The Reliable Source: Julianna Smoot, Marion Barry, the skiing Obamas and more

Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, March 3, 2010; 12:00 PM

Washington Post columnists Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts were online Wednesday, March 3 at noon ET to discuss your favorite gossip, celebrity sightings and their recent columns.

In recent columns: The Smithsonian says no to O.J. acquittal suit. Michelle Obama and the girls have taken up skiing. New social secretary Julianna Smoot isn't nearly as good a golfer as her sisters, says her dad. Maury and Connie pull the plug on plans to move back to D.C. The latest cult phenomenon: Watching D.C.'s long lost reality series "Blonde Charity Mafia" online. Lil Wayne jail term delayed, again! Is there any worse job than driving Naomi Campbell? And the history of sex scandal couples prove there may yet be hope for Marion Barry and on-again, off-again squeeze Donna Watts-Brighthaupt.


Amy Argetsinger: Good morning, everyone. Anything going on in the world? I'm moving kind of slow today, which is always the case when I go out the night before, only to come home to a DVR overloaded with American Idol and Lost. Yes, that is how glamorous my life is. Let's get started.


Washington, D.C.: So, any news on what's going on with the salahis now? Are the investigations of them launched by various local authorities still going on? and where do they get income from now?

Amy Argetsinger: Ah, the Salahis! They've managed to keep themselves busy and occupied, which is always the smart thing to keep yourself from sinking into the doldrums while you're being investigated by state and federal authorities: They hosted an evening at a Vegas club, they made a celeb appearance at an Australian polo match. I don't think they were pulling in much income before the state dinner scandal -- hence all those unpaid bills -- so don't know that that's changed, really.


Andrew Koenig: Okay, so it took this poor man's disappearance and death for me to learn that "Boner" from Growing Pains was the son of "Chekov" from Star Trek. So sad for that family -- not everyone wins their battle with depression.

Amy Argetsinger: Growing up in Hollywood is tough, I think. Did you see the quote from Michael Douglas earlier this week -- saying that the history of second-generation actors has not been very good. (Or something like that -- you'll see it on our blog.) He was talking about himself and his own alcohol/marital problems past, but it sounded like he was talking about his son, facing a 10-year prison term for drugs.


Stun Gun and the Jacksons: How bizarre is this story? A 13-year old buys a stun gun on the internet and the other kids gang up and try to stun Blanket? What is going on in that house? Attorney: Jackson kids weren't exposed to stun gun (AP, March 2)

Amy Argetsinger: Honestly, this is the most normal thing I've heard about the Jackson household. Can't you just imagine this happening in your own home? Your older brother decides it would be really cool to own a stun gun -- I mean, wouldn't it? -- and makes the stupid move of ordering one, which triggers a call to the cops, and then hijinks ensue?


College Park, Md.: Honestly, my thing that gave me the greatest pause in the post about Connie Chung and Maury Povich was the photo from Q and A at Nathans Restaurant. Was I the only fan of those interviews? I hope not. I enjoy them and was curious if any news on what happen Carol Joynt after the Nathans went out of business?

Amy Argetsinger: Carol is blogging away furiously at New York Social Diary and on her own web site, and she's working on her memoirs.


Sex Scandal Couples: I liked this piece in your column, but while 30+ years is impressive, 7 years really isn't staying power as far as marriage goes. You should cover this topic again -- I'm sure there are more. Or were these three really the only ones you could find?

Amy Argetsinger: Thanks! There aren't a lot that we could think of. But that's sort of the point. We would naturally assume that most relationships would NOT survive the scandal they created. So it's interesting to look at those that do lead to a happily-ever-after. I'll post a link to the story... Meanwhile, can you think? Are there any we're missing?


Washington, D.C.: So who gets bounced from American Idol after last night's performances?

Amy Argetsinger: Hmmm. John Park? Jermaine Sellers? There are so many on the bubble at this point.


Boston, Mass.: Could we take up a collection for a new photo of you two ladies? I've seen much better pix of both of you. The one at the top of your online blog doesn't do justice to either of you.

Amy Argetsinger: Yeah, we should do something about that.


San Antonio, Tex.: No chance of O.J. showing up at the possible unveiling of his acquittal suit if it ends up at the Crime and Punichment museum, is there?

