The Reliable Source: Top Chef DC, Rielle Hunter pics, Peter Graves memories, Elton John's Atlanta pad, Jesse James cheating on Sandra Bullock?

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

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

A transcript follows.

E-mail us at reliablesource@washpost.com; bookmark us at Reliable Source; and follow us at twitter.com/reliablesource.

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Amy Argetsinger: Good morning everyone! I think I forgot to put out an opening blurb of recent topics, didn't I? So what are we talking about today -- Rielle Hunter? Peter Graves? Chris Cooley's thwarted Oscar bid? Rielle Hunter? My decision to cast Ed Harris as Hank Paulson in the financial crisis movie? The Real World DC? Or Rielle Hunter? You decide.

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Are the rumors true? : Is Top Chef really coming to DC? If so, any suggestions as to how people get selected to try out the Cheftestants' food? What I really want to know is, how do I get on the Restaurant Wars episode?!

washingtonpost.com: This just in: "Top Chef" is coming to D.C.

Amy Argetsinger: Yes, we're told "Top Chef" is really coming to D.C. That's about all we know, though, which is why it was a very short item. Joe Yonan and our other Foodie colleagues are poking around for more info, which we'll bring you as soon as we get it. Meanwhile, I'm going to stalk Carla Hall at the Embassy Chef Challenge tomorrow and try to find out if she knows anything. "Top Chef" has been good to D.C. in the past, and vice versa -- it's nice they're setting up shop here.

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Woodbridge: This is a little dated, but was Michael Blosil not receiving treatment for his depression at the time he died? I mean, his mother Marie Osmond does not lack for money to pay for whatever he needed.

Roxanne Roberts: From what I've read, this was a longstanding issue and he had received plenty of help, including several visits from his mother. He seemed to be doing better, according to classmates, but then obviously was not. Very sad for all.

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Portland OR: What on earth is Reille Hunter hoping to accomplish with her GQ interview? With the photo op (pants off; pearls on) that she claimed reduced her to two hours of tears, is she trying to win our sympathy? Is this a message to her beloved Johnny that Lisa/Rielle is not going anywhere? A message to Elizabeth? "Back off. I will outlast you."

Setting the record straight is one thing. Creating even more misery is another. Don't these people ever think of their children? Even for one tiny minute?

washingtonpost.com: Rielle Hunter pictures in GQ are "repulsive," made her cry -- but now see video of the photo shoot too! (Reliable Source)

Amy Argetsinger: Good questions, all of these. You know, not long ago, Hunter was being praised for keeping things private and (relatively) dignified. (Link to that Newsweek essay to follow.) But when everyone else in this melodrama has had their say, the temptation to do the same is probably just too powerful... If you've read the interview, you see she really opened the floodgates. If I were her best friend/lawyer/clergyperson, I would have told her, don't talk. Just don't.

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Cleveland Park, Washington, DC: That Rielle Hunter pic would be kind of sexy if it weren't so damn creepy.

Roxanne Roberts: The one with the stuffed toys? Dora the Explorer? There's a porn film title waiting to happen.

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washingtonpost.com: The Quiet Dignity of Rielle Hunter (Newsweek, Feb. 22)

Amy Argetsinger: Here's that now-obsolete essay praising Rielle's discretion.

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Peter Graves: I have to say I had no idea that he was James Arness' younger brother. Looking at pictures now, I can see the resemblance.

washingtonpost.com: Gallery: 'Mission: Impossible' star Peter Graves dies

Roxanne Roberts: Me too! I just found out yesterday when I was researching his life. And I feel as if I should have known that, given he was from Minnesota, my home state!

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DC: Rielle Hunter reports that she was in bed with John Edwards minutes after she met him for the first time. Forget what that says about her. What it says about him is that this wasn't atypical or unusual behavior. What do we know about Edwards' other dalliances? Or wouldn't we even know about Hunter if she hadn't gotten pregnant?

Amy Argetsinger: There's been such a rush to criticize Rielle Hunter -- and you know, there's a lot to criticize there -- but in the end, her behavior is a lot less relevant than John Edwards's here. HE'S the one who, in addition to being married to a very sick woman, had legions of people looking to him in the middle of a high-stakes presidential campaign.

We don't really know about Edwards and other women. Before Hunter, there were really never any rumors about him that I'd heard, or that anyone has even exhumed post-scandal. However, in her interview, Hunter implies there were others before her.

