The Reliable Source: Sissy Spacek, Real World D.C., John Mayer, John Edwards, Scott Brown, Kiefer Sutherland, more

Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, February 17, 2010; 12:00 PM

Washington Post columnists Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts were online Wednesday, Feb. 17, at Noon ET to discuss your favorite gossip, celebrity sightings and their recent columns.

In recent columns: Oscar winner turned Richmond lobbist Sissy Spacek. The Real World DC's very special guest stars: Washingtonians who hooked up in the house. What is John Mayer's problem? Everyone's least favorite telenovela, the John/Elizabeth/Rielle/Andrew Show, gets weirder. Former Washington Post reporter writes a novel about a familiar-sounding newspaper.


Amy Argetsinger: Good morning everyone. I've been out of the office pretty much since Thursday, so fill me in. Get started, shall we?


Woodbridge, Va.: So how are the Salahis and the other gate crasher (forget his name) affording their highfalutin lawyers if they allegedly have no money?

Amy Argetsinger: I don't know the exact financial arrangements the Salahis or Carlos Allen have worked out with their counsel -- but in many cases, lawyers will take on high-profile cases on a pro bono basis (i.e., for free) because of the publicity they stand to receive.


Washington, D.C.: I missed last week's chat, didn't have power on Wednesday, so I'm sorry if this was covered -- but about Ovie at the Palm. The 'player of the game' each night is given a $100 gift certificate to the Palm (not sure if the restaurant is a sponsor or what deal they have going on), it's not that odd to see a Cap there during the season.

Amy Argetsinger: Really? These guys are making millions, but they're competing for $100 meal vouchers?


NY Governor Gossip: So is Tuesday night's story in the New York Times about Gov. Patterson's close aide having had a possible history with domestic violence the big, scandalous story the newspaper was supposed to be writing about the governor that he was so upset about? If so, I'm so disappointed. After the buildup, I was expecting something juicier. A love child, an affair with a tranny...something to carry on the legacy left by Spitzer. Paterson Aide's Quick Rise Draws Scrutiny (NYT, Feb. 16)

Amy Argetsinger: I know! In fairness, it's a pretty good story, and the NYT isn't responsible for the hyped-up rumors about what they were working on. And we should have been braced for a letdown. Paterson, after all, is a guy who on his second day in office announced, "oh, btw? I've had a bunch of affairs." So he set the bar pretty high for scandal.


Washington, D.C.: Have you figured out yet who will win American Idol?

Amy Argetsinger: I'm conflicted. On the one hand, studying the trend lines of winners over the past eight years, it seems clear that we're overdue for an Asian or Latino winner with a hip-hop focus. (Male or female, could go either way this year.)

However, among our stand-out auditioners, we're mostly seeing blonde Lilith Fair girls, and guys who wear knit caps indoors.


Capitol Hill: As one who used to love to run up the stairs of the U.S. Capitol, only to have been shut out for the past nine years now, it was great that Sen. Dodd was giving people an opportunity to enjoy the Capitol grounds. Perhaps we can determine that if it safe for people to go sledding, there is no huge security risk to running up the stairs?

Roxanne Roberts: Don't go crazy there, friend. This waiver is more very special snow days, not superfit jocks. Plus, you'll make the rest of us feel lazy.


D.C.: Is John Mayer's career over? The guy who played Kramer seemed to go away forever after using improper racial slurs. Will we be lucky enough for Mayer to follow the same path?

Amy Argetsinger: Hmmm, good question. I think we won't be so lucky. Kramer (who was already in the has-been zone) used his slurs in some kind of terrible attempt at satire that had a strangely hostile edge. Mayer (whose career we seem unable to stop) was using the slurs in an inane attempt at expressing solidarity and kinship, so he'll get a pass.


Washington, D.C.: Poor Marion Barry -- can't your newspaper leave the poor guy alone?

Amy Argetsinger: Poor Marion Barry? Poor us! He keeps CREATING these stories! Our poor Metro staff doesn't have a day of rest.


