.


RE: Falls Church, Va.: Yay! And now let's leave her alone so she can get on with this relationship.

Amy Argetsinger: Nah, don't you think we should hire paparazzi to stalk them?


McLean, Va.: Saw NBC4 the other day, when Jim Vance pulled out your column and read it to Doreen Gentzler on the air, who called your column "the unreliable source." Referring to Doreen not being the one lunching with the First Lady in Old Town, but in fact morning anchor Barbara Harrison. I understand most of the article is gossip, but how do you ensure what you print is correct?

Roxanne Roberts: We have a batting average of 99.9, but every once in a while a ball gets dropped. In this case, we had the sighting from a very reliable source in the past---and it was wrong. (Guess all anchors look alike!) Anyway, we feel terrible and ran a correction, and apologized to all involved. Jeesh, people are so sensitive about cheese fries!


Black Eyed Peas: They annoy you? Gee, could it be that gosh-awful "My Humps" song that did it?

Amy Argetsinger: You mean, the worst song in the history of time? I'm gratified to say I actually was wary of them years earlier.


She will need to have years and years of very intense therap: Yes, and she needs to get out of the spotlight as best she can. But I don't think she wants that.

Roxanne Roberts: And there lies the real problem.


Late Night TV: I am a straight male, and I think Craig Ferguson is a very attractive man. Absolutely hilarious. Can't wait to see what he does for the White House dinner as I watch it on CSPAN with the rest of uncool D.C.

Amy Argetsinger: Thanks for that endorsement too.


Ask Amy: Have you and Dickinson ever thought about doing a job switch? She can visit Washington and trail celebrities for a week, while you can move to Chicago and dispense with romantic and family wisdom for a few days. Recharge your batteries.

Amy Argetsinger: This is an excellent idea. I have so much advice for people.


K-Fed: Can we just, for now, respect K-Fed for not selling photos of the boys or for having an emotional oh-so-concerned-for-her-I'm-so-sensitive interview with People or Ann Curry about how he tried to save Britney but couldn't or some variation thereof. He's been amazingly low-profile and that's noteworthy.

Roxanne Roberts: You're right---KFed has turned in an unlikely hero in this story.


Omaha, Neb.: Alexandria, Va. : Sen. Clinton would do herself a BIG favor by hiring a fashion consultant. Her clothes look awkward at best and hideous at worst. Maybe she is dressing that way on purpose -- people in Nebraska and other out of the way places may find that look familiar and are comfortable with it.


I'll have you know we have a Coach store here. They put it in right next to the TGIFriday's.

Amy Argetsinger: Oh, you're lucky. I used to spend a lot of my lunch hours walking around the Coach store in Beverly Hills when I worked out there.


D.C.: Hoping you can settle a bet. I say those men and women with their laptops and serious looks in the background at CNN last night were placed there to aid an "air" of serious, old fashioned journalism to the place. My friend thinks the placement is legitimate and those background people are off screen reporters.

Amy Argetsinger: Well, whenever you see us Post reporters reporting from our newsroom studio, those people you see behind us are 100 percent real live journalists at their desks. It's possible that they're just playing online Scrabble, but still.


Nah, don't you think we should hire paparazzi to stalk them? : No, but if they end up getting married you guys should be invited!

Amy Argetsinger: Totally.


Amy Argetsinger: Confidential to the person who spotted the VIP talking on a cell while driving her "huge honkin' Mercedes." We can't verify so can't use, but it sure cracked us up, so thanks.


Bowie, Md.: Maria Shriver was never a journalist. She was only a "journalist."

Roxanne Roberts: That debate, my friends, will have to wait until next week. We're WAY past our allotted time, already behind on tomorrow's column, and likely to tick off our already cranky-but-beloved editor. Send more romantic tidbits and sightings to, and get ready for next week's pre-Valentine's love chat.


Editor's Note: moderators retain editorial control over Discussions and choose the most relevant questions for guests and hosts; guests and hosts can decline to answer questions. is not responsible for any content posted by third parties.

© 2008 The Washington Post Company