Would we have known about any of this if Hunter hadn't gotten pregnant? Good question. Rumors were swirling about their relationship, and it certainly seems that she was surrounded by some less-than-discreet friends if news of their affair was making it to the Enquirer. If she hadn't gotten pregnant, though, the affair would have been much less visible, and much less provable.

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Washington, DC: Re: John Edward's baby momma: Do you feel sorry for her or does she deserve all the redicule she is getting? She is a homewrecker (which isn't to let him off the hook - can't believe how much I used to support that creep) but she seems slightly, I don't know, off her meds, if you know what I mean. Mainly, I just feel sorry for the kid, who probably doesn't have a chance in heck of normalcy.

Amy Argetsinger: I feel sorry for her, and I also feel like she brought i on herself. And I feel very, very bad for this kid, who is going to have a hard tme of it growing up.

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Washington DC: I am conflicted about the Rielle Hunter miasma ... Her cluelessness, self-centeredness and general ickiness make her interesting to watch in a train-wreck sort of way. (See Lohan, Lindsay) The terrible effect this whole thing has on several children makes it heartbreaking. But I am mostly appalled at myself and my long-lasting admiration of John Edwards and his smooth voice and charm. I hope to never again be so hoodwinked by a snaky politician. Bleah.

Roxanne Roberts: We were having a discussion about this at dinner last night. Some people get to a point where they start to believe their own lies and come across as completely honest when they're talking---and even a lie detector would register them as telling the truth. I can imagine Edwards being utterly convincing one minute saying one thing, then utterly convincing taking the opposite position the next.

My favorite part? Rielle saying although he made have lied to other people, he's NEVER lied to her. HAW!

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East Lansing, Mich.: My casting pick for Hank Paulson wouldn't be Ed Harris. I didn't know you had a Paulson crush.

My own would be actor Vincent Schiavelli.

Amy Argetsinger: Aw, no way! You're so mean. It's definitely Ed Harris.

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College Park, Md.: Firedoglake.com's Jane Hamsher had a really bad personal news day yesterday. She wrote baseless attacks on Washington Indenpendent's Dave Weigel, Democratic political strategist Steve Hildebrand and Ohio congressman Dennis Kucinich. Plus her involvement with a Tea Party organizer has been exposed.

Just curious if you followed the various Hamsher stories yesterday? Personally, Hamsher is making me think Rahm Emanuel has a point.

Amy Argetsinger: No, sorry, I didn't. It's such a big World Wide Web out there.

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Arlington, Va: I can pass along some second-hand celebrity sightings by a local. A friend of mine was in Atlanta last weekend in somewhat of a dive bar. Elton John and a couple of his friends were at the bar. He chatted with him for about 20 minutes. Very down to earth and nice guy....not a typical VIP demanding VIP treatment. Apparently he has a place in Atlanta, if you're wondering what he was doing in a bar there.

Amy Argetsinger: I don't know what's a more unlikely allegation -- that Elton John was in a dive bar, or that Elton John has a place in Atlanta.

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Washington, DC: Tom just confessed to not realizing he had been sitting next to Sally Fields while taking the train from here to NYC. Would you go over to him and give a sigh of despair at his cluelessness?

washingtonpost.com: Ask Tom: Our food critic talks shop

Roxanne Roberts: Let's stop and think: Without makeup and that perky Boniva smile, are you sure you'd recognize her in the morning? Then again, he WAS sitting next to her. Does that mean he travels in first class or that Sally is a woman of the people? So many questions....

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Washington, DC: Saw a story on Jesse James cheating on Sandra Bullock with a tattoo "model." Heard of this?

washingtonpost.com: In Touch: Jesse James Cheating On Sandra Bullock With Tattoo Model

Amy Argetsinger: In Touch will also tell you that Brad and Jen are back together again, so consider the source.

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Cleveland Park, Washington, DC: Triple-A wrote: "If I were her best friend/lawyer/clergyperson, I would have told her, don't talk. Just don't."

If I were her clergyperson, I think I would have had a few other things to say as well.

And Rox, I was referring to the picture with the stuffed animals - the only one I've seen. You mean there's more?

washingtonpost.com: You can see two others here.

Roxanne Roberts: Plus there's a video from the photo shoot, where you can see Rielle in a tight t-shirt and running shorts. She actually has a great body, which you can't tell from the white shirt poses. I won't tell anyone you peeked.

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Washington, D.C.: I don't follow New York politics as much as I should. Is it true that the husband of "no B.S." Campbell Brown (that her own title for herself) will run for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate?