Amy Argetsinger: Oh, I wouldn't count it out.


Washington, D.C.: I'm rather curious about Desiree Rogers's leaving. Now she says that there were people from her staff present at the door during the night of the India state dinner. Is this true? If it was, why didn't it come out earlier? Did you see these people? Also, to you have any additional insight into why she's leaving now? It seems that if she was just being asked to leave as a result of the Salahi debacle, she would have left months earlier. And, was she the first White House social secretary asked to be front row at fashion shows, in vogue, etc., or just the first one that accepted the invitations?

Roxanne Roberts: True? Unlikely that the Social office had a staffer at the door that night----there was no mention of it in the coverage or during the congressional hearing on the incident, and there is no reasonable excuse for the White House withholding such a crucial piece of information. Rogers has offered no proof---just the assertion---and the White House response is that her recent comments on the matter are not helpful.

The state dinner problem was likely the final straw: Rogers and the job proved not to be a good fit. I think the White House asked her quietly to look for another job and allowed her to stay on for a few months. I don't know if she was the first social secretary to attend a fashion show, but she's the first one everyone noticed---which, depending on your perspective, was either a great moment in fashion history or a case of a White House staffer not fully understanding the nuances of the job.


Thanks, earlier chatter: for bringing up the Salahis! I've been wanting to know where Michaele got the red sari outfit she wore to the dinner...or at least where I can find a knock-off!

Roxanne Roberts: Michaele reported said she got the outfit while visiting India; there are other accounts saying that she borrowed it from an Indian friend for the dinner. I'm sure there are plenty of places to buy a gorgeous Indian gown. Chatters?


A "Chekhov" question: Does he really have that accent, or was he acting?

Amy Argetsinger: Walter Koenig, who played Chekhov on "Star Trek," is the son of Russian immigrants, born in Chicago -- but he was playing up that accent for dramatic effect.

Weird fact, from Wikipedia: Koenig was cast in the role because of his resemblance to Davy Jones from The Monkees -- they figured he'd be teen-girl bait.


McLean, Va.: Speaking of Maury and Connie, I assume she has forgiven him for his philandering ways? Update: Connie Chung and Maury Povich are staying in New York, for now (Reliable Source, March 2)

Amy Argetsinger: I assume she has forgiven him for the allegations contained in the massive sexual harrassment lawsuit filed a couple years back.


Just too much...: This may be off topic but if you have room left on the DVR Amy, check out RuPaul's Drag Race -- the kind of show I never thought I'd watch but now I have to confess I'm hooked.

Amy Argetsinger: Really? Okay.

_______________________ Career-rattling affairs can have happily-ever-after-the-sex-scandal endings (Reliable Source, Feb. 25)


Atlanta Ga.: Is there a good juicy non-poiitical reason Mort Zuckerman decided not to run for the Senate in NY?

Amy Argetsinger: Heck, I didn't even realize that Mort Zuckerman was thinking about running for Senate until he announced this morning that he is not.

Should I put out a press release saying that I'm not going to run for U.S. Senate from NY? Because I'm definitely not.


Naomi Campbell: Okay, so this woman obviously has a problem. And there needs to be billboards in NYC that show her picture and say "Don't Work for This Woman!" That said, what is her background? Isn't she British? So, let's send her back and let them deal with it! Naomi Campbell accused of assaulting limo driver (Reliable Source, March 3)

Amy Argetsinger: Really, the National Crime and Punishment Museum should have a Naomi Campbell exhibit. They should try to obtain the crystal-studded BlackBerry she threw at her maid.

Oh, btw, link to follow, but cops have called off their manhunt. The driver decided not to press charges, the NY Daily News reports.


Sex Scandal Couples: How about Newt Gingrich and...oh, never mind.

Amy Argetsinger: Thought about that. But that was the sex scandal that never was. Newt had left office before anyone knew he and Callista Bisek were dating. A decade later, they're still together.


Lancaster, Pa.: Did you think it was odd that Canada's most famous person -- Celine Dion -- didn't take part in the opening or closing ceremonies of the Olympics?

Amy Argetsinger: Yes, I thought that was very suspicious. Also, where was Shania Twain?

