It seems that various incidents involving reality TV have recently been causing news. On the first was the entire balloon boy incident, when an aspiring reality TV “actor” sought publicity by faking a purported accidental balloon flight by his son. This triggered a large emergency rescue effort, putting rescuers of a non-existent threatened child in danger and costing money.
Now, an aspiring reality TV show couple successfully crashed a White House official state dinner. The couple shook President Obama’s hand while the President stood immediately next to the Prime Minister of India. Pictures of the couple at the event are shown on the wife’s Facebook page. Needless to say, this was a huge failure by the Secret Service, but it is also an outrage that, apparently for the purpose of entertainment, the couple in question intentionally breached Presidential security.
It is important, in this case, that the couple be prosecuted fully. Further, anyone who knowingly aided the breach should also be charged if possible. Reality TV “personalities” cannot be above the law. Also, it appears that Bravo (aka NBC) may also have been involved.
Mr. and Mrs. Salahi, who are known in the area to have a taste for polo and fine wine, are aspiring reality-show celebrities. For months, the couple have been trailed by camera crews with the cable channel Bravo, as it prepared for a new show, “The Real Housewives of D.C.”
Seemingly distancing itself from the Salahis’ actions, Bravo said Friday that it would not comment about “ongoing investigations.” Earlier, the channel said that while its cameras were filming the Salahis before the dinner, producers were told by the couple that they had been invited to it.
Update: More here, from the New York Times’ television critic:
Bravo has not yet said it would drop the dashing blond Mrs. Salahi; Larry King has already booked her for his show. The Washington social climbers had a plan, even if it was lunatic and dangerous. So did the father who pretended that his son was trapped in a runaway balloon, and in much the same reality-show fevered way, so did Jon and Kate Gosselin when they ripped their marriage apart on camera.
Richard and Mayumi Heene, the parents of Falcon, the so-called Balloon Boy, were not as lucky as the Salahis. They briefly held cable news in their thrall last month, but after the local Colorado sheriff concluded that the 50-mile balloon chase was a fake, Mr. Heene pleaded guilty to a felony charge of falsely influencing the authorities and faces jail time. But even that may turn out to be worth it to the Heenes, amateur storm chasers who appeared twice on ABC’s reality show “Wife Swap.”
Update 2: Now they have cancelled their Larry King appearance and are taking bids for their first TV interview. Shame on whoever pays them a dime.