Does that mean Campbell Brown is out of the anchor desk? Face it, it's Washington. If Teresa Heinz or Connie Schultz feels they're only "the wife of a senator" when they're in Washington despite their career, how will Campbell get past it. Senator's wife in Washington are just treated differently whether it should happen or not.

washingtonpost.com: AP sources: Senate run likely for ex-war spokesman

Amy Argetsinger: Dan Senor, the former spokesman for the coalition authority in Iraq, and also Campbell Brown's husband, has been mulling the Senate race, and now a couple of news outlets say it's likely he'll jump in.

What this means for Campbell Brown's career is unclear. You'll remember, when Arnold Schwarzenegger ran for governor, Maria Shriver had to take an extended leave, now permanent, amid debate over whether she could still be an objective journalist while married to a politican.

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Graves & Arness: Yet another thing that I learned from "Mystery Science Theater 3000" (also Minnesota-spawned)! I think it was noted at some point because both of them made some awesomely cheesy monster movies in the '50s.

Roxanne Roberts: Were there any non-cheesy monster movies in the '50s?

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Edwards: I deeply regret caucusing for him in '04. If more of us in Iowa had just ignored him then, maybe all this wouldn't be happening.

Roxanne Roberts: Can we sue you? Class-action suit for exposing us to New-Age political porn?

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Elton John: "I don't know what's a more unlikely allegation -- that Elton John was in a dive bar, or that Elton John has a place in Atlanta."

He has primarily lived in Atlanta for years. I know -- who knew? And I'll admit that I learned this from an article in "Parade" a couple of weeks ago.

washingtonpost.com: This is old but... A Tour Of Elton John's Atlanta Home (popdirt)

Roxanne Roberts: Just goes to show. I wouldn't have figured Atlanta---either New York, LA or some little place in the middle of nowhere.

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Washington, DC: I think you hit the nail on the head regarding the whole Edwards thing. She's kind of pathetic, but he is a monumental creep. And, he was so reckless. I'm not even that well connected at all, and I had heard the rumors long before it was published. A lot of DC people jumped ship to Obama in 2007 because people were hearing stuff about the creepy relationship between Edwards and her. When the rumors started going around, it had a feel of truth to it, precisely because there was absolutely never a rumor about him before and enough people at state party events and whatnot, who weren't Edwards loyalists, were seeing them and wondering "what the heck?"

Amy Argetsinger: Look, obviously, it's a bad and wrong decision for anyone to have an extramarital affair, and it's a very stupid and bad and wrong decision for any politician to do so... But there have been generations of Bad and Wrong Political Guys who've at least been shrewd and calculating enough to, if they're going to have an affair, have it with someone DISCREET. John Edwards should have realized the minute he met Rielle Hunter, bless her heart, that she was a chatterbox loose cannon who would be his undoing. Beyond all the moral and legal questions, this was just risk-blind short-sighted impulse behavior of the scariest kind.

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Nosy Parker: Those photos of Rielle in the white shirt and a strand of pearls brought back memories of the epi of "Designing Women" where a (male) photographer does fantasy portraits of each of the four women, except Julia Sugarbaker (Dixie Carter) refuses in no uncertain terms (!) when he wants her to pose in a white shirt and sucking on a strand of pearls. Between Rielle and Julia, only one of them has any class, and it ain't Rielle. I feel especially sorry for all the Edwards children, being humiliated so publicly by this entire sorry mess.

Amy Argetsinger: See if you can google around on YouTube and find that scene. Funny.

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Casting picks: For the Reliable Source movie, Chelsea Handler for Amy (after she colors her hair, of course).

Amy Argetsinger: Er, no.

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New Market VA: RE: Peter Graves brother of James Arness. Maybe you have to be "of a certain age", but I have always known this since the days of "Gunsmoke" and "Fury". Was very surprised to various posts this week that it was so little known!

Amy Argetsinger: True story: One of our colleagues here -- I won't say her name, but she's a little younger than me -- didn't know until I told her last week that Warren Beatty and Shirley MacLaine are siblings. You knew THAT, right?

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to Woodbridge: Good question, but sadly, having money means little when it comes to the success of depression treatment. The disease, and yes it is a disease just like cancer, is pernicious and many kinds don't respond to talk therapy or meds. Further, the disease itself robs the sufferer from any ability to seek or benefit from treatment.

