Celebritology Live: Cloris Leachman; Clay and Lilo Come Out?
Thursday, September 25, 2008; 2:00 PM
When stars shave their heads, couch-jump, spend countless minutes in jail, commit a fashion faux pas and/or other random acts of ego-inspired inanity, washingtonpost.com Celebritology blogger Liz Kelly is on the job. Every weekday, Liz shares the buzz, offers perspective and provides crucial links to juicy alternate news sources and, of course, takes your reaction in her daily blog.
Join Liz LIVE every Thursday at 2 p.m. ET to gab about the latest celebrity pairings (and splittings), rising stars (and falling ones), and get the scoop on the latest gossip making waves across the Web.
In her pre-celeb obsessed days (as if!), Liz ran washingtonpost.com's Discussions section, where she enjoyed talking to really interesting people -- sometimes even Post reporters -- on the phone. She still produces Pulitzer-prize winner Gene Weingarten's weekly Chatological Humor discussion and serves as co-proprietress of post.com's "Lost" Central.
Liz Kelly: I'm Liz and I'm a Celebritologist. Welcome to our little show.
I've been power-watching "The Rachel Zoe Project" for the last few hours, so you'll have to excuse me for talking like a Valley girl who just drank a bottle of valium. It's Rachel's fault. Good thing you can't hear me.
In keeping with the fashion theme I have an important discovery to share in regards to my lifelong nemeses: pleated pants. It turns out that I have discovered one man who is capable of wearing a pleated pant. That man is The Post's own Adrian Higgins and you can see his casually elegant self on display in this video. No, this is not the first indication that I am softening on pleats. I still despise them as enemies to the male race, but there is -- as has been said -- always an exception that proves the rule. In our case, that exceptional exception is Mr. Higgins.
Just when we'd recovered from seeing Cloris Leachman on "DWTS," Ed McMahon -- who we know to be in need of money -- has made himself ridiculous in two rap videos meant to advertise a credit reporting Web site. If I still had eyes, I would gouge them out now.
And I'm sure by the time this hour is up, the rest of you who have been holding back will have submitted your entries in the inaugural Celebritology Fan Art Competition. Thus far, the one to beat involves pizza and spaghetti as canvas and paint. The competition is part of the 2008 Celebritology Honors, kicking off next week.
Anyhoo, let's get started. What's on your mind?
Falls Church, Va.: Liz, Liz, Liz --
You were wrong about Kiera Knightley's pants. (They gave her what god didn't -- hips!)
Now you are wrong about Cloris Leachman's gown. Certainly you've noticed that she is a brash, ballsy, outspoken woman! If she wore a subdued, tasteful gown, well, that just wouldn't be her!
I think that the gown should fit the woman, and not the other way around.
P.S. -- I'm only 40, and I know that I'm not going to be able to pull off the ballgown look when I'm 82, even if I have the tatas for it.
Liz Kelly: I get that Cloris is all about the outrageous. I just ain't buying it. I didn't buy it in 1978 and I don't buy it now. Just because she's over the top doesn't make her necessarily funny. It's like saying Carrot Top is a laugh a minute just because he uses props. No no no.
Washington, D.C.: Dear Liz,
There's been so much news about Lyndsey Lohan and her ""girlfriend." Who is this woman anyway? Is she some sort of "celebrity"?
Liz Kelly: Dear you, this woman is Samantha Ronson, sister of Amy Winehouse producer Mark Ronson and her twin, fashion designer Charlotte Ronson. She's only one of the hottest DJs -- or so we're told every time her name is mentioned. Think of her as a female, non-air disaster surviving DJ AM.
Although she did have a song featured on the soundtrack of the Lindsay Lohan fronted 2004 movie "Mean Girls," it isn't clear when the two first started palling around. She was a near-constant Lohan companion, though, by the time Lilo reached what we hope was her bottom in summer 2007, Ronson was already a near constant companion. You might remember her from the infamous pix of Lilo passed out in her passenger's seat.
But, over the past 12 months Lilo has done much to clean up her act, including a stint at Utah's Cirque Lodge rehab. She's back at work and despite a few missteps, including an ill-advised nude New York magazine spread, she seems to be making strides to get her career and her life back on track. And, just this week, Lilo publicly admitted for the first time that she and Ronson are a couple.
