The Reliable Source: Dinner crashers Tareq and Michaele Salahi, latest on Tiger Woods, Morgan Freeman, Jon Gosselin, more

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Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, December 2, 2009; 12:00 PM

Washington Post columnists Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts were online Wednesday, Dec. 2, at Noon ET to discuss your favorite gossip, recent celebrity sightings and their recent columns.

Today: In recent columns: Tareq and Michaele Salahi, the White House dinner crashers. Audio tapes and apologies from Tiger Woods. Oh, and Morgan Freeman was here, and so was Jon Gosselin.

E-mail and bookmark Reliable Source blog.

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Amy Argetsinger: Good morning everyone. I don't know where Rox is. Doing a CNN spot? Meeting Deep Throat in Horse Country? Crashed-out fast asleep?

It's been that kind of week. Maybe we should just take two minutes to let you read the latest Salahi stories (front page again, this time thanks to Neely Tucker and Mary Jordan investigating their mess of a charity/polo match) -- while you let me catch up on Tiger Woods. Thanks for being here.

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washingtonpost.com: A new field of inquiry: Salahis' polo cup (Post, Dec. 2)

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Hooray! My favorite hour+ of the week!: (Don't tell my husband.)

Amy Argetsinger: Or don't you mean, "My husband might be calling you!"

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Arlington, Va.: Great interview this morning! Where were you chatting from? Lots of books behind you...

Amy Argetsinger: Hey! She just got here. Did you know she was on "Today" today? I totally missed that. That's where she had the books behind her.

Nice of them to have her on today. She was supposed to be on yesterday... but got bumped by the Salahis themselves.

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Arlington, Va.: Here's what gets me about the crashers: they believed they had an invitation, yet they left without being seated at the dinner. If you honestly believed that you had an invitation, you'd expect to be seated, not to leave after cocktails.

If the Salahi's story is to be believed, then they showed up at the reception because they were invited, but they left early because...?

Roxanne Roberts: She was tired. Really, really tired.

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Salehnis - I just have one question...: Why haven't they been arrested yet? I'm sure anyone else would have been....

Amy Argetsinger: Well, I guess the Secret Service would first need evidence of a crime, and that may remain ambiguous. The e-mails their lawyers released to a few news organizations last night are supposedly the same ones the Secret Service has been looking at -- and the lawyers, at least, seem to think these exonerate the Salahis to a certain extent, showing that they were confused about whether they were on a list or not.

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Arlington, Va.: No question, just a comment - thanks for the hard work of you to break the breach story and follow it as it evolved into something much more than a gossip issue. Great, fast reporting.

Amy Argetsinger: And thank you for your kind words. We're gratified you appreciate the work that's gone into this.

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Bethesda, Md..: An article in this morning's Post "A New Field of Inqiry," says the Salahi's will hold their next Polo event on the D.C. Mall. The last two venues they've used kicked them out for issues of non-payment and destruction of the polo fields. How is it possible that they are allowed to use space on the Mall? Is the U.S. National Park Service responsible for this? I'm assuming that the general population can just show up and attend without a ticket....

Amy Argetsinger: Does anyone want to take bets on the likelihood of America's Polo Cup being hosted next spring on the Mall.... or really anywhere else?

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Omaha, Neb.: I didn't understand the point of the profile on Desiree Rogers. The ONLY link to Gate Crasher-gate (to borrow a phrase from Paul Farhi) is that no one from her staff was present to shoo away uninvited guests. The rest of the article was a description of her successful and glamorous lifestyle. She seems guilty of nothing worse than...having a successful and glamorous lifestyle. To be honest the entire thing seemed pretty, well, catty. Did I miss the bigger picture? Is she an important strand in this emerging mare's nest?

washingtonpost.com: Rogers's unwanted new guest: Scrutiny (Post, Dec. 2)

Roxanne Roberts: The Social Secretary is responsible for the guest list, and it was Desiree's decision not to post a staffer next to the Secret Service agents at the gate----which would have alerted the White House immediately that the couple was, mistakenly or not, not on the guest list. This was the Obama's first state dinner, and there are a number of former White House staffers who feel Desiree should have been patroling the party and trouble-shooting instead of sitting down as a guest. It was a bad break for her---otherwise, the dinner was lovely but that was wiped out by this breach.

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Arlington, Va.: What sort of moronic assistant producer takes the word of someone that they have an invitation to a White House dinner, and doesn't call the Social Secretary's office to check? Bravo needs to scrap this project right now. Yesterday would have been better. They need to completely distance themselves from these parasites. Don't reality shows do any sort of background checks on people? I would think that the Salahis would have red flags all over the place. They are deadbeats, and should be locked up.

Amy Argetsinger: Well, what you said: "Don't reality shows do any sort of background checks on people?"

As our colleague Paul Farhi reported yesterday, no not really.

"In recent years, reality-show participants have been drawn, sometimes without the producers' knowledge, from among those who have committed assaults, appeared in porn films, been tax cheats and deadbeat dads. Many have admitted they have psychological issues, though not usually beforehand. Other shows such as A&E's 'Hoarders' use mental imbalance as their premise.

"Dozens of people who have appeared on reality shows found their TV experiences so emotionally disfiguring that they sought counseling afterward. A handful have committed suicide."

Link to the full story to follow. But point being, this is a loosey-goosey completely unregulated field with no rules or boundaries or union regs.

Having said that.... I suspect that certain shows, like Housewives, DO do certain background screenings -- because they're specifically looking for people with drama. You can't tell me the producers of Housewives/New Jersey didn't know that one of their Wives had a secret past as a stripper messed up in an '80s extortion/kidnapping scheme -- I'd bet you anything they purposefully introduced that as a storyline. Similarly, a simple Google search would have told them months ago that the Salahis have long been embroiled in an ugly family feud over the winery, with questions about their polo matches. They were already incorporating this into the show.

