The Reliable Source: What Bo Knows, Obama on Kanye's Jackass Moment, Chelsea, Oprah and More

Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, September 16, 2009 12:00 PM

Washington Post columnists Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts will be online Wednesday, Sept. 16, at Noon ET to discuss your favorite gossip, recent celebrity sightings and their recent columns.

This week, they discussed grooming secrets of the First Dog. Rep. Aaron Schock, fashion model. Obama calling Kanye a "jackass," and you might not know about it if it weren't for Twitter. Chelsea Clinton -- not married! Oprah's secret visit to Hagerstown -- or Camp David?

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Where did Oprah go?: Definitely to Camp David - not that much to do in Hagerstown. Plus, we had no sightings, and folks in Hagerstown would have noticed Oprah!

Amy Argetsinger: Oh, come on, Hagerstown has all kinds of great sights. Perfect weekend getaway, isn't it? I mean, there's Antietam, and there's.... well, there's... Okay.


More, please!: Okay, so I must be really out of it, but tell me Olivia Wilde's connection to the DC area.

Amy Argetsinger: She grew up here. Daughter of social bigwig journalists Andrew and Leslie Cockburn. She went to Georgetown Day before packing off to boarding school.


Hollywood, Fla.: Is it possible to get Rep. Schock to walk the Obama dog ? I think that would make a nice picture.

Amy Argetsinger: Hahaha!


Fairfax, VA: Whatever happened to a social columnist named Betty Beale? When I was a copy editor way back in the day, she had a syndicated Washington column distributed nationally.

Amy Argetsinger: Betty Beale, the Washington Star columnist, died three years ago at the age of 94. Will post a link to Adam Bernstein's nice obit.


DC: I've met Bo and yeah, he's awesome. A total puppy's puppy.

Amy Argetsinger: You are such a name-dropper.


Huh?: Who the heck is Olivia Wilde?

Amy Argetsinger: Oh, you'd recognize her. She's on "House." Which I don't watch, but you also might remember her as the lesbian punk girl who kissed Mischa Barton on "The O.C." And now, she's on the cover of GQ.

_______________________ Washington Star Society Columnist Betty Beale, 94

Amy Argetsinger: Here you go.


Beautiful Silver Spring, Md.: It sounds as though Ginuwine has assessed whether there is any more room for him in his wife's jeans and determined that no adjustments need to be made. Good for him! But we as a nation will always be grateful for his call to address the issue of whether there is, in fact, any more room for him in those jeans. Also that "Pony" song. PR That's the Ginuwine Article

Amy Argetsinger: Ginuwine sounds like a very good husband. They've been married six years now. Will put out a link to his 1996 classic "Pony."

_______________________ Olivia Wilde: Reliable Source - Quoted


S' cooper: Obama picking up after his dog definitely tells me the guy is sincere and is really endearing and uplifting in a funny way. I trust you will continue to report on this engrossing subject...

Roxanne Roberts: We'll try. But as you can see, the president himself has been more forthcoming about Bo than the White House press shop.

_______________________ Ginuwine: "Pony" Video (


Where do I get me: one of those "Bobama" shirts?

Roxanne Roberts: They were all over the Vineyard---have you checked eBay?


Anniversary: 30 years ago today, the Sugar Hill Gang released Rapper's Delight and changed pop music forever. Makes me pine for the days when rap was fun.

Amy Argetsinger: Feels like yesterday, doesn't it? Thanks for making me scurry to YouTube yet again. When you see the video clip you will think, yes, that was actually 30 years ago.

_______________________ Sugarhill Gang: Rapper's Delight (


Who wins the rude award: Kayne, Serena or Joe Wilson?

Amy Argetsinger: Hard call, isn't it? Is it ruder if it's spontaneous or ruder if it's calculated or ruder if you're drunk? So many things to consider. Our colleagues Wil Haygood and Chris Richards explored public outbursts in yesterday's Style section, link to follow... .


