The Reliable Source: Michael Jackson's Saga, Celeb Sightings, More

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Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, July 1, 2009; 12:00 PM

Washington Post columnists Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts were online Wednesday, July 1, at Noon ET to discuss your favorite gossip, recent celebrity sightings and their recent columns.

In today's column: More about Gov. Mark Sanford's (R-S.C.) affair(s), saying bye bye to moviemakers Reese Witherspoon, Owen Wilson, Paul Rudd and Jack Nicholson, and Jodie Foster at the Newseum.

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Amy Argetsinger: Good morning everyone! So... anything interesting happen this week?

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I really don't get Gov. Sanford: His story was lost in the headlines when Michael Jackson died. So, what does he do but give an interview where he talks about more bad stuff that he did. And whines. Like we should feel sorry for him. And says he's "trying to fall back in love with his wife." PLEASE. Loved your translation in the column -- right on the mark. Except you needed to suggest that he stop feeling so sorry for himself, because nobody else does.

washingtonpost.com: Thinking Before He Speaks? Not in Sanford's DNA (Reliable Source, July 1)

Amy Argetsinger: Thanks, glad you enjoyed. I have to admit, my first reaction last week after his crazy-crazy-crazy press conference was to feel bad for the guy -- he seemed to be so genuinely in pain, and genuinely in love with this other woman (according to the e-mails we should never have seen).... But when you parse what he's saying in cold print, you think, oh shut up! Why's it all have to be about you?

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Washington: What does the future hold for Redmond O'Neal? An early grave, or will he turn his life around?

Amy Argetsinger: It is not looking good for Redmond, who is now in jail for trying to smuggle drugs INTO JAIL for a friend. If you've ever skimmed through his half-sister Tatum O'Neal's memoirs while standing up in an airport bookstore, you get the sense that that is not the healthiest home environment.

Too bad, because you know, he's not a bad looking kid, and if he can act, I'd cast him to play Prince Harry in the biopic.

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Washington, D.C.: Any word on who might have been in Mt. Pleasant or maybe Columbia Heights yesterday? I was walking home along Irving Street in MtP a little before 3 p.m., and I passed a small gaggle of guys with cameras & a microphone on a boom pole. I thought at first it was just a local news crew or something. But in the middle of the action were two young blond women (shorts/tank-tops/flip flops, just strolling and talking) and, oddly, I got the distinct impression that one of them was Gwyneth Paltrow. But I didn't get a good look -- they were on the other side of the street, moving in the opposite direction -- and now I'm less sure. It was so very random and sudden.

Amy Argetsinger: You know, I'd tell you that this *might* be The Real World (we're getting decent reports that they might have just started shooting here) -- except that these days there are so many crews wandering around D.C. with cameras. It might not be a reality show you've ever heard of; it could just be a one-shot deal for, who knows, some Travel Channel show or Food Network show you've never heard of.... Also, The Real World house is down the hill in Dupont, so don't know why they'd be on Irving Street.

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Florida chick: Deeply impressed that you called the Sanford deal correctly last week as "sex" when others were looking amidst the trees and latrines on the Ap. Trail. Did you have an inside tip or just used 'sex-dar' to sniff that out? I mean, man. You totally nailed it. Accurate and first out of the box. As I said...impressive. Guess that's why they pay you the mega bucks....

Roxanne Roberts: Politicians tend to get in-your-face defensive when accused of financial wrong dealing, and if it had been something medical, would have been hospitalized for "exhaustion" or a "minor medical procedure." That left sex with someone other than his wife----the evasions, the lack of concrete info, Jenny's weird statement during his "hike."

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Anonymous: I just saw that actress Gale Storm died this week. I didn't see any news reports, but Michael Jackson was still dead so I guess it got lost. I remember seeing both of her TV shows, "My Little Margie" and "The Gale Storm Show: Oh, Susannah!", co-staring Zasu Pitts, when I was a young child (I think they were already in syndication). She seemed nice, and never creeped me out.

Amy Argetsinger: Her obituary was very interesting (link to follow)... Seems she was one of the first movie stars to reinvent herself as a TV star when the big-screen career didn't pan out, thus paving the way for the likes of Charlie Sheen, Alec Baldwin, etc.

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washingtonpost.com: Gale Storm, 1950s TV Sitcom Star, Dies at 87 - washingtonpost.com

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The pics of the twins: Did you see how gray Mathew Broderick's hair is in the photos where he and SJP are holding their new babies? Ferris Bueller is looking a little old!

Roxanne Roberts: He's 47---despite that still-baby face. I thought he looked pretty good, although he needs a haircut.

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Goodbye, Farrah: So sad. It got a little lost in the other news, but it sounds like she fought hard and deserves some rest.