(see my story from Monday about Housewives/DC)

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Maybe the Salahis left before dinner: because they did not like their seating assignment.

Roxanne Roberts: You mean, like not having one?

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Teaching polo to underprivileged children?: Because that's a skill that'll get 'em college scholarships, right?

Amy Argetsinger: Exactly!

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Cleveland Park, Washington, D.C.: Rox and Triple-A --

Isn't one of the first rules of grifting to stay out of the limelight? How could the Salahis screw up so badly?

Amy Argetsinger: Now, now -- you're the one who called them grifters, not us.

But indeed: The trip into the limelight has exposed a lot of things they would not have wanted exposed.

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washingtonpost.com: Chasing fame: The Salahis' desperate 'Housewives' quest (Reliable Source, Nov. 30)

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Chelsea's wedding: So, the Clintons don't have a ranch and a huge stone cross, so where will it be? NYC? The vineyard? destination? Fun, fun. I like other people's weddings.

Roxanne Roberts: I'm guessing the place of all those original rumors: Martha's Vineyard. The clintons have lots of friends with big, private spreads that would be lovely for a summer wedding.

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washingtonpost.com: Reality TV attracts, um, larger-than-life characters (Post, Dec. 1)

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Salhais: Either he or she said his/her cell phone battery died. Do we know if this is true? Did anyone see them making any calls in the late afternoon/evening? Or how about tracing their cell phone usage?

Amy Argetsinger: A lot of people are asking me this -- begging that we try to interview people at the salon to see if she was on her phone at all.

I say, you're missing the point. The e-mails already show that they were NOT invited, that in fact, they had no reason to believe they'd be "on the list" at the White House, that they just kind of took a chance and went. They went on "Today" yesterday and said "we were invited," when in fact these e-mails show they were not invited, and that they had no reason to think they were.

In other words: The cellphone battery is just more dog-ate-my-homework. Irrelevant.

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Anonymous: I guess I'm old-fashioned, but I always thought when one was invited to an event (esp. at the WHITE HOUSE) one received a lovely, printed (should be hand-written, but who has time?) actual paper invitation, that one can have as a keepsake after the event. Does the WH still do this? Maybe they should!

Roxanne Roberts: They still do. Actual invited guests got engraved invitations in the mail. That should have been the first tip off to the reality producers that they weren't being truthful----you think they wouldn't show off the invitation for the cameras? Plee-eze.

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Arlington, Va.: I've forgotten the name of the Pentagon aide who e-mailed with the party crashers. Do we know how they know each other? Thanks for reporting on this juicy story!!

Amy Argetsinger: All we know is that Michele S. Jones is friends or acquaintances with Paul W. Gardner, the Salahis' Baltimore lawyer. At least, they're Facebook friends. I don't know that she knew the Salahis well. (They've got 1700 Facebook friends, and she's not one of them. For what that's worth.)

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Whatever happened to . . .: You know, with all this gate-crashing news, I realize I hadn't thought about Jon and Kate in DAYS till I saw the item in this morning's paper about spotting Jon at Hook.

washingtonpost.com: Hey, isn't that: Jon Gosselin at Hook (Reliable Source, Dec. 1)

Amy Argetsinger: How random is that? Do you think maybe Jon was here to provide support to the Salahis? I think the next reality show I'd like to see is one where Jon (maybe accompanied by his friend Michael Lohan) counsels other reality star trainwrecks.

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Today Show with Matt Lauer!: Roxanne,

Great job on the Today show this morning! You looked fab too.

For both of you: Did you see the social climbing salon owner and employees on Entertainment Tonight on Monday? They just couldn't keep gushing over M.S. Then, very dramatically, the Seigfried and Roy look-alike dropped his chin, peered up at the camera, and whimpered that they didn't get paid for the wedding services they provided!

I about fell off the couch laughing so hard. Social climber goes to a social climber's salon. Social climber's salon gets stiffed, but all is forgiven, kiss and make up, because social climber's salon needs tacky publicity that social climber can bring in.

Roxanne Roberts: Everybody wants to be famous these days, and a lot of folks are prepared to forgive almost anything---if they think someone will help them climb the ladder.

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Tiger: Okay, I need to weigh in on his statement. I'll give him credit for admitting to his transgressions -- unlike others who get caught red-handed doing something they shouldn't be and then deny, deny, deny (I'm looking at you Roger Clemens).

However, I take issue with his little soapbox speech on privacy. Yeah, your wife and kids don't deserve the scrutiny at all. This is your mistake, Tiger. But...you're also the one selling yourself as a family man and pimping your pristine image everywhere. So, when something like this comes out, you have to deal with the consequences, including public interest and scrutiny.

I just get so annoyed with celebs who complain about the media and the public, but then need to have their egos stroked constantly (but only on their terms). Sorry, you sign up for a life in the public eye, you're going to get attention, bad and good. Deal with it. You get to heat your house with $100 bills because of your choice to lead this life. You have to take the good with the bad, especially when you knowingly make a mistake like this.

Now I'm off my soapbox. Sorry!

Amy Argetsinger: Well said. Thanks.

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Omarosa: "Everything on reality TV is magnified 100 percent": I know what she meant but, when magnification is 100 percent, that's actual size, and not, um, magnified. Just sayin'.

washingtonpost.com: More stories behind Salahis' photographs (Reliable Source, Dec. 2)

Amy Argetsinger: No, please -- no high-level math today! My brain hurts!

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Sterling, Va.: Bravo to Roxanne for her investigative journalism! I believe this tidbit will keep the "Why-aren't-you-discussing-policy-and-economics-this-is-all-pointless-fluff" crowd at bay. At least for a few weeks.

Roxanne Roberts: A couple more days---maybe. A lot of people don't realize Amy and I are as passionate and determined as any investigative reporter on any beat.

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Woodbridge, Va.: Any follow-up reporting on Salahi's claim to be a Redskins cheerleader. That should be pretty easy to verify.

