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Every Photograph Steals Your Soul December 1, 2009

Posted by monty in news.
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The news so far this week has been a case study in everything I hate about the news.  I’m not talking about President’s Obama’s oh-so-anti-war resolution to send tens of thousands of more troops to Afghanistan, or the NBC Universal/Comcast merger, which will create a virtually unprecedented entertainment monopoly.  Nope.  Those two things are undoubtedly horrifying, but I’m talking about something so pernicious, so soul-shattering, so undeniably horrendous that it makes the thought of nuclear annihilation seem like a party replete with puppies and unicorns and rainbows.  I’m talking about Tareq and Michaele Salahi.

I don’t honestly even know what to think about these two yahoos.  For anyone blissfully unaware of this couple of attention whores, they apparently made it into last week’s White House State Dinner uninvited, and in the process managed to get their photo taken with Vice President Biden (and I seem to recall seeing a picture of them with Obama, but I was at my parents’ house in a tryptophan-induced stupor, so I could be mistaken).  Okay, so clearly this is a major security breach, and sort of a black eye for the Secret Service (especially when you consider how the number of death threats made against the president has risen exponentially since Obama took office).  But part of me thinks this might as well be titled, “Balloon Boy Goes to the White House.”  The Salahis were on The Today Show this morning, stating unequivocally that they had email confirmation of their invitation to the dinner.  They are, they said, fully cooperating with the Secret Service, and “when the truth comes out” they will be fully vindicated.  My favorite thing about statements like that one is that no one ever, ever says, “When the truth comes out, we’re going to be in deep shit.”  Nope, truth always equals vindication.

I’m not dismissing the possibility that there was a colossal mix-up.  I don’t know how many levels of bureaucracy there are in these things, or how many people are authorized to give invitations.  But, man.  When you find out that this couple is currently shopping their story to the networks for six-figure deals, that they previously crashed the Congressional Black Caucus dinner, and that Michaele Salahi – and this is the kicker – is currently trying to be cast on The Real Housewives of D.C. (and don’t even get me started on the vile bottom-feeders who populate those shows), it certainly doesn’t look like the Salahis are just a couple of innocent dupes who are the victims of an unfortunate misunderstanding.  It looks like we have yet another couple who are obsessed with achieving fame at any price.

The most pathetically interesting thing about their interview this morning is how the Salahis adopted ye olde American habit of playing the victim.  Their lives are ruined – nay, destroyed – by this controversy, in which they were unwilling participants.  Everything that has happened since the dinner has been to their detriment, and it’s apparently tantamount to a plot to bring personal opprobrium to the Salahi name.  I know this is how the game is played, so, to see it through to its logical conclusion, would anyone like to place a wager on how soon they enter rehab and accept Jesus as their personal saviour if it turns out they’re lying?

This morning, the Salahis told Matt Lauer that they hope to be able to return to the show in a few days once the Secret Service investigation is complete.  At that time, they said they’d love to tell their full and complete story, which I guess we’re supposed to infer will end in their redemption – perhaps with a permanent guest room in their name at the White House.  Again, I know this is all part of the game.  I know you don’t go on a national news show to proclaim your guilt.  And I’ll be willing to write a full retraction singing the Salahis’ praises and criticizing the shoddy practices at the White House if turns out that they are, in fact, telling the truth.  But it’ll be interesting to see if they’re still so interested in being famous if the conclusion is that they’re simply garden-variety trespassers in formal wear.  If that turns out to be the case – and I think there’s every indication that it will – can we please relegate these two parasites to a state of perpetual anonymity?

*****

Current listening:

Sleep – Holy Mountain (1993)

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Comments»

1. Amanda - December 1, 2009

You did see them shaking hands with the president! What I would like to know, if we find out they were actually invited, is who in the hell invited them? What have they actually done other then be white and rich? I guess that offers up at least one invite to the white house in this backwards, media whore of a country. Oh well… I give them a day and a half to jump on the rehab band wagon with Dr. Drew once we find out they weren’t ever invited. I hear that Baldwin brother is coming back.


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