_______________________ NYPD manhunt for supermodel Naomi Campbell called off after charges dropped by battered driver (New York Daily News, March 3)


OMG: That is my Wednesday too. I have a class and don't get home until 9:30, so pick up Lost on DVR from the beginning then watch Idol, then stumble through wednesday. Harder with the weaning off of caffeine during Lent.

Amy Argetsinger: You should really watch AI first. It's much more urgent.


Washington, D.C.: Allow me to amend what a prior person wrote -- it is a lovely photo and you both look terrific. However, I'm sure there are even nicer photos of the two of you out there.

Amy Argetsinger: Thanks, but I'm with the other person on this. It was kind of a rush job on that photo. And you know how it is, you don't realize you need a haircut until you see a picture of yourself? I trimmed my bangs with a Swiss Army knife between shots.


Goodbye, Hello: So, since the last chat we've said goodbye to Desiree Rogers and hello to the new social secretary, Julianna Smoot. Your coverage has been gentle, but is the truth that the state dinner debacle is what did Ms. Rogers in?

Amy Argetsinger: The state dinner debacle has been in the first or second paragraph of every story written about Desiree Rogers, and it was clearly key to her departure, according to sources cited in these stories, if you read them.


Sex scandal marriage that shouldn't have lasted: Woody Allen and Soon Yi Previn That was a weird one.

Amy Argetsinger: Oh, DUH! That's a good one. Can't believe I didn't think of that.


Winchester, Va.: Hooray for the Smithsonian! This latest move (saying "No" to O.J.) will probably help their donation revenue!

Amy Argetsinger: Clearly there was an "ick" factor that prompted the Smithsonian to say no. Honestly, I'd say the O.J. trial was a much more significant moment in American culture than, say, "Die Hard." Yet you can only imagine that a lot of donors would be put off by such an acquisition.


The Skiing Obamas: Thanks for the tip -- we sometimes go to Liberty for tubing. I'll pay more attention to whether the First Family is at Camp David when making plans. As much as I'd like to see them, it probably makes it a little more difficult to get in a full day of activity for us common folk.

Amy Argetsinger: Good question. Haven't heard from any skiiers those days at Liberty to say whether the First Family's presence affected their own time on the slopes.


Tampa, Fla.: Re Naomi Campbell: "The driver decided not to press charges."

After he went public to anyone who would listen that she hit him and then fled the vehicle? Doesn't make sense. Hmm, makes you wonder if she paid him off, or something similarly fishy is going on.

Amy Argetsinger: I thought this sentence from the NY Daily News story was very useful in helping understand the potentially complicated dynamic:

"There was also no immediate comment from [Miodrag] Mejdina, 27, of Queens, who sources said is employed by Campbell's married Russian squeeze, billionaire Vladimir Doronin."


Arlington, Va.: It seems the Salahis at least cashed in a little on their infamy, though I doubt they made much money. The third crasher, who was so much more entertaiing, seems to have just disappeared after his brief appearance at the red carpet for the Grammys. Are his 15 minutes totally expired?

Amy Argetsinger: Oh, I don't know. Assuming they can stay out of jail, I don't expect we've seen the last of any of them.


Washington, D.C.: Any idea why Desiree Rogers got fired (sorry, "decided to move on") now, months after the Salahi incident? Considering her friendship with the Obamas, was this totally unexpected?

Also, I'm seeing a lot of articles about the damage this will do to the D.C. fashion scene. Roxanne, as the person who broke the story, and indirectly cost Rogers her job, do you take responsibility for Washington women now being unfashionable?

Roxanne Roberts: It was totally expected. The standard proceedure is to allow a grace period so the person can land another position and resign, rather than be fired. I'm only surprised that Rogers did not announce that she was leaving for a new job.

And can I tell you how sick I am of all this nonsense about Washington be unfashionable because Rogers is leaving? She was an extremely chic woman who spent thousands of dollars of designer clothing----certainly her right, but tone deaf to how that could be perceived in Washington. Flashing wealth (especially during lean economic times)displayed a certain lack of political savvy when the average voter is struggling to pay the mortgage.

Every city has a unique culture, and DC is full of very stylish women who spent plenty of their wardrobe. But they are careful to gauge what is appropriate in what setting, and make deliberate choices that reflect the values of the city, the voters and the times. While the first lady certainly enjoys fashion, she's much more careful about mixing moderately priced pieces in with more expensive items.

