As if we couldn't end 2009 without yet another gates scandal, November brought us Gatecrash 2009 to go along with Gates-gate and Kanye-gate (it should be noted that I'm a bit disappointed that "gate" was used as a prefix instead of a suffix this time). Though all of the gates are really unfortunate, the factors surrounding Gatecrash makes it an expecially cringeworthy gate for me, namely for the fact that the it involves the President, and the fact that the individuals who instigated this did it purposely for attention.
2009 has taken attention whoring to a whole new level. There are plenty of attention whores out there, and I admit that I can be a bit of one myself sometimes, but not many people go to the extent that some people have this year to gain international attention for their publicity stunts. From getting knocked up with multiples and fabricating an outrageous hoax involving their own children to crashing a state dinner at the White House to satiate their thirst for attention, this has gotten out of hand.
The fact that this happened just a mere month after the balloon boy incident is a bit much for me, and I'm sure for many others as well. Have people not learned anything? Is this the descent of humanity? With many reality tv "stars" branching out and starting their own clothing lines, music career, spin-off shows, etc, it looks like some people just want to cash in on their moment in the spotlight, too. The Salahis remind me of Spiedi, except they're twice their age, yet sadly, don't know any better.
Let's have a rundown of how far the Salahis went to crash the state dinner. Both dressed to the nines and actually looked like they belonged there. Michaele even going so far as to donning a confusing and ill-fitting sari-inspired dress, most likely as a tribute to the guests of honor (she forgot to put on a bindi though). When they drove up to the White House, their SUV was turned away and they had to park outside and walk to the White House. Since their names weren't on the guest list, it is speculated that they then had to go through two separate ID checkpoints. They probably said something like, "Oh, there must be some sort of mistake. We were invited", meaning that they made false statements to at least two federal employees, which, of course, is a federal offense. Once inside, they hob nobbed with the likes of the President, Vice President, and other high profile guests. It is still unclear whether they had any dinner or even had a place to sit.
It wasn't until a savvy reporter saw them and thought, "What are these two schmucks doing here?" that it was discovered that the Salahis had crashed the party. It didn't help that immediately after the event, Michaele posted a bunch of pictures from it on her own Facebook fan page (the fan page actually made her look like a celebrity hunter, but much content has since been deleted). Of course, journalists dug up on the dirt on these two and discovered that they had a very unsavory past, and the most damning discovery: that Michaele is currently auditioning for Real Housewives of D.C. Then it all made sense. They most likely just wanted a few video clips and photos to put on the show to say, "Look how high up on the social ladder we are. We're so important and have so much clout that we hob nob with these high profile people all the time. We even got invited to the state dinner".
Um, I don't know about anyone else, but that plan is elaborate. It's obvious that quite a bit of planning went into this. Thank goodness these were just [physically] harmless, fame-seeking people. Here's a scary thought, though: If these two nobodies managed to sneak in and convince everyone that they belonged there, and even got to shake hands with the man running an entire country and his sidekick, then any lunatic could do the same thing. It's especially dangerous with this somewhat controversial presidency, what with not everyone agreeing with some of the actions that President Obama has taken, or the fact that he's our first black president. Though they went through a search and walked through a metal detector, anything in that room could have been turned into a weapon. Unlike all the other guests, the Salahis did not have the clearance to be there.
This is no laughing matter, and I hope they get more than just a slap on the wrist for what they did, and the Secret Service needs to reevaluate their protocol for such situations. As @Sean_Rhodes wrote in his review of this incident, this is not only a huge embarrassment for the Secret Service, but for the United States as a whole as well.
When incidents like these occur, I can't help but think of Nicole Kidman's histrionic, fame-hungry character in To Die For saying, "You aren't really anybody in America if you're not on TV". Let's hope that this level of attention whoring doesn't pass onto 2010, but with the ways things are going, this hope is looking pretty bleak.
Within the entire world, there are few compounds that are supposed to be more secure than the White House. I say "supposed" to be because for the most part the very idea that Michaele and Tareq Salahi were able to slip into the White House so easily. Here's the deal for those of you who have been living under a rock: Obama hosted a state dinner for the Prime Minister of India and these two somehow crashed the party. That's right, the most secure compound in the world … more
Does anyone really think the whole Kanye-Taylor debacle was spur of the moment? Kanye had nothing to lose (he's already the voice of this generation), while Taylor had so much more to gain (SNL host, Band Hero spokesperson, one of NBC's people of the year, etc.). If it was all a set-up, it worked out perfectly. The media gobbled it up, people had something funny to talk about, and those two had the last laugh. While attention whoring is incredibly selfish and causes … more
Does anyone remember the film Enter the Dragon? In the movie Brue Lee slips by the bad guy's guards to get to places on the island he shouldn't be. What did the bad guy do? He didn't complain about Lee, instead he made the guards fight Bolo to the death. Why isn't the White House learning from this film? i.e. fix the security, stop publically complaining about the couple and move on.
When I'm not Lunching, I'm a jeweler, and an all around, self-proclaimed web geek. My passions include social media, the interweb, technology, writing, yoga, fitness, photography, jewelry, fashion, … more
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The 2009 White House gatecrash incident occurred when Michaele and Tareq Salahi, from Virginia, gate-crashed the state dinner between President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh held on Tuesday, November 24, 2009.
According to media reports, "the first the White House security detail knew of their blunder in allowing them into Tuesday's event was when the couple posted photographs from the dinner on their Facebook page." Invited guest Brian Williams, anchor of the NBC Nightly News, observed the Salahis' SUV being turned down from the East Gate entrance. After that, he saw the Salahis and crew leave their vehicle and walk to the White House. They entered through two security checkpoints; only one of them checked for photo ID. The White House on November 27 released photos of the couple posing with President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel. Secret Service director Mark Sullivan issued a statement on November 27 saying that the Secret Service was "deeply concerned and embarrassed by the circumstances surrounding the State Dinner". Sullivan's statement also pointed out that "the preliminary findings of our internal investigation have determined established protocols were not followed at an initial checkpoint, verifying that two individuals were on the guest list."
Representative Peter T. King, Republican of New York, wrote a letter to the House Committee on Homeland Security requesting an ...