Amy Argetsinger: No kidding. It's like, Farrah's death was the best thing to happen to Mark Sanford, who was the best thing to happen to John Ensign -- and they all got wiped out (along with, you know, Iraq and health care) when Michael died. If you missed it, we'll give you a link to Paul Farhi's very thoughtful story on the Farrah phenomenon.

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washingtonpost.com: Farrah Fawcett, Last of the All-American Sex Symbols - washingtonpost.com

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What I love about the Sanford stuff: is Jenny Sanford! Finally, a wife who isn't standing there, stone-faced, showing support for her husband instead of taking care of herself! You two must be thrilled -- you've been wanting to see this for quite some time. Anyway, I am really impressed with her. South Carolina should elect her!

Roxanne Roberts: She's pretty popular these days----and very smart. She's clearly driving this bus now. The question is: If you were her, would you let him back? I'm not sure I'd want to be married to someone "trying" to fall back in love with me.

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Washington, D.C.: This has nothing to do with gossip - or maybe it does, given the big names involved in the concert! But there is virtually no info on logistics for A Capitol Fourth on the Post's Web site (or anywhere else). The Post says "All right folks, you know the drill." But you know what, I don't. And I would guess that most people who are relatively new to D.C. also don't. Can we bring coolers? What is the security like? How early should we line up before the gates open at 3 p.m. to make sure we get in? I've only been to the concert once (pre-Sept. 11), and then you could show up at 8 am, set out a blanket, and wander around until late afternoon without worrying about anyone moving your stuff. So, what is the drill now? I'd just like to know to make the day stress free and fun - but there is no information to be found!

Thanks!

washingtonpost.com: Fourth of July Guide 2009: Celebrating Independence Day in the Nation's Capitol, Washington, D.C. (washingtonpost.com)

Amy Argetsinger: You know what? You should complain to the Going Out Gurus about this or ask our Metro staff (which will probably have something in tomorrow's paper with more what-to-do details). I'll try to multitask my way to an answer in the next hour, but this is not really my bailiwick...

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washingtonpost.com: Ruth Marcus - Jenny Sanford, Role Model - washingtonpost.com

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Washington, D.C.: Rox and Triple A --

My theory on Governor Sanford is that he doesn't want to get back together with his wife. Sure, he says he wants to. He has to say that. He can't just leave -- she has to give him the heave ho. She really messed with him when she said she wanted to preserve the marriage and it would take work and forgiveness.

Amy Argetsinger: So, this is a passive-aggressive strategy of his? Or is it so passive-aggressive it's almost aggressive-aggressive?

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he's not a bad looking kid, and if he can act, I'd cast him to play Prince Harry in the biopic.: YES! Thank you. Every time I see a picture of him I think, "Jeez, who does he remind me of?" I'm sort of embarrassed that I never came up with that myself.

Amy Argetsinger: Let's try to promote this idea as much as we can. We want to give Redmond something to live for, something to work towards.

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Why's it all have to be about you? : Maybe Mark Sanford's just a major narcissist?

Amy Argetsinger: Ya think?

Other possibilities from an armchair psychiatrist -- bi-polar, currently in a manic phase. (Disclaimer: The diagnoses here are just for entertainment purposes; do not use to diagnose or medicate by yourself at home; please consult your doctor.)

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Hamilton, Va.: What is with these philanderers and their "spiritual advisors"? You don't need bible study for basic decency. Tell you the truth you don't need bible study for squat!

Roxanne Roberts: Don't be hating on Bible Study---you can learn a lot. As for the chaperone, I think Sanford needed him along to actually go through with breaking up---clearly, he's still in love with Chapur and really wants to be with her. The whole thing is sad and awful.

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A Touch of Class: Not to disagree, but I think you got George Segal's line slightly wrong. Wasn't it "We've been married for years and I've never been unfaithful to her -- in the same city."

Amy Argetsinger: We've been waiting for someone to quibble with us on that line! Rox was going by memory; I've currently got it at the top of my Netflix.

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Also, The Real World house is down the hill in Dupont, so don't know why they'd be on Irving Street. : Maybe they got lost. It's not like the film crew would help them out, they're just there to film.

Amy Argetsinger: Hahaha! Yes, I'm sure they don't get the least amount of coaching at all from producers.

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Washington: Mark and Jenny could be profiled in Can This Marriage Be Saved in LHJ. . .

Amy Argetsinger: They'd have to devote the whole issue to this one.

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Al Franken is coming to D.C.: Are you excited? Or do you think it will be anti-climactic?

Amy Argetsinger: It will be pretty anti-climactic. He'll be bending over backwards to prove that he's A Serious Guy and will end up being less funny than your average senator.

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TLI: After being fascinated by "hiking the Appalachian Trail" and horrified by the TMI of the initial press conference, I'm starting to enjoy the circus. It's fun to see a state other than my own (New York) get paralyzed by the idiocy of its own elected officials.

