For the sake of argument, let’s assume that despite their protests to the contrary, Tareq and Michaele Salahi were not invited to President Obama’s state dinner last week. Let’s assume that they, like the Heene family of balloon boy fame, are reality star wannabes who have taken things too far.
If that’s the case, then guess what? They’re also the most “real” stars that reality television has seen in some time. In three simple steps, the Salahis have really earned their 15 minutes of fame.
1) They understand the fame gameAlthough cameras have been following potential “Real Housewives of D.C.” candidates, including Michaele Salahi, for weeks, Bravo has yet to announce the cast list.
If being part of the franchise is Michaele Salahi's goal, then she smartly realized it would take some outrageous behavior to get noticed. Mission accomplished.
The biggest challenge the “Real Housewives” franchise has is getting the public to welcome strangers into their homes. Thanks to the recent headlines, the Salahis aren't strangers any more. If Bravo were to include them in the show, the couple gets what they were after, and Bravo gets some instant ratings.
2) They have the gall to ask for big bucks
Speaking of ratings, what helps send those soaring better than an exclusive network interview? The New York Times reports that the Salahis want hundreds of thousands of dollars to tell their story.
If that comes as a shock, you’d better sit down, because I’ve got something I’d like to tell you about Santa Claus. Reality check: many, many exclusive interviews involve an exchange of currency. By asking for some cash, the Salahis send the message that they’re playing in the big leagues here.
3) They aren’t ashamed of reality TVThe Secret Service said the Salahis were waved past the initial security checkpoint, and while you really hope the White House is more difficult to enter than New York hotspot 10AK, you can see how the lapse happened. Look at who else was in attendance: Steven Spielberg, Alfre Woodard, Blair Underwood, M. Knight Shyamalan, Jennifer Hudson.
What’s another couple claiming to be reality stars? Like pigs in a blanket on a plate of fancier hors d’oeuvres, in the presence of “real” celebrities, a reality star can fit in now. The Salahis figured it out first, and had some serious moxie to go out and really test it. This time, the joke’s on us.
Sandra Bullock bullies ‘Twilight’ at box officeSure, “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” topped the box office and made another $42.5 million this weekend, but the real winner, in my opinion, is Sandra Bullock.
Her movie, “The Blind Side,” was No. 2 and came in just behind “New Moon” with $40.1 million. More importantly, “The Blind Side” did that while playing in nearly 1,000 fewer theaters than the vampire romance.
If it’s not too early, then I nominate Bullock for female box-office superhero of 2009. She hadn’t hit the big screen since 2007, and between “The Proposal,” “All About Steve” and “The Blind Side” (which has only been out two weeks), she’s made more than $300 million at the box office.
Courtney Hazlett delivers the Scoop Monday through Friday on msnbc.com. Follow Scoop on Twitter @courtneyatmsnbc