It is a dark, dark place where the only thing the sufferer can see is pain and hopelessness and it is literally a physical effort to move. I have been there, and for someone who has not experienced it, it can be impossible to understand. You have a little voice in your head that reinforces how worthless, stupid, and loathsome you are and how much the world would benefit if you were not there. Really, many times I was sure my family would be better off without me. You say and do things you cannot believe later, when you are out of it (if you are). It is as if you are possessed. Yes, you are extremely selfish (people always say suicide is a selfish act), but when you are in that darkness, you don't see it that way. Your pain is deep and unceasing and death seems the only possible way to relieve it, and relieve the world of your presence. I am extremely lucky mine did respond to meds (and exercise is KEY, too), and that my wonderful spouse saw that the person saying and doing hateful things was not really me.

Sorry for the long post, but I want to try to correct some of the misconceptions out there about the disease. Darkness Visible by Styron is worth a read (very short book, but captures a lot of this experience).

Roxanne Roberts: Thanks for writing.

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Eugene, Ore.: Kate Winslet and Sam Mendes split? Really, I don't know why, but I thought they had a nice life together. Actually, maybe it's just Winslet is one of those actress that talks a lot about being a mother when doing junkets and talk shows to promote her latest film.

Plus, wonder if her feud with late night talk show host Craig Ferguson will end anytime soon?

washingtonpost.com: Kate Winslet, Sam Mendes separate after 7 years

Amy Argetsinger: Exactly. We're always saying, "but they seemed like such a solid couple," as if we know anything.

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Vincent Schiavelli: Sorry to report, but he died in December 2005.

Amy Argetsinger: Another reason that's not going to work.

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Elton John does have a place in Atlanta: Has owned it since the 90s. Even a recent stalker there. Check news reports.

washingtonpost.com: Ga. man who posted 'Elton John must die' arrested (KLTV, March 11)

Amy Argetsinger: Huh. Well, I guess once you have a local stalker, then you're a legitimate part of the community.

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Amherst, Mass.: I remember Campbell Brown went on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" to promote her new show on CNN. She described it as "Politician A says it's sunny and Politicians B says it's raining. Well, you don't have to report both sides if you look the window and see whether it's sunny or raining."

My first thought is "What if it's cloudy?"

Roxanne Roberts: Pundit A says things are dark and will be darker, pundit B says things are clearing up and the sun will come out---then breaks into, "Tomorrow!" And Sandy comes bounding in.

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Lancaster, PA: Re: Reille Hunter's photos Being in the biz, I can't believe she didn't know what was going on. The photographer was showing her what he was getting via a computer! Then again, maybe she thought he would crop the photos, hence the fact that she wasn't wearing pants wouldn't be an issue. Who do you think will snag her first for a TV interview? Barbara Walters (sounds like she has the inside track)or Oprah (maybe she's too chummy with Elizabeth)?

Amy Argetsinger: Yeah, we were having the same tautological debate here: "Well, maybe she thought these photos were going to be close-ups that didn't show she was pantsless... Well, but then, she should have worn pants!"

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Monster movies: "Were there any non-cheesy monster movies in the '50s?"

Probably not, but there were degrees of cheesiness, sometimes based on premise (though it was actually from 1972, I think "Night of the Lepus" takes the prize) and sometimes based on production values (see the costumes and special effects in the films chosen for "MST3K" -- also, anything by Ed Wood, "Plan 9" being the ultimate).

Roxanne Roberts: Never saw any of them, but I'm not a monster movie fan.

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Ben's Next Door : Saw Omarossa at Ben's Next Door last night. Course we had to debate it was her because we'd heard there was a boob job involved (she must have been very tiny before) anywho, nicely dressed and no diva behavior from what we saw. Oh and the food at Ben's...deee-lisicious!

Amy Argetsinger: Good to hear. Yes, Omarosa is more or less local.

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Pant-less, boy shirt, pearls: Except for creepy stuffed animals/manimals alongside, I like the idea of mistresses posing pant-less, in boy shirt and pearls for the boudoir photo to be sent publicly to their (former) loves. What could tick off the wife more? Maybe GQ could get a spread (haha) of Tiger's collected girlfriends similarly posed?

My question: As you're in the game, does it ever astonish you that people make such poor choices? How do you explain the need to go public?

Amy Argetsinger: The desire to be private is so often counterweighted very heavily by the desire to explain yourself.

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Rielle's photos: While the Dora photo is the one getting all the attention, I think the most disturbing is the one where she's holding the kid. That does not look like a warm embrace, and the kid doesn't seem to want to be there. They seem to have no connection. There's nothing in that photo that says to me "I love my little boy." As one who has a little boy, I find that really sad.

washingtonpost.com: Rielle has a daughter, Frances Quinn.

Amy Argetsinger: Word. That's a little girl.

