The Reliable Source: The Salahis, Tiger, Ken Cen Honors, Peter Orszag, Shawne Merriman, more

A woman can be heard on an emergency phone call recording asking a dispatcher to quickly send help for Tiger Woods' mother-in-law, Barbro Holmberg, after she collapsed in a bathroom at the golfer's mansion. (Dec. 8)
Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, December 9, 2009; 12:00 PM

Washington Post columnists Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts were online Wednesday, Dec. 9, at Noon ET to discuss your favorite gossip, celebrity sightings and their recent columns.

In recent columns: The Salahis kept crashing the Reliable Source -- their photo with Oprah, their video with Journey, the luxury watch that's paying off their debts. Hanging out with the VIPs after the Kennedy Center Honors -- except for Springsteen, who skipped dinner. (Highlights: Peter Orszag's hot date! And the cute young couple who got engaged in the president's box). Shawne Merriman looks to unload his D.C. condo. Wacky Maryland software geek tweets from his wedding ceremony, knowing full well he'll become a YouTube sensation...


Amy Argetsinger: Good morning everyone. Hope you survived without the Reliable Source column today. (Um, you did notice, didn't you?) We were off on assignment. But back in the paper tomorrow -- and here with you this lunch hour. Bring it on.


When will the Salahi's go away?: I'm thinking that no one would watch a reality show featuring them, because we're all just sick of their behavior. That said, have you heard anything about this?

Amy Argetsinger: I suspect Bravo is still trying to figure this out. They've got months of behind-the-scenes footage about this now super-notorious couple -- are they sitting on a goldmine, or a landmine here? Is this a ratings bonanza, or a huge liability? I don't know, and I bet they haven't figure it out yet themselves.


Best advice for Elin Nordegren: Say nothing. Nada. Zilch. Keep total silence. That will leave Tiger hanging in the wind, having to go out in public, looking stupid. Which he is. And I was a huge fan. The quieter she is, the more like an idiot he looks. And she gets to maintain her dignity and their children don't have archived footage of their parents' bad times.

Roxanne Roberts: Elin and her twin sister just bought a $2 million house near Stockholm. She's holding all the cards now as the wronged wife---could hang out there for a while, get away from the media circus until she decides if she wants to stay married to this guy.


Sarasota, Fla.: Tiger Tiger Tiger. Just as Monica Hesse wrote today, you can't leave a trail if you're famous beyond belief and want to play the field, or course in his case.

First it's the calls and text messages. Have we not watched any movies or TV other than Sports Center in a while?

And now Playgirl says they're in the process of authenticating nude photos that are being offered up for sale.

Dude, really? Oh, I think that PepsiCo's claim that they were already planning on dropping him from the Gatorade campaigns before the accident is bull malarkey. Cheating? Hello, you've got e-trail (Post, Dec. 9)

Roxanne Roberts: I'm amazing amazed that someone so smart (or surrounded by smart people to protect him and his image) could be so stupid. Dude, really.


Toronto, Ontario CANADA: My question is what is the scoop with Chris Cuomo and his leaving "Good Morning America"? George Stephanopoulos to co-host 'Good Morning America' (Post, Dec. 94)

Amy Argetsinger: His plans seem to be up in the air right now. You know how it goes when there are two company VPs, and they're both in the running to be company president -- and one gets it and the other doesn't, so it's sort of understood that the one who doens't isn't going to want to stick around in his old job, now as his competitor's number-two? I guess it's like that.


Kensington, Md.: Hey Amy and Rox. Any way we, your loyal chatters, can sweet talk you into a little Tweet-sized sneak preview of this big story you're working on? Come on, just a hint. We'll even play 20 questions if you prefer.

Amy Argetsinger: Six letters -- three consonants, three vowels.

_______________________ Please excuse the date on the George Stephanopoulos Post article. It's an obvious mistake in the year listing: 09 and not 94. We apologize.


Rochester, N.Y.: I would love to see Michaele Salahi claim to be one of Tiger's mistresses -- wouldn't that make for some nice "reality" TV footage?

Amy Argetsinger: You are so cruel. I was just hoping to find a photo of them posing with Tiger somewhere in their vast Facebook photo archives -- but thus far, no luck.


KenCen: So -- does anyone provide any protocol instructions to the honorees? There was one pic in the Post that showed the Obamas and a couple of the honorees with their hands over their hearts (DeNiro and maybe Brubeck), Springsteen and Bumbry basically with their hands in their pockets, and Mel Brooks yukking it up with the person nearest him DURING THE NATIONAL ANTHEM?! Photo Gallery: 2009 Kennedy Center Honors

Amy Argetsinger: Photos can be misleading -- I actually was looking up at the honorees during the National Anthem, and everyone was behaving. If not everyone had their hand on their heart -- well, that seems to be the case in every crowd you're in when the song is played, no one is really sure if that's the right thing to do. And someone can be singing along, and yet in the snapshot it looks like yukking it up.