I guess you could say that we are all suffering from a case of Electile Dysfunction.

Roxanne Roberts: The gift that keeps on giving. If it lasts more than four hours, call your gossip columnist.

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Washington: All we need is for Jenny Sanford to throw him out, and it will be an awesome Lifetime movie. I think Lauren Holley is free.

Roxanne Roberts: Lauren Holly: Steely and tough enough? I vote for Holly Hunter.

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Senator-elect Franken and SNL: The only character I remember him playing is the smarmy Stuart Smalley. Perhaps he was more of a writer than a performer. Do his 15 years of association with SNL make him more or less suited to the US Senate given some of the unsavory stories about SML backstage during the 1970s and 1980s?

Amy Argetsinger: He was more of a writer than a performer; in the '70s he frequently popped up on Weekend Update, more so than in sketches. I'm sure his involvement in the wild '70s scene will give him a common ground with some of our senators.

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Alexandria, Va.: Amy - could you settle a bet? How do you pronounce your last name?

Amy Argetsinger: Didn't we just deal with this?

"Arget" rhymes with "target." And then "singer."

ARR-get-singer.

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Bethesda, Md.: I think Gov. Stanford, through his interviews to the press, is trying to communicate with his girlfriend and tell her that he loves HER and that he no longer loves his wife. He really seems to want his wife to make the hard decision to end this marriage. This way, he doesn't have to make the hard choice. He is no different that many other men (hate to be sexist).

Roxanne Roberts: He needs to step up and deal. Either leave the wife for the mistress or stay with jenny. Just shut up about it, already.

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McPhereson Square, D.C.: I submitted the first "where can I stalk Paul Rudd" question a few weeks ago and am happy to report that I was able to see him filming right off McPherson Square -- twice! (Thursday and Saturday). Mission accomplished!

Roxanne Roberts: Yay for you. Are you still glowing? Don't you love us even more?

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Another "celebrity" death: My 10-year-old son is really sad about Billy Mays. He loved that guy. On that show, "Pitchmen," it cracked us up when Mays said, "I don't yell, I just project and use my hands." Now, who will convince us to buy OxiClean?

Amy Argetsinger: I like to think that, just as Michael Jackson currently has nine of the top 10 albums on the Billboard charts, sales of OxiClean, Mighty Putty, and Quick Chop are now through the roof.

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A Touch of Class : You have never seen A Touch of Class? You are in for a treat. George Segal at his absolute best. Really should have won an Oscar for it.

Amy Argetsinger: I am looking forward to it.

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Milan: Is this the second or third marriage for Denyce Graves?

Amy Argetsinger: Second marriage.

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The Jackson thing is going to get weird: I saw that he may not have adopted any of the children, who aren't his biologically. Really? Wow. What does that mean? Poor kids. Being Michael Jackson's kid would make life hard, but not being Michael Jackson's kid might make it even harder.

Amy Argetsinger: I know, I know...

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He'll be bending over backwards to prove that he's A Serious Guy and will end up being less funny than your average senator: His own co-Minnesota senator is hilarious. Amy Klobuchar was doing a standup routine at a Democratic function, and said that she had 17,000 donors to her campaign, and that she figured out that the secret was to get in touch with old boyfriends. Then she said that Barney Frank had her beat on that score.

Amy Argetsinger: Hahaha.

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Farrah Poster: In all the gauzy, soft-focus coverage of the poster, no one has commented on what a deal killer the Farrah poster was at the time for some of us girls. There was a guy in my freshman dorm who had a Farrah poster in his room, and you can bet that no self-respecting female student would have been caught dead in his room for any reason. I suspect he didn't get a lot of action, at least not in his own room.

Roxanne Roberts: Maybe it wasn't about other girls.

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Floris, Va.: Speaking of "taxation without representation" how's our guy, former Mike Tyson brother-in-law, Michael Steele doing on his license tag vow? Line too long at the DMV?

Amy Argetsinger: We're still waiting to see his car with its new plates. Doesn't mean he hasn't done it yet, we just haven't seen it yet.

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Lauren Holly as Jenny Sanford: I'd vote for L.H. - she played steely well on NCIS as the director of the agency.

Amy Argetsinger: Thanks. You're right -- last week we totally neglected to cast Jenny Sanford. (I'm still liking the Jeff Daniels/Audrey Tatou casting idea.)

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Houston, Tex.: Loved your piece on Sanford this morning, and I couldn't agree with you more on the "Run, Jenny, Run" comment. This guy obviously has fallen in love or is infatuated with this Maria. But wow, shut up -- I don't know how you try to build your future together when your husband publicly states that another woman is his soul mate and that is is trying to fall back in love with you. I just feel terrible for her! But she must already know this since he apparently asked her to go see the mistress -- WOW again. And there are more women! I realize that they claim to family-values Christians, but sometimes you just have to cut your losses (and the kids will be fine once their father stops publicly discussing the details of his liaisons with his soul mate).