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N.M. Va: Elton John has had a home in Atlanta for years! And why wouldn't he be in a dive bar?

Amy Argetsinger: I don't know. I just assume that Elton John is champagne kisses and caviar dreams 24/7.

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Campbell Brown: I love her and in fact often watch her show - and I never watch news stuff at night. And of course I don't want another Republican in the Senate - so I hope he doesn't run and if he does, that he loses.

I guess we should assume he's consulted his wife and she understands the implications, though. Maybe she's ready to spend more time at home with their kids.

Amy Argetsinger: By this point, I assume he's looped her in. Curious to know how this will play out.

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Amy Argetsinger: So, anyone heard any good jokes lately?

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Orono, Maine: That previous comment mentioned Teresa Heinz and Connie Schultz, and it got me wondering, who is currently the most interesting spouse of a U.S. Senator?

Didn't Claire McCaskill's husband get killed in a drug deal gone wrong a few years ago?

washingtonpost.com: Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) (Whorunsgov.com)

"In 2005, McCaskill's ex-husband David Exposito was found dead on a Kansas City street with a gunshot wound to the neck. Police said he had been thrown from a car after being shot, and his 1979 Thunderbird was discovered nearby with its gold rims missing."

Amy Argetsinger: Wow! If he were still alive -- and still married to her -- he'd probably be the most interesting spouse in Congress. Otherwise, it's definitely Teresa. Link with my favorite bit of proof to follow.

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RESTON, VA: I did not know that Shirley MacLaine and Warren Beatty were related. I'm 31. I feel a bit dumb

Amy Argetsinger: Learning about the MacLaine-Beatty relationship is one of those rites of passage. Welcome to adulthood.

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Athens, Ga.: The thing that turned me off following the Rielle Hunter story was how much the National Enquired milked it, even trying to get a Pulitzer Price of it.

John Edwards was third in the Democratic primary of two of the stronger and historically significant candidates in a lifetime. He wasn't going to Attorney General, let alone the Vice-President, whether or not Rielle Hunter ever existed.

A bunch "he might have" don't make him for significant.

Roxanne Roberts: The Enquirer was the only media organization to go with this story, which (lucky for them) turned out to be true. Other outlets wouldn't touch it because Edwards denied it and the Enquirer's history and sourcing made it unreliable. So it may have seemed like it milked the story, but was really the only place to pursue it. But it hasn't won a Pulitzer Prize and probably won't.

As for Edwards: In politics, you never know who is going to end up where. Hardly anyone guessed Dick Cheney would end up as vice-president.

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Eric Massa: Do you guys know anything about Eric Massa's wife/family? I do want to honor their privacy, but it seems strange that they are in such a void. Your thoughts on respect for families when one member causes such public embarrassment?

Amy Argetsinger: Oh, lord, do I ever feel for his family. He really blew it. You know, at one point, he said he was stepping down to avoid an ethics investigation that would bring embarrassment to his family.... but THEN he starts mouthing off with all his conspiratorial accusations against the Democratic leadership, while telling kooky stories about himself, and it's like, way to go, Eric -- way to steer the embarrassing spotlight away from yourself.

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Boulder, Colo.: I think Christopher Walken will be neat casting pick for Hank Paulson.

Amy Argetsinger: Hmmm. I don't know. What did you all think about Lyle Lovett for Timothy Geithner?

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washingtonpost.com: In her sweet little ketchup-red gown (Boston Herald, Dec. 17, 2009)

Amy Argetsinger: Ah, Teresa!

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Casting Thread: Okay, I think Ed Harris is AWESOME, as is his wife, Amy Madigan. But for Paulson? Aside from the being one of us band of bald brothers, I'm not seeing it. Could he yes, of course, should he...

Oh and Chelsea Handler as Amy? Where can I get what you're smo..er drinking?

Amy Argetsinger: Oh, come on, look at the photos. I spent hours looking for photos where Hank Paulson looks exactly like Ed Harris. (Link to follow.)

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Anonymous: Former wrestling executive Linda McMahon holds a 10-point lead in the Republican Senate primary in Connecticut, according to a Quinnipiac poll.

I think Vince McMahon would be a pretty interesting senator's spouse.

Amy Argetsinger: True, that!

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Kate Winslet: Next time you see her, could you give her my number? Maybe we could get together for a drink after work.

Amy Argetsinger: I will definitely do that.

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washingtonpost.com: Who should play the Washington financial-crisis players in HBO's "Too Big to Fail"? (Reliable Source, March 14)

Amy Argetsinger: Dead ringers!