I don't know what's more interesting...: ...the fact that the First Dog has to sneak around to visit the press or the fact that the POTUS actually picks up the poo himself! Thanks for that information. He IS just like me (POTUS, not the dog)!

Roxanne Roberts: After all those cute pictures, I think Bo wanted to prove to the press he was not just another pretty face and had some real substance. Unfortunately, he was rushed back to the front of Air Force One before he could be interviewed.

And yes, I love that the president and first lady walk the dog themselves. I'm assuming the girls have the afternoon and weekend shifts.


re : Oprah sighting: Wasn't Oprah shopping for a house in the D.C. area ? Maybe she was shopping some more ?

Amy Argetsinger: No, that was bogus fevered speculation of the kind that always happens when there's some expensive real estate on the market. There's no reason for Oprah to buy a house here. She's got plenty of house. We wrote about this a few months ago; link to follow...

_______________________ High-Profile Outburst: Do We Hit New Lows? High-Profile Outburst: Do We Hit New Lows?

Amy Argetsinger: Here's Wil and Chris's story on Kanye/Joe/Serena...


Jody Powell: Old enough to remember when he and Ham Jordan were Jimmy Carter's Young Guns. Always liked Jody and his Southern accent (and so did Ken Burns). Sorry that we lost him so soon. Jody Powell, 65; Trusted Press Aide Helped Carter Reach White House

Amy Argetsinger: Those two Georgians brought a lot of life to the city back in the day. Both died too young.


Cop & Falls Church chick: Hey - isn't that wedding coming up? We are counting on all of you to keep us informed about this, our first ever chat-match-made-in-heaven (that we know of). I seem to remember it was going to be October?

Amy Argetsinger: We await an update...

_______________________ Why Ms. Winfrey's Not Coming to Washington

Amy Argetsinger: Now, just watch Oprah try to go and prove us wrong on this.


Bo . . . Party: Since Bo is 11 months, he has a 1 year birthday coming soon. Wonder if there will be a birthday party? If so, perhaps the White House could add this to his social calendar.

Roxanne Roberts: Yup. Early next month---Oct. 9. We're waiting for our invitation to the party.


I (heart) Del Potro!: Any chance that US Open upset winner Juan Martin Del Potro can be persuaded to come visit the DC area? Can your chat producer offer us a link to a photo of Del Potro without his shirt on, pretty please? You just missed him at the Legg Mason in Aug.: Del Potro Heats Up in Win

Amy Argetsinger: A new heartthrob is born... (Warning: I cannot promise that the link offers a shirtless photo of Del Potro.)


Obama picking up after his dog: I thought the Obama daughters were supposed to walk the dog. Shouldn't their parents be more insistent that they uphold this responsibility?

Roxanne Roberts: The first lady said she walks Bo at 5:30 am---before the girls wake up for school----and the president has the late-night shift, after the girls bedtime, I assume. The rest of the time the girls are supposed to do it.


Olivia Wilde/Malin Ackerman: Am I the only one totally creeped out by magazine interviews where actors proclaim their undying love for Obama? First Olivia Wilde, though she was much tamer than Malin Akerman -- her Esquire interview made me cringe.

Regardless of politics, it seems kind of gross to talk about any leader that way ... particularly when you talk about what you would do to him if you got the chance. Malin Akerman: White House Home Wrecker? (Esquire)

Amy Argetsinger: It's so tedious. They're all doing this now. Total calculated sound-bitery and link-bait.


Starting to make my holiday gift list: Where can I find "Reliable Source" umbrellas, mugs, shirts, and mouse pads?

Roxanne Roberts: You're right! We're the perfect stocking stuffer! You are a wise and thoughtful soul. We'll pass this on to our editors.


Why not Minot ?, ND: I may not totally agree with the President 100 % on everything but I'm behind him 100 % with his Kanye comment. Wouldn't it be nice to see a return to civility and an end to rude behavior ?

Amy Argetsinger: What's been missing in this faux-controversy is anyone standing up and saying, "Not true! Kanye's not a jackass!"


