The Reliable Source: Scientology church, Sasha and Malia, Agassi, January Jones, Mel Gibson, more

Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, November 4, 2009; 12:00 PM

Washington Post columnists Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts were online Wednesday, Nov. 4, at Noon ET to discuss your favorite gossip, recent celebrity sightings and their recent columns.

In recent columns: Scientology gets a congressman to help christen its new D.C. church. Sasha and Malia at the Miley Cyrus show. OMG, Andre Agassi did meth AND wore a toupee? Looks like January Jones is maybe dating a Hill staffer. White House florist accidentally leaks news of her new job on Facebook. Elizabeth Kucinich has a new job, still looks great. Mel Gibson welcomes eighth child (first by his new Russian girlfriend).


Amy Argetsinger: Good morning everyone. Ever have one of those days when you suddenly feel (1) old and (2) unsuccessful? That's what it's like when you wake up to find that a college classmate is the new attorney general of Virginia. But enough about me...


Jungle land: One of my friends was directly across from Rahm Emanuel at Monday's Springsteen concert.

He and his fam were on one side of the stage, she was on the other, so whenever she looked at the stage he was in the background. According to her, he dances a lot like a demented three year old -- her description was something like "he kept his hands in his pockets most of the night, but was still twitching his upper body side to side or sometimes twisting at the waist and knees."

I've been to Springsteen shows before, and people dance badly, but she'd used the word "violently" somewhere in there and that sounds a little amazing.

Roxanne Roberts: You know, even if he's a really bad dancer, I have to give him credit for at least trying. So many D.C. types sit on their hands and barely move, so I like a Chief of Staff who even TRIES to dance.


Baltimore, Md. : Use of the word "starlet:" That's the noun you employed to describe January Jones in an item earlier this week. Frankly, I think that's quite demeaning, given that Ms. Jones is the female lead in Mad Men, the most critically acclaimed TV series of past three years. "Starlet," to me, conjures up images of those wannabe movie stars who, in the old days, would shed their tops at the Cannes Film Festival and run up and down on the beach. I think "actor" is the word that applies to Jones. Thanks.

Amy Argetsinger: Okay. Fair enough. I don't think "starlet" is pejorative, but what does anyone else think? Anyone see her on the cover of GQ? For all her impressive acting credentials, those were kind of starlety photos.


Washington, D.C.: Hello ladies, Not sure if you have any influence over this, but can you please, please, please ask whoever is in charge of your new page 2 home to either move Doonesbury farther up on the page, or back to the comics section? Even running in color, and knowing to look for it, I consistently miss it.

I read your column, scan the other articles on the page, and then jump straight to page 3. I think my brain sees it as one of those little ads or something.

Please, welcome Doonesbury back into your fold!

Amy Argetsinger: Thanks for your thoughts. For starters, we have no control over this. I know a lot of readers aren't pleased to find Doonesbury lower on the page. However, I can't say that it ever really made sense to have it within the confines of our column. It suggested that we were somehow responsible for the comic, and it also constrained our space. But please take your thoughts to the email set up for editors to receive feedback on the paper's redesign --


Vienna, Va.: Hey ladies... I was watching the news the other day and saw Chris Cooley featured, and since he's injured and all, did you know he was into the arts? He showed some of his own paintings and even the equipment for his own pottery-making in his garage. What a dreamy guy. Will you ladies be in town for Tgiving?

Amy Argetsinger: Cooley -- what a guy! I just saw his twitpic of him on his pottery wheel. Link to follow.


Washington, D.C.: Okay, I don't get how someone like Mel's Russian GF goes from Timothy Dalton to him to. . .whoever's next.

How do some women do it? What is their secret and why don't I know it?

Roxanne Roberts: You know it and have probably passed without realizing it's the key to....lots of child support. You zero on a wealthy/famous man, pretend to find him fascinating and sexy, and stroke his ego. You decide you love the life he can give you, put up with a fair amount of crap until he marries you/fathers your child, and don't get caught up in messy emotions. It's a job, and some women do it very, very well.

_______________________ Twitpic: Chris Cooley has plenty of time to throw pots.


Arlington, Va.: I've lived in the D.C. area for 15 years and my list of celebrity/slightly-famous people that I've met is pretty short: Fred Gandy, Bill Clinton (after he was president), David Gergen, and Fran Drescher (I heard her laugh while dining at Galileo before I noticed her). That's not a very long list. Am I hangin' out at very un-hip places, or is my list about average?