Virginia: In the last Bush state dinner, less than 10 White House staffers were invited. In the first Obama state dinner, about 45 White House staffers from other offices in the White House were invited to sit. How come?

Roxanne Roberts: Apples and oranges. The Bush state dinners were held in the State Dining Room, which holds about 130 guests. The Obama dinner was held in a huge tent on the South Lawn with 320 guests---so the percentage of staffers was about the same. Nonetheless, plenty of people thought those seats should have gone to others (Indian-Americans, top donors, etc) instead of insiders.


Not Meg Ryan, Sleepless: I need an Amy and Roxanne check-in. Also, what is up with everything in D.C.? My parents don't care about gossip so nothing local comes back to me except from you lovely ladies and someone named Gene (and Liz of course). No celebrity sitings this week from me but it is probably good not to be Billy Joel's daughter or anyone who knows Tiger Woods. Do you think Mrs. Elin Woods knew? How could she not?

Amy Argetsinger: Thanks so much.... Well, while we don't know what Elin Woods knew and when she knew it, I think it's safe to assume that she started to put two and two together sometime around Thanksgiving...


Salahi's non-running watch...: just a fancy bracelet!

Amy Argetsinger: Sort of...


Nosy Parker: Did anyone ever check to see whether the Salahis actually bought the watch that Tareq offered as collateral for his $2,000 debt to the tradesman who sued him for payment? (BTW, unlike Salahi's fancy-shmancy timepiece, my Timex actually works even when not being worn!).

Amy Argetsinger: So many questions...


Tiger!: If, as some of his mistresses claim, Tiger entered into marriage for public relations reasons, then those of us who have been following the story have not breached his privacy have we? We've just deconstructed a PR maneuver gone oh-so-wrong. Some people (coughWilboncough)have been soooooooo sanctimonious about it.

Roxanne Roberts: I find that a little hard to believe---and the kind of thing a mistresses would say to justify cheating with a married man. Tiger and Elin have two children together---something that says to me its more than a PR stunt.


Arlington, Va.: Is it fair to guess that the Salahi's didn't expect all of their dark criminal past to get exposed the way it has? Sounds like they have defrauded and awful lot of people. Will they end up in jail?

Amy Argetsinger: I can't speak for them but I suspect that, in hindsight, they probably would not have chosen to go to the White House if they knew what kind of publicity it would bring them.... Virginia authorities have ramped up an investigation into their charity and polo match. Will be interesting to see what comes of that.


I was so impressed: In all the photos the Post had of Abe Pollin's memorial service, not one ball player was texting or tweeting. Way to go, guys! Video: Public pays tribute to Pollin

Roxanne Roberts: Yay for good manners.


All I want for Christmas...: a "Reliable Source" umbrella, or mouse pad or scarf. Why don't they sell those? They could say, "I've got your 'Reliable Source' right here!" Or the Reliable Source logo with something like, "We're watching"....Anyway, when will there be something like this for all of us devotees?

Amy Argetsinger: So many marketing opportunities we're missing. You'd think that I would have a Reliable Source mousepad, right? Instead, I have my Jenna Bush Hager 2008 Crawford, Texas, wedding unauthorized commemorative mousepad. Works pretty well.


911 calls: Are 911 calls really public information that is automatically released to the press? Is there no confidentiality? I am surprised that we heard poor panicked Elin Woods' call. Doesn't seem right.

Amy Argetsinger: You know, I'm in the business of supporting and seeking public information... and even I feel some qualms about some of these 911 calls we here.

I guess I have to agree that all these things should be considered public information. But we should also ask ourselves, are these really news?


Detroit, Mich.: As much as the Salahi's crave the spotlight, do you think they regret everything now that all their dirty laundry has come out and has shown them to be liars and con artists? I mean they had to know that the state of their finances would be in the public domain for all to see and critique.

Roxanne Roberts: What makes you think that? I assume they never dreamed this would blow up into an international incident. I believe they just wanted some great footage of them arriving at the State Dinner for the reality show and planned to evade/make excuses about actually getting into the White House. The fact they did was a huge bonus--at first. Then people started asking questions....and you know the rest.


How much time?: Will pass before Tiger and Lilo hook up at Promises?

Roxanne Roberts: That is just wrong.


After the Ken Cen piece was fab!: Definitely one of your best of the year. Did we ever find out why Bruce didn't stick around? And thanks for the scoop on the proposal of the evening. All in all, a perfect example of why I love you guys! After KenCen Honors, the Boss bails on dinner (Reliable Source, Dec. 7)

Amy Argetsinger: I've heard unofficial explanations ranging from "they had to get the kids to bed" to "it's not his scene" to "he would have been mobbed." Worth remembering that four years ago, Tina Turner also bailed on the dinner.

