The Reliable Source:

Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, October 28, 2009; 12:00 PM

Washington Post columnists Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts were online Wednesday, Oct. 28, at Noon ET to discuss your favorite gossip, recent celebrity sightings and their recent columns.

In recent columns: What it's like for the VIPs sitting in Dan Snyder's box during these dark days? Another couple of "Housewives" candidates: Stacie Turner and (we're only sorta joking) Paul Wharton. Women who should infiltrate President Obama's all-guy games. Ludacris rules D.C. for the weekend. Ivanka Trump weds another real-estate scion. LaToya Jackson is talking like a stage-mother already. Nicole Kidman testifies on the Hill. A "Survivor" champ gets an FCC job. And remember Jessica Cutler? Our "Washingtonienne" scandal gal is now a mom!


Amy Argetsinger: Good morning everyone! I'm here early, and so is Roxanne, so let's get this thing started.


Beautiful Silver Spring, Md.: So evidently the Reliable Source has squashed its beef with Ludacris over whether the lyrics "Jump in the car and just ride for hours/Making sure I don't miss the homecoming at Howard" are backed up by deeds. Did Peaceoholics help? Or Al Sharpton? Is the RS going to be featured on a Luda remix to show the world that it's all cool among the three of you? Veteran RS readers want to know (well, one does).

Amy Argetsinger: Hey, THANK you for remembering. Does this mean we won our beef with Luda, the fact that we finally got him to Homecoming four years after calling him all word and no deeds? Or does it mean... we lost? I'm pretty sure Ludacris wins. He always wins.


Key West, Fla.: On the Sunday television program, "Reliable Sources," Amy Argetsinger said, in substance, in responding to a question, "I don't know. It remains to be seen...."

Is there a substantive quantitative difference between, for example, a movie reviewer's statement that he/she doesn't [know]whether an actor is going to win an award for his role in a movie and it remains to be seen whether the actor will win the award? In either case, the reviewer doesn't know. What does the cliche add to the reviewer's response?

And as James J. Kilpatrick once wrote:

"To say that something -- anything --"remains to be seen" is to make the most inane, the most banal, the most stupid observation in all the annals of prophecy. Eventually it must occur to the most thick-witted writer that every future event under moon or sun, from this nanosecond onward, remains to be seen!

"In pronouncing anathema on RTBS, I do not mean to overlook such offenders as "arguably" and "connect the dots" and -- urk! -- "wee hours." English has a hundred tiresome phrases. "Remains to be seen," to coin a phrase, is only the tip of the iceberg."


Amy Argetsinger: Uh, what was the question?


Skins panacea: I have just the thing to turn around the Redskins' woes and keep the fans happy and he happened to be a guest in Snyder's owners box: just have Carl Lewis sing the national anthem! Guaranteed to fire up the team and the crowd.

I also did a double-take on the 2006 owner's box picture wondering why Rod Blagojevich (actually Tom Cruise) was in the box. Maybe Cruise could play Rod in the movie version of his life?

Amy Argetsinger: I had the same reaction! What a mop of hair. I don't remember Cruise looking like that then. Hilarious.

Thanks for the memories, RE: Carl Lewis's rendition of the National Anthem. That was an American classic. Link to follow.


Bi-partisan golfing: Wait -- why can't Obama invite some of the Washington area's top female golfers who also happen to belong to the GOP to join him on the links? Wasn't Obama supposed to usher in this era of bi-partisanship, among other things? Or maybe he's afraid to be beaten by an opponent who is both female AND conservative! Ladies who've got game, too (Reliable Source, Oct. 27)

Amy Argetsinger: Point being, Obama's basketball and golf games have largely been with staffers and political allies; that's why we were looking at Democratic women he could play with.

_______________________ Carl Lewis National Anthem (YouTube)


Andre Aggassi Meth Head?: Did you see this? Is this why he didn't stay married to Brooke Shields? ITF 'disappointed' by Agassi's drug admission (AP, Oct. 27)

Roxanne Roberts: Who knows? It strikes me as a doomed relationship, but meth probably didn't help.


