Sunday, November 29, 2009

Reality show pranks upset some people

Some people are agitated about the latest reality show stunt:
They are now the subject of a federal investigation.The Secret Service is looking to file charges against Michaele and Tareq Salahi, who were attempting to land a spot on Bravo’s The Real Housewives of D.C.

On Tuesday, the Salahis snuck into the president’s first state dinner, honoring the prime minister of India, then posted pictures of themselves schmoozing.

If you thought the Balloon Boy [Heene] hoax was as far as you’d see aspiring reality TV jokers go for 15 minutes of fame, you don’t know Michaele and Tareq Salahi.
It is funny to see how people react to being tricked. The Heenes and Salahis perpetrated a couple of harmless pranks. Their pranks were bold, and I am surprised that either of them worked.

Heene told TV stations that his kid might have been accidentally launched in a helium balloon, and suckered the TV stations into tracking the balloon on TV. Anyone with an eighth-grade science education could see that no kid could possibly be in that balloon. It is not clear whether the TV stations realized this, but they joined in the publicity stunt anyway. It was good for their ratings.

The Heenes had to plead guilty to attempting to influence a public official when the authorities threatened to deport Mrs. Heene. I did not know that was a crime.

I thought that White House state dinners had someone at the door checking the guest list.

Former Reagan advisor Ed Rollins writes:
The gate crashers Michaele and Tareq Salahi want to be famous as stars of reality television. I am all for that. Give them a reality television series and call it "Trial and Jailtime" in the D.C. criminal justice system. This despicable, desperate, duplicitous couple disgraced the Secret Service and embarrassed the president in his home.

They totally overshadowed the president's meeting with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the leader of an important ally. The incident made the Obamas' first state dinner, honoring the prime minister and his wife, Gursharan Kaur, fodder for comedians -- and it certainly raises security concerns for other world leaders visiting at later dates.

The gate-crashers need to be held accountable and not glorified. ...

We live in a world of reality television in which egotists try to be famous for three minutes and land an appearance on the talk shows. The bigger question is what example this sets for our kids. If we glorify the actions of people like the Salahis and don't hold them accountable, how do we teach our kids what is right and what is wrong?
The Heenes and Salahis performed a public service by demonstrating gullibility in public officials and by amusing the public.

Incidents like these make it easier, not harder, to teach our kids right and wrong.

Lighten up, everyone. We pay entertainers to entertain us. The Heenes and Salahis have done it for free. If they make a few bucks by selling their stories, so much the better.

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