Oct. 9. We're waiting for our invitation to the party.: Do you think they'll be giving out doggie bags?

Roxanne Roberts: Bones for Congress to pick.


Swayze: Gotta admire the guy--in the 18 months after his diagnosis, he starred in a TV series and wrote his memoirs, all while undergoing treatment. He accomplished much in those final months.

Amy Argetsinger: True. Ask yourself, if you knew you only had months to live, what would you do?


Washington, DC: Hi Ladies,

A question about a building: On River Road in Potomac, there is a newly constructed - and very large - building named "Casa de Amor." It definitely doesn't seem like a residence, given the scale of the building, the flags outside, etc. Do you know what it is?


Amy Argetsinger: I don't know. That roughly translates to "Love Shack," right?


YouTube: Did you notice that your Rapper's Delight YouTube link has it listed as "Raper's Delight"?

The Internet: Where spelling skills are optional.

Amy Argetsinger: hahahaha!


Dirty Dancing: I didn't see sexy Patrick Swayze in DC but when I was 9 my parents were upstairs napping so I turned Dirty Dancing on in the basement and watched it on the sly, that is until my parents stood there watching me look fascinated by a kissing scene. It always bothered me that they stared at me when I glued my eyes to kissing scenes instead of watching the movie(s). Usually they were trying to contain their laughter. They let me watch rated R movies my entire life but I guess they thought Dirty Dancing wasn't okay. Anyway, my parents are cool and let me finish it. WHAT a sexy man.

Amy Argetsinger: Thank you. Anyone else have any coming-of-age stories involving "Dirty Dancing"?


Pressing First Dog Question...: Will there be a Bo-Cam come Christmas time?

Roxanne Roberts: One would think. Seems like the perfect feel-good video for the White House web site. Bo's first WH Xmas!


Obama girls' "responsibility": As someone with a dog and a 10-year-old & 8-year-old, I do the 5:30 a.m. walk and my husband usually does the late-night. Yes, that is before kids are up and after they are in bed. They do the walking all the other times. I like the early walk - it's part of my routine. Since POTUS has said one of the things he misses most from his pre-Presidential life are long walks, Bo is providing some therapy.

Roxanne Roberts: Exactly. Hard to imagine that picking up dog poop would make you feel normal, but there you go.


"Nobody puts Baby in a corner": A moment of silence, please, for Patrick Swayze. Have to say that I always enjoyed how much he did not take himself too seriously. Did you hear about Whoopi's tribute on "The View," where she talked about him mooning her from off-camera during her takes in "Ghost" and crediting him with her Oscar win? Too funny!

Amy Argetsinger: Missed that, thanks.


nyc: I'm missing something here, but what is the issue with Obama referring to Kanye West as a jackass? Please tell me who is saying that West didn't act like a jackass. Oh wait, president isn't supposed to have opinions on things? Screw that.

Frankly, it was the best thing. How do you think Kanye feels being dissed like that by Obama. I'd feel pretty low.

Amy Argetsinger: It's sort of a non-issue, except that some people are a little titillated by the idea of a president using the word "jackass." And yes, as I said earlier, NO ONE's saying Kanye *wasn't* a jackass. Links to our items on this to follow...


Dirty Dancing story: So, I was totally not allowed to watch "Dirty Dancing" -- it was considered too risque by my parents. My friend was having a slumber party and we were all going to see DD. Well, my mom found out and I was allowed to go to the party, but couldn't go to the movie. While my friends were all watching Patrick and Jennifer "dance" - I was eating at a Jewish deli with my mom. Good times.

Roxanne Roberts: Oh, the scars! I assume you've made mom pay for that many times over? And yet it seems so...well, almost quaint now. What would be the forbidden movie these days?


Double standard?: Why is it OK for the President to call Kanye West a jackass, but not to call the actions of the Cambridge policeman who arrested Skip Gates stupid? Because Kanye's black, but the cop's white, methinks?

