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Thread: State dinner crashers, sad and lonely reality wannabes

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    Gold Member Pippin69's Avatar
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    Default State dinner crashers, sad and lonely reality wannabes


    Network Cameras Followed White House Crashers



    By HELENE COOPER, JANIE LORBER and BRIAN STELTER
    Published: November 26, 2009
    WASHINGTON — The cable network Bravo confirmed on Thursday that its cameras were following — and filming — an aspiring reality-show couple who managed to attend President Obama’s first state dinner at the White House on Tuesday.
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    Tareq and Michaele Salahi with Vice President Joe Biden at the state dinner on Tuesday night.

    Related

    At Obama’s First State Dinner, the First Crashers (November 26, 2009)





    In a statement to The New York Times on Thursday, Bravo said that Half Yard Productions, the producers for the series “The Real Housewives of D.C.,” was under the impression that Michaele and Tarek Salahi, two polo-playing devotees of Washington’s social swirl and on-line social networks alike, had been invited to the biggest and most exclusive soiree to take place in Washington this year.
    “The cast of ‘The Real Housewives of D.C.’ has not been finalized,” Bravo said in the statement. “Michaele Salahi is under consideration as a cast member, as such Half Yard Productions were filming the Salahis on that day. Half Yard was only aware that per the Salahis they had been invited as guests.”
    A White House official, informed of Bravo’s statement, said that was not the case. “We’ve already confirmed that they weren’t invited,” he said.
    A publicist for the couple, Mahogany Jones, said they would not comment formally for now.
    “Their counsel, Paul W. Gardner Esq. states emphatically that the Salahis’ did not ‘crash’ this event,” the statement said. “We look forward to setting the record straight very soon."
    Mr. Gardner, an entertainment lawyer, did not respond to a message left at his Baltimore office, which was closed for the holiday.
    The Secret Service — which one Homeland Security official described as “completely embarrassed” by the incident — has begun an investigation into how the pair managed to get through multiple layers of high-level security to crash the affair, where they managed to rub shoulders, literally, with Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and the White House chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, among others. Edwin Donovan, a spokesman for the Secret Service who spent his Thanksgiving Day fending off phone calls from reporters, said the investigation was continuing, but would not discuss it in detail.
    He said the initial focus was on “a Secret Service checkpoint which did not follow proper procedure to ensure these two individuals were on the invited guest list.”
    White House officials maintained that even though the pair got into the state dinner without an invitation, they did have to go through all the metal detectors that everyone passes through when entering the White House.
    Other security experts described the episode as very serious.
    “It’s crazy to say that, because there’s a reason they do background checks and there’s a reason they make sure to only let in people who have been pre-approved,” said Ronald Kessler, author of “In the President’s Secret Service: Behind the Scenes with Agents in the Line of Fire and the Presidents They Protect” (Crown).
    Indeed, he said, an intruder could have sneaked something dangerous into the crowd.
    “A serial killer or terrorist or agent of Iran or North Korea could come in and release anthrax, for instance, and that’s not going to show up in a metal detectors,” Mr. Kessler said. He added that the Secret Service, in particular, should have been extra vigilant because threats against the president have increased by 400 percent since George W. Bush was in power.
    The incident — already an embarrassment for both the White House and the Secret Service — drew all the more attention in the publicity-conscious era of online social networking. Not two hours after showing up at the party, Mrs. Salahi had posted on her Facebook page a dozen photos of herself and her husband partying with Washington’s social elite.
    There the couple was, with Mayor Adrian Fenty of the District of Columbia, “and his lovely wife” Michelle (Mrs. Salahi is holding Mr. Fenty’s elbow.) There Mrs. Salahi was, with three Marines in their full-dress attire (her hand is touching the collar of one Marine, who smiles at the camera). And the two money shots: Mrs. Salahi, her red and gold sari glittering, snaked around a grinning Mr. Biden, her hand resting on his chest, his arm wrapped around her waist; and both Salahis, with a smiling Mr. Emanuel, described on Mrs. Salahi’s Facebook page as “Chief of Staff of the United States White House.”
    Neither Mr. nor Mrs. Salahi could be reached for comment, but they are both scheduled to appear on “Larry King Live” on Monday. Mr. Salahi, who is often seen around Washington in a stretch Hummer, has connections to many well-known organizations, such as the American Task Force on Palestine and the Wolf Trap Foundation.
    But Ghaith al Omari, the advocacy director for the task force, said Thursday that Mr. Salahi “has not attended a single meeting in the last two years.”
    Whether or not they wind up on the “Housewives,” the couple have certainly acted as if they were stars. A local newspaper, The Sherando Times, said that the presumptive “Housewives” cast members assembled, “complete with security and a large crew,” for taping at the Salahis’ winery in Virginia in early November.
    On her celebrity-minded Facebook page, Ms. Salahi telegraphed her television aspirations, writing “Get Ready Kelly Ripa — Don’t you want a friend to tag team Regis!” She also suggested herself as a co-host for NBC’s “Today” show. On Facebook, she has more than 4,000 fans.
    “There are definitely people that lobby very aggressively to be on shows,” said Michael Hirschorn, a former executive vice president for original programming at the reality-centric VH1 channel and a co-founder of Ish Entertainment. But this case, he said, “would seem extreme to me.”
    The stunt brought to mind another set of fame-seekers: the Heene family of Fort Collins, Colo., who mesmerized the nation for several hours last month after setting afloat a homemade saucer-like balloon — and the notion that their 6-year-old son was in it — last month in an apparent effort to gain attention from TV producers.
    Mr. Hirschorn said that prospective reality stars are becoming smarter about “self-producing” themselves by pulling dramatic stunts.
    “At this point, there must be what, a thousand reality personalities on TV at any one time? So they know they have to stand out,” he said.
    Mr. Hirschorn said he could not think of other incidents that compare to the Salahis’ White House visit and the balloon stunt.
    “There’s a whole culture of over-sharing — everybody is broadcasting now and everyone is putting themselves out on the Internet and TV,” he said. “Some people just take it further than others.”