Amy Argetsinger: Hard to tell whether Sanford is disclosing the stuff about other women in order to stay in control of the story -- i.e., he assumes this is going to come out one way or another -- or because, well, he just can't stop oversharing. There seems to be not a lot of consideration for his family in all this, but maybe he sees it otherwise.

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Philadelphia, Pa.: I gotta agree that Sanford is looking for an out to Argentina. You know, people do this all the time -- find someone who checks all the right boxes, but never lights the fire. My guess is that he never loved his wife like he's drawn to this other woman.

As much as he's revealed and over-revealed to us, if we looked at the relationship from the inside we might find it much harder to demonize the guy.

Roxanne Roberts: My theory: He probably loves and respects with his wife, may not be "in love" with her. As in: She doesn't have that sparking thing he has with Chapur. Sexual chemistry is a bitch: Can't force it---it's either there or it's not.

Now I'm starting to sound like Carolyn Hax.

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Sarah Palin - a woman to be reckoned with: Have you read the Vanity Fair profile of Sarah Palin with less than muted sniping by McCain staffers and Republican politicos? She makes Sanford look like a whiney frat boy.

Amy Argetsinger: Not yet, have only skimmed it; looking forward to it, though. Link to follow.

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washingtonpost.com: Todd S. Purdum on Sarah Palin | vanityfair.com August 2009

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Woodbridge, Va.: So the bio father of the two oldest kids is allegedly the dermatologist? None of these kids look even remotely like MJ or have any of his ethnicity.

Roxanne Roberts: Allegedly. US magazine is all over that, doctor isn't commenting. I doubt DNA testing will come into the picture unless Debbie Rowe tries for custody of the kids.

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Ashburn, Va.: Any idea where Tiger is staying this week, and if his adorable family is in tow?

Roxanne Roberts: None, which is exactly how he wants to keep it.

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DuPont Circle: With Reese, Owen, Jake, and Jack passing through town and now gone -- what was the most memorable sighting? All seemed a little under the radar to me.

Amy Argetsinger: Actually, it was all so completely on the radar -- those stars were EVERYWHERE -- that we kind of glazed over. We didn't run half of the Owen sightings or Reese-and-Jake sightings we got because after a while, it's like, well, we already know we're here, and they've got to eat somewhere...

But yes, let's take a walk down memory lane. My favorite sightings:

1. Owen Wilson hanging out at Monticello on his day off.

2. Reese and Jake doing the NYT crossword together -- in pen! -- at Le Pain Quotidien, but having trouble with "OSHA."

3. Jack Nicholson chasing Paul Rudd down the street (for the cameras, that is).

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Laurel, Md.: So I was eating lunch in the Downtown Silver Spring area and a friend and I are sure we saw Al Roker walking right by the Lebanese Taverna Cafe! I was very excited as this is the first time I've ever seen a celebrity in real life. Any idea what he was doing here?

Amy Argetsinger: Okay, does someone from the class want to take this one? What should Laurel have done in this situation? Come on, we've been over this before...

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Arlington, Va: Is it a requirement that when someone famous dies that either Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson must pop up along side one relative or another? These guys are amazing in their ability to sense a TV camera.

Amy Argetsinger: What do you think -- do you get the sense that the two of them are battling over whose role in the Jackson drama is more primary?

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The Most Important Role--Mom: As a Kennedyphile--I have often read Jackie's comments that the most important role is that of "mom". Normally, I roll my eyes but in the case of Farah Fawcett--well, lets just say that I don't think she played that role to perfection. Maybe Jackie was correct.

Roxanne Roberts: I'm going to defend Farrah here. Addiction is awful, the worst if it is your kid. Plenty of loving parents who did everything "right" find themselves with kids caught up with drugs, and plenty of absentee parents have kids who never touch the stuff. Even with the dysfunction of the Ryan-Fawcett relationship, I'm not sure it is fair to blame her mothering skills for Redmond's problems.

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Franken, AL: Al Franken was also half of the two man comedy team Franken and (Tom) Davis.

Amy Argetsinger: Yes, that's the guy's name -- they used to do spots on Weekend Update together, I think. Tom Davis. (Not to be confused to the Tom Davis who once lived in Mark Sanford's basement with the Jurassic Park sheets that Mark Sanford kept apologizing to last week, him and all "the Tom Davises of the world.")

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Washington, D.C.: "ARR-get-singer."

Amy, I didn't know you came from pirate stock!

Amy Argetsinger: We are stone-cold pirates, we arrrr.

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Sanford's Women: When he was confessing to his other dalliances was he attempting to redefine what sex was ala Bill Clinton?