So, if Ronson wasn't exactly a celebrity before, she passes for one now.
Washington, D.C.: Care to change your position on Ricky Gervais? Most reviews are calling Ghost Town a pretty darn good movie.
Liz Kelly: I still haven't seen "Ghost Town," so I can't definitively come out and change my opinion, but I'm willing to admit that it was possible that I was maybe a little hasty. And I hope I'm wrong. I like Ricky Gervais and was mainly lamenting a possible slide from his own unique brand of laugh out loud humor into shlocky, formulaic stuff co-starring Greg Kinnear. Turns out that maybe Ricky is the one guy (kind of like Adrian and his pleated pants) that can actually make shlocky work for him. Maybe it's something in the British water.
Arlington Gay: So do we get it over with quickly or does Clay Aiken's coming out party dominate the chat today? And how moronic are the Claymates that were actually caught by surprise? Lance Bass and Doogie never caused my gaydar to ping, but Clay? I never had any doubt.
Liz Kelly: Well, we shouldn't let Clay hog the coming out limelight when Lindsay Lohan also made her same-sex relationship public this week. I'm hoping for one more in the next 24 hours so we'll have a hat trick. A trifecta. A trinity of newly-out celebs.
Tampa, Fla.: And the family of nomads is on the road again -- this time, Brangelina are in Germany for the next three months while Brad films a Quentin Tarantino movie.
As their children grow up, I can't imagine this constant moving around is good for them. Right now, the only friends they have are each other, which is nice, but I can't see that being the best in the long run. They really need to pick SOME place, and let that truly be home.
By the way, rumors have been floating that Angelina may be suffering from a bit of post-partum depression following the birth of the twins. Maybe, maybe not, but there is a photo of her and the kids arriving in Germany, and she is apparently already getting back to that scary-skinny figure she had before she got pregnant.
washingtonpost.com: Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt Wann-a-see Berlin! (Bild-de)
Liz Kelly: I don't know that moving around would be any riskier for a kid than staying put in Hollywood or New York, surrounded by sycophants and paparazzi lenses. I think if a family is at core stable, that stability travels well.
Of course, I speak as an Army brat who moved so much I had whiplash by the time I was 18. Despite a little stress over always being the new girl, I actually enjoyed it. I loved loved loved having a new room and a whole new house every 24 months. It was exciting.
And there are worse places the Brangie brood could be calling home.
Dupont Circle, D.C.: What in the heck is Drew Barrymore doing? Isn't she supposed to be the empowered adult female who produces movies with deep characters (okay, maybe not that deep...)? Why is she always going around making out with dudes in bars and acting like a fool? I would expect this behavior of Mischa Barton....
Liz Kelly: I'm so glad you brought this up. Drew is one of my very favorite celebrities. She represents so many things -- she has an impeccable Hollywood lineage, she was a child star, she had a major fall from grace, she was a sex pot, she flashed David Letterman, she got her act together, she is the rom-com go-to girl, she has her own production company. Honestly, what can't she do?
So, after contemplating all that, I just can't muster the energy to get my panties in a bunch about her macking on Ed Westwick. Sure, she's 33 and he's 21 -- big deal. Make hay while the sun shines, Drew.
I'm hoping for one more in the next 24 hours so we'll have a hat trick. A trifecta. A trinity of newly-out celebs.: Wait, you know about an upcoming announcement you're not talking about? Or just wishful thinking?
Liz Kelly: Oh, purely wishful thinking. But I could think of a list of nominees. And, no, we won't go into that here.
MGC: How desperate is Clay Aiken to get himself out there if he has to come out. It really was one of the worst kept secrets and I can only imagine he did it in this manner for the front of people.
Liz Kelly: I don't know that it was desperate. The guy has a pretty big fan base, so he's not necessarily lacking attention. And, as mentioned above, much of that fan base staunchly defended his supposed hetero-ness, so taking this step could actually potentially lop off a bit of his audience.
Cleveland Park, D.C. -- Sharon Stone: Any explaination on why Stone lost custody of the child she shares with Phil Bronstein?
Liz Kelly: According to Stone's lawyer, the judge's ruling that ex-husband Phil Bronstein should retain physical custody of son Roan isn't so much about Sharon's inability to provide a stable environment as it is about not wanting to uproot the 8-year-old in the midst of a school year to move him from his old school in San Francisco to a new one in L.A.