    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/27/us...s/27party.html
    Once again, the talentless embarrass themselves for 15 forgettable minutes.
    "Just because I walked into a turd supermarket doesn't mean I have to buy anything." - John Oliver

  2. #2
    Elite Member msdeb's Avatar
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    actually, i think its pretty cool. Its a good thing they weren't evil doers, but come on, good for them LOL
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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    This story is funny, but the Secret Service needs to step their game up if it's that easy for people to stroll into a state dinner at the W.H.

  4. #4
    Gold Member Pippin69's Avatar
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    More info on them.

    Updated November 26, 2009 Who Are the White House Party Crashers?

    FOXNews.com

    Tareq and Michaele Salahi have established themselves as high-profile fixtures in the Beltway social scene, but there appears to be another side to this couple that includes a warning to consumers by the Commonwealth of Virginia to beware of their charity solicitations, and at least one socialite questioning the use of their 'charity' funds.


    Forget reality TV. The northern Virginia socialite couple now being investigated by the Secret Service for crashing President Obama's first state dinner on Tuesday night has a past straight out of the best -- or worst -- of '80s soap operas.
    Cue the theme music…
    Tareq and Michaele Salahi have established themselves as high-profile fixtures in the Beltway social scene, regularly attending or tossing A-list parties and charitable events, with the photos plastered on social Web sites and in glossy local magazines.
    But there appears to be another side to this couple that includes a warning to consumers by the Commonwealth of Virginia to beware of their charity solicitations, and at least one socialite questioning the use of their "charity" funds, calling them "litigious," even suing the Washington Redskins -- the team Michaele Salahi once tossed sideline pompoms for as a cheerleader.
    Tareq Salahi, whose age is listed in various places as being between 39-41, grew up helping his Israeli immigrant father build the family's modest Fauquier County, Va., winery into a million-dollar business, while at the same time turning himself into a world-class polo player and playboy.
    html,body{border:0;margin:0;padding:0;}