American Idol v Olympics: The rating are saying that AI is winning. What is capturing the attention of gossip-world?

Roxanne Roberts: Oh, I'm in my Olympic mode, although I totally plan to see the 24 AI semi-finalists show tonight. I'm counting on lots of tears and hoping to get some clue who's going to win. Amy ALWAYS beats me at this.


Bethesda, Md.: Good afternoon ladies,

I will be attending the Oscars this year for the first time. The wife and I were lucky to get press passes courtesy of a family member.

What should I wear? Is a tuxedo requisite even for the attending press? (Will I stick out without one?) Would a nice black suit do the trick?

I have been told we'll have access to the press areas on the red carpet, and during the ceremony, we will be backstage with the other media types...

Tux? Black suit? Whaddya think? Black suit + tuxedo shirt? I am really at a loss....


Amy Argetsinger: Hmmm, really? Didn't think it was that easy for non-reporters to slip in as media. I'm going through the process now, and it involves months of paperwork and downloads of personal data. If you've been credentialed, then you should have been given directions on what to wear.... But, if you're just an artful crasher, then, well, the rule is that everyone is in black tie.


Re: Ovie at the Palm: Single guy in his 20s? I bet he can't cook and probably wants to eat out. Also, who would turn down free food? Not me!

Amy Argetsinger: True. Celebrities, for all their wealth, do love the gift bags, etc.


My own celebrity sighting in D.C.: So I just spent the 4-day weekend in D.C. and guess who I saw dining one night?

The one and only Roxanne Roberts!

I'm a big fan of WWDTM and Reliable Source so it was very exciting for me.

Lucky for you Roxanne, I contained myself and did not interrupt your Saturday night out with friends!

Roxanne Roberts: Good thing. The snows days are starting to blur, but I'm pretty sure I spent Saturday night at home with my son---so it was a look-a-like you saw. Where was this? But I love that you love WWDTM and the column.


Alexandria, Va.: What has Chynna Phillips been up to lately, aside from going into rehab to deal with the stress of . . . being married to Billy Baldwin? Always the most underrated Baldwin, I thought. Still darn good looking.

Amy Argetsinger: Really? Billy is the most underrated Baldwin? You mean, our expectations for Billy are lower than our expectations for Stephen or Daniel? I'd argue that Billy Baldwin was once, briefly, overrated, and is now appropriated rated.

Except for the occasional Wilson Phillips reunion, Chynna has mostly been lying low, raising kids. And in fairness to the Baldwin family, I believe she went into treatment to deal with the stress of being John Phillips's daughter.


Washington, D.C.: Given how movie stars grab the swag at award shows and movie festivals, it shouldn't be a surprise that the hockey players are excited over a $100 gift certificate at The Palm. They probably think of it as a gold star.

Amy Argetsinger: Yeah, guess so.


Caps and the Palm: I wouldn't say they're 'fighting to win' the 'gift' which makes me think it's more a marketing ploy. Sure when Ovie or Backstrom or Green, etc., win it's a drop in the bucket, but when Alzner or one of the other Bears on loan do? I can't imagine Hershey (full disclosure, I've never been there) can compete with the scene there.

Amy Argetsinger: Hmmm, okay.


Kentucky: That was some sad picture you all ran of John Kerry after he lost in 2004. It really brought home how much the guy wanted it -- but then when you read about Theresa and he eating at Boston Market, I'm kind of glad he didn't win. More John Edwards: Andrew Young says Elizabeth threatened to sue; John Kerry is 'shocked' and 'disappointed' (Post, Feb. 14)

Amy Argetsinger: Anyone who runs for president has to really want it...


Hollywood, Fla.: Lady Gaga makes me physically ill. How can the bar for what is and isn't a celebrity have fallen so low?

Amy Argetsinger: Well... if your familiarity with Lady Gaga is limited to seeing pictures of her in magazines, I can see why you'd be put off. But her fame is legitimate. Her songs -- which she writes -- have been massive, massive hits over the past year.