Roxanne Roberts: I think so. As in: I fooled around but did not have actual intercourse. As if that's supposed to make it ok.

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Desmond was here?!: So, uh... just asking for no reason, but did you get the sense that Henry Ian Cusick was in town for a while? Like, maybe staying through the 4th?

Any evidence of sexual harassment while playing ping pong?

Amy Argetsinger: Aw, that's right, he's been dealing with a patch of litigation from a Lost crew member. Forgot about that. I love me some Desmond. Apparently they were just here doing some sightseeing. No sightings of them since then, so guessing they've moved on.

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Logan Circle: So President Obama is fine using us as a prop and photo-op to go to Ben's Chili Bowl or get a burger at Five Guys, but when push comes to shove, he won't even change his license plates as part of D.C. solidarity?

Roxanne Roberts: Looks that way. if voting rights happy during his first term, no one will care. If not, D.C. voters will be more miffed. But c'mon, it's not like they are going to vote for the GOP ticket in 2012.

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Reston, Va.: Re. MJ's kids...I'm confused. We're pretty comfortable with the fact that he isn't the biological father. But, when he and Debbie Rowe were divorcing, I don't remember there being any talk of his having adopted the kids. How did he get to keep them? Did she just sign over guardianship to him? What a mess.

Amy Argetsinger: She pretty much signed over everything to him, apparently.

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Richmond, Va.: So, how does it work? Mark Sanford says that he crossed the line with other women, I assume because he wants to tell us before they do. Do news outlets start hunting for these women or do they wait for them to come forward? I am wondering how long this will drag out. Ugh.

Roxanne Roberts: What's the point? This was years ago, probably in a foreign country, probably one-time make-out sessions that weren't actual sex. The story has moved on from them.

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I saw that he may not have adopted any of the children, who aren't his biologically.: Is this the real reason he made them wear veils in public? Because they don't look like him?

Amy Argetsinger: Who knows, who knows, who knows... That, I suppose, or just a weird privacy thing.

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Where's the Mystery?: Why is the media turning MJ's death into a mystery? Don't we all know how he died? (ie Elvis, Marilyn, Anna Nicole,...)

Amy Argetsinger: Well, that's a fair assumption, but no, we don't quite know for sure yet. And if it is, as you're assuming, something that was facilitated by prescription drug use/abuse, then there will be some reasonable questions about whether a doctor is at fault.

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Washington, D.C.: Was there not a single Beyonce sighting last week when she was performing downtown?

Amy Argetsinger: Not that we heard. I think Miss B probably retires early to whatever luxury hotel she's staying in. She's pretty disciplined. You never hear much of her in the bars or clubs.

Oh, and have I mentioned? I went to see her show last week. It was over-the-top ridiculous (I now badly want a Plexiglas corset that makes my torso look like a leopard's, and a wind machine to follow me around all the time) -- and brilliant. Hugely entertaining. Go see the superstars while they're current, before they turn into an oldies act.

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New York, NY: I was surprised at how sad I was about MJ. Care to share your favorite songs? Mine is P.Y.T.

Amy Argetsinger: Don't Stop Til You Get Enough, followed distantly by "The Way You Make Me Feel."

That's of the songs he wrote, anyway. Of the songs he didn't write, it would be a long, long list of Jackson Five songs (ABC, I Want You Back, I'll Be There) before the rest. PYT, btw, was written by James Ingram and Quincy Jones. Cute song, though.

Roxanne Roberts: I'm all about the dance music, not too fond of his ballads. Honestly, I'd take Prince over MJ any day of the week.

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Fairfax: I sure hope when I die that Puff Daddy throws together a really bad tribute song in my honor. Is it that he is untalented, or that he spends about 15 seconds working on the song so he can be sure to get it out quickly?

Roxanne Roberts: He's, first and foremost, a businessman. A very shrewd businessman.

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Logan Circle: ack! Just started reading and am desperate to know where in Dupont the RW house is! Address? Can I somehow be in a background shot even though I'm over 40?

Amy Argetsinger: It's 2000 S Street NW, just off of Connecticut Ave. Link to follow. And thank you -- someone who is finally honest about their desire to get caught by the cameras; everyone else is acting all snobby and pretending like they're going to be deeply inconvenienced by the threat of cameras around them...

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Matthew Broderick needs a haircut: But, it's long because of his role on Broadway in "The Philanthropist," which is set in the 1970s.

Roxanne Roberts: Not his best look.

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washingtonpost.com: Reliable Source - "The Real World: Dupont"? We Ask the Owner (Post, June 8)

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Farrah Poster: In all the gauzy, soft-focus coverage of the poster, no one has commented on what a dealkiller the Farrah poster was at the time for some of us girls. There was a guy in my freshman dorm who had a Farrah poster in his room, and you can bet that no self-respecting female student would have been caught dead in his room for any reason. I suspect he didn't get a lot of action, at least not in his own room.: What does this even mean? You don't like guys who like to look at bombshells? I'm so confused.