Rogers impressed the New York fashion world---unfortunately for her, she wasn't working for them.


Fairfax, Va.: I just saw an ad for the new Wesley Snipes movie, which looks really good. But I was confused -- wasn't he in jail, or did that never happened? I thought he had ducked taxes for years.

Amy Argetsinger: Snipes is due to get three years in jail -- however, the judge allowed him to remain free, even to work and travel, while he's appealing his case.


Rabies: Do you think it's because Naomi Campbell is like so 1980's that that accounts for her nasty temper or is it the fact that she probably doesn't eat enough ?

Roxanne Roberts: Personally, I think she's an entitled brat who doesn't hear "no" often enough. And a cupcake now and then couldn't hurt.


Also not running...: What a dork Harold Ford seems like for all his hokey-pokey about running for the Senate seat in NY. What exactly did that all accomplish except for him to get his name in print ?

Amy Argetsinger: Well, hey, that's something, anyway! I'm sure he genuinely thought he had a chance and then, well, realized he didn't.


Tampa, Fla.: MIA at the Olympics ceremonies -- Celine Dion and Shania Twain. I thought that was odd, too. Maybe they wanted more "appearance money" than the IOC was willing to pay.

Roxanne Roberts: I noticed that too----very strange. News reports say she missed the ceremonies because she's trying to conceive a second child at a fertility clinic, which also sounds weird. She couldn't spare a few hours? If money was the real reason, shame on them.


American Idol: Ladies, is my reaction to Watching American Idol last night proof that I'm old? Here's me last night:

"Ack, cut your Hair!" "That guy needs a haircut" "Seriously, what's with the hair?"

I'm only 28, but I feel 68. IMHO, all those boys need haircuts and they dress weird. And what's with the neck tats?

Even If I'm off-base, and the "That 70's Show" look is in an totally cool (likely) I think we can all agree that Not-Adam Lambert's mullet has to go. He literally has the exact same haircut as Florence Henderson in "The Brady Bunch"

Amy Argetsinger: His mullet has to go, right? But not him. LOVE his voice. And the fact that he seems so completely overwhelmed -- well, that's clearly his charm.

Oh, the hair is hilarious. About one-third of them -- I'm looking at you, in particular, Tim Urban -- has the kind of '70s teen-idol do we haven't really seen since the likes of Bobby Sherman.


Middle-aged mama: I appreciate your hot mess suggestions for 45+. I have settled on Sam Shepard (from afar, I am not a nutjob.) He is creative, handsome, successful, and had a DUI. His mug online is really messy. one hot mess -- sold! Sam Shepard Mug Shot (Google Images)

Amy Argetsinger: Did you wander in from another chat? I'm not sure what you're talking about, but I am definitely pro-Sam Shepard.


About Desiree: I know you make it point to avoid commenting on your colleagues work, but I found Robin Givhan's column on Desiree's departure being a great loss to the fashion world a bit of a stretch. She's leaving not because of her sense of style, but because of her work style. As social secretary, you don't spend your first state dinner as a guest, no matter how tempting that might be. And the photo shoots for Vogue and Glamour showed poor judgment. In the first few months of the new administration, the focus should be squarely on the Obamas, her employers, as she is an employee.

Roxanne Roberts: A lot of people share that opinion. Rogers is a loss to the fashion business because she was a high-profile billboard for designers---but that wasn't her job. Her job was to plan and pull off events for the Obamas, and she was less successful at that.


Joe Biden: He's used to waiting in line. He rode Amtrak for years...

Roxanne Roberts: Ha! Must be really good pizza, though.


Provo, Utah: How come Sasha and Malia aren't snowboarding rather than Alpine skiing?

Amy Argetsinger: I think they've sized up the competition for the 2018 games in Pyeongchang/Annecy/Munich or whatever, and the 2022 games in Duluth, and determined that their best chances are in Alpine.


Naomi Campbell's driver: Probaby got paid a boatload of cash to drop the charges....just sayin'.

Roxanne Roberts: He never filed charges, which is why they can't go after her. But, yeah----probably got a nice "tip" last night.