Amy Argetsinger: I don't know. That's about average, I'd say. You say you're living in the "DC area," which suggests some time in the suburbs, which removes you from the high-density star neighborhoods. It's also possible that you're like me -- completely unobservant. I lived in Venice/Santa Monica for a year, while working just adjacent to Beverly Hills, and I never noticed anyone (except Zach Braff that one time in the grocery store) unless someone nudged me and said, "Look, Jon Lovitz!" or whatever.


Cleveland Park, Washington, D.C.: "Ever have one of those days when you suddenly feel (1) old and (2) unsuccessful? That's what it's like when you wake up to find that a college classmate is the new attorney general of Virginia."

Would it make you feel any better if I told you that a guy a few years behind me in high school was an astronaut?

Roxanne Roberts: That's how I felt when I realized Condoleezza Rice was born the EXACT day as I was. Her resume: presidential adviser, university provost, Secretary of State, concert pianist. Mine: Reporter, cookie decorator, crazy cat lady.


Washington, D.C.: While Andre Agassi's drug revelations are bizarre, why is crystal meth even be a tested drug? Isn't the whole point to test for drugs that might enhance a player's performance? No one can seriously argue that crystal meth, pot, heroin, or most other street drugs could boost a top athlete's performance, can they?

Amy Argetsinger: Crystal meth is a form of amphetamine -- really revs you up and can definitely affect one's performance. I've heard of people who got into it specifically because it was supposed to give them more energy for their work-outs.


Doonesbury.: That's still around?

Amy Argetsinger: Waaaayyyy down at the bottom of page two.


A college classmate is the new attorney general of Virginia.: Only in Bizarro World Virginia. The guy is a nut. Nothing to be proud of. Sorry.

Amy Argetsinger: Anyone else?


Bethesda, Md.: The word "starlet" does have a pejorative connotation. Young, essentially talentless, and almost famous. I don't know if Ms. Jones fits that description.

Amy Argetsinger: Official definition: Young actress being coached and promoted as a future star.


Wait ...: So January Jones hits it off with a senate staffer and dines with him in D.C.? How can a lowly lawyer at an agency hit it off with a star? I don't even need January Jones caliber. I'll take that cute dorky guy from Big Bang Theory.

Roxanne Roberts: Theories:

1. Insane chemistry.

2. Guts. He asked, she rewarded his nerve.

3. Novelty. She gets hit on by everyone in Hollywood, toys with political type until she gets bored.

I vote for #3.


college classmate is the new attorney general of Virginia. : You think you feel bad? I went to college with Eric Heiden. My chances of being elected Attorney General of Virginia are infinitely higher than winning an Olympic Speedskating gold medal.

Amy Argetsinger: That's a good one. Hey, you going to run in 2013?


Starlet: Cleavage-y cover of GQ definitely = starlet. Jennifer Aniston would qualify also, except that she's too old to be a starlet.

Roxanne Roberts: Oh, I forgot that Ms. Jones's breasts starred on the cover of this month's GQ.

Another definition of starlet: An actress starring on a hit TV show called "that girl on 'Mad Men' " because most people don't know her name.


Serial Celebrity Significant Others: Washington DC does ask an interesting question. There is that very strange phenomenon of non-famous women who serially date/marry famous people. Case in point, I noted the passing this week of Michelle "Palimony" Triola, who sued Lee Marvin after he dumped her and established the legal concept of out of wedlock alimony. In her obit it said she had been the long time girlfriend of Dick Van Dyke.

Amy Argetsinger: I'm very sorry for the passing of Michelle Triola Marvin and for the sadness of her loved ones -- but I was delighted to read the obituaries, which took us back to an odd little bit of '70s pop culture. As a little kid, that was a pretty eye-opening story to follow -- Michelle with her totally unglamorous aviator-frame glasses, suing an actor I had never heard of at that point (so in later years, watching "Cat Ballou" or "The Dirty Dozen," I'm always thinking, "hey, he's THAT guy..."), and this thing called "palimony"! And the idea of unmarried people living together! Totally new to me at the time. And she took his name! And her quote about how from now on, "if a man wants to leave his toothbrush at my house, he bloody well better marry me." And yet in an incredible coda, she then goes to shack up with another famous guy -- Dick Van Dyke -- for 30 years! Fascinating.