Also, he'd just watched "Gloria."
Methinks: RE: the pleats...I can't help but wonder if you've been dazzled by Adrian Higgins's lovely speaking voice. I found myself mesmerized listening to him describe the Swiss chard and rutabagas.
Okay, back to celebrities, are you going to take a road trip to Richmond to see Kathy Griffin perform?
Liz Kelly: There is that. He has a voice that could, like, launch a thousand ships.
Mickey Rourke: Does anyone care about what's going on with Mickey Rourke? I used to think he was real sexy, then he dropped out of sight. Now he's back in a movie and he looks really, really odd. What happened to him? I know he was into boxing -- is that what happened to his face?
Liz Kelly: I do. I love Mickey Rourke and have ever since he drew my eye in "Rumble Fish" back in high school. So intense, so brooding -- a teen punk rock girl's dreamboat. Sigh.
What happened? He got into boxing and had his face rearranged. He fell on hard times. Now he's battling his way back out. He'll never be that dreamboat again, but turns out he's also a hell of an actor and there is actually even Oscar buzz circulating about his performance in "The Wrestler."
And there are worse places the Brangie brood could be calling home. : Indeed. Like Fort Puke...err...Polk, Louisiana.
Liz Kelly: Yes, a place that I called home for 12 long months. Give my regards to Leesville.
I loved loved loved having a new room and a whole new house every 24 months. It was exciting. : Me too! Navy brat, here. I got bored if we didn't move after 2 years. So fun to check out a new place and see how people live in some other state or country.
Liz Kelly: See, it's actually a positive as long as you feel secure about everything else.
Emmys: I could frankly care little, but just read the list to see winners/losers and I noticed that Michael Emerson of LOST was snubbed for Supporting Actor. My question is: Can you describe the level of keening, gnashing of teeth, etc when he didn't win?
Liz Kelly: There was no keening, no gnashing of teeth involved. Ben, err, Michael will have his revenge.
Mens Wear Dept, Tysons Corner: Is Adrian Higgins the Anti-Weingarten?
Liz Kelly: That is a fabulous question. Hmmm, I don't think so, actually. They're both fabulous writers, both passionate about their work and both possessed of a wicked sense of humor (read Adrian's archived chats to get a sense of that humor).
Gary, Ind.: Drew has an impeccable Hollywood lineage? Boozers, druggies, and nymhos?
Liz Kelly: Incredible actors. Impeccable where it counted.
Lohan Ronson: I was surprised to see it was Ronson in those horrible pics with Lindsay passed out. I thought Ronson was the force that set Lindsay straight. Looks like they were both messed up.
Liz Kelly: Well, let's look on the bright side here. Perhaps they're both helping to lift each other up now.
Ugh! Enough Gwyneth!: : Okay, I warmed up to her via Iron Man, and her Oprah stint to promote the Spanish food show, but this is too much. Why do these celebs take to the Web to "share themselves" and then moan weeks later about their precious privacy?!?
washingtonpost.com: What Would Gwyneth Do? (Celebritology, Sept. 23)
Liz Kelly: I honestly have no idea what inspired Gwynnie to take to the Web. I guess she wasn't getting enough approval from her husband, publicist, agent and mom. Luckily we're the beneficiaries. I will be watching closely to see what gems she shares with us. I honestly don't know what possessed her to take the site live with virtually no content.
Kathy Griff, IN: You don't have to take a road trip to Richmond (unless you really want to). Isn't she at Constitution Hall for like three days this week? (I was there for the wholly unfortunate Ben Folds concert last night and saw an ad.)
Liz Kelly: Ayup. In fact, wasn't there a big profile of her in today's Style section?
Los Angeles, Calif.: Thank you Liz for speaking up for those of us who didn't grow up in one place and suffered no ill effects from moving around (and in fact got the benefits of exposure to different communities and sometimes cultures). Seems to me that Brad and Angie have a multi-cultural family and it can only benefit their children to see that there are different kinds of people all over the place. The only way they could settle on one place is to either give up their careers or have at least one absent parent all the time. Not good for the relationship or the children.
Liz Kelly: Agreed. Thanks for chiming in, L.A.
Do you know Rachel Zoe?