Hey, everyone check out how hot Peter Orszag's date is!


6 letters, 3 vowels, 3 consonants: Salahi

Amy Argetsinger: Thank you, Vanna.


Reston, Va.: Why so quiet about the Salahis all of a sudden? Full-court press and then next to nothing in the past few days.

I just want to know -- jail time? Big trouble?

Amy Argetsinger: We temporarily ran out.


Camp Hill, Pa.: Two questions about the Salahis - 1) can't we just ignore them? and 2)why not call them what they really are: con artists. Or alleged con artists, since they haven't been convicted...yet.

Roxanne Roberts: We can't ignore them---yet. I'm waiting for them to show up at the hearing and take the Fifth. Great theater.

_______________________ Peter Orszag arrives with his date, ABC News's Bianna Golodryga (Reliable Source, Dec. 7)


Investigative Facebook: One thing I noticed from recent gossip scandals -- journalists really mined Facebook for information on the Salahis and the poor woman at the Pentagon they were harassing for an invite. It made me re-think having a Facebook page since.

Amy Argetsinger: I know! You should at least adjust your privacy settings. And, you know, behave.


Hand on heart during National Anthem: Is this a regional thing? When I was growing up in California in the '50s, we were taught in school NOT to place our hand on our heart during either the Star Spangled Banner or the Pledge of Allegiance -- just to stand respectfully with our hands at our sides while singing the song (or reciting the pledge). Some kids who moved in from out-of-state did the hand-on-heart thing at first, but quickly adapted to our style.

Amy Argetsinger: Good question. Anyone?


Gene Robinson: Your colleague gave you a nice shout-out yesterday. Do you all hang out in the Columnist's Lounge and make fun of the beat reporters? Tiger's validation complex (Post, Dec. 8)

Roxanne Roberts: Oh, please. Amy and I are the essence of beat reporters, which is why we instantly knew that the Salahis were an anomaly at the State Dinner.

No lounge (but I like the idea!) Gene was chatting about Tiger with my seatmate Paul Farhi when I tossed in my theory about cheating beneath your class. Never smart. Gene liked it and decided to use it for the column.


Sarasota, Fla.: Forgive me if my memory is a little goofy today, but didn't I read Monday in your paper that the Salahi's were already a known menace, something about being autograph hounds with unstable personalities to the Secret Service? Something about them successfully gaining access to SS-protected events more than 90 times since 2003?

Amy Argetsinger: Oh, dear, this is how rumors get started.

Link to follow to Spencer Hsu's fascinating A1 story from Monday about the long list of security breaches the Secret Service has tracked going of various rogues, autograph hounds, disturbed folks who have defeated their checkpoints since 1980. These were DOZENS of different people, NOT the Salahis, who so far as we know never got into presidential airspace until two weeks ago.

(We also had a story on Monday, in our column, about the Salahis' video with Journey. No checkpoints were breached in the making of that video. Good story though and lnk to follow.)


Hand on your heart, Calif.: I grew up in NoVa but was born in California in the '80s. I am pretty sure it wasn't California but just a county thing. I know hand over heart was the norm by my friends who lived in Monterey, Calif.

Amy Argetsinger: Okay, thanks.

_______________________ Video: The Salahis and Journey: A video (and lawsuit) to remember


911 calls: Sometimes it isn't news at all because nobody ever shows up when you call the police. But it should be private, I think.

Roxanne Roberts: Must be public record because they are released routinely.


Michaele Salahi's Indian dress: Is some manufacturer making knock-offs of it yet? Will it become the latest flash-in-the-pan trend? It must be fairly easy to make, because I've already seen Kristen Wiig wearing a replica on Saturday Night Live. (Not that I'D be caught dead in one, but you never know about some people!).

Amy Argetsinger: You know what's too bad? The fact that this all happened less than a month after Halloween. Otherwise, you'd have seen Salahis everywhere....

_______________________ Secret Service counts 91 breaches (Post, Dec. 79)


Golodryga: Sounds uncomfortably close to "Gold Digger" for me to trust her completely, if I was Mr. Orszag.

Amy Argetsinger: You are a mean schoolyard bully.


Hoboken, N.J.: Re: White House Dinner, Rox says "so the percentage of staffers was about the same".

I know this isn't MathChat, but 10 out of 130 is 7.7 percent, and 45 out ot 320 is 14 percent. So the Obamas actually invited, by percentage, about twice as many staffers. Just saying, is all.

Roxanne Roberts: Doing math before my second cup of coffee isn't fair. But, okay, you're right.