Sarasota, Fla: I watched the Web cast of Levi Johnston's early show interview. What do you think the big secrets are that he claims he's holding back? Another man while First Dude was off working or racing his "snow machine"?

Amy Argetsinger: Honestly, I don't think Levi has anything more. Vanity Fair practically had to lock him in a room for three days to coax out all the banal stories he shared for his big story last month (link to follow)... I don't think he's smart enough to hold more stuff back for a bigger paycheck.

_______________________ Levi Johnston Gives the Palin Family a Mud Bath (Reliable Source, Sept. 2)


To the Chatter in Key West: You're in Key West. Relax. Just sayin', not hatin'.

Amy Argetsinger: Ha.


Wheaton, Md.: Rox was early. Checking my canned goods and water supply. Do I hear horses?

Roxanne Roberts: Pffffffft.


Thanks for the pic: Loved the photo of Jessica Cutler's baby! What a cutie! That's what I love about your column -- the array of photos, from disturbing to ultra-cute, all in one place. It was interesting to hear how her life has gone, too. Jessica Cutler: From "Washingtonienne" scandal to new mom (Reliable Source, Oct. 23)

Amy Argetsinger: Thanks. Glad you enjoyed. You gotta be happy for her -- it's not easy regaining a normal life after you've been the Sex Scandal Girl. Cutler's very open and self-deprecating and extremely amusing in talking about her life.


D.C.: I love Ali Wentworth as a special correspondent on Oprah. As you know, she's funny but also informational (yes, I came up with that word.)

Amy Argetsinger: Funny but informational -- something we should all aim for.


Washington, D.C.: Are all skyboxes as tricked out at FedEx Field? Wood paneling is a first for me.

Roxanne Roberts: I'm going from memory here, but I think Dan's is the fanciest. Can't remember if all the suites have wood, although they are plenty nice. Chatters? Who has been living high on the hog lately?


Penn Quarter -- off to the Kennedy Center!: Hi ladies! OMG -- am so excited to see "A Streetcar Named Desire" tomorrow night at the KC, on opening night! Cate Blanchett is playing the role of Blanche DuBois. Any Cate sightings around town? Where do Kennedy Center performers typically stay and eat and go out? I'm thrilled for a date night with my hubby; we've got great seats, too! Thanks ladies!

Amy Argetsinger: No sign of her thus far -- and you'd think people would recognize her. Enjoy, I'm jealous you get to see it.


Washington, D.C.: Re your Sept. 24 Reliable Source column: Incest and rape are never consensual, and are certainly not funny. The Reliable Source column about Mackenzie Phillips's incestuous relationship with her father was flippant and a poor attempt at humor. In a few short words, the column managed to perpetuate the many untruths and stereotypes about sexual assault.

The discussion of Mackenzie Phillips's abusive relationship with her father did not belong under the heading "Love, Etc.," where all the other items recap the latest celebrity births. Shockingly, the column stated that Mackenzie's relationship with her father "turned intimate during a pill-popping haze," when in fact, Mackenzie's father raped her after getting her high. Apparently the writers place the violence of rape in the same category as a birth announcement.

As someone who has volunteered for years at a rape crisis center, I know that rape and incest do not involve love, but are about power, control and violence. The column stated that Ms. Phillips was "confessing" about the incest as if it were her fault, when in truth she was simply revealing a horrible crime against her. Love, Etc. (Reliable Source, Sept. 24)

Amy Argetsinger: "Love, Etc." is the heading we have always used to categorize all celebrity relationship news -- including divorces, feuds, allegations of wrongdoing and many other unfortunate/unpleasant things. It's the "etc" part.


Washington, D.C.:Having seen lots of scandals -- do you think Steve Phillips can recover from this or is he done?

Roxanne Roberts: Sports is funny that way: After a few years, sportscasters come back if they are really good. Marv Albert survived his garter belt scandal and was back on the air in two years. It depends on how good Phillips is and how many people will give him a break.


Ah living language: because "informative" simply doesn't cut it anymore.

Roxanne Roberts: Call me old-fashioned. I like it. "Informational" makes me thinks of those hyper women hawking juicers on cable at 3 a.m.