    Michaele Salahi, 44 and whose maiden name is Holt, married Tareq in 2003 in a lavish ceremony attended by 28 bridesmaids and, according to a video posted on YouTube and her Facebook page, enjoyed a reception prepared by 46 chefs hosted in a 36,000 square-foot tent, capped off with a 30-minute fireworks display and an eight-foot wedding cake. The guest list reportedly included Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, as well as former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner and former U.S. Ambassador to Ireland Margaret Heckler.
    Kennedy even joked at the couple's wedding that he wanted to issue subpoenas to the bride and groom before the ceremony because their nuptials had been postponed and rescheduled four times, according to a 2003 report in the New York Post.
    Click here to see the video
    Tareq, meanwhile, battled his mother for ownership of Oasis Vineyards -- ownership he reportedly claimed his father promised him -- that included an unsolicited offer in June, 2007 from NBA star Shaquille O'Neal to buy the now bankrupt vineyard, an offer later rejected.
    In his court fight, Salahi even accused her of "bullying tactics" that included wielding a handgun at the vineyard, the Fairfax County Times reported. He also filed a lawsuit against his mother’s attorney, accusing him of assault.
    Michaele Salahi, meanwhile, demonstrated that she also was a force to be reckoned with. Facing a threat by county zoning officials to limit the number and kinds of money-making events the couple could host at the vineyard -- such as parties, tastings and weddings -- stemming from neighbors’ complaints, Michaele went to Richmond, registered as a lobbyist and pushed for passage of House bill 2643 -- to strip power from county zoning authorities seeking to regulate "customary or usual" vineyard activities, the Fairfax County Times reported.
    But it's the Salahis polo and charities connection that appear to have raised the most questions.
    Tareq Salahi was involved in running a popular D.C. charitable polo event called the Courage Cup, an event that also widened the couple’s social influence, giving them access to many of society's elite, including President Bill Clinton, Arizona Sen. John McCain, Britain's Prince Charles, Oprah Winfrey and actor Matt Damon.
    Salahi’s use of polo events purportedly to raise funds for charity also put him on the Commonwealth of Virginia’s radar, and raised questions among his society friends.
    The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, which oversees charitable operations in the commonwealth, issued a consumer warning earlier this year against the "Journey for a Cure Foundation," of which the Salahis are listed as co-founders, the Fauquier-Times Democrat reported. The state regulatory and watchdog agency reportedly claimed that the foundation was soliciting money from Virginians for "allegedly charitable purposes," but had failed to follow laws requiring groups soliciting money for charity to register and file necessary paperwork with the department.
    The couple’s socialite friends also are starting to question the couple’s motives and actions.
    Andrea Rogers of Alexandria, Va., who has worked with the couple to organize the polo events, and who also runs “Socialite Marketing,” a business consulting company specializing in event planning, told FoxNews.com that she’s questioned the use of money solicited by the Salahis for charitable purposes.
    Rogers, who also writes the social blog AskMissA.com, and who called the couple "litigious," writes that she met the Salahis at the Courage Cup polo event in 2005 and became involved in its fundraising efforts, only to find out the next year that "bills had never been paid," blaming among others the Salahis. Rogers also writes that the Salahis only founded the America’s Cup of Polo event after failing to regain control of the Courage Cup event, speculating that “their Oasis Winery was having financial problems and they needed a way to make money for themselves.”
    In fact, Salahi’s polo connections -- and possible financial problems -- might hold the key to explain why the couple risked the wrath of the Secret Service to stroll brazenly in front of news cameras to rub elbows with nearly 300 hand-picked guests, that included members of the Indian diplomatic corps and other special guests with connections to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Salahi’s polo club along with the Embassy of India is hosting a spring 2010 tournament in Virginia. U.S. Ambassador to India Meera Shankar is listed as a patron, according to the organization's Web site.
    Michaele Salahi also appears to have a fondness for the spotlight, claiming to have modeled for Victoria Secret and top fashion and women’s magazines. The couple also auditioned for Bravo's upcoming reality TV show, "Real Housewives of D.C.," as did Rogers.
    The blonde-haired, blue-eyed former model also is showcased in the "Best of D.C: Defining Change in American Leadership" book, part of an inaugural edition specially produced by Global Village Partnerships. Salahi is pictured alongside Miss District of Columbia Katie Marie Grinold on a page titled, "Divas in Charge."
    She also bragged on her Facebook page about the couple's behind-the-scene pass to President Obama's inaugural address, and in an interview with CBS' "Early Show" in September, she said: "President Obama has made it very accessible for anyone to visit the White House, so that's like a big thing right now." The CBS interview was part of a segment on potential candidates for "Real Housewives of D.C.," but never was aired.
    For all their political connections, the Salahis are fragile when it comes to their campaign giving. The Federal Elections Commission, which tracks political contributions, shows they never contributed a dime to Obama, despite crashing his first state dinner, and only gave a one-time contribution of $1,000 to Rep. James Moran, D-Va., in 2006 and $600 to Sen. George Allen, R-Va., in 2000.
    FoxNews.com's Cristina Corbin contributed to this report.


    Who Are the White House Party Crashers? - FOXNews.com


    Last edited by Pippin69; November 26th, 2009 at 06:16 PM. Reason: corrected link.
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  5. #5
    Elite Member Little Wombat's Avatar
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    Actually, I hope criminal charges are filed against them. They seem to have a huge sense of entitlement that needs to be cut down.
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    Elite Member angelais's Avatar
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    When I first heard that it was reality wannabes, I thought Heidi and Spencer crashed it.
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    Elite Member NicoleWasHere's Avatar
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    Charge them. Then charge Speidi just for shits and giggles.

