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Who cooda seen this comin'? It now appears that Michaele and Tareq Salahi are shopping their White House party crashing story around to the networks, seeking somewhere in the neighborhood of several hundred thousand dollars for the juicy bits. Are the details of Secret Service security arrangements a total mystery to you? Ever wonder how you, too, could sneak into the White House and claim your 15 minutes of fame? All of your questions may soon be answered if one of the infotainment networks decides to book these two and let them lay it all out...

When the Salahis decided to postpone their Monday night appearance on Larry King Live, I thought perhaps that they were getting smart. I thought maybe they had retained a smart attorney, one who had advised them not to go on Larry King. "You don't want to end up like the balloon boy's parents," I could hear the lawyer saying. "They never should have gone on Larry King; they should have kept their mouths shut. One slip-up on King's show, in front of a national audience, and you guys could be toast. Don't do it, that's my advice."

Well, if that's what I thought, I thought wrong. The real reason the Salahis have postponed their appearance on Larry King Live is that they have decided to shop their story around and see if some other interviewer will outbid King. The New York Times is reporting that:

...a television network executive, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the network does not publicly comment on payments, said the couple’s asking price for an interview was in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. "They are asking for best offers from all the networks," the executive said. Programs quietly pay steep fees for photographs and videos to secure interviews in some cases.

Separately, a CNN spokesman confirmed that the appearance on Mr. King’s talk show was postponed on Friday.

Personally, I have had just about enough of these two parasitic socialites and their excellent adventure. The Secret Service has been badly tarnished by this affair, and it is about to get totally discredited as soon as the Salahis hit the Talk Show Trail. My greatest fear is that the Salahis will get away with this, and will be rewarded with a media fame and Hollywood riches, which might inspire some really demented clown to attack Obama in hopes of gaining even greater fame.

It's been attempted before. I have in mind Charles J. Guiteau, who shot and killed President James Garfield in 1881.  During his trial for murder, a trial that met the very definition of a media circus, Guiteau sought to finance his legal defense fund by saying, "I desire to invite my friends throughout the nation to send me money.  People have given Mrs. Garfield $200,000...a splendid thing, a noble thing. Now I want them to give me some money." Wikipedia says that

Guiteau became something of a media darling during his entire trial for his bizarre behavior, formatting his testimony in epic poems which he recited at length, and soliciting legal advice from random spectators in the audience via passed notes. He dictated an autobiography to the New York Herald, ending it with a personal ad for a nice Christian lady under thirty. He was blissfully oblivious to the American public's outrage and hatred of him, even after he was almost assassinated twice himself. At one point, he argued before Judge Cox that Garfield was killed not by himself but by medical malpractice, ("The doctors killed Garfield, I just shot him"). To the end, Guiteau was actively making plans to start a lecture tour after his perceived imminent release and to run for President himself in 1884, while at the same time continuing to delight in the media circus surrounding his trial. He was dismayed when the jury was unconvinced of his divine inspiration, convicting him of the murder. On the scaffold, Guiteau recited a poem he had written called "I am Going to the Lordy." He had originally requested an orchestra to play as he sang his poem, but this request was denied.

Just because Michaele and Tareq Salahi are acting like a couple of narcissistic buffoons, do not assume that they are harmless. They may be inspiring an even greater buffoon to perform the very greatest of harm. God help us if another Charles Guiteau should appear.

Originally posted to catullus on Sat Nov 28, 2009 at 10:09 PM PST.

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