NOT a Twilight question (I swear): A recent cover of OK magazine boasted those crazy Twilight kids were living together and the magazine had pictures of their adorable apartment (the nugget of truth seemed to be the studio rented out a few suites in a hotel and the two actors had suites on the same floor.) The cover included the words "See Our Home" or something like that: the language implied one or both of them spoke to the magazine ("our home" vs "their home.") As far as I can tell, neither party spoke to OK about living arrangements or anything else. So my QUESTION is (I got there eventually, didn't I?) how much leeway do magazines have to make allusions like this? I understand extrapolating a relationship from rumors, but implying a central figure spoke to the magazine and supports the story seems (to me) to be an entirely different level of stretch.

Amy Argetsinger: Have you noticed that every other celebrity glossy magazine has a cover about "Twilight"? That's not because there's actual, you know, NEWS about Twilight. It's because market research has shown that the Twilight-crazy kids will buy any magazine with Twilight on the cover. Even "Entertainment Weekly" has been doing this, and I just dropped the "Twilight" commemorative issue of "People" on the desk of our resident Twilight fan (Monica Hesse).

OK has taken this trend further than anyone else, essentially creating an entire new genre of Twilight-porn. Made-up stories about the real-life actors that satisfy the romantic yearnings of 11-year-old girls. They were the ones insisting that the stars were dating when it was pretty clear they were not.... Now, it seems that, hey, maybe they've sorta started dating -- and so OK has to take it up to the next level, claiming that they're engaged. It's madness.


Am I the only one...: who finds all this LaToya Jackson press disturbing? I mean, she has always been the "wannabe" Jackson, and now she's getting attention talking about the kids and how she won't see the movie. Plus, we have to look at her bad plastic surgery on clips and in photos. It's just too much for me. La Toya Jackson (Reliable Source, Oct. 27)

Amy Argetsinger: Her stage-mom comments were the most disturbing, in my view.


D.C.: Should we be starting a Let-Amy-Golf-With-Obama campaign? Maybe make posters, sign petitions, call into talk radio?

Amy Argetsinger: Um, unless it's miniature golf, I don't think this game's for me.


Tampa, Fla.: Regarding Ivanka Trump's wedding. I give her (and whoever her planner was) mad props for putting together a seemingly lovely wedding in 3 months (and of course a big checkbook also helps). But supposedly they are also having another "reception" for 1,000 of their closest friends and associates tonight. 1,000 people? Ye gads!

Roxanne Roberts: Ivanka picked celebrity wedding planner Preston Bailey, who gets big bucks for his gorgeous work. Yes, there's a dinner in NYC tonight for another 1,000 of the couple's closest friends who---I have to assume---didn't make the cut for the 500-guest wedding itself. It's kind of sad when weddings have a B-list.


Beautiful Silver Spring, Md.: I know Luda's film career has taken off in the past few years, but can you think of any really great singles he's released since the RS beef began? "One More Drink" is probably the best one, and that's not very good. His feature on "Chopped and Screwed" was memorable, but Luda has not been on the radio a lot. An RS collabo is just the thing to get Luda back dominating the airwaves like in the "Pimpin' All Over the World" days.

And has it been four years since the RS started the beef with Luda? I guess time flies when you're having fun (reading someone else's writing).

Amy Argetsinger: What about Money Maker? Granted, that's three years ago now... I like his bit on the Letoya Luckett song -- "he don't deSERVE you!"


Women b-ballers: Susan Rice is only a little shorter than Tim Geithner, who has played Obama. Kathleen Sebelius is a tall former college player. Both of them could completely own Obama, which is probably why he wouldn't want to play either (I'm willing to bet the President never loses against the fellas).

Outside the Beltway, didn't Gov. Granholm play in college as well? If so, then I've just named three ladies who could give the president a run for his money on the court. I don't particularly think he needs to extend gender equity to his basketball games, but I think it could be done fairly easily. I bet Sen. Gillibrand can handle herself at least as well as most of the guys (and why are we presuming all the men who have played him can play hard enough to please Obama? Some of them probably suck), as she's about the right age to have been in that first rush to well-funded female sports teams after the passage of Title IX. If she's like most women I know, she could probably kick his butt at soccer, if not basketball.