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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    charge them with what? it's the secret service's fault if they got through security.
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    Elite Member Little Wombat's Avatar
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    ^ The local news here said that if they made false statements to federal officers, it's a crime, so it's possible they could be prosecuted for that.
    "Oh! I've been looking for a red suede pump!"
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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    meh. i think the feds probably have bigger fish to fry.
    no harm, no foul.
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    Elite Member Little Wombat's Avatar
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    Here's an local article. Sounds like the Secret Service might, in fact, pursue criminal charges:
    Crashers probe may become criminal investigation

    November 27, 2009 - 12:13pm


    This screen image made from Michaele Salahi's Facebook page shows a photo of White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, left, with Michaele Salahi and Tareq Salahi, right, at the White House state dinner in Washington on Tuesday Nov. 24, 2009. The Secret Service is looking into its own security procedures after determining that a Virginia couple, Michaele and Tareq Salahi, managed to slip into Tuesday night's state dinner at the White House even though they were not on the guest list, agency spokesman Ed Donovan said. (AP Photo) NO SALES
    By LARRY MARGASAK
    Associated Press Writer

    WASHINGTON (AP) - WASHINGTON (AP) - The Secret Service may begin a criminal investigation against the Virginia couple who crashed a high-profile White House dinner, an agency spokesman said Friday.
    Jim Mackin said the possible turn toward criminal charges is one reason the Secret Service has kept mum about what happened when Michaele and Tareq Salahi arrived at the security checkpoint Tuesday. They were not on the guest list for the dinner honoring Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
    Nobody disputes that the two, candidates for a reality TV show, were allowed through security. The Secret Service acknowledges that its procedures weren't followed.
    Still unknown is the story that the uninvited guests spun to the security officers that persuaded them to allow the couple through. That likely would play a role in any criminal charges.
    "As this moves closer to a criminal investigation there's less that we can say," Mackin said. "I don't want to jeopardize what could be a criminal investigation. We're not leaving any option off the table at this point."
    It was not immediately clear what charges would be pursued. The Salahis lawyer, Paul Gardner, posted a comment on their Facebook page saying, "My clients were cleared by the White House, to be there."
    He said more information would be forthcoming.
    Attempts to reach Gardner on Friday were not immediately successful.
    Michaele Salahi's hairdresser at the Georgetown salon where she scheduled a last-minute appointment hours before the dinner said she asked to look at the invitation to the White House event, but never saw it.
    "She was so excited. She told me that she got it in the mail and it was just an amazing feeling and they couldn't wait and in fact they called the White House, I believe, to make sure that she was going to be dressed appropriately," Peggy Ioakim told CBS' "The Early Show" on Friday. Salahi wore a red sari to the dinner.
    Bravo Media, meanwhile, confirmed that on the day of the dinner Michaele Salahi was being filmed around Washington and while she prepared for the dinner by a film crew connected with the network's reality show, "The Real Housewives of D.C.," because she is being considered for the upcoming TV program.
    "Half Yard's cameras were not inside the White House. They filmed the couple preparing for the event," Johanna Fuentes, Bravo Media's vice president, communications, said in an e-mail late Thursday. She said the Salahis "informed Half Yard that they were invited (to the dinner), the producers had no reason to believe otherwise."
    Fuentes referred further questions to the Virginia couple's lawyer and their publicist.
    The White House refused comment on the Salahis and referred all calls to the Secret Service.
    Ronald Kessler, author of a book on the Secret Service, said, "While the couple did pass through a magnetometer to detect weapons, they could have assassinated the president or vice president using other means _ anthrax, for example." He added the Secret Service would not detect secreted biological weapons.
    Kessler, a journalist, wrote "In the President's Secret Service: Behind the Scenes with Agents in the Line of Fire and the Presidents They Protect."
    The author added that it's unlikely the Secret Service performed the usual background check to ensure that the crashers were not possible threats.
    "The party crashers could have had outstanding arrest warrants for murder. They could have been involved with terrorists. They could have been agents of Iran or North Korea. The Secret Service would never have known," he said.
    During President George W. Bush's administration, it was standard procedure to have someone from the White House social office at the gate for state dinners and other events with large groups of visitors, according to a former senior Bush aide who spoke on condition of anonymity so as not to be seen as criticizing the Obama White House.
    The social office is most knowledgeable about the guest list and could have been called in case of any uncertainty, this official said.
    White House Social Secretary Desiree Rogers, asked by The Associated Press on Thursday whether personnel from her office were at the checkpoint said, "We were not."

    Crashers probe may become criminal investigation - wtop.com
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  12. #12
    Elite Member Brookie's Avatar
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    These two sound like they have a screw or two loose. If I were The Prez, I sure wouldn't want them wandering unsupervised at any more of my events.

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    Elite Member VenusInFauxFurs's Avatar
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    What was the secret service doing? all updating their facebook status on their iPhones? They should pull their finger out, if these folks can get in.
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    Elite Member darksithbunny's Avatar
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    Yep. I agree no charges should be filed. They went through the security check points and scans just like everyone else. If somebody needs to have their ass put in check it should be the people who have jobs to make sure only invited guests get in.

  15. #15
    Elite Member Penny Lane's Avatar
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    Yea, these two are pathetic famewhore wannabes.. I just spent 10 minutes Googling the wife. What a retard.. that's 10 minutes of my life I'll never get back. The secret service obviously wasn't doing their job, though.. which is frightening since a security breach could mean people with malicious intent could possibly sneak in. They need to step the fuck up.

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