Amy Argetsinger: We debunked this claim in the profile of the couple Neely Tucker and I wrote in Saturday's paper. (link to follow) Michaele has told a number of people over the years that she was a cheerleader -- and even showed up at alumni events -- but the Redskins now say she was not.

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Obama's speech: Ladies, congratulations again on the great reporting you've been doing on the Salahis. In other news, I thought Hillary Clinton looked fabulous last night in the audience. The highlights, the cheekbones, the turquoise!

Amy Argetsinger: Am very sorry I missed the president's speech last night. I was chained to my desk writing another Salahi story. Turquoise is a good color for her.

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washingtonpost.com: Days of wine and poses (Post, Nov. 28)

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Shenandoah Valley, Va.: I live not too far from Front Royal, Va., home of the Salahis. Maybe this is their attempt at a stimulus plan -- the camped out press have to buy their coffee, meals, smokes somewhere. Maybe they will even get hotel rooms, and Front Royal and Warren County can use the revenue!

Roxanne Roberts: Awesome. This is the first I've heard of them giving back to the local community.

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Bluffton, S.C.: Has it been a so-called open secret about Tiger and other women? I can't believe some of his fellow golfers or some of the sports writers haven't noticed what he's up to when his wife is not at a tournament. And how could he be hitting on some woman in Las Vegas and no one realized "Oh, that's Tiger Woods".

Amy Argetsinger: What is it they say about Vegas? What happens in Vegas...?

I hadn't heard any rumors about Tiger. He's known for keeping an incredibly tight lid on her personal life, and for tightly controlling his public image. I don't know that he's got the kind of jocular relationship wtih sports writers that some athletes have. If there *had* been any buzz or whisper about him in those circles, though, I imagine it will start to come out.

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Annapolis, Md.: Has anyone done a complete check on this "dead phone" battery and cell records and the microchips inside the phone? It sounds like "the dog ate my homework" for an excuse. There is NO way these people let their phone go dead. They are way too egotistical to think the world could survive without them. They are addicted to adding their two cents. Their phone Never died...

Amy Argetsinger: Just now seeing this. I swear I came up with the "dog ate my homework" line on my own.

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College Park, Md.: I think Desiree Rogers is safe in her job until she gets written up on Glenn Beck's chalkboard...

Amy Argetsinger: Hmmm.

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Slappy McTickle: This is just a "gossip" chat but you may still want your readers to know that by law, the Secret Service is responsible for screening guests. They dropped the ball. It would be nice to have the social secretary standing by. It may even be common. But the bottom line is, the Secret Service is responsible. They won't be trying to blame it on anyone at the White House, and nobody else should either. Except partisan zealots, of course.

Roxanne Roberts: Technically, you're absolutely right. But the reason we think this has never happened before is the back-up staffer from the social office who has always been there to help resolve any questions about the guest list. As much as the White House would love to put all the blame on the agents, they'd played a role in this, too.

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Texas: As you dig further into the gate-crashers story, what has been the prevailing opinion among those who know the couple? It seems like they have a lot of similar lies and misrepresentations in their closet but then I hear people like Omarossa defending them as nice people...

Amy Argetsinger: We've been overwhelmed by e-mails and phone calls about the Salahis -- and frankly, the vast majority are coming from people who seem to have had a problem with them for a very long time. A few friends have stepped forward to say that they're fun, kind, misunderstood.

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Chelsea's man: Hi ladies,

I've seen a few pics of Chelsea's man. In a few, he looks HOT! In others, like an average guy. So which is it?

Amy Argetsinger: Eye of the beholder, really. I've never seen him in person. From photos, though, I'd say he's cute.

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Detroit, Mich.: Are the Salahis in fantasy land? Do they honestly believe any press is good press? Do they realize the stories (including this morning's polo story) of fraud, bankrupcy and corruption are going to turn them into a D-list version of Heidi and Spencer.

washingtonpost.com: A new field of inquiry: Salahis' polo cup (Post, Dec. 2)

Roxanne Roberts: Well, that's the big question, isn't it? How much money have Heidi and Spencer been paid for being awful? How many viewers might turn in to a reality show with the Salahis? They are more famous that they ever dreamed, and I'm not so sure they aren't going to profit from it.

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Anonymous: Re: the White House party crashers. The wife told her hair stylist she had an invitation but it was "out in the car" -- a lie.

After the party, the crashers wrote Jones saying that they got in after all as they were 'on the list." These people are such liars. Why aren't they being charged?

That their claim that their cell phone battery was dead while they were waiting on a call to see if they got in to the most important event in thier lives is laughable. These people are making a mockery of many.

Amy Argetsinger: Well, unfortunately, it's not a crime to lie to your friends, or to the American public. Ultimately this will come down to whether they lied to the Secret Service either in the course of trying to get in, or in the course of the investigation.

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Confused?: How can someone be confused as to whether they were or were not invited to a State Dinner at the White House?

Roxanne Roberts: Someone who doesn't have an actual invitation and desperately wants to go?

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Lancaster, Pa.: Out of curiosity I went to the Oasis Winery Web site. This guy is claiming that the winery is one of the 10 best in the world, which is hard to believe, but I guess anyone can make that claim and not have it challenged. They also claim that Mrs. Salahi is the "face" of Virginia's wine industry, which is kind of odd because I could only find them involved with one wine association. It just gets more and more weird with each passing day.

Amy Argetsinger: Yes, yes, yes.

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Tiger trouble: Any word on a prenup? How long have they been married?

Amy Argetsinger: They've been married for five years.

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Chantilly, Va.: "A few friends have stepped forward to say they're kind, fun and misunderstood." Very nice. How much were these "friends" paid to say that?

Amy Argetsinger: I've heard that from people who haven't had dealings with them recently, who have no current connection to them now.

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Bethesda, Md.: With the release of the e-mails showing the Salahis had reason to be confused, beyond their normal level of confusion, Please tell me they won't walk away from this without ever hosting a prison party.