Hope, Alaska: What is John Mayer's appeal? Is he one of those skinny guys who has some special appeal and secret for getting the chicks or haven't any of his exes been the type to kiss and tell?

Roxanne Roberts: I don't get it, either. Maybe it's hanging with a bad boy who pulls you into his very special orbit for a short time until he gets bored. Then again, some women will sleep with any celebrity just to be able to say they did. Doesn't do a thing for me.


Marion Barry: The gift that keeps on giving to a newspaper.

Roxanne Roberts: And comedians.


Edwards affair: The Edwards affair -- yikes. Just as I think we've hit bottom on that, something new happens that takes it to a new low.

And how is "Chynna" pronounced? "China"?

And I heard that Paris Hilton is 29 today -- that just does not seem right.

Cheers, Madrigal

Amy Argetsinger: Like I said -- it's our least favorite telenovela. But we can't stop watching.

Yes, like the country.

Yes, indeed, happy birthday to Paris Hilton. How old do you think she should be? Older or younger?


Cleveland Park, Washington, D.C.: Amy wrote: "Lawyers will take on high-profile cases on a pro bono basis (i.e., for free) because of the publicity they stand to receive."

Sorry to go all "Mr. Language Person" on you here, but a lawyer taking on a client for free because of the good publicity it generates is definitely NOT doing it "pro bono (publico)", i.e. for the public good.

Amy Argetsinger: I'm not sure whether this is a language dispute or an ethical/moral one, but I hear what you're saying.


Washington, D.C.: Seems you guys are writing a lot about Scott Brown. I'm not complaining, but curious -- when was the last time a senator came to town and had this sort of buzz with him? Seems Arlen Spector or Barbara Boxer could go out to dinner and nobody would care, though Brown is more newsy. My questions -- what is it about him that makes us care (because we do)? And when was the last time a senator got this sort of instant response? Hey, isn't that: Scott Brown at Woolly Mammoth's 'Barack Stars' (Post, Feb. 17)

Amy Argetsinger: The last time a new senator got this much buzz and attention was five years ago: Barack Obama.

Different circumstances, of course. Scott Brown gets a bit more than his share of the spotlight by virtue of being a good looking guy with a ridiculously telegenic family, and because he came in via a special election and not with a large class of new reps -- but mostly because he's the Republican who unexpectedly took Teddy Kennedy's seat and shifted the dynamics of the Senate at a key point.


Laurel, Md.: Tell me something about John Edwards. I am really bored at work.

Amy Argetsinger: Actually, how about you tell us something: What bit of news (and let's keep it family-friendly here) would manage to surprise you about John Edwards at this point?


Salahi lawyers: Note among the many judgments against them are several for unpaid legal fees to law firms. They might NOT be paying their lawyers.

Amy Argetsinger: Ha. True. But any lawyer who takes them on at this point already knows that -- and knows that they're in financially desperate straits -- which is why it's theoretically possible that any legal counsel offered to them would be gratis.


Public persons and affairs: Public persons having affairs hardly seems noteworthy anymore except when public funds are misused or private conduct and public persona are in stark contrast. Is there some guideline or standard applied when you want to report on someone's "behavior"? When do you publish and when do you hold back?

Roxanne Roberts: I'd say, almost by definition, that most public persons do not market themselves as cheating lowlives---certainly not politicians (okay, maybe a few rock stars.) But most people try to present a somewhat appealing persona, which is why sex is still a hot topic. Affairs are fair game when it is possible to verify the relationship, but that's tricky: rumors are not enough, which is why most publications steered clear of the Edwards thing for so long.


Waste of Time: Please explain to me what is the demographic of the people watching the Winter Olympics because I just don't get it.

Amy Argetsinger: 1. People who like feathers and sequins and pretty choreography.

2. People who enjoy watching ridiculously dangerous sports.

These two groups (which are hardly exclusive of each other) make up a big bloc of America. Proud to be part of it.