Washington, D.C.: Can we pleeeaaassee stop obsessing over Angelina's body? She's always been skinny when she wasn't pregnant. Isn't it possible that this is just her body type and isn't something "scary"?
I have very high metabolism and have been skinny my whole life. I would love to be 10 pounds heavier. The only time I was able to easily put weight on was when I was pregnant, and it looks like Angelina might be the same way. When stars suddenly drop 30 pounds once they get famous, fine, be worried. But this woman has been slim forever! Seeing women picked apart for something they might not have any control over bugs me..
Liz Kelly: I'm looking around myself now to see who it is that is obsessing over Angelina's body and I'm coming up empty. Has there been some renewed focus on her physique again?
washingtonpost.com: Coming Up in the World: D-Lister Brings Her A-Game (Post, Sept. 25)
Non-celebritology question: (except you are a celebrity to me, Liz!)
We've moved every two years (academia, kinda like the military without the uniforms). Son is now 14. We are facing yet another move. So my question - did you have siblings? I, personally, love moving just for the same reasons - however, am feeling guilty of what it may do to only child.
Liz Kelly: Okay, this is important so I'm going to answer at the risk of alienating the folks that want to talk celebs:
I do have siblings, but they are more than a decade older than me so by the time I was seven they were both out of the house -- leaving me to grow up essentially as an only child. All I can say is that I weathered the moving just fine. I may have been a teensy bit more prone to solitary pursuits in my tween years and given to reading and introspection and found myself sometimes more at home in the company of adults than other kids, but that is hardly a bad thing and by the time I finished high school I was in the exact same place developmentally as my stayed-in-one-place friends. And I had developed some life-long good habits -- the reading thing and an ability to keep myself busy and entertained without relying on others do do it for me.
Washington, D.C.: Dear Liz,
Going back to the question re: Samantha Ronson. When you say one of the "hottest DJs" what does that mean? I thought all they did was choose which music to play? ( I'm stuck in a time warp as you can see)
Liz Kelly: I guess to break the answer down to its simplest form: She picks good songs and mixes them well. Or so we're told.
I don't care how many Emmys it won...: I just can't bring myself to watch John Adams.
Liz Kelly: Me either. Shhhhh.
Pleated La,ND: I can't convince my husband to stop wearing them. He agrees with the Bluto argument, and says flat-front pants are uncomfortable on his legs. But my sister recently complained about the way her boyfriend's pants look like an old man's, and I explained the pleated versus flat front argument to her. I think we may at least win a convert there.
Liz Kelly: Listen. Here's a simple rule, gleaned from "What Not To Wear": buy big and tailor down. Don't let hubby get stuck on a size. Buy him some flat fronts you think will fit and rip out the tags before giving to him. Tell them they are his size. If they are a bit big in the waist or a little long, have him pop down to the tailor and have them altered. Easy as pie.
Washington, D.C.: The whole Clay is gay coverage is very telling about our so-called liberal media. They still treat it like it's a dirty secret. The stories about him coming out cited that he would get angry about being asked in the past. As though it's only rude to ask questions about one's sexuality if they are straight.
Liz Kelly: I don't know that I agree. I think the mainstream media was pretty respectful of Clay's privacy up to the point where he came out. And, in fact, continue to be very respectful of several other stars who are widely acknowledged to be gay, but have chosen to keep their sexuality from public discussion for whatever reason.
I'm not sure who is treating this like it was a dirty secret. There is a difference between that characterization and wilfully respecting someone's privacy.
Primetime Prima Donna: David Letterman has a hell of a lot of nerve for those catty remarks he made about Sen. McCain. Maybe Letterman should stick to his schtick and stay out of politics.
Liz Kelly: That's one opinion. Maybe Rocci can find that clip...
byool, IN: I can't believe you didn't put that Caption Contest picture behind a 'Not Safe For Anyone With Eyesight" warning. (Almost as frightening: your dad in his tighty whities. You're kind of creepin' me out.) I'd rather have seen Cloris break out of her top.
Liz Kelly: It's shock and awe week in Celebritology.
washingtonpost.com: Letterman on McCain (YouTube, Sept. 24)
Raleigh, N.C.: Hey Liz. Do you think the media will now stop referring to Ronson as Lohan's "gal pal" and start using the correct term, girlfriend? It's like they think they're under some contractual obligation to use that phrase -- which is kind of belittling -- just like they apparently feel obligated to use the phrase "material girl" in every article printed about Madonna for the past 25 years.