Kennedy Center Honors: Are there always five of them or does the number vary? Who selects the honorees and do they have to be a certain age? Do they get anything besides the bling around their necks? And, way to go Katie Couric, with the hot young date.

Amy Argetsinger: Sometimes they have six, if they've got a duo that they're honoring together -- i.e., Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey.


Cutie Peter Orszag and cute date: Am I getting old or doesn't he look awfully young to be the head of OMB? Do you think he actually understands that a trillion is really a lot of money? And I am wondering if he dating journalists because he is aiming for head of the Federal Reserve board? You know, like Greenspan and Andrea Mitchell. Peter Orszag arrives with his date, ABC News's Bianna Golodryga (Reliable Source, Dec. 7)

Amy Argetsinger: So many questions...


Annapolis, Md.: re: National Anthem -- I'm sure I was taught in elementary school that you put your hand on your heart for the Pledge of Allegiance, not the National Anthem.

Roxanne Roberts: I've seen it done for both and think it is fine. The question: Is it wrong NOT to?


911 calls in Virginia: are public record, used frequently in court, can be obtained by request under FOIA. Don't know about Florida law, but probably similar. After all, it's all public money responding to them.

Roxanne Roberts: That's what I guessed.


Salahis: Surely would prefer to be called grifters rather than con artists as it sounds classier.

Amy Argetsinger: Next time you see them, ask them that -- and also, correct pronunciation of "Tareq" and "Michaele."


Vienna, Va.: Peter bad is that rug? Peter Orszag arrives with his date, ABC News's Bianna Golodryga (Reliable Source, Dec. 7)

Amy Argetsinger: It comes across bad in photos, but in person it looks normal, and real.


Silver Spring, Md.: Maybe not a PR stunt but he wouldn't be the first guy to marry someone to project that family image. And having sex to produce a few kids goes with that.

Roxanne Roberts: How cynical is that?


Don't stop the Salahi: I love it -- please don't stop coverage. If people don't want to hear about it, then just ignore it!

I think they are fascinating -- bring it on!

Amy Argetsinger: Will do.


Star Spangled Etiquette: According to Wikipedia: United States Code, 36 U.S.C. ยง 301, states that during a rendition of the national anthem, when the flag is displayed, all present except those in uniform should stand at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart; men not in uniform should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold the headdress at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart; and individuals in uniform should give the military salute at the first note of the anthem and maintain that position until the last note; and when the flag is not displayed, all present should face toward the music and act in the same manner they would if the flag were displayed. Recently enacted law in 2008 allows military veterans to salute out of uniform, as well.

Roxanne Roberts: Thanks.


Silver Spring, Md.: Am I the only one not surprised by Tiger's behavior? What about him made people think he couldn't or wouldn't cheat on his wife? Being smart, talented, low-keyed and mild-mannered? We all know cheaters come in all shapes and sizes. Plus he always seemed to be a bit immature for his age, possibly being sheltered as he grew up. Those 1997 interviews he gave sounded like a 13-year-old, those jokes. Plus as Chris Rock says, you are only as faithful as your options!

Amy Argetsinger: It's funny the notions we project onto certain celebrities. How many times has one of you said in this chat, "oh, she seems like such a good mom" or "they seemed like such a great couple, what happened?" And really, what exposure did we have to any of them to give us that impression?


Houston, Tex.: Hand over heart; might be regional, but I do know that as soon as a picture of President Obama appeared without his hand over his heart during the anthem, boy howdy, did the right wing press pick up on it...

Amy Argetsinger: He had his hand on heart at the Kennedy Center.


Richmond, Va.: The common characteristic shared by Tiger and the Salidis is that ego-driven sense of invincibility. Just like the governors who cheated... they just don't think they'll get caught.

Amy Argetsinger: Yep.


Portland, Ore.: Am I missing something here? The Salahis seemed to have enraged or scammed most of Virginia or at least owed a good many people. Yet nothing much seems to have done about them other than an odd lawsuit here or there. Are people that willing to cut such odious people so much slack?

Roxanne Roberts: I'm not sure everyone realized the scope of their scams, and it is often more expensive to sue than the money owed. Plenty of folks decided it just wasn't worth the headaches. But now the larger picture is emerging, and people are talking.


Arlington, Va.: My guess is that someone like Tiger Woods doesn't pay a lot of attention to pop culture or what politicians are getting in trouble for have sex outside of marriage. All he focuses on his himself. The rest of it is all background noise.

The thing I don't get is why all these cocktail waitresses? I saw an article on a Thai blog the other day saying that maybe this is his Thai side coming out since their culture has a more free and easy way with these sorts of things. But they do it discreetly. Most of the commenters though thought it had nothing to do with being part Thai and everything to do with being a rich man who is probably never told no by anyone.