Amy Argetsinger: Apples and oranges.

The president's comments about Kanye West came during joking banter with journalists -- normal watercooler discussion, really -- that was in an informal setting, regarding a frivolous topic, and was supposed to be off-the-record. Also: Everyone in America agrees Kanye West was a jackass.

The president's comments about the Cambridge police came in an official forum, a televised press conference, regarding a much-contested and hotly debated issue that was still under investigation at the time.


Washington, DC: The general consensus among the people I know who've seen this:

official White House photostream

is that it looks like a wedding photo. Thoughts?

Also, can Biden please introduce Obama to his tailor? Please?

Amy Argetsinger: Weird. Hadn't seen that.

_______________________ Jackass-gate: What Obama Actually Said About Kanye West

Say What? Obama Weighs In on West

Amy Argetsinger: Here, to catch you up.


Barney and Miss Beasley: Who walked Barney and Miss Beasley when they lived at the White House? Doesn't a President really have more important things to do like, oh I don't know, work for world peace and save the world's economy?

Roxanne Roberts: I don't really know. You'd see the president and first lady with the dogs walking through the White House or to Marine One, but I don't know about the regular walks.


Dirty Dancing Memories: I once was an event trainer at Mtn. Lake Resort in Southwest Virginia, so I got to see all the locations and walk on that cute little footbridge. Yes, I struck that pose, too! It's so fun for me to watch the movie and recognize all the places. Now my kids just go, "Yes, mom, we know you've been there. Now don't interupt the movie!"

Amy Argetsinger: Funny.


Hard to imagine that picking up dog poop would make you feel normal, but there you go. : Well, if your every whim and desire is attended to by the WH staff, it might feel good to do something tedious. I'm reading Tina Brown's "The Diana Chronicles" now, and it turned out that Princess Di loved to do housework. She ironed other people's clothes frequently, helped with the dishes and cleanup, etc. She was more comfortable hanging with the help than with the other royals, but had to put a stop to it when she married Charles. It was making the staff too uncomfortable and the Windsors were completely horrified that she liked to do it. No wonder she became bulimic and had temper tantrums.

Amy Argetsinger: Iron other people's clothes? I don't even iron my own.


Rockville, Md.: Roxanne, Amy

Not that anybody cares about grammar anymore, but Harry Truman didn't have a middle name. Hence, the "S" stood for nothing. Hence, there is no period after it.

Amy Argetsinger: Oh, no, did we have a period after the "S"?

Mistake! Rox says she didn't do it. Must have been an editor who dind't know that.


Nosy Parker: If the President calls Kanye a "jackass," what does he call Steve-O?

Amy Argetsinger: I don't know, do you think they run into each other much?


Dirty Dancing: I wish my mom was that cool - I remember renting "Dirty Dancing" on VHS and my mom made me turn it off in the middle because she thought it was too risque! Of course, little did she know that my brother always made me watch horror movies like "Hellraiser 1 & 2" back-to-back...

Amy Argetsinger: Sex is bad, but violence is okay.... what kind of message are we sending our kids?


Swayze: Checked out and the only things I ever saw with Swayze in them were "The Outsiders" and the episode of SNL that he hosted. All you really needed to see, though, was the Chippendale's audition sketch. I'm amazed that he got through that without breaking character even a little bit. Patrick Swayze Chippendale Sketch

Roxanne Roberts: Check it out, people.


What do YOU think should the President have said...: ...that would've brought down the house (and won him friends) after Joe Wilson shouted "You lie"? The best suggestion I've seen so far is, "Our health plan will even include treatment for anger management."

Amy Argetsinger: Hmmm, disagree. Carolyn Hax has made the case that if you've been dissed, you don't WANT to have a glib snappy comeback, which sounds bitter and defensive. Better to react naturally.

I think that's what she says anyway. I may be sort of extrapolating.


Barney and Miss Beasley: From their Christmas videos it appeared that Barney and Miss Beasley were completely self-sufficient. I suppose some wags would suggest that liberal dogs need more caretaking...