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Atlanta, GA: Re: Elton John...it's a simple typo. Not "dive bar," but "diva bar."

Amy Argetsinger: Hahahahaha!

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Tacky, tacky: I find Eliz Edwards extraordinarily tacky, too. Just shut up about it! Does SHE think of the effect on the children?? I felt the same way about Jenny Sanders. Just keep it private, please. The children don't need to see mom trashing dad on TV. Ugh. No class. Eliot Spitzer's wife has done this right.

Roxanne Roberts: As I've said before, Elizabeth Edwards is probably furious and deservedly so. That being said, I don't think anything she's saying right now is helping the situation, which has spun out of her control. Same for Jenny. I don't know if Spitzer's wife is doing this "right," but she's not making it worse.

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Baltimore MD: Rielle and Edwards: Is it just me, or does the fact that she calls him "Johnny" make Edwards sound like a two bit hood from a Warner's movie of the 1930s. It's a classic bad boy name--which is the movie that sent up gangster films was called "Johnny Dangerously."

Amy Argetsinger: I kept thinking of the song, "Johnny Angel, how I love you..." Yuck.

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re: I did not know that Shirley MacLaine and Warren Beatty were related. I'm 31. I feel a bit dumb: You're not dumb, you just haven't accessed your previous lives yet.

Amy Argetsinger: ha.

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Washington, D.C.: Just finished the Newsweek article and I could help but wonder what Rielle Hunter thought when it came out, knowing she had given an interview to GQ a month earlier.

Amy Argetsinger: She was probably all, like, whoops!

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Edward's hair: It's the hair. Women love the hair. Especially on guys above 40! How could she resist?

Roxanne Roberts: Ewww. Never date a guy who spends more time on his hair than you do.

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Enquiring minds want to know...: What's Rielle Hunter's main source of income nowadays (besides child-support from John Edwards)? She claims GQ didn't pay her for that, ahem, spread.

Amy Argetsinger: Heh heh. It wasn't quite clear from the story that she has a source of income other than child support.

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Sad for Hunter?: No way! As they say...she made her bed...

The one I -do- feel sorry for is her child, who looks so cute in the one photo...but how icky was that to include her in a photo? I'd really hate to see the issues she has when she grows up and has to come to terms with all of this...(not just what her Mom is doing, but what her Dad has done, too...). Let's hope she's a strong little girl as she grows up...

Amy Argetsinger: Yep.

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Campbell - sunny or cloudy: Gee, I interpret her comment to mean, "we won't rely on partisans to characterize the situation, we'll analyze it ourselves."

What a refreshing concept for a cable news show!

Roxanne Roberts: Weather is easy compared to politics.

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College Park: My hypothesis is that on some level, Edwards did himself in on purpose. I mean, isn't Rielle exactly who you'd pick for that? Elizabeth looks like she could be a very scary lady. I'm guessing he wanted out and this is how he made it happen, consiously or not.

Amy Argetsinger: You mean, that this was a self-destructive kind of thing? Who knows. Possibly. Or maybe he's just a short-sighted, egomaniacal jerk.

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Meta-joke: A priest, a rabbi, and a minister walk into a bar. The bartender says, "What is this, a joke?"

Amy Argetsinger: One of my favorites.

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Good joke: A white horse walks into a bar. "Say," the bartender says, "we have a scotch named after you." The horse says, "You have a scotch named Eric?"

Roxanne Roberts: No scotch jokes on Saint Patrick's Day! Got a good Irish Whiskey joke?

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New Haven: I LOVE your idea of Ed Harris as Hank Paulson. Same intensity. For the other players, Michael J Fox as Tim Geithner, Patrick Stewart as Ben Bernake...

Amy Argetsinger: Michael J. Fox -- provocative idea.

No, we're definitely going with Stanley Tucci for Bernanke. I mean, he's grown the beard and everything -- we owe it to him.

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Brother Sister Celebs: Other Celeb pairs:

Julia Roberts and her brother Eric

Susan Sarandon and her brother Chris (Princess Bride)

Roxanne Roberts: Chris is Susan's ex-hisband, not her brother.(Amy gets credit for knowing that without looking it up.) And I just feel sorry for Eric.

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New Market Va: MacClain/Beatty siblings: Knew that, too, and the more they age the more they resemble one another. What do they put in the water up there? Since you and Sandra Bullock also partake, you should know.

Amy Argetsinger: Um, something that makes us look more like our siblings as we age? That's sort of happening to me and my brother, but mostly when my hair gets brassy in summer, making me look like a redhead.