Amy Argetsinger: I guess maybe he's got a type, and his type is "cocktail waitress." He wouldn't be the only guy.

Gene Robinson makes much deeper points about this, will post the link to his column next.


Way to go, Roxanne!: Loved your shout-out in Eugene Robinson's column yesterday! When did you publish your wisdom on the best choices for mistresses of high-profile men? It makes sense -- look for someone with just as much to lose if it goes public, thus limiting the possibility for kiss-and-tell. Maybe you should start a consulting firm.... Tiger's validation complex (Post, Dec. 8)

Amy Argetsinger: Here you go.... Rox is a wise woman.


Reston, Va.: It will be interesting to see if Tiger "chooses" to let his caddie, Steve Williams, go. There's no way Stevie didn't know what was going on.

Heck, now that Tiger allegedly has ten mistresses, I can picture Stevie as the equivalent of a roadie: Tiger points out a woman (or two or three) in the gallery and Stevie offers them the opportunity to "meet" Tiger.

Amy Argetsinger: Really? I mean, really? Is that a caddie's role? Sounds like Tiger was finding these ladies in the clubs, not on the courses.


Roxanne Roberts: Confidential to "Shellie's" friend: Interesting---please send us more details at


Cleveland, Ohio: From what I've read Cathy Hargraves did a great job at the White House. Why did Ms. Rodgers not take her advice?

Amy Argetsinger: So many questions...


Houston, Tex.: Just to make a point, there is no requirement to place your hand over your heart during the National Anthem; when I'm pledging allegiance to the flag, it makes sense, not when I'm listening to a song.

The earlier writer wasn't probably taught to do this, either. He or she simply watched others do it, and thinks it's the correct thing to do.

Amy Argetsinger: Okay, thanks...


How could Bravo put the Salahis on?: At least on other "Housewives" -- the aura of the show is that these people are important and popular -- even if they aren't. They've never had outright liars and cheats on. Maybe over-exaggerators... but not deceitful people with fake charities and lies about cheerleading pasts.

Roxanne Roberts: I'll cut the producers some slack and assume they had no idea of the extent of their deceptions.

Here's the huge question: Knowing what we know now, should Bravo keep them on the show? And would you watch?


Know what bothers me most about the Tiger Woods thing?: Is that he's cheating on a wife when she's pregnant and/or recently given birth. The times when a woman is struggling to feel attractive and often exhausted, overwhelmed, and the most in need of companionship. Like being kicked when you're down. Sort of like Prince Charles and Princess Diana, now that I think about it.

Amy Argetsinger: Thanks. Another thing about Tiger -- an earlier chatter was asking why people are surprised. I think it's not just his good-guy, clean-cut, dull-as-dishwater image. It's also the fact that we remember him so well as, basically, a kid, a little boy. And he still has that little-boy face, doesn't he? We still think of him as being younger than he is, and by extension, more innocent.


Arlington, Va.: Just want to add my vote for more Salahi coverage... I am not sick of them yet! Keep up the great work you are doing!

(Amy, by the way, I'm a St. Agnes Alumna. Proud of you!)

Amy Argetsinger: Thanks for the old-school validation!


I second that emotion: Keep it coming with details on the Salahis. I think they are fascinating. Didn't she grow up around D.C.? Have you found anyone who knew her in high school or college? This delusional disorder that allows her to identify herself in a photo at a polo thing in Florida as a former Miss USA, or signing herself up as a former Redskin cheerleader -- this can't be new behavior. How did she get to this?

Roxanne Roberts: We're working on that story even as I type.


Best advice for Tiger: Walk. You may be the victim of domestic abuse. If not, clearly you are not happy in your marriage. Why stay?

Amy Argetsinger: Relationships are complicated.


Washington, D.C.: Since Tiger seems more capable of driving a golf ball farther than he can drive an Escalade, did Elin buy a property that has a long, long driveway?

Roxanne Roberts: Or a very big fence?


Condo: Any details on Shawn Merriman's condo? Just curious if it is a regular 2-bedroom condo or if there is anything special.

Roxanne Roberts: Haven't seen it, but know it's recently renovated (granite counters, etc.)and has his picture on the wall.


Washington, D.C.: Hi Ladies: I don't want to start another Salahi-gate and I don't want to dampen the happiness of the engaged couples' story, but....did they have permission to go in the Presidential Box at the Kennedy Center? Because I'm pretty sure that those are controlled by the White House (and not by the theater itself), and that they are kept secure and off-limits when they aren't being used. It's a cool story, but it is a security and protocol issue. Thanks!

Roxanne Roberts: Interesting question. I've never heard of the box being secured when not in use---so I'm assuming the security is rechecked for every performance, just like any other venue outside the White House. I do know the engaged couple headed up there long after the president's party had left the center, and the door was unlocked---but I don't think they broke any rules.