Roxanne Roberts: The government would have to prove they lied to agents instead of just slipping through loose security. Hard to prove without audio recordings or video tape.

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Falls Church: I hope the press continues to "explore" their business and charity endeavors....I would like the Salahis to be poster children for the law of unintended consequences.

Amy Argetsinger: There's a lot to look at.

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RE: Tiger comment: Would you please ask the person who wrote in the very thoughtful comment on Tiger, and having to deal with the public pass this along to Wilbon? I don't understand Wilbon's take on this, and agree that Tiger doesn't get a pass because he has used this family man persona for his economic (i.e. taking money from the public) ends...

Roxanne Roberts: Consider it done.

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The Tiger Woods situation: This makes me (again) ask the question, "Why, when they are agitated, are men so likely to get behind the wheel of a car and hit the accelerator?" I realize this question probably does not have an answer....

washingtonpost.com: Woods admits to 'transgressions,' apologizes on Web site (Post, Dec. 2)

Amy Argetsinger: A neurologist or psychologist might be able to do some research into this.

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Polo event on the D.C. Mall: Hey, if these nitwits DO wind up having the Polo Match, I'm DEFINITELY crashing. Who's with me?

Amy Argetsinger: We all are.

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D.C. Baby! : Hi Foxy Roxy! Ok, what is the name of the salon that they filmed at? Sorry I've been out of the loop for a bit...and was it Ted Gibson that was her personal hairstylist? Was it that salon??

Amy Argetsinger: Will pass on the compliment to Rox. They've been filming Real Housewives at a number of salons. Our understanding is that Ted Gibson was a supporting character in the show. However, they've been at other places -- two weeks ago at Roche Salon, the cameras taped Michaele getting a consultation; last week, Michaele's pre-White House primping was filmed at Erwin Gomez.

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How much longer: will John Gosselin being here be an item in your column? Aren't his 15 minutes up already?

Amy Argetsinger: Hey, it's a rare pleasure to have Jon Minus Nine grace our city.

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Washington, D.C.: Y'all went from covering a glitzy red-carpet arrival to breaking news that the Secret Service might not actually be up to the task of protecting the president. Do you feel like a better-dressed Woodward and/or Bernstein? Have the lot of you formed like a "White House Scandal Discover-er Club" or anything? You should.

Amy Argetsinger: Truly, we should hit up Bob for some advice about turning this into a book or two.

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Crashers: At the end of the day -- does Bravo take them? Are they great press or radioactive? I thought the Fahri story the other day did a great job of showing how so many reality TV people are not what they seem.

Amy Argetsinger: What do you all think? I assumed at first that this not only ruined the Salahis chances of being on the show, that it trashed all the work Bravo has put into this entire D.C. season. Now I'm thinking that Bravo is sitting on a goldmine. Only question is whether this lives on as "Real Housewives of D.C.," or as The Salahi Show.

Which raises the question Lisa de Moraes and I were grappling with yesterday. What do we call the Salahi show? She liked "You Salahi Me," whereas I'm voting for "Crashing! With the Salahis."

Give us your suggestions, and we promise to steal the best and pass it off as our own.

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Real Housewives of wherever: I don't see how Mrs. Salahi could ever had been on Real Housewives, because she seems to lack implants.

Amy Argetsinger: Hmmm. Good point. Maybe THAT's how the D.C. season was supposed to be different.

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Burke, Va.: Just wanted to comment on the Oasis website claim that they are one of the "10 best in the world." I've tasted their wines, and I wouldn't even call them one of the 10 best in Fauquier County.

Amy Argetsinger: Oh, snap.

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Philadelphia, Pa. : I know you may see the party crashers as your big moment in the sun, but it's really kind of culturally damaging to the rest of us. You did your chat on Monday. Can you give it a rest now already? Thanks.

Amy Argetsinger: Aw, man, sorry I'm seeing this so late. I should have taken your advice and taken the chat in a different direction. Unfortunately your question got lost... amid the AVALANCE of Salahi questions.

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Hillary: Secretary Clinton looks different these days -- in the best way. More self-assured (though that seems like it was hardly ever a problem for her before)? More comfortable in her own skin? Wiser? She definitely looks like she enjoys her job -- she seems more genuine, and with less of an obvious game face than in the primary for example.

Amy Argetsinger: Thanks.

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Housewives: Everyone keeps saying Bravo hasn't chosen the Real Housewives yet. But, they're already filming, right? Don't they interact with each other? Wouldn't that require some serious editing if one person wasn't chosen but had been filmed with others who were? Seems to me like Bravo would have finalized their list before starting to film.

Roxanne Roberts: The producers have hours and hours of footage---more than enough to highlight the best characters for TV. They don't have to make a final choice on the cast until they begin to edit for the episodes. Michaele and Tareq both signed releases and could potentially be downgraded to minor characters.

Thing of it like dating: Bravo and Michaele are sleeping together, but with no commitments. And you know how nasty breakups can be. BUT....she's probably great for a reality show, so I'd be surprised if she's cut out. And remember, she's not the only housewife: there are four others.

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Ashburn, Va.: A beautiful wife, two adorable children, all the money in world, and a special god-given talent, and it's still not enough. Unbelievable, was so arrogant to think he wouldn't get caught?

Amy Argetsinger: Doesn't it seem like we keep reading this same story over and over, just a different guy at the center of it?

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Georgetown, D.C.: Bottomline -- these people are liars and will do whatever it takes to be in the spotlight -- from the White House state dinner, to the CBC dinner, to their winery, to being a Redskins cheerleader and Victoria's Secret model, these people would be an embarassment to D.C. if they get on the Real Housewives.

Roxanne Roberts: Isn't that kind of the point?

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The social life: Is there such a thing as social pariah anymore? Will the Salahis find themselves in that position? I wonder. Do you think there is any gaffe or crime wherein one is truly ostracized these days? (Excluding the overtly criminal -- e.g., OJ Simpson, Madoffs, etc.)