Roxanne Roberts: That gives me pause, but perhaps your bark is worse than your bite.


Anonymous: I love the media's ability to take three events and call it a national trend. Serena, Rep. Racist, and Kanye all have rude public temper tantrums and suddenly it's an epidemic of bad behavior.

Amy Argetsinger: You're right. And three is the magic number, every time.


Swayze: I showed Arabian horses at the same time he did. One time we ended up sitting next to him in the stands. It took me a bit to realize it was him - just siting in the normal people stands like a normal person, not in some sky box or away from everyone. He was generally a nice guy.

I felt a bit bad -- one of his horses didn't like flashes, and he once got a bit spooked as people tried to take pictures of him.

Roxanne Roberts: Well, yeah---one of the downsides of celebrity that he probably couldn't explain to the horse.


Prince Harry: Prince Harry turned 25 yesterday. I am now safe from cougar territory. Oh, and a portion of Diana's money was released to him.

Amy Argetsinger: We all agree that Harry's the cuter one, right?


Reliable Source merchandise: Don't forget the boxer shorts.

Roxanne Roberts: With brief items.


Anonymous: middle initials that represent full names DO NOT have to have a period after them. I don't put a dot after my middle initial. Enough of the grammar Nazis who still swear by Strunk and White's 1924 edition

Amy Argetsinger: Actually, I say we ignore middle initials altogether.


Midlothian, Va.: Yesterday I received a tweet from some marketer saying "Have your own Dirty Dancing weekend at Mountain Lake House. #PatrickSwayze." I was disgusted and told them so. Am I too sensitive?

Amy Argetsinger: You should just get off Twitter now before it's too late.


Why weren't George HW and Barbara Bush at Ted Kennedy's funeral?: I don't buy the explanation that George W and Laura were sufficient representation for the Bush family. And I can't believe it had to do with past hard feelings, because Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter attended. Is George or Barbara in worse health than we've been led to believe?

Roxanne Roberts: We honestly don't know. Until the family or someone else says otherwise, I think you'll have to take his statement at face value. Doesn't mean you can't wonder if it's true....


Walking the dog: I don't know about Miss Beazley and Barney, but I distinctly remembering seeing in the Post photos of local Washington, DC schoolchildren walking Barbara Bush's spaniel Millie. And the Post donated blank newsprint to her when Millie had puppies, after Mrs. Bush complained that the printed paper got on the puppies' fur. You'd probably get sued if you did that these days.

Roxanne Roberts: I remember those puppies. Adorable! Highlight of 41's term.


Coronado, Calif: Sorry, just taking a quick peek while at work. The wedding has been postponed while I undergo chemo. Prospects are great for a full recovery and Paul (cute cop) has been amazing. I'll update in a few weeks. Oh, and we have a new dog that gets along great with mine, if anyone cares.

Roxanne Roberts: Wow. Good luck. We'll look forward to hearing from you.


"Jackass": Isn't the real shame of knowing that the President said it, knowing that the President can pick up dog poop, but any comment he makes off the record is not off the record.... Do you all honor "off the record" statements to you anymore?

Amy Argetsinger: If there is a mutual agreement to go off the record, absolutely we honor that.

The CNBC journalists to whom the comment was made -- and to my general understanding, most of the outside journalists who had the access to the raw pre-tape audio feed -- all honored the understanding that that chit-chat was protected. But word got out among people who weren't part of that agreement, and then Terry Moran (for whatever reason; ABC says he didn't know it was from the off-the-record portion) tweeted it, and then it was out.


Anonymous: "Why is it OK for the President to call Kanye West a jackass, but not to call the actions of the Cambridge policeman"

There's a video showing Kanye acting like a jackass in front of millions of people on live TV. So we all know he was an ass. None of us saw the cop, so we can't actually say what he did.


Amy Argetsinger: That's key here. EVERYONE AGREES that Kanye was a jackass. It was a totally uncontroversial opinion to express, in an informal setting that was, in fact, supposed to be private. Not so the Gates matter.