San Francisco, Calif.: How exactly did the Salahis get exposed anyway? Was it only because you recognized them? Otherwise would they just have been ushered out discreetly when they turned out not to have dinner tickets and no one would have been the wiser? Did the staffers who ushered them out tell anyone about the incident? Could the Salahi's have gotten away with the whole thing except for the Wash Post?

Amy Argetsinger: First, it's important to note that the Salahis were never ushered out of the White House. They were never noticed or intercepted by staff, no White House staffers spoke to them that night that we know of.

So far as we know, the Salahis came in, mingled through the reception, and left of their own accord before dinner got started, which meant there was never any awkward moment of exposure when everyone else was being seated.

Roxanne was there that night and noticed them arriving, and made inquiries with the White House staff about them. But you have to remember everyone's mindset at the time: Rox's focus at the time was, "How did they get an invitation?" and "Why aren't they on the official list?" -- not "How'd they get in, what are they doing here?" At that early hour, no one on the scene was speculating about gatecrashing.

The fact that Roxanne was on the scene that night and saw the Salahis in person had a lot to do with the fact that the Post broke this story, and that the world (and White House) learned there were interlopers at the state dinner. However, the Salahis themselves then advertised the fact they got in, by posting photos on Facebook. (One assumes they didn't realize there was an official guest list, posing a discrepancy that their friends might notice.)


Washington, D.C.: Salahis have over 13,000 fans on their Facebook. I think I will be one more. How about you?

Roxanne Roberts: I'm not on Facebook.


Lansdale, Pa.: I usually don't buy the pop-psych analysis of the foibles of the rich and the famous. But here is one pop-psych analysis no one is talking about: Maybe Tiger wanted to get caught! That has got to be it. Otherwise, I can't see how he can be that stupid, dumb, idiotic, insane, immature, naive, etc.

Amy Argetsinger: Maybe. There's also the theory that, well, people do really stupid things when it comes to sex.


Amherst, Mass.: Will Crasherquiddick ever be over?

Amy Argetsinger: Crasherquiddick. So sad this one hasn't caught on. What are we doing with? Gatecrashergate?


State College, Pa.: Roxanne: my NPR station (WPSU) has just picked up Wait, Wait! I'm so excited -- I moved here from Chicago and really missed that program. Look forward to hearing your dulcet tones this Saturday morning.

Roxanne Roberts: Great news! I'll be on the following Saturday, not this week.


Washington, D.C.: In 1997, Tiger was only 21, so pretty close to being a teenager. I think people think he is much older than he actually is because he has been in the spotlight and competing for a long time.

Amy Argetsinger: I disagree. Because we knew him as a kid, we still sort of think he's a kid. It's like how everyone is always surprised when they realize Chelsea Clinton is almost 30 -- they still think she's 19.


D.C.: How long before women from D.C., Maryland and NoVa claim affairs with Tiger?

Amy Argetsinger: The DMV has indeed been underepresented thus far in the Tiger census. What's the matter, you don't like our cocktail waitresses?


My surprise about Tiger: It's not that he was a serial cheater, because I honestly don't think about whether people are faithful in their marriage. My surprise is that he seemed so disciplined and focused, and he's quite the opposite. Imagine how good he'd be at golf if he weren't spending all this time juggling multiple relationships.

Roxanne Roberts: Really. You'd think all that had to impact his game.


Tiger and Lee Ann: I think people may feel the same about LeAnne or Lee Ann or whatever because she became a star so young that it seems strange she would hook up with Eddie Cibrian. Maybe it happened because they worked together but fame coming at an early age doesn't seem to work for anyone.

Amy Argetsinger: What you said.


Ballston Dude: Ladies,

The Salahis should only be on 1 TV show, it's on MSNBC, called Lock Up.

Roxanne Roberts: Ha!


Washington, D.C.: Does anyone at ABC actually watch GMA? I love the whole Cuomo, Robin, Diane (how we'll miss you) dynamic. Whenever George fills in I wander away. Not good. Not good at all.

Amy Argetsinger: They didn't give you a vote, huh?


Richmond, Va.: Not so much a regional thing as a generational thing. At ball games, you'll see people over 40 put their hand on their heart for the National Anthem, guys will take their hat off and put that over their heart. Younger folks, not so much.

Roxanne Roberts: Interesting. I fit your age hand-over-heart age frame.


New England: My friend and my teen daughter and I were discussing Tiger's situation the other night. Friend said, "What made him think he could get away with it?" I said, "Maybe there are some people who can sleep with a celebrity and maintain complete confidentiality. For example, I could be dating Robert Pattinson right now and just not be able to tell anyone."

Why did they laugh hysterically?