Amy Argetsinger: I think this does not serve them well in the kind of society they aspired to.

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You are dead-on with the info on Desiree Rogers: When you are "in charge" it is your job to know what is going on throughout the event. It doesn't mean you don't trust the Secret Service, or the caterer, or anyone else. You just stay on top of everything. She had no business acting like a guest when she was there as an employee and responsible for the event. I just don't think she gets what is means to be "staff."

Roxanne Roberts: Well, I'm sure the events of the past week have been very educational.

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Upper Midwest: Saw today on MSN that Meredith Baxter came out of the closet because Perez Hilton, posted some pictures last week. Why in the world would PH bother with "exposing" Ms. Baxter, she hasn't really been on the radar screen in years. Your gossip people, is this just PH's way of keeping himself in the spotlight? (by using others) What is your opinion on someone like PH?

washingtonpost.com: Actress Meredith Baxter reveals she is a lesbian (AP, Dec. 2)

Amy Argetsinger: I never look at Perez Hilton, so this is the first I'm hearing that he did anything to nudge her out of the closet.

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Salahi Show Name . . .: Salahi By Invitation Only

Amy Argetsinger: ooh, good.

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Salahi Show?: Salahi on Rye

Amy Argetsinger: Haha.

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Hollywood, Florida: I think I agree with the Philly chatter -- this story is really about a major breach of security and perhaps by all of our joking, we're not seeing just how dangerous this could have been. I hope they throw the book at those two.

Amy Argetsinger: yeah, thanks. There's so much distracting (and, in fact, hilarious) stuff about this story, but at heart, it's a very serious matter.

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Palin in Fairfax: Hey, isn't Sarah Palin supposed to be in our area this week?

Roxanne Roberts: Yup---she's scheduled to speak at the Gridiron's Winter Dinner Saturday night. With Barney Frank! Closed to the press (except club members), but would be a hoot to see, don't you think? Barney is hilarious.

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Virginia Wine Country: Kind of a wine-geeky note, I realize. But Tareq's nickname among Virginia winemakers is "Tartaric" (as in tartaric acid, an unwanted byproduct in making wine). Not intended as a compliment.

Amy Argetsinger: Hahaha.

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Party crashers and T-giving: So were your Thanksgiving travel plans ruined by having to stay and cover the gate crasher story?

Amy Argetsinger: My Thanksgiving plans were ruined by having to travel AND cover this story! I sat at my mom's computer for 8-to-10 hours straight Thursday and Friday, and occasionally they'd bring me a sandwich or something. Which was very nice of them. I was able to take a break for T'sgiving dinner, though.

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Salahi: The TV Show: This could work, but first they would actually have to admit that they are drifters and rip-off artists and not the big shots they claim to be. Them being on the joke would seem to be a priority on the show, and they have not shown that sense of humor yet.

Amy Argetsinger: Yeah, I agree. They really have to start OWNING it.

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Binghamton, N.Y.: What, in your opinion, will it take for Jon and Kate Gosselin to cease being celebrities?

I'm not asking rhetorically -- I thought that Michael Jackson's death was going to kick the Gosselins right out of the tabloids, but it hasn't. Ditto for their divorce and show cancellation.

Will we be hearing about this family for the next 20 years?

Amy Argetsinger: God, I hope not. Who knows. It depends: Are we experiencing the dying days of reality TV, or is reality TV still in its infancy?

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Bethesda, Md.: Think the Salahis are plotting how to crash Chelsea's wedding?

Amy Argetsinger: Hahaha! Let's hope.

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Bethesda, Md.: I hope this isn't too vulgar for this chat but any guesses on how long it will be until Micheale Salahi appears in Playboy (for an undisclosed, but large sum)? My guess is Sept. 2010.

Amy Argetsinger: This isn't too vulgar for the chat.

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"Our lives have been destroyed": was the quote from Michaele Salehi?! Well, let's just call her a waahmbulance, or take her out for some french cries and a waahburger! Consequences, consequences, folks.

BTW, I just assumed that they had someone on the inside to help them, then they just acted like they were supposed to be there. And I thought that the "Wedding Crashers" movie was made up!

Amy Argetsinger: Waaahmbulance! I love it.

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Rockville, Md.: It's pretty bad to be crashing a party that even Blair Underwood can get an invitation to? How did he end up on the list?

Amy Argetsinger: He's actually been a big AIDS activist lately. A new clinic in Washington was just named for him.

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Tiger would benefit from Letterman: Good grief! I just listened to the voicemail Tiger left on a girlfriend's phone, asking her to change her voicemail so her name wasn't on it anymore! Who cares if this is real -- if Tiger had just laid everything out on the table (like Dave), this would be going so much better for his wife and kids (I don't really care about him). His typical privacy shield response is just making it worse, now every chick he ever met will sell her story!

washingtonpost.com: Alleged Tiger Woods voicemail (UsMagazine.com, Dec. 2)

Amy Argetsinger: It's turning into one of those drip-drip-drip stories, huh?

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The Salahis: After seeing their interview yesterday, were they or were they not on the guest list? Should be easy to find. If they were not did they get an invitation (perhaps they got one, but the guest list was not updated), yes or no? Again, should be easy to verify. If not then they were trespassing and should be arrested.

Amy Argetsinger: I'm going to post something on the blog about this soon. You've heard about the e-mails right? (link to follow). The White House has said all along they were not invited. The Salahis said on "Today" yesterday that they "were invited." But the e-mails their lawyers released last night -- basically to show that they were just confused, not willfully trespassing, I guess -- also show that, like we knew, they were NOT invited, and that they KNEW they were not invited.

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New York: Something puzzles me. The night of the state dinner, you alerted a White House staffer that the Salahis were not on the guest list. I'm figuring that either the staffer didn't report this to the Secret Service, or he/she did and the information was somehow disregarded. Can you tell us anything more about this? Thanks for the great work!