Dirty Dancing memory: I remember all the girls in my middle-school locker room changing after gym class, while singing "Love is Strange." How ya call your loverboy?

Amy Argetsinger: I think Adam Bernstein's thoughtful Swayze obit, if you haven't read it yet, really got at this guy's enduring niche in our culture. His ride as a big movie star did not last long, but those two movies -- "Ghost" and "Dirty Dancing" -- were gigantic cultural touchstones.


Arlington, VA: Harry Truman's Wikipedia page lists it as "S.", as does his presidential library (I think). There's a full explanation as to why - it's gotten to the point where either way is appropriate.

Roxanne Roberts: My understanding that there was no period, which is how I wrote it.


Anonymous: I'm a 30-something middle class white guy, so this isn't coming from the dark side with Nat X. But every time I hear criticism of Obama that makes no sense, I'm thoroughly convinced it has racist overtones. There's so much more nuanced racism now with Obama in the White House. What if Kanye was white? I'm sure that would have caused some kind of problem.

Amy Argetsinger: Seriously? You really think there wouldn't have been the same kind of nationwide tsk-tsking, shame-shaming if, say, Kid Rock drunkenly grabbed the microphone from Taylor Swift? I think the reaction would have been just the same.


from wiki: His parents chose "S" as his middle name in an attempt to please both of Harry's grandfathers, Anderson Shippe Truman and Solomon Young. The initial did not actually stand for anything, as was a common practice among Scots-Irish.

Roxanne Roberts: More Harry.


Harry: "We all agree that Harry's the cuter one, right?"

Yes, and who could have predicted that when they were younger? I always thought William was adorable and Harry was, well, not. Then they grew up.

Amy Argetsinger: I know! Fascinating.


Middle Initials....: ...are important to distinguish between people with the same name for financial, school records, and even library cards. With a period.

Amy Argetsinger: Sure. I'm just making the case right here, to Roxanne and Marissa, that when we're talking about former President Harry Truman, we don't really need to help you out by specifying that this was former President Harry S Truman.


Former copy editor: If the Post follows AP style, then the period with the "S" was correct. Reason is explained in the Stylebook: "Truman once said there was no need for the period because the S did not stand for a name. Asked in the early 1960s about his preference, he replied, 'It makes no difference to me.' AP style has called for the period since that time." Just had to stand up for that editor who made the change.

Roxanne Roberts: I love copy editors because they really, really care about getting it exactly right. The period makes it easier to read, I think.


Harry is the cuter one: but both those princes are buff dudes! It's the red hair that really gets my vote, though.

Amy Argetsinger: Thanks for your vote...


Chippendale's Audition: If you don't laugh while watching something is wrong with your brain. One of SNL's best bits ever.

Roxanne Roberts: Agreed.


Who was cuter growing up?: Don't you think Harry being cuter now has something to do with his wild and fun-loving attitude as much as his looks -- vs. being more staid, as William is? (well, my impression, anyways)...

Amy Argetsinger: Maybe.


"We all agree that Harry's the cuter one, right?" : We're not talking about Truman anymore are we?

Roxanne Roberts: Truman, alas, was never cute. We're on to British royals.


Amy Argetsinger: Monica Hesse's Web Hostess chat is getting underway, if you want to talk more about the viral-video aspect of Serena/Joe/Kanye...


WWDTM: Not that Korva Coleman isn't delightful, but when will Karl Cassel be returning to "Wait! Wait!"?

Roxanne Roberts: He was vacation in Europe---Italy or France---but I think he's back this week or next. But Korva was a kick, wasn't she?

Anyway, thanks for a full hour of civility, chatters. Send you tips and sightings to, and stay cozy: Fall weather's coming.

Same time, next week.


Speaking of Royals...: Prince Felipe of Spain blows Harry and Wills out of the water:


Amy Argetsinger: True, that.

Outta here. Thanks for joining us!


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