Amy Argetsinger: I kind of get it, but maybe our original poster can better articulate the creepiness/cheesiness factor...

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Reston, Va.: 1. Sanford: He's a Republican! He can't initiate divorce--it would be breaking a sacrament! (We can all just ignore the adultery.) So he's leaving it up to his wife, and then it won't be HIS fault--HE was trying to love her again, and SHE divorced him. Poor him. Him, him, him.

Anyway.

2. You know, I hadn't seen a ShamWow commercial on TV since Whatshisname got bitten by a hooker. Then Billy Mays died, and within 24 hours I was seeing Creepy McBitey all over cable. Not cool.

Roxanne Roberts: 1. Democrats do that, too.

2. And you thought the Sham-Wow folks were pure class before?

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A Supreme Court Nominee Question: This might be old news but, when you had a photo of Judge Sotomayor with her cast and pretty painted toenails is that notable as the first time we've seen a future Supreme Court Justice's toes? Not that I'm complaining -- I don't think I'd want to peek at Justice Scalia's toes. Justice Roberts looks like maybe he gets a pedi, though....

washingtonpost.com: Photo: Sonia Sotomayor

Amy Argetsinger: Thanks for this -- the conversation we had about this a few weeks ago centered on the oddity of one stockinged leg and one bare (except for the cast).

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Argetsinger-Sarsgaard: That would be a good name.

Amy Argetsinger: I know!

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Chevy Chase: What is the reason for giving custody of Michael Jackson's kids to Michael's mother? Didn't she already have a big enough role in raising one of the most documented unstable families in history?

Amy Argetsinger: Yeah, this is what I was thinking: We're giving these kids to an elderly woman who is still married to Joe Jackson? But at the same time, the courts are naturally going to pay a lot of heed to the wishes of the custodial parent, and apparently it was MJ's stated wish that the kids go to his mom if anything happens to him.

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Arlington, Va.: Two points: First, re Governor Sanford and his "I'm trying to fall back in love with my wife." Dude, what makes you so sure she'd take you back? After hearing you make that statement in public, I'd kick you to the curb.

Second, re Michael Jackson and adopting the kids. He was legally married to the biological mother of the oldest two when they were born. Therefore, they are legally his children even if they are not biologically his. But I don't know about the situation with the third child, where as far as we know, he was not married to the biological mother at the time of the birth.

Amy Argetsinger: Truly, the events of the last week have taught us a lot about the complexity of modern relationships.

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Silver Spring: You tell us "Go see the superstars while they're current, before they turn into an oldies act." You mean like Britney?

Amy Argetsinger: If that's what you're into, sure.

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You don't like guys who like to look at bombshells? I'm so confused.: I'm not the OP, but I wouldn't have wanted to make out right under that poster.

Amy Argetsinger: yeah...

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Because they don't look like him?: Besides the fact that biological children often don't look like their parents, how could MJ's kids since he's had extensive plastic surgery? If the world chased me 24/7, I'd try to hide under a sheet so I could go to the mall too.

Amy Argetsinger: But... don't you draw MORE attention to yourself when you're hiding under a sheet?

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Lansdale, Pa.: Here is my take on the whole Sanford mess: He wants out of the marriage, but does not have the intestinal fortitude to ask for a divorce. Instead, he is making things so bad that his wife will be the one who will file for the divorce. Then he comes out and says that he wanted to repair his marriage but his wife didn't give him a chance. "Poor me!"

Amy Argetsinger: A genius of passive-aggression. Or maybe a failure of passive-aggression. Either way, we can agree: A jerk.

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Falls Church, Va.: Al Franken on SNL told one of my favorite jokes: Did you hear about the mohel who didn't charge for circumcisions?

He only took tips.

Amy Argetsinger: Hahahah!

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MJ: With the trust turning into a huge mess and plenty of people who will seek to profit off his estate -- I'm assuming that it's a no-brainer that Neverland Ranch will eventually turn into a Graceland-style theme park where we will all pay $25 to tour the house and ride the Neverland rides?

Roxanne Roberts: I'm pretty sure the Neverland rides are gone, as is the zoo. I was surprised that he still owns it---I thought it had gone to creditors in the wake of his financial meltdown. But now everyone stands to get rich if it's his memorial, so maybe it will be restored to former glory. Ewwww.

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Washington, D.C. : SJP and MB giving photo away instead of selling for millions even if it is for charity. I kinda like it. The money for charity photo still seems self-serving in the end.

Amy Argetsinger: Is that what they did? Kind of refreshing, I agree...