Roxanne Roberts: Happy to. I asked two staffers early in the evening to verify the Salahis identities and tell me why they weren't on the list. I've covered plenty of state dinners, and that seemed really odd to me---especially since I knew the Salahis backstory with the reality show. The staffers were both responsible for dealing with the press, busy with their own responsibilies, and I'm sure they assumed that the Salahis were there because someone said it was okay for them to be there. And remember, it was their first state dinner.

In a perfect world, someone would have mentioned the fact to a staffers with the social office, who could have double-checked right away. But as we've said, there was a lot going on. I'm just thrilled the Salahis were just crashers amd no one got hurt.

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Melencamp Facebook stunt: So, if 1 million people sign up on Facebook, he'll quit smoking? Really? How about quitting for your health, or your family? Why should he care about 1 million people?

Amy Argetsinger: Good lord, I missed that one until now. (link to follow)Johnny Cougar, just stop smoking!

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Anonymous: "is reality TV still in its infancy"

Surely, the absolute dreck of things like VH-1's string of shows ("Rock of Love," "I Love NY," "Celebrity Rehab") must represent, if not the teen years, at LEAST the terrible twos, right? I mean, I don't think we're really that far from the Roman Coliseum at this point.

Amy Argetsinger: Hmmm.

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Perez Hilton and closets: Hello. He is gay and he supposedly supports everyone who is gay and also slams any girl who dates a man he thinks is hot. Perez Hilton supports gay people and outs them. He is a jerk.

Amy Argetsinger: Thanks for your vote.

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Great timing karma: Meredith Baxter gets my vote for best timing karma. Coming out on national television on a day when the Tiger Woods and White House Crashers news is still flowing fast and furious? She should buy a lottery ticket while she's in the zone.

Amy Argetsinger: Because if she had come out on a quieter week... this would have been a bigger story? I don't think this was ever going to be much of a story, god bless her.

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washingtonpost.com: Who wants to help Mellencamp quit smoking? (Popwatch)

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Annapolis, Md.: Let's hear it for Omarosa standing up for the integrity of Reality TV. That was a rather bizarre item this morning, where she seemed to be describing Mrs. Salahi as something of a hanger-on to her own Omarosaian brilliance -- wanting to hang out with her. Did she seem to actually have warm feelings towards the gate crashers?

Amy Argetsinger: Yeah, she likes them. Says Michelle's a sweetheart, just very, very persistent.

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Tiger: He has used his golfer persona to make money, not a "family man" persona. He has never put his wife and kids out there like some famous people do. It doesn't matter how much he makes in endorsements, he is only obligated to fulfill those contracts, nothing more. He cannot control what people say about him, so he complains about it. But other than that, I don't think he "owes" the public anything or has to "put up with" anything he doesn't want to. His contracts were with sponsors, not the public. He does what he wants to do because he can. Just as anyone else does. Sorry people, but Tiger doesn't "owe" you anything.

Amy Argetsinger: Okay, thanks for a different opinion.

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Tiger Crash: My mother, a physician, had the following theory about Tiger's crash. He had a seizure. The facial and mouth marks are consistent with someone who has a seizure. Loss of muscle control from a seizure would explain the sudden car crash. Some seizures present themselves as headaches or can be induced by stress. Which, given what information is coming forward, could possibly be true.

Amy Argetsinger: Good grief, a seizure on top of everything else going on for him that week.

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Who cares about the crashers: Who's going to watch tonight's Top Chef? My guess is one of the Voltaggio brother's (from Frederick) are going to pull it off. Any scoop on who does win?

Amy Argetsinger: Uh, no.

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Washington, D.C.: Do you agree that the Salahis committed the crime of social suicide -- at least within the D.C. social set? I mean, this city is 100 percent about discretion, so who is going to want to rub elbows with them? And on the flip side, being from D.C. they're not hip or glamorous (or young) enough to take their pseudo-stardom anywhere like L.A. or NYC.

Amy Argetsinger: Honestly, the Salahis were not D.C. players before this. That's why it struck us as so weird when they walked into the White House.

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they were NOT invited, and that they KNEW they were not invited?: Wait -- are you claiming they LIED to Matt Lauer? No, can't be. Matt's going to have to throw down when they come back on the show in a few days.

Amy Argetsinger: And remember, you heard Tareq *promise* him -- or was it a threat? -- that next time, they were going to come to New York, sit on his couch, and show him all the evidence. Next time!

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Even more impressive: What makes your coverage of the Salahi story even more impressive is that you covered it from Upstate New York. Wow.

Amy Argetsinger: Helps now that we have broadband and cell-phone service up there.

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Their lives ave been destroyed: Of course they have been destroyed. You know how much more difficult it will be now for them to get photos for their Facebok page with other unrepresented celebrities, like Tiger Woods, Hamid Karzai, and William Shatner?

Amy Argetsinger: Aw, nah, man, you don't get it -- now Shatner and Karzai will be lining up to get their pictures taken with THEM.

I'm still scouring the Facebook archives -- I'm convinced that they MUST have gotten their picture taken with Tiger at some point.

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Arlington, Va.: "Waahmbulance!" BRILLIANT post! Get it trademarked immediately!

Amy Argetsinger: Did everyone else already know that one? I love it.

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Blair Underwood: In addition to the AIDS clinic, I think the house where visiting heads of state stay near the White House also has been named for him.

Amy Argetsinger: Blair House! Of course. You're brilliant.

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Roxy on CNN: Roxy, I almost liked seeing you on CNN over the weekend and almost saw what you looked like but CNN kept covering the lower part of your face with breaking news and other assorted bugs. Otherwise, fine job.

Amy Argetsinger: Has anyone else noticed that instead of a "crawl," CNN now has something more like a flipper? Well, I noticed.