Hey, you going to run in 2013? : I'd like to, but first I have to convince my husband to move to Dixie (we're east coast lefty Jews) and then I'd have to clean up my sex-drugs-rock and roll past. At least my bar membership is up to date.

Amy Argetsinger: All right. Clock is ticking, so get on it.


Jon Stewart was a couple of years behind me at W&M: I was at least as funny as him at parties!

Amy Argetsinger: That's a good one too. At U-Va., Tina Fey was two years behind me. No One Knew Her. We've all scoured our brains and everyone else's.


Falls Church, Va.: Did you ladies catch "This Is It"? I loved it and would like to Thank the people that put it out there for us to see. Three generations of my family saw the movie (together) over the weekend. What a bargain! There is no way we could have afforded concert tickets. I might go see it again, if I can find time in my busy schedule.


Amy Argetsinger: Really? Chris Richards' review of it -- a total pan -- convinced me I don't need to bother. (link to follow).... Anyone else?


How do some women do it? What is their secret and why don't I know it?: Pamela Harriman was well-known for this, in spite of having a dumpy figure as a young woman and zero interest in sex, apparently. She just had an amazing way of making a man, even a powerful one, feel special and really understood. Your colleague Richard Cohen wrote about this aspect of her some years ago when she was ambassador to France, possibly shortly after her death.

Roxanne Roberts: No great courtesan has "zero" interest in sex. They are great students of what their men like and become expert at it. Harriman's genius was her ability to do the same thing outside the bedroom.

_______________________ 'This Is It' doesn't do justice to M.J.'s magic (Washington Post, Oct. 29)

_______________________ Wale and D.C. Hip-Hop: Can it Break the Hold of Go-Go? (Washington Post, Oct. 18)


Beautiful Silver Spring, Md.: Amy and Roxanne, you have a highly respected gossip column in a print publication that remains relatively healthy (compared to the rest of them), no doubt due in part to the interest you drum up in its pages. This is no small achievement. Seriously. Now please give us a Wale update in advance of the release of "Attention Deficit" next Tuesday.

Amy Argetsinger: Chris Richards (again!) did a fine job with that three weeks ago. Link to his Wale story to follow...

Meanwhile, here's what Allison Stewart said about his new single, "The Letter," in yesterday's paper:

"This 'Attention: Deficit' outtake begins as an open letter to the president, in which Wale lectures Obama on his smoking habit and tries to wangle an invitation to the White House. It inexplicably devolves into a séance with Tupac, in which Wale wonders how the Biggie feud is going. Equally inexplicably, John Mayer is on it."


Washington, DC: I was also at the Springsteen show, four people back from the stage, in the pit. Clarence pointed and winked at me once and I was so over-the-moon about it, I didn't even notice Rahm. Does this make me a hopelessly inadequate celeb sighter?

Amy Argetsinger: You'll have many other opportunities to see Rahm, so, no.


Washington, D.C.;: My guess is that January Jones does not get hit on often. She's gorgeous and so men are probably intimidated. Only in D.C. land of "If I told you I'd have to kill you" boasters would a guy probably have the cojones to ask her out. And even then, I still bet the guy was super nervous.

Amy Argetsinger: Provocative theory.


Rahm Emanuel studied ballet: So he should bust a pretty good move.

Amy Argetsinger: Exactly.


Springfield, Va.: I'm seriously messed up. I found Andre's toupee revelation far more startling than the crystal meth. It seems like every athlete, actor, musician, model, etc. has experimented or done - some - kind of drug but the toupee thing really threw me. Not to mention that he looked worlds better after shaving his head (I even thought so at the time!).

Roxanne Roberts: What did you do when you discovered the truth? Shampoo? Shave?


Washington, D.C.: "Starlet" does seem like something left over from the Hollywood studio days. You know, when our grandmothers were going to the cinema and the WP classifieds listed "Help Wanted: Female" and "Help Wanted: Male" entries.

But with what do we replace "starlet"? (Please, let's do.) And what is the male equivalent?

Amy Argetsinger: "Red carpet luminary"? Or something like that? Because it seems the red carpet scene tells us more about the star system these days than anything else. (Link to follow to my Deep Thoughts about red carpet.)

Good question, though, what is the male equivalent? If there isn't one, can we devise one? Can we use "starlet" to describe a guy? Why not?