Nosy Parker: Speaking of Baldwin brothers, during the Olympics I've been seeing commercials promoting Seinfeld's upcoming show re marriage. If Alec Baldwin (one of the guest panelists) were to give me marital advice, I'd seriously consider doing the opposite of what he suggests, just on general principles. I mean, isn't that guy's track record on marriage and relationships grim?

Amy Argetsinger: Oh, yes, indeed. That's why Seinfeld is counting on you to watch.


Washington, D.C.: Do you think the Enquirer will get the Pulitzer for its John Edwards coverage? You have to admit, they were really on the ball with that one.

Roxanne Roberts: They were on the ball, but the Enquirer has different standards when it comes to news gathering and sourcing (paying for information, etc.) They beat everyone on this story, but I'd be very surprised if the Pultizer committee felt comfortable awarding the prize to them.


A really fun party guest: Are you having an Oscar Party and can I come? I'm not busy that night and all this snow has given me a really bad case of cabin fever...

Amy Argetsinger: Sorry, I'm covering the Oscars. Which isn't as glamorous as it sounds -- I really wished last year I were at an Oscar party instead. Well, except for getting to go to the Vanity Fair after-party. That really was all that.


Paris Hilton: I always think of Paris as being in her early 20s. So the fact that she's almost 30 really throws me.

Any news on Val Kilmer and his political aspirations in New Mexico? (I will be in Santa Fe later this summer and will let you know if I see him -- or anyone else.)

Amy Argetsinger: Val decided he's not running for governor. Sigh.


Bethesda, Md.: In re: Oscars...our family member is in a pretty high radio...for a major network...I have no idea how he swung it...nevertheless, we are not crashing (ha!, as if), we pick up our credentials on the Friday before the event. he also got us out press passes for the Inauguration...I sat with the photogs on the scaffold...

So...back to what to wear...can you give me any advice? Tux? Black suit? no idea?


Amy Argetsinger: I already told you -- the rule is black tie, but ask the person who got you in...


re : Scott Brown: Hey, I gotta agree you guys always seem to write about all the young go-getters and there's hardy ever any ink about some of the old timers like Specter, Hatch and Byrd. I think fair play demands equal time for some of the old stalwarts even if it's only to report on their taking naps or whatever.

Amy Argetsinger: You really want to read about that? I'm calling your bluff.


Lancaster, Pa.: I'm confused ... Over the weekend all the buzz up this way was about Michele Obama and the girls spending Saturday at a ski resort in Adams County. Yet, nobody had pictures (the owners said they wanted to respect their privacy)and all the skiers interviewed said they didn't notice them. (after all, according the aforementioned owners, everyone looks the same in ski attire). Then I read in the WP on Monday that the Obamas left D.C. for Chicago on Friday night to spend the weekend there. Do you know where they were? Was the ski resort punked? Did the ski resort punk us? Or, did Michele get to Chicago and decide to go skiing in South Central Pennsylvania?

Roxanne Roberts: The news report that the Obamas were in Chicago was an error by one of our news aides. The Obamas went there last year, but this year the first lady and girls went skiing, then joined the president at Camp David for Valentine's Day. No punking, and sorry for the confusion.


Kramer and satire?: Poor Kramer. Didn't Sarah Palin teach us that we can get away with slurs if they are intended to be satire -- like Rush Limbaugh's use of 'retarded.' Seems Sarah should have come to Kramer's defense.

Amy Argetsinger: That was so long ago -- more than three years ago already -- that Palin wasn't even famous yet.


Charlotte: Any idea where John Edwards is registered for his upcoming marriage to Mrs. Hunter? Wondering what would be an appropriate gift?

Amy Argetsinger: Ha. The Edwards camp broke the usual no-comment rule to out-and-out deny that they're engaged. But let me know if you find them on


a lawyer taking on a client for free because of the good publicity it generates is definitely NOT doing it "pro bono (publico)", i.e. for the public good. : But he will SAY it is. Maybe it is for his own exposure, but he will SAY it is a selfless act of generosity for the underdog.