Montgomery County, Md.: Re the infamous Salahis -- On their "America's Polo Cup" Web site an announcement was recently added that they would be "co-sponsoring an event" on Thursday, March 25, details to be announced. If someone really is sponsoring something with them, I think prudence would dictate they remain anonymous.

Amy Argetsinger: I love how people go to the "America's Polo Cup" web site and anxiously report back what they've discovered to us -- as if any of it is true!


Hanover, N.H.: Any thoughts on Sarah Palin on Jay Leon versus Mitt Romney on David Letterman? I thought it a pretty neat/odd intersection of the late night rivalry with the 2012 Republican presidential primary rivalry.

Amy Argetsinger: Anyone here watch? I was madly ffwding through American Idol, and then falling asleep.


Another Olympics Issue: So, some of those outfits leave little to the imagination. I'm thinking the sliders and the speedskaters....not too many guys can pull those off, although I was not averse to watching. What in-shape folks do you cover in your column that could wear those outfits. Obviously the junior senator from Mass., but who else?

Roxanne Roberts: Washington and skin-tight Spandex? You really want to go there? TMI, if you ask me.


Baltimore, Md.: Re Ms. Rogers's departure as social secretary: Was this inevitable after the state dinner snafu, or were there other reasons for her leaving? Thanks.

Amy Argetsinger: This has been covered in pretty much every story written about her departure, but there was a sense that she had put herself front-and-center too much -- the fashion, the magazine spreads, etc. And also a sense that maybe she was chafing at being in a federal job.


Chicago, Ill.: Do you get frustrated when you're awaiting being sent to jail and it keeps getting delayed? Really annoying, isn't it? Really feeling bad for Lil Wayne.

Amy Argetsinger: I know! I'm sure he's just like, let's get it over with. He's going to do great in jail and, like T.I., come out even stronger and better than before.


Killer fit.: I just don't get people that collect this so-called murderobillia. The Smithsonian was so right to say nix on the O.J. suit but even money that some museum does take it in. Shocking and disgusting in my view.

Roxanne Roberts: Some people are fascinated. Creeps me out.


Mayor Cranky-pants: Honestly, if I have to listen to any more snarky statements from Mayor Fenty about how D.C. handled the big snow in a perfectly appropriate fashion, I think I will gag. What is his problem? He was even mean to lovely Eun Yang on their little morning news piece where he comes on to answer questions!

Amy Argetsinger: No one should be mean to Eun Yang!


Channel Surfer: All I can say is thank you God that those damn Winter Olympics are over. Sick of the medal counts and the sissy skaters and Ohno whatshisname. Give me Summer Olympics any day at least we get to see some skin and muscles...

Amy Argetsinger: But there's rarely the risk of death or cripping injury at the Summer Olympics. And can you say you genuinely didn't enjoy gawking at the mad, mad costumes?


Washington, D.C.: Are you happy Desiree is gone or do you "desiree" all that haughtiness and naughtyness rolled into one grand diva?

Roxanne Roberts: Desiree is a star who ended up in the wrong job. I wish her well in the right one.


Harold Ford publicity: It's okay by me when he gets news coverage. He's kind of cute.

Amy Argetsinger: He also stopped aging when he entered Congress. Have you noticed?


Salahis: Is Bravo still taking its sweet time trying to figure out what to do with all the footage of America's first couple of gate-crashing?

Amy Argetsinger: Bravo's not talking, but I can only imagine. It's probably both a godsend and a nightmare for them.


Desiree Rogers: Whether Ms. Rogers was an imperfect fit for D.C./White House duties, she violated international Rule #1 in any job: Don't upstage the boss. So, as she departs, are there tensions between her and the Obama's or is this just a blip in their (formerly) close relationship?

Roxanne Roberts: I have to disagree a little bit---no one upstaged Michelle Obama, who is redefining the role of first lady in her own, unique way. But I do think Rogers proved to be a distraction in ways that the White House had not anticipated or welcomed. These are smart, sophisticated people: Assuming Rogers maintains a discreet silence, everyone should remain friendly and polite.


I need to plan: Where do all the area celebs go to celebrate St. Patrick's Day?

Amy Argetsinger: ALL the area celebs -- and I mean, ALL of them, including but not limited to Alexander Ovechkin, Rahm Emanuel, Lynda Carter, Eun Yang, Ian MacKaye, Pat Sajak, Gilbert Arenas, Captain 20, Jose Andres, Christopher Hitchens, Mo'nique and Sally Quinn -- go celebrate St. Patrick's Day together in a special undisclosed location, to which you are not invited. Sorry.