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Digital cameras: Hi! Was wondering about the Salahi's picture-taking at the WH. Watching the footage of the president's toast on C-SPAN, I was shocked how many people at the dinner were snapping his photos as he walked in and to his table. I just thought it would be rude to snap photos at a State Dinner? What do you think? Someone said that should have been a red flag on the Salahis, that they were asking for so many photos. But in that atmosphere, maybe not?

Roxanne Roberts: Not. It's a new world, where everyone has their little digital to capture big moments. I was kind of shocked, but I'm old school.

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Washington, D.C. : I don't want the fools de Salahi clogging up the prison system. I do want hefty fines, and the most humiliating very public, public service duties we can find. What's great is when the story first broke I saw at least two news outlets report that the Salahis were very well connected D.C. socialites and that yes, he was the face of the Virginia wine industry. Nice fact checking. (Not you, of course. Bad media in Calif. where I was for the holiday.)

Amy Argetsinger: Ha. Thanks!

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Capitol Hill: For my christmas cards this year, I hope to get a photo of me with the Salahis. Any idea where I could find them?

Amy Argetsinger: We are going to try to make that happen for you.

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Michaele Salahi...: ...is the new Sarah Palin, blaming everyone else when things don't go her way!

Amy Argetsinger: How are Michaele's approval ratings looking these days?

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Arlington, Va.: Ladies. Great job breaking the party crashers story. For as much criticism that the Secret Service is getting for the lapse in security, I firmly believe that Desiree Rogers deserves much of the blame as well. I think she forgets that she is now part of the hired help. After reading Robin Givhan's article about her in the Post and Maureen Dowd's column in the NY Times, I can't help but wonder if her days are numbered at the WH. Can she survive this?

washingtonpost.com: Rogers's unwanted new guest: Scrutiny (Post, Dec. 2)

Amy Argetsinger: Did we get this link out already? Anyway, very good story, very smart and fair and probing.

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Philadelphia, Pa.: Tiger Woods should have taken a tip from David Letterman and been up front about his "transgressions" from Day One. Thanks to his frankness, and acknowledging that he has a lot of groveling to do to his wife, Letterman's issues and related story have faded away. Tiger gave his length and breadth by hiding. In fact, he only 'fessed up after the babe with the voicemail message came forward today. Who ever thought Letterman's handling of his affairs would leave behind a lesson in honesty, maybe even a little class?

Roxanne Roberts: Kids, let that be a lesson to you all: If you must cheat on your wife and get caught, fess up right away.

Or how about this: Don't cheat on your girlfriend/wife?

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Wait -- are you claiming they LIED to Matt Lauer?: A body-language expert on TV last night dissected the Salahis' performance, and it didn't look good for them.

Amy Argetsinger: Ah, the body-language experts! I know a few I should call on this.

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Washington, D.C. : Lemme know if I turn up in the Salahi's Facebook archives.

Amy Argetsinger: I'll "tag" you.

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Washington: I'm guessing this story has taken over your past week, probably ruining your Thanksgiving. So on behalf of all your readers -- thank you for all the hard work.

Roxanne Roberts: Pretty much. Saved a few calories, though. Thanks for the compliment.

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Washington, D.C. : I don't watch Housewives, but are any of them really socialites or are that important in the towns where they live? By the way, of my friends/family who don't live in D.C., this story barely registers and the idea that they might go to jail just seems absurd to them. I kinda wanna throw 'em to the lions, but maybe I've lived here too long.

Amy Argetsinger: See my story from Monday on the "Housewives" invasion of D.C. I hope it doesn't sound unkind -- a lot of them are perfectly nice folks -- but I said that the entire cast as we know it would really only rate as modest B-list socially around here. None of them were household or headline names.

Oh, and we've all lived here too long.

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Backstory Salahi: So, we know a little about him and his family "connection" but where did she come from? Where did she grow up?

Amy Argetsinger: We touched on this in "Days of Wine and Poses." My understanding is she grew up around here, in Northern Virginia.

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The Today show: That was awesome how they invited themselves back to the Today Show, to be in New York, in the studio with Al Roker and Matt and Ann. That's why these two are professionals.

Roxanne Roberts: Not just back---on the couch with Matt. Awesome.

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D.C.: Enough with the Salahis! Any sightings of the Pixies around town? I see them as a Red Derby type of crowd...

Amy Argetsinger: Oh, back in the day. But now they're rich, middle-aged folks. They probably just rolled back to the hotel suite. No sightings of them, alas.

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Anonymous: It would be interesting to know how far in advance Mrs Salahi had bought or had her dress made. Weeks ahead without having an invitation to this event? Has someone asked about this? Good job on this story

Amy Argetsinger: The Salahis told me (before they stopped communicating with me) that they bought the dress when they were in India in July. Doesn't mean they bought it specially for this dinner.

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Here and there: Do you think Rogers will lose her job? Will any heads roll?

Roxanne Roberts: Frankly, I'd be very surprised if that happened. There were a number of factors that played in the incident: The lack of a social office staffer at the gate was a big one, but so was the decision to invite a larger than normal crowd, the line of people waiting in the rain, and the inexperience of this White House on state dinners. It did not help matters that Desiree was a guest, but that's not the sole reason the Salahis were abble to crash.

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washingtonpost.com: Days of wine and poses (Post, Nov. 28)

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Sacramento, Calif. : The two gate crashers were discovered because you recognized them and did your job (brilliantly, by the way). Could other people have done the same and gotten away with it because they were not recognized? I hope the WH and Secret Service are looking to match all the names of the people in attendance with their lists to see if anyone else was there who should not have been.

Amy Argetsinger: Honestly, I assumed that Tuesday night that the entire Internet was going to erupt first thing Wednesday a.m. with news that the Salahis were at the White House. It didn't -- and it only occurred to me later that, well, really Roxanne and I are the only people who are familiar with both the world of the White House and the world of the Salahis.

I see what you're saying about lists, but.... there's only one list. It's not like the Salahis were going to show up on a list of "people in attendance" -- the only list was the official guest list. So if we hadn't seen the Salahis -- and if they hadn't advertised their presence there on Facebook -- then the discrepency wouldn't have come up. It appears theoretically possible that someone could crash, and no one would ever have realized they were there.