Amy Argetsinger: And I assume it's all lumped under the same column in the ledger, right?


Boston, Mass.: What is it with Madonna and all these kooky causes in countries no one even cares about(seriously). Why don't some of these celebrities put that money into feeding hungry kids right here at home instead of trying to save the world? Do you think they are looking for love?

Amy Argetsinger: Well. I don't think it's very controversial to argue that the need is much greater in third-world countries than it is here.


John Mayer: His first album was quite charming and despite his idiot Tweetings and ungentlemanly blabbing about past girlfriends, the guy is an accomplished musician.

That said he is still an insufferable waste of space who needs to just Go. Away.

Amy Argetsinger: From what I've heard, he's loads of fun in person. And I heard that from someone who wasn't a fan of Mayer's music at all.


Edwards: Were there rumors about him prior to La Hunter's arrival on the campaign trail? If not, that makes the whole matter even more inexplicable.

Amy Argetsinger: No, my understanding is that there had never been any rumors or whispers about him before Rielle entered the scene.


Bethesda, Md.: Is Billy Baldwin still working too? You would have thought Alec could have gotten him a couple gigs here and there. Just based on his absolutely hilarious role in Forgetting Sarah Marshall a few years back, I'd vote for him being underrated.

Amy Argetsinger: Did you know? Apparently Billy Baldwin is on "Gossip Girl" these days.


Seinfeld Marriage Show: I would appreciate the show more if Seinfeld's wife were on it to offer marriage advice. Perhaps something about always being on the lookout for a new multimillionaire husband even when a newlywed with a first husband?

Roxanne Roberts: Meow. Or how to write a best-selling cookbook without really trying?


30?: What is that in Hollywood years? 35? 40? Can anyone prove that she was born?

Amy Argetsinger: Let's demand her birth certificate!


An Appreciative Fan : You two are on fire today -- be honest you missed us right? Well actually Roxanne is still typing kind ... of ... slow but Amy you are knocking those questions out like mad!

Amy Argetsinger: Oh, I thought we were kind of slow today. But that's your fault. Not enough questions, really. Try harder!


re: Mayer: "Mayer (whose career we seem unable to stop) was using the slurs in an inane attempt at expressing solidarity and kinship, so he'll get a pass"

Saying he won't sleep with African-American women because racist qualifies as solidarity and kinship?


Amy Argetsinger: I must have missed that part of the interview. Which I only saw excerpts of. Hey, I'm not defending the guy -- was just asked to predict whether he'd suffer lasting damage.


Southeast D.C.: Was somebody just criticizing John Kerry for going to Boston Market? That makes me like him more. I wish there was a Boston Market in my neighborhood -- that stuff is tremendous. Up until a couple years ago, John Edwards was charming for taking his wife to Wendy's, but now we make fun of Kerry for going to Boston Market. Just seems wrong.

Amy Argetsinger: The larger anecdote that Andrew Young told was that the Kerrys refused to eat anything prepared by the Edwardses' chef and instead ordered out to Boston Market.


Edgeboro, Va.: Will Kiefer Sutherland's medical condition keep him from saving the world again from German/Russian/Middle Eastern terror groups in New York? Production has not been slowed, has it?

Amy Argetsinger: I'm worried that he got too close to the nuclear fuel rods. Oh, and it's Kiefer.


Alexandria, Va.: I know, as a newspaper reporter, you can't say this, but I hope the National Enquirer does win. They should get something! If you read "Game Change" then it doesn't seem as if any of this Rielle stuff was very secretive, and a reporter who really wanted to know could have found out.

Just my two cents.

Roxanne Roberts: Here's the problem: She was working on the campaign, so they were together a lot. Unless you've one of the two people admitting they were having sex, all you have to go on are rumors. Even with the flirting.

Pretend you are working closely with your boss, who's a member of the opposite sex. Say you joke around a lot and some people think you're having sex with him/her---but you're not. Putting that in print, assuming you both deny it, could ruin both your careers. Not fair, and not good journalism.

