Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Salahi Sleeze

As the facts trickle out, we're learning a lot more--none of it all too surprising--about Tariq and Michaele Salahi, the so-called White House party crashers.

Based on the emails they've released (which may be selective) they probably didn't quite just brazenly "crash" the party. But they certainly aren't honest, and apparently haven't been for some time.

To say they were "invited" is clearly incorrect. It's quite apparent that the Salahis crave publicity and attention, and desperately wanted into President Obama's first state dinner. Hey, they don't call them "Desperate Housewives" for nothing!

The Salahis sought access through a connection they made with a Pentagon staffer--who evidently had a connection with the Salahis lawyer. After a day of frantic emailing, the staffer left Michaele a phone message saying she was unsuccessful. The Salahis say they didn't get the message, but their credibility on such matters is highly suspect. (They decided just to "drop by" the White House to see if they had made the guest list, as if it was a neighbor's glitzy holiday party.)

So what was this all about, anyway? Just like the "balloon boy" stunt in Arizona, this was all about getting on unreality television. Michaele has been auditioning for Bravo Network's upcoming series, the Desperate Housewives of Washington, D.C. What better way to burnish her credentials than to get into Obama's first state dinner.

Unfortunately for Michaele, the harsh glare of the media spotlight is now revealing a woman whose whole lifestyle is based largely on deception. The Salahis apparently need a high profile lawyer because they've had quite a history of stiffing people. Today's Washington Post has a juicy piece detailing hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid claims the Salahis have left in the wake of their celebrity polo "charity" event, which, of course, is much more about them than about any charitable undertaking. Other reports have the Salahis being escorted out of a recent Congressional Black Caucus dinner because they weren't invited to that one either (guess they just dropped by).

The best one we heard, on the radio the other morning (granted, radio is about the most unreliable source of anything factual) was that after spending seven hours in the beauty salon getting ready for her shot at White House stardom, Michaele walked out without so much as a tip for anyone at the salon. Now that's how to treat the little people!

For its part, Bravo will probably drop Michaele from its Housewives series. But it SHOULDN'T do so. There is nothing more Washington, D.C. than someone getting caught up in a scandal, and then running around with lawyers and publicists trying to "manage" the story. So here's Bravo's chance to follow the action in a "real-life" (but kind of make-believe) situation of the sort that has made Washington famous. If only the story would end up with Michaele in standard issue orange prison garb, to give viewers the happy ending we so desperately crave.

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