Obama's check up: My husband asked an important question the other day when we were listening to the report on the president's medical check up. If you were gonna sneak a cigarette at the White House, where would you do it? Who do you bum one from? How would a president buy them?

Obama admitted that giving up cigarettes was still a challenge. The thought of him sneaking out of the White House and having his motorcade turn in at 7-11 for a pack doesn't seem very feasible.

Roxanne Roberts: One perk of being president is not having to run down to 7-11 for a pack at midnight. I assume one of his personal aides is tasked with buying smokes, and giving him one along with a lecture about how he's supposed to quit. As to where? It's a big house. I'm guessing an out-of-sight alcove or balcony----although I kind of love the notion of him shivering outside with the junior staffers.


Urgent question...: Does the five-second rule still apply if your raisin toast falls buttered side down?

Amy Argetsinger: No, of course not. Are you crazy? I mean, just look it! You disgust me.


Fertility Clinic for Ms. Dion: Can we talk about that? What is with the need to spend so much money to try to get pregnant? So many kids in the world need homes and Celene Dion is whining about her inability to carry a second chold. Mort Zuckerman -- according to -- paid someone to carry his. Why not adopt and give that infertility money to needy children's groups.

Roxanne Roberts: I'm going to cut Celine some slack here. How anyone spends thier money is an intensely personal decision, as is whether to have one or more children. You can criticize her about how much she donates to charity, if you choose, but it's not fair to suggest she has a greater obligation than any other woman seeking fertility treatments to have a second baby.


Ageless Harold Ford: Does his skin sparkle like crystals in the sunlight?

Amy Argetsinger: He can't go out in sunlight, poor thing! His car service to his MSNBC spots or visits to the owners' box at the Jets game has to come directly into the underground parking for his Manhattan apartment building.


Real Housewives: I see the New York franchise is about to start airing. Still no word on the D.C. version?

Amy Argetsinger: They say it's still on. No debute date yet. We'll see.


News reports say she missed the ceremonies because she's trying to conceive a second child at a fertility clinic, : I'm not a Celine Dion fan, and have serious reservations about her being a parent, but fertility treatments are pretty consuming and exhausting. Also, the timing is really crucial -- you can't schedule appointments to meet your own personal schedule, you have to schedule them according to how your own reproductive system is responding to the very powerful and unpleasant drugs you are on. I spent a year at a clinic some years ago for multiple rounds of treatments, and I could barely get out of bed in the morning. I was also unable to travel because I had to go to the clinic nearly every day to make sure that my ovaries had not been hyperstimulated, which can be fatal.

Roxanne Roberts: Thanks for the insight.


"Captain 20": OMG! I had forgotten all about him! Thanks for that nostalgia moment!

Amy Argetsinger: You are welcome.


Anonymous: Sorry but I missed Warren Brown's last chat and was wondering if you all had any advice on my buying a used Toyota ?

Amy Argetsinger: No, don't. And don't eat that buttered toast you dropped either.


Washington, D.C.: Wow! Maury and Connie signed a contract for a $9 million house and never settled. I wonder if they had to walk away from earnest money.

Roxanne Roberts: Probably some, but their real estate agent is also their best friend, so I'm guessing the damage was minimal.


Dion/Twain: Or, maybe the IOC has some taste. Having Twain and Dion perform would get me to to change the channel real quick.

Roxanne Roberts: Oh, snap.


Lil Wayne: Let's just hope he is using this time to record a little more to hold us over until he gets out. But really, if a guy wants to go to jail, he should be allowed to start serving time.

Amy Argetsinger: Like Avon Barksdale said on The Wire, you only do two days: The day you go in, the day you get out.

Never really understood what that mean, but it sounds cool.


Lil Wayne: What, pray tell ladies, is the need for the continual Lil Wayne updates in your column?

Amy Argetsinger: He keeps making news! He's a major superstar about to do a year in jail -- is that not a big deal? Also, don't you remember -- last year he pulled off the reproductive trifecta of fathering three children by three different women in 13 months.


Celine: Wait -- I thought she already announced she was pregnant again.