_______________________ Arriving Stars Play Sought-After Role (Washington Post, Feb. 23)


Starlet: I think Starlet has always been slightly pejorative, unless applied to someone completely new to the acting biz. A quick perusal of IMDb reveals no serious dramatic actresses named "January," although someone named "January Darling" did star in "Strip for Pain."

Amy Argetsinger: I think it's been noted already that "January Jones" is the most porny name ever given to someone not working in porn.


Star-let it be: I'm fine with "starlet," but I wonder when actresses became actors? What's wrong with the word actress? "Actor in a Female Role" or whatever the Academy calls it is just too much and makes me think if Hoffman in Tootsie or Travolta in Hairspray.

Amy Argetsinger: I know. It's interesting to me that everyone in Hollywood got really snippy a few years ago about the term "actress," wanting to call everyone "actor" -- and yet no one blinks at the fact that we've still got separate-but-equal categories for awards. What's that about?


Facebook: Poke.

Amy Argetsinger: Superpoke.


Falls Church, Va. - Again: I just read the review and disagree. I didn't expect to see a concert. I expected to see a glimpse of what he and his crew were planning for the concert. It was great to see him dance and hear him sing. The revamped Thriller tease was incredible. MJ talking about saving our planet and the accompanying video were very moving.

Will it win an Oscar? I don't know and don't care. It was just a great stroll down memory lane with the family.

Amy Argetsinger: Okay, thanks.


Sarasota, Fla.: re: old and unsuccessful

My brother, who is only 18 months older, never graduated high school. Got the old GED and joined the Army. Turns out he's brilliant but was just lazy. He now makes more money each year than I will see in a lifetime. I have a degree and my task today is picking up the dog poo in the back yard.

Amy Argetsinger: There's dignity in every job.


Serial Celebrity Girlfriends: Loree Rodkin (Hollywood jewelry designer) is another. She was gf to a bunch of actors and rock stars, there were even songs written about her! Then she became a manager of young struggling actors, then she started designing jewelry. I think Michelle O. likes her work. She's another person who could give lessons.

Roxanne Roberts: Ambition is the key, I think.


Fmr. Ballerina Here: Most of the ballet dancers I knew were horrible club dancers. Two different skill sets ... you can learn both, but there is a reason there aren't many Ballet dancers on "So You Think You Can Dance." The one ballet dancer they had was not a great ballet dancer by any stretch of the imagination.

Amy Argetsinger: Interesting.


celebrity classmates: I went to college with Vince Flynn, and had him in a couple of English classes. Really nice guy, with an incredible memory (he has dyslexia so things had to be read to him--it was amazing to sit in a writing workshop with the guy and have him recite back to me something I wrote on page 2 of a 10 page paper). Can't stand his books, frankly, but I don't begrudge him his fame. He worked his butt off for it.

Amy Argetsinger: Okay, I just had to Google Vince Flynn... Anyway, that's interesting.


Roxanne Roberts' Resume: What, you omitted "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me"? the greatest show on broadcast media? Madam, please don't sell yourself short!

Roxanne Roberts: Yeah, that's awesome but a group effort of which I play a small but very happy role. Not Secretary of State on the resume caliber, but awesome.


Starlet: is condescending as heck. How about actor?

Roxanne Roberts: Only if they can act. Many starlets cannot. January can.


Classmates, Washington, D.C.: One of my Harvard Law School classmates was Michelle Robinson Obama. Personally, I wouldn't want her or Barack's jobs right now!

Amy Argetsinger: Good point.


Judge Smails: re: "There's dignity in every job." Yes, and the world needs ditch diggers, too.

Amy Argetsinger: Yes.


Albany, N.Y.: In Response to: In recent columns: Scientology gets a congressman to help christen its new D.C. church.

I am pretty excited about this. Thank you for mentioning it.

Amy Argetsinger: That was a pretty huge event. Shut down 16th Street.


To Michelle's Harvard Classmate: Hang on - details, details. Your fellow chatters need details. Was she impressive then? Did you see a bright future for her? Did you ever hang out? Get drunk in a bar? Who was she dating then?

Amy Argetsinger: Yeah, come on!


Reston, Va.: Regardless of whether 'starlet' is pejorative, I hardly think January Jones is a 'star'. She has the potential to be a star, but being the lead on a critically acclaimed show that hardly anyone watches, doesn't really qualify.

Amy Argetsinger: Fair point. Everyone you know watches "Mad Men" -- but only about 2 million people across the country. That's about one tenth the drawing power of "NCIS: Los Angeles," actually.


starlet ... aka ...: asterisk? from Latin asteriscus, from Greek asterikos "little star". most starlets do end up as asterisks eventually, in any case ...