Amy Argetsinger: Because teenage girls are programmed to giggle when you say "Robert Pattinson."


Beautiful Silver Spring, Md.: When you said six letters, three consonants and three vowels, I was hoping the answer was "Arenas."

Amy Argetsinger: Oh my. We do have a pattern, don't we?


The irony of the Salahis: Is that their every goal was to become recognizable, yet it was their reconcilability that was their downfall.

Amy Argetsinger: It's like Icarus. Flew too close to the sun.


Re: They've never had outright liars and cheats on.: Umm -- The New Jersey franchise of Real Housewives had a liar and cheat on in the form of that awful Danielle. She claimed to be an ex-model but then a whole checkered past turned up in a tell-all book implying she was more like a stripper, escort and drug runner.

Amy Argetsinger: You have to figure that the success of that season meant New Jersey was going to be the template for seasons to come.


Salahi Clones, Va.: I went to a holiday party last weekend where a woman and her husband were dressed like the Salahis. It was very funny...and definitely made the party seem like the place to be.

Roxanne Roberts: Sounds like fun. Imagine if this story broke just before Halloween? Salahis everywhere!


McLean, Va.: David Ogden, deputy attorney general, is leaving his post soon because he wants to return back to his law firm that he left. Noted in the story about his return is that he's 56 years old, he just had a baby who's 10 months old, and his wife is also a partner in the firm that he's returning too.

Clearly it's a May-September romance, and it's quite interesting how she's also a partner too, but young enough to have kids. Was he previously married?

Sounds kind of juicy to me.

No. 2 official leaving Justice Department (Post, Dec. 4)

Amy Argetsinger: I like the way you think. Sadly, don't have anything to offer you.


Salahis: If you hadn't notified someone that they weren't on the guest list do you believe they would have gotten away with it?

Amy Argetsinger: Well, it's not so much the notification that got action -- it's the fact we wrote a story about it the next day.

Again, like I said, it's not like Roxanne blew a whistle and the guards came running. NOTHING happened to the Salahis that night -- they came and went. And the next day we continued our inquiries and broke a story saying, in effect, they crashed.

I guess the question is, if Rox hadn't noticed them, and we hadn't written a story.... Would the story have come out simply because of their Facebook photos? Possibly. Or would there have been a dust-up months down the road when the series aired, giving them impression they were guests, and then we all looked back and realized they weren't on the list? Possibly. But it would have been a very different story.


I love the Salahis: Because watching low-class desperate golddigging social climbers is hilarious!

Amy Argetsinger: So, should we count you in for the Bravo viewing party?


Foggy Bottom, D.C.: An earlier comment said "Maybe it happened because they worked together but fame coming at an early age doesn't seem to work for anyone." Well fame at 45 doesn't seem to be working out so well for the Salahis either.

Amy Argetsinger: Haha.


Los Angeles, Calif.: Young Hollywood question. I mean like that The CW-type crowd that somebody age 27 would have a hard time naming.

Who is your favorite young Hollywood actor to cover for good gossip and who is your favorite in terms of actually acting talent?

Amy Argetsinger: I'm so old. I stopped paying attention to Young Hollywood after "The O.C." went off the air. That's where all the talent was. Of course, those kids were all like 32 in real life, right?


Amy Argetsinger: Confidential to Washington DC with the political fundraiser friend.... E-mail us at Would love to talk to her.


Tiger why stay?: 1. We don't know that he's a victim of domestic abuse.

2. Domestic abuse isn't one incident when one spouse goes nuts on the other after the initial discovery of profound betrayal. It might be assault, but it's not a continuing pattern of abuse. Get a grip, people.

3. Why should he stay? Maybe because he made vows to his wife? Breaking one (even multiple times) doesn't suddenly mean you are free to toss away the whole commitment like a piece of trash.

Moral outrage over. How about those skanky LiLo pics?

Amy Argetsinger: Oh, thanks for the heads-up! Link to follow. Awesomely skanky.

_______________________ Lindsay Lohan Shows Her Sexy Side (ETonline)


Your theory...: Rox, I love you, but I have to say I thought your theory on cheating reeked of class-ism. Ick.

Roxanne Roberts: Sorry, but I didn't mean it that way at all. I thought it more in economic terms: If the end game of these affairs is hush money to stay quiet, then a wealthy man is more at risk from a mistress who has very little money to lose and a lot to gain by selling her story.

A woman who is already wealthy herself (or married to someone wealthy) or in a high-level job where the disclosure of her affair could ruin her professional reputation is less likely to talk.

That's the pragmatic answer. The moral answer is that none of the women should have been fooling around with a married man in the first place. And Tiger is the worst of the lot.


It's like Icarus. Flew too close to the sun: wayyyyy to deep for those two, but I like it.

Roxanne Roberts: Too deep---and too literate.