Liz Kelly: Well, I think gal pal was probably short hand for "we're not 100 percent sure what SamRo is to Lilo, but they are together enough for her to warrant some kind of specification." Now we know and I know I, for one, will be referring to her as LL's girlfriend.
Another annoying Madonna moniker: Madge.
I can see Hollywood from my house: re: "She's always been skinny when she wasn't pregnant. Isn't it possible that this is just her body type and isn't something "scary"?"
Actually, Angelina had a slim, totally hot body, and then about a year before her last pregnancy she got super Flockhart skinny. That was when people started focusing on her weight. Hopefully she's not headed back in that direction.
Liz Kelly: And I believe Angie acknowledged that she was below her normal weight and attributed her rapid weight loss to the loss of her mother. Again, as someone who has lost a parent, I can totally attest to its affect on one's weight. I honestly lost about 30 pounds when my dad passed.
Capitol Hill: Rumble Fish? The Pope of Greenwich Village was his high point.
Liz Kelly: What? Not "Bar Fly?" What about "Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man" or his spot-on Chinaman in "Breakfast at Tiffany's." Oh wait, that last one was Mickey Rooney.
Smoking Court: Is Samantha Ronson related to this:
Liz Kelly: I'm gonna guess no, but I could be wrong.
The hottest DJ in San Francisco, when I was growing up in the '60s...: ...was Johnny Holliday!
Liz Kelly: The voice of the Terps?
GOOP: I had an idea for a parody site called GLOP, but the domain is already taken.
Liz Kelly: What about GOOPY? Or GOOF?
David Letterman has a hell of a lot of nerve: Are you kidding, Diva? He got stood up hours before his show was due to go on-air live. Plus, it would have provided John McCain with a nationwide forum for his views. Not a good decision by McC.
Liz Kelly: Right. I'm with this person. McCain's backing out of both the campaign and this Letterman appearance look to me like someone who is totally flailing.
Andy?: We're 35 minutes in, and no Andy questions? Amazing.
Liz Kelly: I know. Andy's livid.
LiLo's publicist is saying that she did NOT confirm that they're dating, but rather was just playing along with the interviewer -- so can we really be sure? (After all, it's not like she appeared on the cover of People with the caption "I'm gay".)
Liz Kelly: What? LL is back-pedaling? I don't believe it!
I liked him in : Angel Heart
Liz Kelly: No, those finger nails were gnarly.
Washington, D.C.: The obsessing about Angelina's body comment was in reference to the comment from Tampa that Angelina was 'scary skinny' again.
And you're right about the Cloris cleavage. I thought I was going to go blind seeing that mess.
Liz Kelly: Ah, sorry D.C. -- I missed Tampa's reference.
And I hear you on Cloris.
Liz Kelly: Seriously -- I could've stomached watching the whole Cloris routine live, but Mr. Liz -- who looked like he'd seen a three-headed abominable snowman carrying his manhood -- went pale and forced me to change the channel. I had to watch the remainder online the next day.
Washington, D.C.: The difference between La Liz and the Brangelina brood is that they seem to move several times a year. Wasn't Maddox in school last year? He probably didn't spend more than a few months there before jetting off around the world. Will Brangelina add home schooling to their skill set?
Liz Kelly: Right, I get that. But I also think the same rule applies. These kids are hopefully getting their stability from a close-knit family rather than a piece of real estate.
Lifetime Prima Donna: Letterman didn't say anything inappropriate. Perhaps McCain should stay out of politics.
Liz Kelly: Okay, this will be the last word on this little issue. Let Chris Cillizza entertain the rest of the commentary about McCain's no shows.
Madge: Don't know if it's true, but I heard she was unthrilled with the nickname Madge until someone told her it was a diminutive for her "Majesty". Barf.
Liz Kelly: Double barf, even.
Perhaps they're both helping to lift each other up now. : For a moment I thought you were writing about Cloris Leachman's brown-spotted ta-tas.
Liz Kelly: Dang! Home run. Out of the park. Kudos.
No, those finger nails were gnarly. : Hmmm I don't remember.
Liz Kelly: I'll never forget them.
Inquiring Minds: Hey, I thought we were promised a live chat with Mike Rowe sometime this fall. And...