My guess is Obama's just a big ol' scaredy-cat who knows the women will beat him handily. Nothing wrong with that.

Amy Argetsinger: Good ideas, thanks. We just got a great photo of Sebelius on her college team, which we might post later.


Old versus new boxes: Anything is a step up to the "luxury" boxes at RFK. I worked for a very large oil company which had a box near the 50 yard line at RFK but it had more the feel of a WWII machine gun bunker than a luxury box with lousy sightlines and appointments. If that was one of the best RFK boxes I'd hate to see what the worst was...

Roxanne Roberts: But RFK was built before the luxury box craze, so I don't think we can judge by those. Anyone been in a suite at FedEx recently?


Ballston Dude: I was in the FedEx box once for a 'Skins game. It was like being in a hotel hospitality suite with the windows open to a game rather than a street.

The only thing I thought was special was autofocus binoculars for our use.

Roxanne Roberts: Did you have your own waitress for drinks and food?


Ivanka's wedding: I couldn't help but notice that her husband is a little dorky-looking. Does he resemble her father, maybe (except for slightly better hair)? It made me think of Lyle Lovett and Julia Roberts...Of course, I'm sure he's a very nice guy. What do we know about him? Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner (Reliable Source, Oct. 27)

Amy Argetsinger: Oh, I think he's kinda sorta cute. Even if he didn't have all the money. He's a real-estate heir who bought The New York Observer three years ago when he was 25.


Marv A. v. Steve P., part II: Sorry - forgot to mention that because Marv's antics were merely embarrassing, the likelihood of there being legal consequences to the network in hiring him are limited, probably tiny. With Steve P., any future employer is on notice that this guy is a serial sexual harasser, and they could be on the hook because they knew or should have known of any potential sexual harassment he might perform in the future. He's not a good enough commentator or analyst to overcome the potential check-with-many-zeroes that the employer might have to write to a female subordinate of Steve's.

Roxanne Roberts: Well, that probably answers the question right there. You'd think these guys would learn, wouldn't you? I mean, if you're going to cheat on your wife, how hard is it to find someone who doesn't work at the same company? Morals aside, it's lazy.


Washington, D.C.: I'm feeling quite vindicated now that a former Letterman Show staffer has revealed that Dave (and his male staffers) routinely provided their bed partners with professional favors. I was the cynic who refused to excuse Dave for mixing his office up with his bedroom just because he supported Obama and skewered Palin and her daughters. I'm pretty sure that others will follow, now that the door has been opened. Hope you'll be willing to cover all this.

Amy Argetsinger: Now, now -- the people apologizing for Letterman were apologizing him because they LIKE him, and have liked him for a long time, not because of the Palin matter.

But yes, I thought the story that VF just published from a female former member of his writing staff was very interesting. Link to follow.


Real D.C.: When will we finally get to see Real World: D.C.? Any idea?

Amy Argetsinger: In 2010. That's all we know.

_______________________ Letterman and Me (Vanity Fair)


Most interesting thing this week: at least, for me, was the director of "Crash," Haggis, dumping Scientology in a very public way. Any fallout?

Amy Argetsinger: I haven't really paid a whole lot of attention to this one. Haggis is historically a pretty outspoken guy, and a pretty powerful one in Hollywood, so I don't think it will hurt him.


Reston, Va.: Well, regardless of what they spent on the wedding, Ivanka was a beautiful bride. Amazing that she came out seemingly intact and reasonably stable after dealing with those wacky parents all her life.

Amy Argetsinger: We can never really tell, of course, but she does seem pretty stable.


Sporting life: Did anyone expect George W. Bush to go biking with a diverse group of riders? Was Bill Clinton supposed to run with a carefully selected focus group? Did George HW Bush have to apportion seats on his fishing boat to reflect a multi-cultural grouping? If President Obama wants to shoot hoops or play golf for relaxation with a bunch of pals, why is that cause for complaint?

Amy Argetsinger: Kathleen Parker has a good column on this today, link to follow, saying essentially, yeah, it's maybe unfair that the guys in the office get bonding/networking time with the boss, but that, what else is new? It's always been this way and what are you going to do about it? (Apologies if that's not an apt synopsis, but it's what I took away from it.)