So it's a big balancing act---pursuing rumors and deciding when something can go into the paper. Not defending Edwards and Hunter here, but it is not fair to say it would have been easy for a reporter to get the story.


Please explain to me what is the demographic of the people watching the Winter Olympics because I just don't get it.: People who like to ski. People who like to skate. People who like to watch winter sports. People who like sports. People who like dancing, peo, really, we could go on. Poster doesn't like the Winter Olympics. OK. move on. LOTS of folks do.

Amy Argetsinger: The ratings have been huge. I gotta say, NBC manages to make some pretty obscure sports rather entertaining.


Roxanne sighting: Really? It was at Central. If it wasn't you, she really did resemble you closely!

Roxanne Roberts: Really. I was still digging out from the storm in Virginia.


Billy Baldwin...: ...did a creditable job as Donald Sutherland's son on "Dirty Sexy Money" -- the district attorney who runs successfully for the U.S. Senate after his wife dies under mysterious circumstances and despite his having a tranny mistress he can't quit.

Amy Argetsinger: Speaking of Donald Sutherland -- he revealed himself to be a Canadian at the Olympic opening ceremonies. As did all these other stealth Canadian celebrities.


Party down: Who are the hard-partying girls of today (a la the Tara Reid, Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, et al. of yesteryear)? Can't get enough of train wrecks!

Amy Argetsinger: I don't really know. The genre seems to have gone out of style. Now instead of young women who drink too much, it's young women who don't eat enough.


Bluff Called: I say you pick a random senator out of a hat and then write every last thing you can on them. Darn it, I want to know where Blanche Lincoln gets her dry-cleaning or where Jon Kyl gets his morning latte or where what kinds of nightclubs Ben Nelson hangs out at. This would be awesome.

Amy Argetsinger: Hey, it's up to you people: You have to start delivering the sightings of Blance Lincoln at the dry cleaner.

We actually did an extensive treatment on Ben Nelson in 2005, back when Virginia Democrats were toying with the idea of recruiting Ben Affleck to run for Senate, and we joked that he'd be "Benator," which made Sen. Nelson's staff upset because HE'S Benator, so we did a chart comparing the two, and, well, it was hilarious, but I don't remember much of it.


Re: Billy Baldwin: Billy Baldwin was in Forgetting Sarah Marshall -- really? BTW -- Is it weird that I am now starting to find Alec Baldwin really funny and oddly more attractive as he ages?

Amy Argetsinger: He's more comfortable in his skin now. He's not trying as hard. That makes someone more attractive.


If you were a betting woman...: ...which couple would you bet will wed first: Mark Sanford and his Argentine firecracker, or John Edwards and his Baby Mama?

Roxanne Roberts: That a tough call: Sanford is about to be divorced and seemed genuinely in love with his mistress, so I probably have to vote for him. Edwards is still married, although the only way he can hope to restore any shred of public respect would be to eventually marry Hunter and raise their daughter together----proving that this was really a love affair, not just a sex thing.


Stealth Canadians: They're only stealth Canadians because you don't know Canadians.

Although, I think "Stealth Canadians" might be a good topic on Jeopardy.

Amy Argetsinger: Oh, and you know why? Because guess who else is Canadian -- Alex Trebek.


Was somebody just criticizing John Kerry for going to Boston Market?: Yeah, and if it was Sarah Palin going to Boston Market, Limbaugh would love her for being a "REAL American," not a highfalutin snob. PULEEZ

Amy Argetsinger: Hey, let's not overthink this. One chatter was holding it against John Kerry because Kerry liked Boston Market. Maybe that one chatter had a bad Boston Market experience.


Baltimore, Md.: Amy, I had no idea you were Canadian too?

Amy Argetsinger: I'm not. What gave you that impression? USA! USA! USA!


it's young women who don't eat enough: It's back to that is it? Remember, if your cow bones (hip bones) stick out like a Merry Melodies cartoon cow, you're way too thin.

Amy Argetsinger: Yeah, that's one indicator.