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Tempe, Ariz.: My fav name for it is "Crasherquiddick"

Amy Argetsinger: Hahaha.

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Waahhmbulance: My now grown kids learned that one in elementary school. Cute, but not new.

Amy Argetsinger: Sigh.

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Facebook Tagging: Just make sure you spell it right, I don't want to end up like Ron, I mean Rahm...

Amy Argetsinger: I know! So sad for Rahm, that missplaced "tag" wouldn't end up on his Facebook Wall!

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Fort Worth, Tex.: "Tareq and Michaele Plus Fail"?

Amy Argetsinger: Ha!

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Bottom Li, NE: One last thought on the Salahis: As Roxanne said on the Today show, you can't get into half the buildings in D,C, without having previously provided your Social Security number and date of birth. That is just the way the city works. We all know they were just pushing their way into the party through a very tenuous connection at the Pentagon. the White House didn't reach out to them. Also -- Have to say I loved that she wore a cross on her Today show interview. How cynical is that?

Roxanne Roberts: That's the first thing I noticed, too! A martyr, really: 44 years of social climbing down the tube.

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Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright: I agree that celebrities lose their claim to absolute privacy when they cash in on their fame by becoming highly-paid spokesmen.

The next time I see one of Tiger's commercials selling cars, I am certain to think: "This is the car that -- according to Tiger -- was in an accident so gentle that the airbag didn't go off and yet he was knocked unconscious as a result. Why is he trying to sell me a deathtrap?"

Amy Argetsinger: hahaha

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Sala, Hawaii: The only small goodness that can come out of this (other than schadenfreude) is that if indeed, the Salahis are paid for yakking on talk shows, they should be able to pay back the apparently long list of people who have judgments against them.

Out of curiosity though... the salon where Michaele got primped said that she owed them thousands because she expected to be comped. 1. Why would the salon continue to work with her, and 2. How often are folks like her comped (i.e., not someone legitimately famous).

Amy Argetsinger: Good question. The Erwin Gomez Salon claims she never paid the bill for the work they did on her wedding years ago. Why take her in now? Because, they note, she pre-paid this time. And also, clearly, they were not immune to the fact she was bringing cameras along this time. It was publicity.

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Crash, Va.: There's been one guy who's apparently bypassed security into something like 20 straight Super Bowls. Occasionally, if you seem like you know what you're doing and have a way with words, you can talk your way into a lot.

Amy Argetsinger: Now, HE should have his own show.

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D.C.: Any reaction from the Indian government or media?

Are the Indians mad that this spoiled their moment?

Amy Argetsinger: I think a lot of people are mad this spoiled their moment.

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Woodstock, Va.: The Salahis sound like a couple of con artists. Do either one of them have actual jobs? Are they living off the proceeds from the polo events by not paying expenses? How do they generate income?

Amy Argetsinger: Please read Neely Tucker and Mary Jordan's A1 story today .

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Amsterdam, Netherlands: As egregious or boorish as they are, aren't these two just an 'extreme' version of the typical social climber? Does it not take the same type of characteristic to be a more long-term occupant of the White House? No offense intended.

Amy Argetsinger: None taken!

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Reston, Va.: Have you noticed that Mrs. Salahi strikes the same exact pose in pretty much every non-candid photo?

Is the hunched shoulders/tilted head supposed to be glamorous or flattering?

Amy Argetsinger: Hey, that's MY pose.

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Arlington, Va.: Not to make the chat political, but Michelle Malkin has used the Waahmbulance for about a year. Not sure where its origins are.

Amy Argetsinger: Okay, see, obviously I don't get out much.

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Amy Argetsinger: Confidential to Maryland with the military escort friend. Drop us a line at reliablesource@washpost.com.

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Enough of the Salahis: Let's talk about what's really important: what did Roxanne wear to the State Dinner?

Amy Argetsinger: To stand behind the velvet ropes, she wore a black satin top, black satin pants, a black cashmere blazer -- and she says she'd guarantee you nobody noticed.

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Bravo: Don't you think Bravo is doing a big fat Happy Dance right now that they (hopefully) have dodged the Salahi bullet?

Amy Argetsinger: What do you mean? What bullet have they dodged? They haven't said they're cutting the Salahis loose. For all we know they're doing a happy dance because they're sitting on a goldmine of behind-the-scenes footage about the controversial couple of the year...

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Lansdale, Pa.: Who deserves more sympathy Tiger or the Salahis?

Amy Argetsinger: Let's take this up next week, shall we? Too soon to say, I think. (Also: Too late in the hour. Or hour and a half.)

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Uniquely qualified: "It didn't -- and it only occurred to me later that, well, really Roxanne and I are the only people who are familiar with both the world of the White House and the world of the Salahis."

I wonder whether this makes it more likely that one or both of you will always be invited to these functions, or less. (It may be a little more likely that the Secret Service will "accidentally" lose your name from the list, though.)

Amy Argetsinger: Here's what I wonder: Do we now have to stop running our occasional feature about parties?

You know the one I mean.

The one with the headline: "Sorry You're Not On the List: One in an occasional series of dispatches from parties you should have crashed."

Maybe it's not cute anymore.

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State College, Pa.: Madrigal, here, again.

Ooo! A book deal for you two. So who gets to play you two in the movie that will undoubtedly be coming out about all this?

As a chatter said, our very own Woodward and Bernstein.

Roxanne Roberts: Very sweet of you to say....we're proud of our scoop, but it's not Watergate. And, please god, no movie.

Thanks, all, for the kind words. Now we need you tips at reliablesource@washpost.com.

Same time, next week.

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Amy Argetsinger: Wow, thanks again. More questions than we could ever have taken. Who knows what we'll be talking about next week? See you then. And until then, reliablesource@washpost.com.

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