Amy Argetsinger: Hmmm, let's keep playing with this.


January: Maybe she just really liked the guy. I don't think she's been high-profile long enough to fully realize that how/who she dates is now part of her job description and her romantic life will be arranged by her PR firm.

Amy Argetsinger: Well, she did date Ashton Kutcher when he was already a big deal.


"Ambition is the key": I would argue that willingness to sell yourself out is the key. How many of these women dated these guys and weren't into them at all...or were treated like crap, but put up with it because the guys were famous/rich?

I'm guessing that these same women wouldn't date a grocery store cashier, even if he was the best guy around -- considerate and good looking and totally compatible in every way. It's all about the money and the power these women are searching for.

And that's my cranky answer for the day...see what too much cough medicine does?

Roxanne Roberts: Well, that's between the woman and the wallet, isn't it? Many folks consider it a fair exchange of goods and services. One of my favorite lines on the subject: "Women who marry for money earn every penny of it."


Born same day as Condi: I was born the day Dulles Airport opened. So, I constantly compare myself to IAD. Makes me feel better when they add terminals/buildings - like I'm allowed to gain weight. Plus, it explains my difficulty in meeting schedules and finding parking.

Amy Argetsinger: Hahahahahaha!


Most porn-y name: I expect we're all familiar with the sleep-over game of "name of your first pet" + "street you grew up on" = your "porn star name," right? Signed: Pixie Demarest.

Amy Argetsinger: Be careful playing this game, everyone -- I'm convinced it's a trick to make you cough up your bank account password.


Starlets: Recently I watched two movies. One was "The Princess Bride" in which the opening credits read "And introducing Robin Wright" and "Star Trek: Wrath of Kahn" introducing "Kirstie Alley as Savak". Does that mean at the time they were starlets?

Amy Argetsinger: Yes! Exactly.


Roxanne Roberts: My porn name: Vanilla Thomas. I always considered it a missed opportunity.


Kensington, Md: I'm a little confused about the combo of Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin cohosting the Oscars this year. It seems to me there comedy styles are very different. Any thoughts?

Amy Argetsinger: Oh, I don't think so. They'll dovetail pretty well. They've each hosted Saturday Night Live, like, a dozen times. It will be a total mind meld.


High School: A girl I went to school with from elementary school through high school played in the WNBA and is now a sportscaster for ESPN. I am unemployed. Actually, I think I like my life better.

Amy Argetsinger: As the Steve Phillips story taught us: Parents, don't let your daughters go work for ESPN.


A solution to the D.C. School Problems: While reading the latest, I was struck by an answer to all of Michelle Rhee's problems - HIRE TONY DANZA! Since we've heard nothing about his stint teaching for the reality show, he must be doing a great job!

Amy Argetsinger: Oh my lord. That's brilliant! I have to assume he's lying low right now, waiting to step in when she leaves the job.


Ballet dancers: Ballet dancers are, nine times out of 10, horrible dancers when it comes to non-choreographed stuff. It's a sliding scale, too. The better they are at ballet, the worse they are are just busting a move.

Roxanne Roberts: Then Rahm must have been great at ballet.

But I don't know if I really buy that: I've been at parties with ballet dancers off duty, and they are magical on the dance floor to almost any song.


Agassi: While drug use was interesting, so too was the toupee/hairpiece revelations.

Kudos to Bruce Willis who goes without. Who are some other favorite hairpiece-wearing men and why, why, why do we love them?

Amy Argetsinger: Um, yeah, let's name all the incredibly attractive men with hairpieces.

Here's the thing: If you know it's a hairpiece, then it's not really attractive.


Classmates: : Meryl Streep. I saw her first college dramatic performance in Strindberg's "Miss Julie" -- obvious even then that she had "it."

Amy Argetsinger: Wow. That's pretty enviable.


re success & etc: I'd rather hang out with y'all then Condi or the AG.

Y'all would be a lot more fun.

How's Mr. Modhi doing? Inquiring (yet non-stalker-ing) minds want to know.

Amy Argetsinger: We've actually had some sightings of Mr. Kalpen Modi reported to us in recent weeks -- out at restaurants with friends -- but at this point, the guy lives here, works here, so we're giving him some space; no real news in him going out unless he's dancing on the tables or making out in the corner or punching someone out at the bar(and you all will let us know if that happens, right?