B-list dinner toast: What IS the proper toast to make at your B-list dinner after your actual wedding? "I am sorry we didn't think enough of you to invite you to our actual wedding but make sure to check out our registry Web page..."

Roxanne Roberts: The genius of the plan? They're going to be one of NY's young "it" couples and no one is going to grumble in public. In fact, the guests at the dinner will casually tell non-invited friends they attended the reception, and pretty soon no one will remember if it was the wedding reception or this one.

All that being said, I think it's a bad idea. Better to host a huge, non-wedding party in the next few months for your friends than look like you're fishing for more gifts.

_______________________ Kathleen Parker: Obama vs. the full PC press (Post, Oct. 28)


Golfing with Obama: So what it seems like I read was that Amy is challenging President Obama to a game of miniature golf and is ready to throw down, and is convinced she can beat him?

Amy Argetsinger: I am pretty confident I could not beat the president in mini-golf, but if he and I were to golf, that would be the only fair setting. Since I've never golfed. Wait, I guess I did once, but I didn't know what I was doing.


New York, N.Y.: Why hasn't Rebbie or Janet pulled LaToya aside to tell her to stop talking?

And even though she can't stop talking about the children, it doesn't seem like she actually sees them that much.

Roxanne Roberts: With all the talk about how close this family is, they can't seem to keep it together. I think everybody is a free agent, and LaToya is always selling out.


Snyder's Box: As a reporter for a newspaper that covers Snyder and the Redskins, would you be allowed to go if Snyder invited you to his box for a game? I was just wondering after noticing Sam Donaldson, Andrea Mitchell, Al Hunt, Bernie Shaw and Judy Woodruff were regulars, and assume all their organizations have written about Snyder or the Redskins.

Amy Argetsinger: Yeah, but they themselves don't cover the Redskins.


Anonymous: Who played Lucas McCain in The Rifleman?

Amy Argetsinger: Wasn't that one of the Carradine brothers?


More on Steve Phillips: Why has "treatment" and "rehab" and "hospitalization" come to be defined as "where one goes when one has horribly embarrassed oneself and one's family, friends and employer"?

Amy Argetsinger: True, isn't it?


What do you think the big secrets are that he claims he's holding back? : See, here we're pretty sure he's got nothing else so we DON'T say "that remains to be seen." Since we do not believe there is anything else to be seen.

See Key West, there is a time and place for this phrase. If you don't like it, don't use it. You can just keep saying "I don't know" when you don't care to make a prediction.

Amy Argetsinger: Key West should be more critical of my tendency to say "um" and "you know" on air. "Remains to be seen" is a cliche, but at least it's real words. Hey, what can I say -- this is probably why I don't work in TV. Be aware that most of us pundits you see on the screen are unpaid amateurs when it comes to broadcast.


Chuck Connors: Lucas McCain in The Rifleman?

Chuck Connors

Amy Argetsinger: Sorry, Chuck, I was just kidding. I knew that.


Are all skyboxes as tricked out at FedEx Field? Wood paneling is a first for me. : Just the ones owned by teams who nickel and dime their fans to death.

Amy Argetsinger: Hahaha!


Sex rehab?: Is this for real for Phillips or is it a PR spin when you've hit rock bottom PR wise? You have to come up with something after taking in the whole Phillips scene. He'd have to be crazy or have some sex addiction...

Roxanne Roberts: It's the new celeb excuse: Not my fault, couldn't control myself, need help. No one says, "I'm a selfish jerk and didn't keep it zipped."

Now that you mention it, I want to see "spoiled brat/selfish jerk" rehab. More to the point, I think.


Golfing: Why is Obama afraid to take on Amy in miniature golf?

Roxanne Roberts: Afraid of clowns.


Alexandria, Va.: More in Ivanka: Her dress (by Vera Wang) was lovely. Absolutely lovely. I read that she was going for a "Grace Kelly" look, and she nailed it.

I just hope this look trickles down so that we're no longer tormented with those lingerie/slut-inspired dresses -- complete with massive cleavage -- that show up on bridal reality shows.