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In politics, you never know who is going to end up where. Hardly anyone guessed Dick Cheney would end up as vice-president. : This will date me, but: Remember William Miller? He was an obscure congressman from upstate New York who was Barry Goldwater's running mate in 1964. In later years he played off his 15 minutes of fame as a spokesman for American Express in the company's "Do you know me?" advertisements.

Roxanne Roberts: Heck, most actual vice-presidents could do that commercial.

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Massa: What I found really interesting about the whole Massa thing was that his Chief of Staff apparently alerted the powers that be that his behavior was a bit off. Invites to non-relevant staffers who are 20ish to lunch, etc. Given that this is a field/industry known for high level staffers having previous histories with their bosses it seemed odd that the CoS went right to the ethics folks. Doesn't sound like Massa had that many people on his side to begin with. I'm thinking of Condit's CoS throwing out the watch box or something like that.

Amy Argetsinger: And think about it -- he had only been in office for less than a year at that point.

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Sen McCaskill: Fascinating link, thanks. When she was running for the senate, I attended a small breakfast fundraiser for her in DC - and by small, I mean there were 12 of us around the table. I had no idea what she looked like and when I came in, I went over to the beverages to pour myself some water. She was doing the same and poured some for me - I thanked her and introduced myself and then learned she was the candidate.

She had a good bit about her fundraising - she said, in response to someone who said, what if we can't afford to make a big donation, "just donate whatever you'd spend on a blouse - if that's $15, great. If that's $250, congratulations and thanks. I love to get 'blouse money.'"

Amy Argetsinger: Blouse money -- that's funny.

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N.M. Va: Dick Cheney appointed himself Vice President, but that's a subject for another forum, I'm sure.

Roxanne Roberts: Yeah, better not to go there.

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Best babe/mistress of 2009: Think you should conduct annual contest of "best" mistress, wronged-woman, babe, party crasher -- categories wherein we can all vote for our favorite astonishment of the year. What do you think?

Amy Argetsinger: Hmmm -- would being "best" mistress mean that you were realllly good, or realllly bad?

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Jokes, good is debatable: I'd call Glenn Beck a half-wit but that would be giving him too much credit.

According to the new Texas history books, the United States joined Texas.

Amy Argetsinger: No, really? Hilar.

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Washington, DC: Can I just say I adoooooooore Stanley Tucci? He's one of my favorite actors ever. Great casting call!

Amy Argetsinger: You are welcome.

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Dead ringers: I'll concede that they are similar, but Paulson has more of a lantern jaw. Again, if Harris were cast I'd be perfectly fine with it. I'm just not sure he's as close as you think. Maybe my judgement is off.

On a separate note, in the blockbuster film about the Post, I was thinking Amy Adams for you and Bebe Neuwirth for Rox.

Amy Argetsinger: I don't think Bebe Neuwirth is tall enough. I'm sticking with Sela Ward for Roxanne. That's who we cast in the Lifetime movie about her wacky journey to the Gingerbread Nationals.

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Speaking of Irish Whiskey: Is the Prez doing a St. Patty's day appearance at any local pubs ??

washingtonpost.com: Video: White House goes green for St. Patrick's Day

Amy Argetsinger: Is this a new video of the green fountains in front of the White House? Or is the same video as last year that we're passing off as this year's? You should all go look at this right now. It is the most fascinating web video of all time.

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Jokes: What does a snail say whilst riding on a turtle's back?

"Wheeeeee!"

Roxanne Roberts: Okay, I laughed at that one.

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A GREAT "first grade" joke...: OK, heard straight from the horse's mouth (i.e., a first grader)...as a teacher, my all time favorite...

(boy) turns around and says to his friend, "Hey, did you hear about the dummy who said "no"?"

(friend) says, "No".

(boy) says, "well, you're the dummy"!

Maybe it's my strange sense of humor, but this (at least in person) was SOOOOOO funny!!!!! This happened almost 20 years ago, and I still get a kick out of it!...

Amy Argetsinger: Ahh hahahhaahah! LOL!

But I'm think I'm probably laughing at you, not with you. If this was hilarious when you first heard it 20 years ago... are you 26 now?

Oh, actually, just re-read this. If a 6-year-old were *telling* the joke -- and he had really great delivery -- it would probably be pretty great.

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Rielle Hunter's income: I'm betting that Hunter herself was the source of the National Enquirer's reporting.

And, BTW, I do believe that the NE deserves a Pulitzer for its work on this. They went where the liberal MSM was afraid to go.

