Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Indignation in the "White House Gatecrashers" Incident

Something exciting actually happened at one of those staid, boring White House state dinners on November 24th. A couple of reality show wannabes apparently "crashed" the party, sans invitations.
Appearing on a nationally broadcast morning news show [NBC's Today Show] with his wife, Tareq Salahi said the furor surrounding his and his wife Michaele's attendance at the dinner a week ago has been a "most devastating" experience. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs described President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama as angered by the incident.
...
Michaele Salahi had hoped to land a part on an upcoming Bravo reality show, "The Real Housewives of D.C." NBC's parent company, NBC Universal, also owns the cable network Bravo.

Not that it matters all that much-- I mean, it's not as interesting as the whole "gatecrashing the White House" angle-- but the party was for the prime minister of India.

They got in and made it all the way to the president himself:



That is pretty cool. The biggest event I've ever crashed was a biker rally in Bean Blossom Indiana.

Anyway, here's what I'm wondering about: The Salahis are United States citizens, correct? And the president works for the citizens of the United States. The White House doesn't belong to one person; it belongs to all of us. So why does a United States citizen have to "crash" a party to get in?

I don't think a person should be able to just walk on in without going through some kind of security, including metal detectors-- and apparently the Salahis did just that-- but there is far too much distance between elected officials, who are supposed to work for the citizens, and the citizens themselves.

Today, the only times private citizens get to "meet" with politicians who get themselves elected to public office is in heavily-scripted "press conferences" and "photo ops" in which the politicians and their handlers control every aspect.

The Salahis took control for themselves, and that has the Obamas outraged, at least according to their spokesman.
Interviewed on MSNBC, [White House spokesman Robert] Gibbs said "it's safe to say he (Obama) was angry. Michelle was angry."

I've always found it a little amusing, or irritating, or both, that presidents have "spokespeople" whose job is to help make the president look good-- they're PR people-- whose salaries are paid for with tax money. Think about it. You and I paid Robert Gibbs to go on MSNBC and say that.

Confusingly, the Salahis claim they were invited.
"We were invited, not crashers, and there isn't anyone who would have the audacity or the poor behavior to do that," she [Michaele Salahi] said. "No one would do that, and certainly not us."
I do like her use of Obama's word "audacity" in that statement. But is it really so audacious for United States citizens to want to meet their employees?

The last line of the article is classic, and adds an extra layer of irritation:
A congressional hearing is planned for Thursday.
Will the Salahis be in attendance at this hearing? Will they have to get through security? Have they been invited? And, why do we need a "congressional hearing" (aren't they working on a few wars, health care, recession, etc) when we all know the conclusion is going to be "double check the guest list next time"?

The Salahis wanted to get on a reality show, "The Real Housewives of DC." Members of congress get to call their own reality show-- a congressional hearing we're all paying for.

Maybe the Salahis can adopt the Balloon Boy, and start a reality show about people who are being unfairly maligned by the media.

Pic source.

5 comments:

Miss Malevolent said...

"I don't think a person should be able to just walk on in without going through some kind of security, including metal detectors-- and apparently the Salahis did just that-- but there is far too much distance between elected officials, who are supposed to work for the citizens, and the citizens themselves."

I love this statement right here.

The only thing I'd quibble with is this statement right here:

"I do like her use of Obama's word "audacity" in that statement. But is it really so audacious for United States citizens to want to meet their employer?"

I think that should read employee and not employer. (Though the way he's spending our money, he acts as though we are his employees.)

Unfortunately, the Obamas and the lapdog media treat them as royalty and the American public as their vassals versus what he's really supposed to be, a public, servant.

But getting back to your first statement I quoted...you are so completely right.

This is why you have a Congress that does whatever it wants to do without worrying about what the average American wants, because they've put so much distance between them and the public.

We now have Lord and Ladies, Dukes and Duchesses instead of REPRESENTATIVES.

It's really all very sickening.

Ricky Sprague said...

Thanks for catching the employee/employer mistake. I corrected it, and italicized said correction to emphasize my contrition. I think I got a little confused on the wording given the high rate of unemployment we're currently experiencing.

shampoo said...

in addition to our politicians somehow being "royalty" these days (i'm not sure when that actually started... kennedy? washington?), which I agree flies in the face of the way our country is supposed to be, the casual way the party was handled proves (to the few who haven't noticed) that the same people get invited to such events regularly are considered above even the slightest amount of scrunity.

I think that if I was obama I would just let the secret service handle this. talking about the gatecrashers just screams "please look at these two and not all this other horrible stuff!"

like you said, doublecheck the guest list, plus they may want to put more than one person on the door starting now. metal detectors shouldn't be overly relied upon because there are plenty of items you could get through a metal detector that could be a major problem.

they probably should doublecheck these people's story (the secret service, not all of congress). if they check out as particularly bold famewhores who wanted to seem more important than they are, well, that's not really a hanging offense. maybe give them a severe talking to and call it a day.

Ricky Sprague said...

Yeah I hadn't really thought about that, but it's true. There are people who are just invited-- they're friends of the politicians, or in the same social circle-- and so maybe after awhile it's just assumed they don't have to be checked.

Look at the people that get invited to the White House. To the parties. Politicians hang out with (a) each other, and (b) fabulously wealthy and famous people. They go to parties that are actually fundraisers (often at taxpayer expense). They have no clue as what the real world is like. The Salahis apparently aren't exactly middle class, but they were still (apparently) outside the usual WH guests.

Did they even break the law? It was up to the secret (shh) service to keep them out-- it wasn't up to them to keep themselves out.

shampoo said...

I don't know if they broke the law or not. but, it really doesn't seem that they wanted to harm anyone.

however, politicans (all of the high-level ones, not just obama by any means) know there are plenty of good reasons for people to want to harm them. being devoid of morals themselves, they can't believe some of us do hold to certain moral principles ("thou shalt not kill", etc.). that's why they're all peeing themselves over this. why, what if some poor folks had come into the white house?! (say they borrowed some rich persons' clothes to fit in) what then?! omg!

it makes me really wonder. they don't want ANYONE who isn't of their social circle anywhere near their parties, it seems.

but, since the secret service got all gestapo on suicidal tendencies for the song "I shot reagan (name later changed to "I shot the devil") who were l.a. when reagan was shot... well, I feel like at least a bit of fact checking and paperwork is in order here. but really, these folks inadvertently did a favor to security by proving how lax it really is...

UNLESS they really were invited just like they claim they were. maybe what they really did wrong was release photographs. I thought some of these fancy smancy things had guests who were only invited to pre-dinner cocktails and other guests who were invited to cockails AND dinner.