Former KenCen usher: The presidential box is not secured when the president isn't in it. FYI -- that is a story someone should do sometime: interview KenCen ushers. They usually have some tales.

Roxanne Roberts: Thanks. And I bet they have plenty of tales.


Reporting on reporters: This article about the Salahis: Justice slaps Salahis on the wrist was less interesting to me about them then about reporters.

Twice it describes a "no comment" response. If someone says no comment, does that mean the entire exchange can be written about in such detail? I also cringed at:

"Reporters dashed to the back parking lot, where the Salahis' 2006 Audi A8 -- with 60-day temporary tags -- was sitting... Written in pencil on blue paper stuffed between the passenger seat and the center compartment were the words "security breach."

Reporters dashing to peer into windows of the car and "report" on a piece of trash they could see there? No wonder the courtroom papered over the windows.

The Salahis are despicable to me but the ickiness here seems to be the reporters.

(I'm excluding you two from this group. You guys rock. Way to break this story!)

Amy Argetsinger: I think you're confusing "no comment" and "off the record." If a reporter and a source agree that a topic they're discussing is "off the record," then the reporter can't use it. But "no comment" is far from a magic word. If you've got a question for the subject of your story, you need to give them a chance to answer it, and they've got the right to respond anyway they want.

In this case, our column James Hohmann was capturing all of the circus atmosphere that takes hold when a couple of notorious figures end up in small-town court, with a mob of media around them. The interaction with that mob is part of the scene, and part of his story -- including their attempts to ask banal questions, and the curt or elaborate ways the subjects gave their "no comment."

I'll defend him on the bit of trash in the car detail -- not to get too meta here, but I think he was illustrating the absurdity of it all, the fact that reporters were taking note of this nothing as if they could find meaning in it. You know.


Washington, D.C.: Thanks so much for your coverage of the Salahis! Every day, there's a new, even crazier, revelation. I was wondering -- prior to their marriage to each other were they known for crashing, debts, etc., or did it all start after the marriage? Is this a case of two people who had problems getting together and continuing past behavior, or two people getting together and then going a little nuts?

Amy Argetsinger: So many questions...


re: But we should also ask ourselves, are these really news? : I'm glad they're public so Jay Leno can play them and make fun of them. Hearing some dude call 911 because he's out of beer is as good as "Headlines."

Amy Argetsinger: So you're the person who's watching Jay's new show!


it is often more expensive to sue than the money owed: 3 little words: Small Claims Court.

I hope everyone who's owed $$ by these grifters comes out of the woodwork and sues them. That way we could get a better notion of the magnitude of their fraud. Let's be honest, it's just a fancy way of calling it what it really is: theft.

Amy Argetsinger: Thanks for your thoughts.


3+3=6: 3 vowels, 3 consonants, 6 letters -- any 2 of those would have been sufficient info.

But in the Amazing Coincidences Department, please note that "Icarus" also fits the profile (3V, 3C, 6 letters). Spooky!

Amy Argetsinger: Yikes! This is better than numerology.


Just me: but I always found the whole hand over heart thing a little strange, and have never done it. For what it's worth, I grew up in one of those places Sarah Palin doesn't think is the "real America."

Then again, I'm one of those people who loves when a Canadian hockey team comes to town because I just love to sing along to "O, Canada." So maybe I'm just an America-hating communist, or something.

Amy Argetsinger: Thanks for your help!


Seattle, Wash.: Just curious if you saw this report about a statue of Barack Obama at age 10 being erected in near his former childhood home in suburban Jakarta Obama as a Boy (The New York Times, Dec. 9)

Oddly enough, I live across the corner from where -Barack Obama moves to Seattle in August or early September 1961 ( (Barack Obama and his mother lived in Seattle from 1961 to 1962), so guess Jakarta beat us. Ball is in your court now, Gov. Gregoire.

Amy Argetsinger: That is kind of ridiculous and kind of adorable.


Lancaster, Pa.: Re: Tiger. I'm ready to trade in my Buick -- that man makes me sick. Speaking of Buick, I wonder if they were relieved or ticked that he was driving an Escalade on the night of the incident?

Amy Argetsinger: Good point.


State College, Pa.: With all the attention on the Salahis, nobody has asked the REALLY IMPORTANT question: what did Roxanne wear to the State Dinner? I'm all ears...

Roxanne Roberts: Didn't I answer this last week? I was in a large group of reporters and outside the press room for an hour (behind ropes) tops, so I opted for discreet and warm: Black satin pants, satin shirt and cashmere blazer. Trust me, no one noticed or cared.

The good news: You care about the column, which we've got to write for tomorrow. Keep sending your awesome Salahi tips (you guys are the best!) and any other ideas and sightings you think are interesting to See you next week!


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