Amy Argetsinger: Just having read enough about this, I suspect she was not.

However -- though this is just a hunch, sheer speculation not based on anything -- I wouldn't be surprised if it was people in her life who were the ones who shared.

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jokes: where do generals keep their armies?

in their sleevies!

Amy Argetsinger: Edgy material!

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Washington DC: Why are only women accused of being "homewreckers"? Doesn't it take two, or often three people to wreck a home? And aren't both horizontal-mambo partners equally complicit? Between the accusations leveled at Angelina Jolie and now Rielle Hunter, I just have to wonder why so many women prefer to blame other women, and give the guys a pass. Are these women perhaps hoping to stay on the guys' good side, and perhaps be the next Angie/Rielle themselves? I don't get it.

Roxanne Roberts: All true, but the "other" women/man gets extra blame for knowingly engaging with a married husband/wife. In a perfect world, a couple with a bad marriage would split before one of them starts up with a new partner---and that's assuming straying spouses are not content to stay in their marriages. It's messy.

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Irish Whiskey Joke: Not quite a joke but...McNulty heads off to a political fundraiser and seeks out some Jameson from the open bar. The bartender says "I've got Bushmills". McNulty protests "That's Protestant Whiskey". Bartender says "Yeah, but it's free". McNulty says "give me a shot".

Amy Argetsinger: Season three of "The Wire." And yes, it made me laugh.

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Remember William Miller? He was an obscure congressman from upstate New York who was Barry Goldwater's running mate in 1964.: William Miller is the father of comedienne and talk radio hostess Stephanie Miller!

Roxanne Roberts: It's a small world, after all.

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Washington DC: Re the In Touch story on Bullock and Jesse James: I must remind you ladies that some weeks ago you said, re this union and the fact that James was in a contentious battle with his ex, Janine Lindemuller, "Never marry a guy whose first wife was a porn star."

Amy Argetsinger: Neither of us remember saying that. But I don't know why we didn't.

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Speaking of political mistresses...: Whatever became of Fanne Fox? Is she even still alive?

Amy Argetsinger: Ah, the Argentine Firecracker, the woman who jumped into the Tidal Basin when the cops caught her with Wilber Mills. That is a good question. Her Wikipedia page suggests she is still alive.

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DC: All time favorite joke:

Horse walks into bar. Bartender says, "Hey bud, why the long face?"

Amy Argetsinger: Was his name Eric? hahaha. I'm still laughing over that one.

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First grade joke...: Laughing at me??!! Now, my feelings are hurt!...

Yes, what makes it great IS the delivery...and for a first grader to do it, is even funnier. Honestly, it was hilarious...the second boy walked right into it, and when he got it...ok, well maybe you had to be there...

I teach college kids (future teachers), and when I tell them this, and THEY don't get it, it's almost as funny! :-) (and yes, ok, I am 29...ha!)

Amy Argetsinger: Good stuff, thanks!

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maybe it's just Winslet is one of those actress that talks a lot about being a mother when doing junkets and talk shows to promote her latest film: Talk about trying to blame the wife for the husband's infidelity. Reportedly Sam Mendes has a long history of cheatin'.

Amy Argetsinger: Well, I don't know that he does. But, fwiw, the British tabloids are suggested that the actress Rebecca Hall (from "Vicky Cristina Barecelona" and "Frost/Nixon" and the latest Vanity Fair cover lineup of pretty white starlets) is an ambiguous factor in the breakup.

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Washingon, DC: What's the latest with our town's favorite train wrecks the Salahis? Are they going to be on the Real Housewives show or not?

Amy Argetsinger: No one knows WHAT's up with Real Housewives. Bravo hasn't put it on their schedule yet. Which doesn't mean they're not going to run it... though Lisa de Moraes is on the case. Link to follow.

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NCAA predictions?: Ladies, any suggestions for putting my bracket together?

washingtonpost.com: Fill out your bracket here!

Amy Argetsinger: Yeah, what she said!

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washingtonpost.com: Read this: Are D.C.'s 'Real Housewives' doomed? (Reliable Source)

Amy Argetsinger: Actually, from here, click through to Lisa's story.

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Mendes and Winslet: I blame his neck beard. Have you seen that thing??

Amy Argetsinger: Ha.

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Amy Argetsinger: I know that Roxanne wanted to say goodbye personally, but she's tied up on a very important phone call. So to me the task falls to bid you adieu until we meet again next week. Think of us, though, and drop us a line now and then at reliablesource@washpost.com. And thanks for laughs today.

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


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