Roxanne Roberts: I agree. She looked elegant.


New York: Ivanka Trump is certainly very attractive and quite wealthy -- but is it worth it to have a father-in-law like that?

Amy Argetsinger: He's done his time (on tax evasion/illegal campaign contribution charges). Surely he's been rehabilitated.


Chatter poll: How many other chatters are at home with the flu, besides me?

Amy Argetsinger: Raise your hand.


Amy Argetsinger: Hey, Alexandria, thanks for the real-estate tip. We'll look into it.

(Meanwhile, remember to send tips to Trust us: It's really more efficient that way.)


Herndon, Va.: Regarding Steve Phillips and others like him...the reason that they do it in the work place is because they are predatory. They're looking for a situation where they hold the power, and where better to do that than at work. It's not as much 'fun' to harass someone you meet at a bar once or twice.

Roxanne Roberts: Or, as I said, lazy and opportunistic. Easier to hit on someone nearby. I don't think it's always about power---sometimes, it's just about sex.


Fairfax, Va.: To be honest, I didn't think Lamar Odom and Khloe Kardashian had much of a shot. But when they got matching tattoos -- man, now I am convinced this will last forever.

Amy Argetsinger: You know what convinced me? The prenup. According to tabloids, anyway, if they split up, she gets $500,000 for every year they were married and Lakers tickets for life. The fact he didn't talk her down further makes me think he must really kinda like her. (Note: I have no reason to think that reports of this prenup are actually true, but it's amusing to talk about anyway.)


Fed Ex Panneling: The wood is probably from the last known species of tree of its kind and Danny Boy had to have that tree. It could be a lorax.

I heard his chairs in the box are made of unicorn leather

Amy Argetsinger: Hahahaha!


Presidential Pickup Game: The FIRST part of Parker's essay does ask "why does this have to be political? Why does it have to be about boys vs. girls?" The SECOND part of her essay says, "Because boys like basketball and girls like book clubs." The ending has me all surly. I look to you ladies for the soothing balm of fluff. Have you heard of any original celebrity costume ideas, or are they all people who have died this year?

Amy Argetsinger: Isn't everyone going as Kate Gosselin this year? Or Nadya Suleman? With the same baby dolls they carried around the year they were Angelina Jolie? (I was thinking about going as Edie Beale, if only I can find a great vintage bathing suit. But no one will know who I am except for gay guys.)


Tampa, Fla.: I loved the images of Nicole Kidman that were taken of her prior to her testimony. She looked like I did during one of my 80-minute long cognitive psych classes during college (and the fact that the class was held at 8 a.m. on a Monday morning didn't help either). Eyes rolling back into her head, head resting on her elbow looking like she could fall asleep any second.

By the way, by the look of the photos as well, she might be trying to finally give the good 'ole Botox a rest -- she actually seemed to have facial expressions! Photo: Nicole Kidman (AP)

Amy Argetsinger: Hmmm, not sure. That's a very, very dainty forehead wrinkle.


How many other chatters are at home with the flu, besides me?: I'm back at work today, but I observed Gene Weingarten's chat from home yesterday, while recovering from strep throat.

Amy Argetsinger: Couldn't actually participate because of your sore throat, huh?


Washington, D.C.: Oh, lol. Um, I really, really hate to break this to you. I mean, I REALLY hate to break this to you. Mostly because I hate that I know it myself.

But those, er, "romantic" Twilight stories? Totally not written by or for 11-year-olds. Mostly written by grown adults. Often written by adults with children of their own. I'm so sorry.

Amy Argetsinger: FOR grown adults, do you mean? (I assume that OK employs a largely adult staff, anyway.)


Tampa, Fla.: Also, I must give Donald and Ivana Trump credit for raising two seemingly well-adjusted children. Whatever dramas have surrounded Donald and Ivana, their children still managed to, while having a privileged life, have had a great education, worked hard, married nice people, and avoided the tabloid lifestyle. Shame that other high profile couples couldn't do the same (Lohans, Hiltons)

Roxanne Roberts: Ditto to all, except Donald and Ivana had three kids together: Donald, Jr. (1977), Ivanka, (1981), and Eric (1984).