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We're giving these kids to an elderly woman who is still married to Joe Jackson?: Hopefully they know her, though. Do they even know Debbie Rowe? That would just be too strange, at their age, to go live with someone they don't have any relationship with, who didn't seem to want them earlier anyway.

Amy Argetsinger: True, true...

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Washington: Is it just me or did it seem like the media was desperately trying to make Michael Jackson's doctor into some sort of sordid, shady character? They were forcing the story.

How many times did they report that the doc had financial problems? Um, so did Mike. So does a lot of the world at the moment. MSNBC even referred to the doctor as "infamous."

Amy Argetsinger: Yeah... there was so much buzz out there the day-of that "police are searching for Jackson's doctor," that I was kind of surprised to see in the next day's stories that they had actually already talked to him.

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Neverland Ranch: With the bang-up job she did raising a bunch of stable, mature, and well grounded children, really, I don't see any downside to Michael Jackson's mother getting custody of Michael's three kids. Great job by the California courts.

Roxanne Roberts: In the Jackson orbit, normal is relative. What a mess.

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Flav o Flav: And how hilarious does he look at the gate of the Jackson compound asking for "Mother Jackson" then being turned away - twice? Gotta love it.

Roxanne Roberts: I missed that. Awesome if true.

Amy Argetsinger: Kind of him to show up to greet the paparazzi outside the gates. Sort of the new-media version of signing the condolence book.

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Silver Spring: What I meant was (and said so poorly) is that we should have seen Brit before she turned into an oldies act.

Amy Argetsinger: Oh, okay. Good point. She is putting out new material, of course. But yeah, if you're a fan, you probably wish you'd seen her in, I don't know, 2002 or something.

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washingtonpost.com: Flavor Flav Told to Beat It | TMZ.com - June 25

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Mark Sanford says that he crossed the line with other women: I'm telling you, that's not code for "snuggled up while dancing." That's code for oral sex.

Amy Argetsinger: Hey hey -- c'mon, let the man have his pathetic euphemisms.

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Anonymous: Know of any places showing a Wiz/Captain EO double feature?

Amy Argetsinger: Apparently you can find Captain EO online. I'm not sure that even I am a big enough Diana Ross fan to see "The Wiz" again (though Nipsey Russell was outstanding).

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SJP and MB giving photo away instead of selling for millions even if it is for charity.: Maybe they sensed that nobody was that interested.

Amy Argetsinger: If no one's interested, then why are people trying to break into the surrogate mother's home? Allegedly. It's a weird world.

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Washington: Can you guys explain why people would fight to claim what Michael Jackson owned when all he owned was a mountain of debt?

Would you want to inherit his finances?

Roxanne Roberts: Hell, yeah. The debts will be settled by his share of the Beatles songbook and his own, which will keep generating revenue. Everyone who's going to be paid will get their share in the next few years---after that, it's all about profit. Elvis makes millions every year, although he's been dead 32 years.

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Urgent lunch question: Baby carrots--Are they really baby carrots or big carrots cut into baby carrot shape? I love them and eat them all the time, but have never thought of where they were from.

You may now return to gossip.

Also, the Farrah poster/dorm story may make more sense if we know when the poster was hanging. Like in the 70s or kids who haven't even had their five year reunion yet.

Amy Argetsinger: Baby carrots come from mommy and daddy carrots that love each other very much... and have been cut down to size.

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To the person who saw Al Roker: ALWAYS send your sightings (as quickly as possible) to reliablesource@washpost.com !

Amy Argetsinger: Good... but what else?

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Sanford: First I thought it was like Bridges of Madison County. Now it's looking more like (eewww) American Gigolo.

Amy Argetsinger: Hahaha.

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Anonymous: Just curious, are we done with Susan Boyle?

Roxanne Roberts: Until the next breakdown----or American tour.

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Anonymous: My cat says hi. His cone head thing comes off tomorrow.

Roxanne Roberts: Awww. Give him a kitty ear scratch for me.

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Also, the Farrah poster/dorm story may make more sense if we know when the poster was hanging. Like in the 70s or kids who haven't even had their five year reunion yet.: It was in 1976. The guy was cheesy and wore gold chains and unbuttoned shirts. People gave him a pass to some degree because he was from the Caribbean somewhere. I just remember looking at the poster with the hair, the teeth, the impossibly flat stomach and the nipple and figured that even though I more than "crossed the line" with a lot of guys back in those days, he wasn't going to be one of them. It was just icky.

Roxanne Roberts: The poster sounds like the least of it.

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Capitol Hill: I need some uplift and could use a real-life romantic tale! Can you give you the newbies to this chat like me a synopsis of the story of the chatter who had a crush on the policeman next door (they are now apparently engaged now?)? Thanks!!!!