Re Olympic Watcher Census: We have a skewed sample since NBC's coverage is so bad. For real action you have to find their coverage of hockey and other sports on USA network, CNBC and MSNBC. On NBC proper it's definitely those interested in American Idol, So you think you can dance, etc. The problem though is that this doesn't reflect the true interest in the Winter Olympics. NBC has made a treasure hunt out of trying to find Olympic coverage. As a result the actual viewership is not representative.

Amy Argetsinger: Okay.


Arlington, Va.: Just curious, when Sissy Spacek or someone along her lines gives a press conference to encourage people to film movies in Virginia, is there really any impact? Seems an awful lot like talking for the sake of talking. Celebvocate: Sissy Spacek pushes Virginia film industry (Post, Feb. 17)

Roxanne Roberts: Hard to say: Might get some coverage in the industry trade papers, and maybe a producer or director will look into whether there are enough tax breaks to shoot in the state. A press conference certainly can't hurt.


Rielle's Professional Output: She was the videographer, right? Did she or her company ever actual produce a film or non-naughty record of the campaign?

Amy Argetsinger: They produced some "webisodes" that were up on the campaign site for a while -- designed to show the candidate at his most authentic, unvarnished, loveable best. However, the campaign folks abruptly removed them from the Web site... which is when suspicions were first raised...


Who will marry first?: Ah, but Sanford's mistress is still married, isn't she? While, on the other hand, Edwards and Hunter really have to get together. At this point, who else would have them?

Roxanne Roberts: I don't think Sandford's mistress is currently married.


Washington, D.C.: Sadie the Scottie rocks! What a cute dog! Scottie Sadie wins Westminster after PETA protest (Post, Feb. 17

Roxanne Roberts: Totally. And it is a comeback---I read that she lost last year because she peed during judging.


Cleveland Park, Washington, D.C.: I have not watched any of the Real World D.C. Am I missing anything?

Amy Argetsinger: Not much. It's pretty dull. You've seen all this stuff before. The highlights are:

1. The character of Andrew, who is fairly witty and self-aware, and seems irritated with his housemates' emotional preening for the cameras.

2. The way they randomly flash D.C. scenes that have nothing to do with the action or where the characters currently are.

3. The locals who hooked up with the cast members. THAT'S the weird part to see, actually. Link to my story about this to follow.


Chicago, Ill.: Alec Baldwin has completely changed. I've seen "Hunt for Red October" and "Beetlejuice" a bunch of times, and it would never even occur to me that the guy in those movies is the same guy who's now on "30 Rock." It's not pre- and post-plastic surgery. Just a total change.

Amy Argetsinger: It's called: Aging.


Opening ceremonies: Speaking of... how wretched was Nelly Furtado's dress? She's so pretty, and that dress and shoe combo did nothing for her. As someone who is also hour-glass shaped, I could tell her that shiny supertight fabrics are not our friends in that area. Alas, she probably has highly paid minions to provide her dressing advice, and I was stuck in my house having fun listening to the French and English country pronunciations!

Amy Argetsinger: Well, I think there are some unusual styling considerations that have to be made when you're performing in a massive stadium, and they want the cheap seats to see you. Sarah MacLaughlin's necklace could have been viewed from space.

_______________________ "Real World: D.C."'s very special guest stars: The Washingtonians who hooked up on camera (Post, Feb. 12

Amy Argetsinger: Here's that story.


Lansdale, Pa.: RE: What bit of news (and let's keep it family-friendly here) would manage to surprise you about John Edwards at this point?

News that Edwards and Andrew Young used to be lovers. And now Young is all jealous because Edwards dumped him in favor of Reille Hunter!

Amy Argetsinger: Sorry -- I'm not sure I'd be surprised at this point. Keep trying!


Was somebody just criticizing John Kerry for going to Boston Market?: Isn't the criticism that the Kerrys insisted on Boston Market especially for themselves instead of eating the food prepared for everyone else, which was more convenient?

Amy Argetsinger: That should have been the criticism. Maybe that's what the original poster was getting at. Probably. Don't know.