Born same day as IAD opened: How did you feel when the TSA set up shop and started frisking airline passengers? Do you require your guests to remove their shoes?

Amy Argetsinger: Hahaha


HLSA again: I didn't really know Michelle well at the time, but yes, even then she was a very impressive figure. A stunning, nearly-six-foot tall woman stands out in a crowd, especially in a crowd of Harvard Law wonks. But more than that, she was quite well-known as an activist for the poor and very engaged - and public - about her passion for public interest law.

Amy Argetsinger: Okay, thanks.


Sarasota, Fla.: The marrying/dating up thing doesn't just apply to women. Ivana Trump married that nobody Italian model. Even my public defender friend married a senior VP/board member of a major company he met while she was picking up some classes at the same university. But my friend is really nice, so he has that going for him. But guess who paid for law school ...

Amy Argetsinger: Hey, well, well done, then.


Brooklyn, N.Y.: "old and unsuccessful?"

How about finding yourself living in a foreign country, unemployed and seeing a former high school classmate on the cover of a cereal box in a super market.

Amy Argetsinger: Okay, break this down for us. This is an overseas brand of cereal? Is your classmate famous in the U.S.? Or only famous overseas? (Or is Brooklyn a foreign country to you?) Why don't you just tell us who this is?


Re Dulles: But does everyone hate you? Like, they have to deal with you, so they do it begrudgingly and then complain about you to everyone? (Though they'll reluctantly concede that you have ONE nice feature (like the access road), but they still hate you.)

Roxanne Roberts: And they don't understand why you insist on using stupid little buses that somehow seem to take FOREVER? Not that they bother me, or anything.


Ted Danson = hairpiece: He's been pretty open about it over the years, which is why I even know about it. A fine looking man, with or without hair.

Amy Argetsinger: True. But he doesn't wear a rug anymore, does he?


Forget Baldwin and Martin: I read that the original request was for Ben Stiller and Robert Downey, Jr. Now that would have been a show! Of course, Ricky Gervais says he will never be asked because they want everything rehearsed and scripted, while he thinks you should just drink a lot and show up.

Amy Argetsinger: Or so claims Deadline Hollywood. It would have been good.


former high school classmate on the cover of a cereal box in a super market: I thought the missing kids' pictures were on milk cartons.

Amy Argetsinger: Ha.


Men marrying up: Larry Fortensky and Liz Taylor. Danny Moder and Julia Roberts.

Amy Argetsinger: Yes. It happens.


Good toupees: Sean Connery must have worn a hair piece in the Hunt for Red October. He even made that look good.

Amy Argetsinger: Yeah, good point.


Speaking of hairpieces and Alec Baldwin: His rug looks pretty good.

Amy Argetsinger: You talking about that chest rug?


Old and unsuccessful: My dad went to high school with Stanley Kubrick. My mother went to high school with Beverly Sills. I went to law school a few years BEFORE President Obama. Beat that, folks!

Amy Argetsinger: No, only counts if you were in school with him.


Try Swarthmore: Oh, don't get me started. My alumni magazine makes me depressed every time I get it. The accomplishments of people who went to my school are Onion-level things: "Joe won a Nobel Prize in Physics this year, and he also started a nonprofit to feed AIDS orphans, and won the Bloondin Prize for best professor at Harvard."

Seriously, at least two of three of those in every class. Sigh.

Amy Argetsinger: Sigh.


New York, N.Y.: Regarding Brad Sherman at the Scientology DC opening:

Brad Sherman said through a rep that he has appeared at events for "over 100" religious groups, and "this does not give me the time to evaluate each of their organizational structures or doctrines because I am also showing up at hundreds of events for nonreligious organizations."

But he praised Scientology as a positive force for human rights and religious freedom. That's big praise. Doesn't he have a staff? Besides the France case, there are many civil cases going on in the U.S. right now, and criminal cases are currently going ahead in Belgium and Italy. Is Sherman just gullible, or what?

Amy Argetsinger: Just putting it out there... There has indeed been a lot of prominent investigative journalism about Scientology.


Star sightings: I have lived in Venice/Santa Monica for three years and I have only seen a handful of stars. This is star-central so I think seeing any celebs in the D.C. area is pretty good. I did serve Pink and her husband once. It wasn't as exciting as my rapidly pumping heart thought it would be when I gave them their menus. They didn't even tip well. Gosh!

