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We did it for the show!

December 4, 2009

salahi-white-house-gatecrashers

Celebrity wannabe's The Salahi's 'doing it for the show'

We live in an age of where some people will do anything to be on TV. A few years ago, when Big Brother started, it was a social experiment, but as the years went by, the show became full of vacuous wannabe’s seeking a quick route to fame and OK! Magazine.

But this year, two incidents in the US have shown just how far people will now go to further their ‘Cause Celebrity’

On the 15th October 2009, the parents of Falcon Heene, put in a distressed 911 call and told the police how their youngest had managed to climb into a weather balloon they had, and was now drifting across the country. Police and the media all took up the chase as the balloon floated away. In fact this was the biggest media chase since O.J. Simpsons crawling car chase in LA.

News organizations stopped all normal broadcasting as they followed the minute by minute action and social networking site Twitter was all aflutter as people inquired about the well being of the boy. But when the balloon finally fell to earth, the sickening images of an empty balloon were soon replaced when little Falcon emerged from the roof of his parents garage. And within hours, the little boy let the cat out of the bag when the parents were giving a live interview on Larry King Live by saying “You guys said that, um, we did this for the show.”

After a small amount of probing it was found out that the Heenes were in fact celebrity wannabe’s and had been participants on Wife Swap – twice.

Charges are now pending, but it began a debate as to how far people would go to become famous.

No one thought this could be topped until Tareq and Michaele Salahi blagged their way into a high profile state dinner at the White House, not only getting cosy with VP Joe Biden but meeting the President himself.

Within hours of their pictures appearing on their facebook pages, a worrysome debate ensured as to how two people could gatecrash a White House State Dinner, circumventing the so called tight security of the Secret Service. And with a volatile environment in America at this time surrounding President Obama, just why did two people think they could get away with this stunt?

The Salahi’s have maintained that that they wouldn’t dream of gatecrashing such an event, but email correspondance has proven otherwise. The Telegraph recently posted an article that suggests the Salahis had contacted a British Producer asking for tips on blagging:

“Tim Burke, who directed MTV Blaggers! – in which a group of friends gatecrash high profile events and parties – said he was contacted by Mr Salahi a week before the White House incident. In an email from a “Mr Salahi” and sent by the same YouTube account holder who posted a film of the Salahis’ wedding ceremony, the sender said he had watched internet clips from Blaggers! “with great interest”. He went on: “I am wondering what technique you would suggest we use for a formal engagement, black tie event, state event?…What has been successful in the past and what should we look out for.” Mr Burke said he replied, making two suggestions – either ringing up the organisers in advance to get some names on the guest list or what he called the “pick a name any name” technique.”

And this follows revelations Pentagon official Michelle S. Jones, whom the Salahi’s claimed had invited them, never granted them permission to come to the party. Telling ABC News, the Salahis said:

“We’re greatly saddened by all the circumstances … portraying my wife and I as party crashers. I can tell you we did not party-crash the White House.”

But Michelle S. Jones admits:

“I specifically stated that they did not have tickets and in fact that I did not have the authority to authorize attendance, admittance or access to any part of the evening’s activities. Even though I informed them of this, they still decided to come.”

The Salahi’s now face probable criminal charges and an investigation is going on as to how such a high profile breach could be made. But the question remains, why are people now so desperate to make themselves famous? I mean, look at celebrities and the intrusion they endure, but the hard work many put in to building their careers. However some people are so desperate for the attention, they don’t want to be famous for doing something, like being a talented actor or musician, for example, but simply to be known. Are people’s lives so empty that they have to be famous to be someone? What happened t the days when people were satisfied with their lot in life or were happy living in obscurity? Granted we live in more open worlds and with social networking, more and more people have opened the doors to their lives.

Certainly there are some who have made ‘careers’ from their famous for the sake of being famous status. In the UK, Katie Price aka Jordan, has made a career from selling stories to celebrity magazines, and building up an empire on a name. But even her ‘fame’ has come at a price.

So “doing it for the show” and the trouble it has brought both the Heene’s and the Salahi’s begs the question: is celebrity for celebrities sake worth it?

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