Edwards is still married, although the only way he can hope to restore any shred of public respect would be to eventually marry Hunter and raise their daughter together: Uh, what about those two kids Elizabeth bore him after son Wade died in the auto accident? The thought of Rielle co-raising them after Elizabeth's death curdles my blood.

Roxanne Roberts: There is that. And don't forget Cate. Expect a tell-all book by one of them sometime in 2025.


Washington, D.C.: Who will you miss more: Patrick Kennedy or Evan Bayh?

Amy Argetsinger: Hmmm. I guess bachelor congressmen are always a more interesting story. So, PK.


Richmond, Va.: I'm lovin' watching the Olympics, as usual. EXCEPT the men's singles ice skating contestants wearing dressy gloves during the competition. It was creepy, they looked like cross-dressing skaters, which I guess will be a category soon.

Roxanne Roberts: No fair. Then all the men will look like the guy in spandex mom jeans last night. Painful.


On NBC proper it's definitely those interested in American Idol,: Really? Cuz the Olympics have been airing on TV for DECADES longer than Idol existed. Every 4 years some know it all has to talk about how horrible the coverage is, but every four years, we who love the sports more than the sound of our own voice look forward to watching the winter Olympics on TV. If you want hardcore hockey coverage, you can get that all year. For most of these Olympics sports, we only get it once every 4 years. So stop being superior and let us enjoy. P.S. I've NEVER seen American Idol.

Amy Argetsinger: One of my favorite things about the Olympic coverage is how it's sort of formulaic and unchanging. In a reassuring way. It's like I'm watching Tai Babilonia and Randy Gardner all over again. And they keep bringing back your old favorites from past years.


Nosy Parker: Donald Sutherland is no "stealth" Canadian. He's long been proud of his Canadian roots!

Amy Argetsinger: I guess I just wasn't paying attention.


Stealth Canadians: And William Shatner (although, I guess to get the Star Trek angle, he'd have to be a "cloaked Canadian").

Amy Argetsinger: Which raises the question: Who are we going to see in the Closing Ceremonies?

I'm guessing Celine Dion, Shania Twain and Rush. With narration by William Shatner.


Portland, Ore.: Another Edwards question, and this is the last, I promise. Maybe. Doesn't Elizabeth Edwards realize that she is setting up Andrew Young as a potential victim in the threatened lawsuit? By demanding a contribution to the Wade Edwards Foundation, it could be construed as extortion. Also, asking for return of tapes that belong to Young and insisting that he be quiet about what has been a very public family over the last six years, seems to be a bit much. Is she getting bad advice, or is she just too sick and angry to care?

Roxanne Roberts: I don't think anyone advised her to do it. My guess is that she's furious and wants some control back---although I believe this is a bad idea that will only bring more pain.


USA! USA! USA!: Anyone else think that Amy is overcompensating? Can anyone prove that she was born in the U.S.? Admit it Rox, all you Posties are Canadian.

Alright, everyone produce your birth certificates.

Amy Argetsinger: Er, I wasn't born in the USA. But I wasn't born in Canada neither, okay? USA! USA! USA!


Ew, narration by William Shatner?: "Thank you. For watching. Our fine ... athletes. Men. And women. From near. And far. KHAAAAAAN!"

Amy Argetsinger: Sounds good to me.


New York: Paris Hilton has been trying so hard to get our attention and some fame and be someone for so long and now she's gotten to be such a middle-aged bore. Don't you think it's time she did a sex video with John Mayer or something to revive her "career"?

Roxanne Roberts: Or---maybe she's grown up? That's always a possibility, isn't it? Plus, the mere idea of a Hilton-Mayer sex tape grosses me out.

But if she does or they do---we'll write about it. In the meanwhile, you'll need to keep sending tips/sightings (of not me and others) to

That's it for this week. Stay safe on those icy streets, and see you all next Wednesday.


E-mail us at; bookmark us at Reliable Source; and follow us at


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.

© 2010 The Washington Post Company