He's got two younger children: Tiffany (1993)with Marla Maples, and Barron (2006) with current wife, Melania.


But when they got matching tattoos -- man, now I am convinced this will last forver.: The next time these 2 are in the gossip column they will be trying to get those tattoos removed.

Amy Argetsinger: No. They are In Love. They will be Together Forever.


Why hasn't Rebbie or Janet pulled LaToya aside to tell her to stop talking? : They probably have. She's a crazy loose cannon. You ever try to deal with someone like that? Not easy.

Roxanne Roberts: Every family has some version of her.


John Astin: Teaches at Johns Hopkins, his alma mater. Just thought I'd mention this as we head into the Halloween weekend.

Amy Argetsinger: You know... I didn't know that. Hey, did you all know that the forthcoming Aaron Sorkin movie about the creation of Facebook will be shooting at JHU next week? But no, Justin Timberlake won't be there.


Dupont Circle: What did you think about this week's Mad Men?

Amy Argetsinger: I watched the first disc of the first season and didn't stay with it. Rox is similarly clueless.


The wood is probably from the last known species of tree of its kind and Danny Boy had to have that tree.: Or it's the trees he illegally cut down from his waterfront home.

Amy Argetsinger: Oh, snap.


Flu: I wonder how many of Seitsema's chatters would show up with the flu? Those whimps would just stay in bed all day, probably.

Amy Argetsinger: Are you kidding? Sietsema chatters are the most loyal chatters in the world. They'd be chatting from the ICU. And why? What's so wonderful about him, other than the fact that he's nice and handsome and smart and has the best job in the world? Really, I don't get it.


Reality's A Beach and then you coast on your 15 minutes: When will The Real Housewives of Washington DC air?

Amy Argetsinger: I think they're saying 2010 for that one too.


Crystal Meth: Why is he admitting to this now? Could any of his titles be taken away?

Amy Argetsinger: Why does anyone admit anything? Because he's got a memoir to sell, natch.


McKenzie: The D. C. writer on her high horse about MacKenzie Phillips needs to remember one thing -- virtually no one believes Ms. Phillips's claims and a lot of people in a position to know the truth dispute them. Notably, she waited until her father couldn't defend himself to air her supposedly dirty laundry. Real victims of incest and rape deserve better than to have the likes of Ms. Phillips using such claims to promote herself at this stage of her life.

Roxanne Roberts: No one will ever really know---but the orginal chatter took exception with our "Love, Etc" header. That's where we report the news of relationships, not where the complicated aspects of delicate issues are hashed out.


Have you heard of any original celebrity costume ideas: Some people are wearing redskins shirts, headsets and carrying a bingo card. Not really celebrity, but if you live in D.C. it's not a bad one.

Roxanne Roberts: I like it.


Springfield, Va.: Amy, Who was that adorable guy who was interviewed along with you on Reliable Sources on Sunday talking about the sexual harassing ESPN reporter? Your hair looked fabulous, by the way.

Amy Argetsinger: His name is Gregg Doyel, of His hair looked great too.


USAirways Arena: How excited are you about the new Bullets season?

Amy Argetsinger: Meet you at the Capital Centre.


B-ball with the Prez: Obama's mistake was in deciding to play a team sport, unlike Clinton and Bush, whose preferred sports are solitary ventures. Being picked for the president's team is a very notable privilege, no matter how you cut it.

And in a comment-leaping move, I'd compare Obama picking all guys to play sports with to Letterman picking some of his staffers for extra-office activities. In both cases, the non-picked perceive that they are slighted professionally because they don't have that "extra" contact with the Boss. Of course, playing b-ball isn't the same as an office affair, but in both cases, the predictable jealousies were a result.

Amy Argetsinger: Wow, I love it when chatters throw down the gantlet in the final minutes of the chat, when it's too late to trigger all the controversy and debate we've been looking for.


What's so wonderful about him, other than the fact that he's nice and handsome and smart and has the best job in the world? Really, I don't get it. : He's surrounded by mystery. We don't know what he looks like.

Amy Argetsinger: Is that it? Really? We're plenty mysterious, aren't we?


