By Josh Kim
The White House State Dinner is not your typical MTV episode of Cribs: It is a time-honored function of statecraft in which the leader of a visiting nation is ceremoniously received by our President. To any serious citizen, no matter the political affiliation, the State Dinner's importance should be understood. But apparently a couple from the upcoming reality television show The Real Housewives of Washington didn't feel this way.
Tareq and Michaele Salahi were not on the guests' list at the White House on Wednesday but they somehow managed to get in. The Secret Service say the couple slipped past security.
Why did the couple do it? I don't know but if I'd have to guess, it was for fame. The couple posted pictures of the evening's festivities on their Facebook page. Do these people understand that this is potentially embarrassing for our nation, not to mention dangerous?!
Two unaccounted people getting into the White House to brush shoulders with the Bigs is itself not serious but they could have easily have been assassins, one for each World Leader. The Visiting leader was Manmohan Singh, the Prime Minister of a nuclear power nation of over 1 billion people. What the fuck were these people thinking?
This is what's wrong about the times in which we live: Just about anybody can be on TV as long as they have a marginally fascinating life. It doesn't matter who they hurt or what they do. It's time to get real, after all. It's unscripted.
Only this time the reality is that these two people were potential Presidential Assassins.
There's a pattern. A radio station holds a contest and a mother dies of water poisoning because she wanted to win her son a game console. The Opie and Anthony Show dared couples to find the most outrageous places to have sex and phone the station; one couple did and it was inside a Cathedral. The Balloon Boy Saga only cost some Colorado counties and the FAA a few measly million dollars. The Salahi White House State Dinner crash could have cost America prestige if it had turned out the wrong way. But we're also to blame. Society as a whole encourages this type of behavior exactly because we reward it with our attention, attention that translates into money. We like to gawk and stare and snap pictures, even if it's the body of Heath Ledger as it's being wheeled out of Mary Kate's SoHo apartment.
Is nothing sacred? And now the Salahis are to appear on Larry King Live. That doesn't surprise me. Every time something occurs, King is one of the first people to take advantage of it by having on as the guest(s) the ones who were in the middle of said incident. He is someone who helps to feed the sickness.
I'd weep for us but we're not worth it.
ICYMI: Jeffrey Ostler, The Lakotas and the Black Hills - At Amazon, Jeffrey Ostler, *The Lakotas and the Black Hills: The Struggle for Sacred Ground*.
58 minutes ago