Amy Argetsinger: Sorry about that!


Most accomplished serial relationship-ist: The great Tom Lehrer introduced his song "Alma" thusly: "Last December 13th, there appeared in the newspapers the juiciest, spiciest, raciest obituary that has ever been my pleasure to read. It was that of a lady name Alma Mahler Gropius Werfel who had, in her lifetime, managed to acquire as lovers practically all of the top creative men in central Europe.."

Wikipedia says she was a Viennese-born socialite well known in her youth for her beauty and vivacity(1879-1964).

Roxanne Roberts: I bet she had moves.


Celebrity Sightings, Boston: Hey all -- I had the luck of nearly running into (LITERALLY RUNNING, I WAS RUNNING) into Justin Timberlake last week. They're filming a movie about the founders of Facebook (sounds laaaame), so he and Jesse Eisenberg have been around the area. They've been filming at the Thirsty Scholar, a pub 2 blocks from my house, and in Medford, MA (3 blocks from my sister's house)... apparently Medford is dirt cheap to rent space, so they're trying to make it look like Harvard. (And to explain, I'm training for a marathon and was wearing all black running at night... woops. No one saw me coming and I was distracted by the set and just kept going until I was 5 feel from JT!)

ALSO -- Bruce Willis was in my office building a while back filming for the Surrogates, and he's HOT in person. YEAH to bald men.

Amy Argetsinger: But... you didn't actually see Timberlake, did you? The local stories I'm seeing say he wasn't involved in the shoot up there; I think his character didn't get involved until after Facebook's Harvard years.


Baldwin/Martin: I'm excited about this. Not Daniel Craig level excited, but still.

As long as they are allowed to be their quirky selves it could work.

Amy Argetsinger: I have high hopes.


Old and unsuccessful: The great Tom Lehrer said it best: "It is a sobering thought that when Mozart was my age he had been dead for two years."

Roxanne Roberts: Perfect.


Amy Argetsinger: Some of you have been asking about an incident that happened at the Post last week. I'll refer you to Gene Weingarten's very lucid thoughts on the topic. Link to follow.


Men Marrying Up...: Barack Obama for one? Sure, he looks like the catch now, but it is clear when they met that she was kind of out of his league.

Amy Argetsinger: Ha!


Fellow Swattie!: That chatter is not kidding about the Swarthmore alumni magazine. Sheesh -- those class notes are not to be read on a low self-esteem day.

Amy Argetsinger: Funny.


Mr. Modhi: A perfect gentleman. I had the opportunity to meet and photograph him at a professional event last week. He was quite cordial.

Amy Argetsinger: Glad to hear it.

_______________________ Weingarten


Mel : All this coverage of Crazy Mel's new baby and his Morticia Adams doppleganger girlfriend has me nostalgic for the days when he was hot. I must've watched "Tequila Sunrise" a billion times.

Sad, sad, sad.

Amy Argetsinger: That movie is something else, huh? Just saw it last year.


Star/Starlet: Star, Mandy Moore/Starlett, LiLo

Star, Jessica Simpleton/Starlett, Ashlee, I mean, come on, how do you get fired from Melrose place?

Roxanne Roberts: Oh, you are far too generous.


New York : Grammar school with Sean Combs, High School with "Mikey" from the life cereal commercials and college with Chris O'Donnell. All were in my class(s) at the time.

Amy Argetsinger: Oh, that is a trifecta. Well done. But I guess that's what it's like growing up in New York.


ARGHHH: Are you saying that the hottie I saw was NOT JT? I did also see Jesse Eisenberg, but was more excited about my supposed JT-sighting. UGHHHHHHHHH.

Amy Argetsinger: I could be wrong but... it's sounding like it probably wasn't him.


Mark Sanford brush: My sister attended Furman University with (now) governor Mark Sanford. She said he was a schmoozy kind of guy, involved in campus government, but definitely not a womanizer -- she's convinced the affair is an indication of fatigue and possibly mental illness. I think it's interesting that he looks much, much older than her -- the cost of a public life and public scandal.

Amy Argetsinger: Yeah, politics ages you. Scandal ages you even more.


Cleopatra slept with Caesar and Marc Antony: The gold standard for moves!

Roxanne Roberts: And with that thought, ladies and gentlemen, we will have to sign off for today.

Send you tips, moves and hairpiece sightings to Same time, next week.


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