Amy Argetsinger: A couple years ago, a chatter (I think she lived in Falls Church) asked us about the Cute Cop next door. She had a bit of a crush on him, and was wondering if he liked her too -- he kept volunteering to do helpful chores and errands for her. We wisely advised her to -- well, I forget what we told her to do. We were just like, "omg, he's is so totally into you!" Whatever it was, it was very useful and no doubt played a large part in what happened next. Anyway, things progressed, and they started dating, and then he got a job in Coronado, Calif., and she moved out there with him.... and two weeks ago, she announced that they're getting married in October!

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Washington: You have to go on for another hour or two. This week is too juicy.

And what? No mention of Tony Danza yet?

Amy Argetsinger: And who's fault is that?

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Argetsinger-Sarsgaard: That would be a good name.: I still vote for Argetsinger-Ahmedinajad.

Roxanne Roberts: People have problems enough with just "Argetsinger."

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Amy Argetsinger: Good... but what else?: ooh, ooh! Ask him if he's who you think he is!

Amy Argetsinger: Yes! That's right! You are supposed to ask the famous-looking guy, "Are you Al Roker?" (or whomever).

And then what?

Well, we're running out of time, so I'll just give you the answer: You say, "so what brings you to town?"

And THEN you e-mail us at reliablesource@washpost.com, telling us all of that, plus what kind of shoes he had on or what kind of sandwich he ordered, etc.

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Anonymous: Didn't MJ sell his Beatles rights to Sony years ago?

Roxanne Roberts: Some, but not all of them.

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MJ's kids - from a lawyer-chatter: When a child is born to a married couple, the husband is presumed to be the biological father of the child, and is definitely the legal parent unless the mother identifies a different man as the father. MJ's biological connection to his kids is unimportant legally. They are his kids, period. Just as when a child is adopted, that child is the child of that adult, not the adult's "adopted child" as so many people like to say.

As their legal parent, he is entitled to establish anyone as their legal guardian in the event of his death, provided that the state has not determined that the legal guardian is otherwise inappropriate or unfit. One can make the argument that his mother is not appropriate or otherwise unfit, but that takes a determination by the authorities, not the judges on the Gossip Court.

Roxanne Roberts: We would never judge.....okay, we would, but no one pays attention.

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more George Segal: I love his movies and that you cited one in your column. If you've not seen them, quickly add "Where's Poppa?" "Blume in Love" and "The Owl and the Pussycat" to your Netflix list ASAP- and then report back.

Roxanne Roberts: Noted.

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Central Mass.: What do we know about the other Jackson offspring - Jermaine, Tito, Marlon . . . I haven't seen them in the news over the years, so does that mean they're fairly stable?

Amy Argetsinger: Jermaine Jackson was on "Celebrity Big Brother"; he's got a lot of kids whose names all start with "J," the youngest of whom is "Jermajesty."

Tito's three sons all have names starting with "T" and are in a band. He's also done some reality TV.

Marlon is the only one who hasn't been divorced; he has a few kids and a successful real estate business.

Jackie dabbles in the record business, and I don't know much else.

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"Good - but what else": Ummmm - don't wait for the chat? Because then we can't find out any details?

Amy Argetsinger: yes, thanks, you're doing very well here.

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I need some uplift and could use a real-life romantic tale: Look at the "Vows" column from last Sunday's NY Times Styles section. It's a brief article about two homeless drug addicts who cleaned themselves up and got married. It's heartbreaking and wonderful.

Roxanne Roberts: I'm sure it was. I'd rather look at pictures of cats.

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Forget screenings of "the Wiz": I want to watch repeats of those old, Saturday-morning Jackson 5 cartoons! With the bell bottoms & fros!

Amy Argetsinger: Yes, please. I cannot get enough of the old Jackson Five clips...

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Contemplating Argentina: Oh no. I'm about to be married, and I've got no sexual chemistry with my soon-to-be husband. None. I thought that you got that over time, sort of like catching a virus or something. Am I doomed? Is my marriage? Now the Sanford affair has become a morality tale...

Amy Argetsinger: Seriously? That is not good. Please do not hesitate -- consult with a licensed professional, or with Carolyn Hax, asap.

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Hey hey -- c'mon, let the man have his pathetic euphemisms. : And "trying to love my wife again" is code for "trying to keep my political career going, and everyone let me know if it's okay to leave her for the love of my life."

Amy Argetsinger: you got it.

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Baby carrots: They are usually called "baby style carrots" so that nobody's fibbing.

Roxanne Roberts: Amid all the gossip, education.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what we're all about: Juicy gossip and some weird fact that will come up during a bar bet. You can thank us by sending dark chocolate. And tips to reliablesource@washpost.com.

Have a great Fourth---be careful with the firecrackers and that "sparking thing." Next week, same time.

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E-mail and bookmark Reliable Source Blog.

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