Maria Shriver: A couple of things -- what is going ON with her lately? Reckless driving, exposed muffin top (how can she HAVE a muffin top?). And the hair. Egad -- not everybody should be a blonde, or wear it that long after A Certain Age.

Amy Argetsinger: Hey, let he who has never driven while talking on a cell cast the first stone.


Virtually no one believes Ms. Phillips's claims: Speak for yourself. I believe her.

Amy Argetsinger: Yeah, that chatter overstated.


Falls Church, Va.: Did anyone see the thing about Corey Feldman's wife filing for divorce? What happened? On the other hand my favorite goonie is on the market again!

Amy Argetsinger: Ladies, line up for your chance...


Please!: GAUNTLET.

Amy Argetsinger: Are you sure? I thought I got it right this time.

Here's an idea -- we should all just stop using those words and the idioms they're embedded in ("run the..." "thrown down the...") since none of us knows what they mean.


Amy Argetsinger: Dictionary says "gantlet" is a variant of "gauntlet" so I guess anything goes...


Falls Church, Va.: I'm home with a cold, but I'm unemployed, so that doesn't really count. Anyone need a writer/editor?...that's what I thought.

Amy Argetsinger: Anyone?


"meth probably didn't help. ": But it might explain his hairstyle at the time.

Amy Argetsinger: Hey, it was the '90s...


FLOTUS and SLOTUS at World Series: So are Michelle and Jill friends? Do the families hang out? What about the dogs? Are Malia and Sasha still friends with the Biden's grandchildren (who supposedly were instrumental in the selection of Sidwell Friends over the other schools)?

Roxanne Roberts: I'd say they are friendly, and hang out when the occasion calls for it. Both are seriously busy, but Biden is a HUGE Phillies fan and is perfect for this. My best guess is that the families are like any other busy friends: They get together when they can.


Mackenzie Phillips: What makes the other poster so sure "virtually no one" believes her incest claim? I believe her. Part of the reason I believe her is that her step-mother--in denying the claim--reportedly stated that McKenzie was unnaturally close to her father. Ding ding ding.

Roxanne Roberts: This is one of those terrible things: The truth was only known by two people, and one of them is dead. So we'll never know for sure.


Washington, DC: Roxanne Roberts: Every family has some version of her.

Some are named Levi.

Roxanne Roberts: Ha ha!


Gan/Gaun: gauntlet = "glove" -- you THROW down a gauntlet to challenge to a duel

gantlet = a form of punishment in which a person is forced to run between two lines of men facing each other and armed with clubs or whips to beat the victim -- thus, RUN.

Amy Argetsinger: What-ever. My dictionary is more forgiving. I'm avoiding both of them from now on, and so should you.


Re Golf: Amy Argetsinger: Um, unless it's miniature golf, I don't think this game's for me.

How short is Amy?

Roxanne Roberts: She's not short. She's a pocket princess.


Amy Argetsinger: Breaking news -- Dan Zak, our Real World DC beat reporter, informs us that the show will debut Dec. 30.


Amy Argetsinger: Hey, btw, thanks for all the questions today. More than we could get to. Rox is still laboring over some extremely complicated question here, so I thought I'd fill the void by reminding you --, and


What-ever. My dictionary is more forgiving. I'm avoiding both of them from now on, and so should you. : Can we still use informational? Are we going to go all grammatical now?

Roxanne Roberts: Only if you can use it a rap lyric.


Pictures of Meth: Are they going to start using Agassi in those posters? Why isn't he covered with scabs and missing all his teeth?

Amy Argetsinger: Yeah, exactly -- he doesn't exactly scare you straight, does he?


Re Golf and Amy: Think of it as mega mini golf. And you get points for hitting stuff. Just avoid hitting the secret service guys.

Roxanne Roberts: Wouldn't that be awesome? And I bet someone HAS hit a Secret Service agent and they just sucked it up.

Which brings me to the end of this chat: We don't have time for mini golf. We've got a column to write and Halloween costumes to assemble, people.

Keep your eyes out for VIP trick-and-treaters, then send your sightings to Have a spooky weekend.


E-mail and bookmark Reliable Source Blog.


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

© 2009 The Washington Post Company