Liz Kelly: Patience grasshopper.
Liz Kelly: Here's the latest on the Lohan story, just IMed by my pal Dawn:
There was no confession," Leslie Sloane-Zelnik tells TVGuide.com. So, Linds was merely copping to a close friendship with SamRo? "Yes," says Zelnik.
Re : The Rachel Zoe Show :: I hope this doesn't spoil the illusion for you but I worked in fashion and fashion stylists were like the lowest of the low. Her show makes me feel nervous and disgusted.
Liz Kelly: Dude, I'm just dazzled by all the clothes. I would kill for 30 minutes in her studio.
Clay is gay: Hey Liz,
Can you get Clay to do a Q and A?
Liz Kelly: Possibly, but I bet producer Rocci -- who has an amazing knack for talking big names into chatting -- could.
Rocci, want to take the challenge?
Finger Nails: Wasn't it De Niro with the gross nails?
Liz Kelly: You know, I think you're right. I retract my earlier assertion.
Dupont Circle, D.C.: But it's not just this one time. Remember the reports of her making out with Justin Long? And then that other guy? I'm just surprised because I agree, she seems so put together. My panties definitely aren't in a bunch though, it just occurred to me: she makes mediocre movies and spends time acting like a 17-year-old and hasn't really ever said anything mindblowingly intelligent (or stupid. Or interesting). She' just kinda meh. But people LOVE her? I only just realized this when I heard of her kissing the Gossip Girl dude. The incident is but the catalyst in my realization of my distaste for her. GAH. Must be a generational thing.
Liz Kelly: But what's wrong with making out with a series of guys? She's in her early 30s. She's living her "Sex in the City" moment. End of story. And, no, she's not deep like, say, Gwyneth Paltrow -- but she's consistent and utterly likable. Since when was mindblowing intelligence a requirement for our favorite actors or celebs?
Mens Wear Dept, Tysons Corner: Liz, The Lady from Legal and I elope to our wedding destination this weekend. Wish us luck.
Liz Kelly: Men's wear! I'm so happy for you -- have a smashing time and enjoy every moment. I hope you'll share a pic or two when you return.
John Adams:: Totally felt that way (not wanting to watch) until something possessed me to put it on Netflix. Am so not a Paul Giamatti fan and couldn't understand the casting. I'm glad (and thankful) I did.
A little slow in the beginning, but it was amazing. The performances, the production values, and you can't beat a story line about a bunch of rebels who can write!
And in this election year it was a fabulous reminder of not just how America came to be, but why. Got goosebumps during the scenes where Jefferson is writing and the Congress is reading the Declaration.
Forget the Emmy Awards and put it in your queue.
Liz Kelly: Maybe. But I have all these "Pee Wee's Playhouse" DVDs calling to me from my media box.
Bawlmer, Hon: Where on God's green earth did you find the picture for today's caption contest? Did you follow the screams of horror across the Internet?
Liz Kelly: Just in the course of my usual daily slog through the wire photos. Consider us all lucky.
Semanticist: No, those finger nails were gnarly.
Liz Kelly: Gnarly
Anonymous: Scuse me, but Mickey Rooney's horrifyingly racist portrayal of an Asian man in Breakfast at Tiffany's was supposed to be Japanese, not Chinese. That's what was with those giant teeth -- remember the WW2 caricatures?
Liz Kelly: Thanks for that correction. Either way, it was pretty horrific.
Baltimore, Md.: Drew Barrymore's lineage: She happens to be the granddaughter of the man who is widely held to be the greatest American classical actor ever -- John Barrymore. A man who was so handsome in his prime that he was called "The Profile." And her great, great grandmother was Elizabeth Drew, the matriarch of one of America's great acting families. So she's got genes on her side, that's for sure. (Her father, John B. Jr. was also a handsome devil but totally nuts.)
Liz Kelly: Yeah. So there.
washingtonpost.com: I was just thinking about this this morning, Miz Liz, when I saw him chatting with Diane Sawyer. We'll make some calls and try to pin him down for our Web folks.
Liz Kelly: Okay, on that note I am out of here and back to my Rachel Zoe marathon. And people say my job is easy. Hah!
Please submit your last minute entries in the fan art competion.
See you here next week and in the blog tomorrow.
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