Amy Argetsinger: According to a People magazine cover story that I can't believe I read, the news leaked out that she was pregnant, and then she miscarried.


Washington, D.C.: OK -- overshare to the general public/strangers. My boss just came in and told me one of our clients gave me an award that comes with a cash award. Not the kind of thing you can really brag to coworkers abott, but I'm pretty stoked. So...imagine I'm taking you guys out to drinks or something to celebrate.

Amy Argetsinger: Okay, let's all close our eyes and spend 10 seconds imagining....

Hey, thanks for the drink.


D.C.: Marion Barry, Charlie Rangel -- really, a tough day for politicians that have been stealing from taxpayers, isn't it?

Amy Argetsinger: Life's not fair, huh?


Ithaca, N.Y.: When I watching a recent Harold Ford, Jr. and he was talking about trying terrorism suspects in his "home state" and honestly my first thought was "Why are they trying terrorism suspects in Tennessee?"

Amy Argetsinger: I know! And he's still got that slight Tennessee accent.


Eun Yung: Can't stand her exuberance that early in the morning. Yes, one should be mean to her.

Roxanne Roberts: Maybe you're not a morning person, and therefore should not be watching morning TV? Who do you like before 8 a.m.?


Richmond, Va.: After Tom Shales declared Southland to be one of the best shows ever, has anyone started watching it? I got a little lost, as I thought it was on NBC. I only tuned in for UVA's own Ben McKenzie.

Amy Argetsinger: It was on NBC, then sort of off, and then sort of on again, and now it's on TNT. Yes, I only watched it too for Ben McKenzie. I would follow the alumni of "The O.C." anywhere.


From the Amish country: This is a serious observation and might be better for the Politics Hour but anyways. I think the real reason there is so much gridlock in D.C. is because we now have celebrity politicians instead of old- fashioned dishonest lawyer politicians -- now everyone is an Idol wannabe and they's all too busy posing instead of governing.

Amy Argetsinger: Thanks for your thoughts. They let you use the Internet up there?


Merced, Calif.: Jerry Brown making a comeback would actually be kind of fun because California just isn't kooky enough anymore and I love that you describe the current gov as an ex-body builder and ex-actor. That has to hurt.

Amy Argetsinger: Hi there Merced! I visited there once, five years ago, to write a story about the opening of the new UC campus. Nice town. And then I drove through Yosemite. I agree with you completely. Arnold is a hard act to follow, and I'd hate to see California have to go back to ordinary politicians. Clearly, Jerry Brown is the only way to stay amusing.


Detroit, Mich.: Do you think the Bachelor is regretting picking Vienna? I mean seriously, the skeletons in that girl's closet. He even went against his whole family. I gaurantee they are done in 6 months (like all previous contestants).

Amy Argetsinger: Oh, I don't know. The unspoken premise behind speculation like that is that Bachelor Jake is some kind of great prize himself. I don't know that he is. So Vienna is a tawdry fame-seeker? This is a guy who decided to broadcast his love life and string along a lot of ladies on camera.


The real Celine Dion issue: Is why she has a son (who is what - 10?) with a very feminine haircut. It is so bizarre when they show photos of him.

Roxanne Roberts: He's eight, and he finally got a haircut in December.


Laura Bush -- secret smoker: Weren't there rumors that Laura Bush sneaked some cigarettes at the White House too?

Roxanne Roberts: Yes---some insiders say she never gave it up, but no one will confirm that and there are no pictures of her smoking.


Washington, D.C.: Re: Celine Dion and Shania Twain: Neil Young, who sang at the closing ceremonies, has maintained a strong public and patriotic identity as a Canadian, while Dion and Twain have not. Maybe that has something to do with it.

Amy Argetsinger: Yeah, so you say. I had totally forgotten Neil Young was Canadian. Like Donald Sutherland, he's blended in pretty well.


No more fashionable people in D.C.?: You two ladies are still there -- and we saw Amy in that gown!

Roxanne Roberts: So sweet, you, but there are hundreds of stylish women in this town.

But enough fashion for one chat: we've got a job to do! (Like, um, fill out our Oscars ballots.) In the meanwhile, send your tips and celebrity sightings to Same time, next week.

Amy Argetsinger: She meant, Talk to you next week...


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