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"I want to see that invitation": D.C. 'Housewives' recap and fact-check (#8, Sept. 30)


(Photo -- Gerald Herbert/AP)

Finally, the penultimate episode of "The Real Housewives of D.C." It's the one that brings us to the night of the White House state dinner, as Bravo draws back the curtain on the machinations of its own surreality, and basically throws the Salahis under the bus. Bravo lets the camera roll as Michaele Salahi gives an increasingly elaborate account of how they supposedly got invited to the White House -- an account that, in real life, was later largely contradicted by the couple's own legal team. We also see producers prodding them -- but is it for honest answers, or just for better TV? Were Tareq and Michaele aggressively stepping up their usual levels of bluster here -- or were they just being dutiful reality stars, acting out the poses and themes required by the unscripted script?

Actually, most of the episode has nothing to do them. It opens at Lynda Erkiletian's modeling agency in Georgetown, with a casting call for a fashion show -- "officially endorsed by the Burkina Faso embassy," she tells us, "which is where the designer is from." (Oh, hear that, bloggers? All you smart-alecks who snarked about Lynda's episode-one boast that her agency "caters to the ambassadors, to the dignitaries"... and got a letter from her lawyer ordering you stop implying she runs a brothel. See? She DOES cater to the ambassadors, in a perfectly wholesome way.) She assesses the latest talent through cute reading glasses. A favorable nod to a strapping African-American fellow (quirky music to make us think she LIKES-likes him), but thumbs-down to a dude who's grown his hair into a Marlo Thomas flip. This merits an interjected moment of Michaele telling the camera, "Lynda is very much a bully." (Hey, I think we all hated the hair.)

At Stacie Turner's home, she and husband Jason peer at a laptop. Since her Anglo birth mother isn't helping Stacie find her Nigerian birth father, they've tracked down the birth mother's son on Facebook. Jason drafts a message: "You will not believe the mutual acquaintance we share. Please reach out as soon as possible." (Totally wrong approach: It sounds like he's about to offer Dear Kind Sir a share of the 750,000,000 pounds he needs help transferring out of a Congolese warlord's bank account. Delete!) Stacie worries that her Caucasian half-brother will be put off if he gets Jason on the phone. "I will speak with my absolutely diction-correct voice," Jason reassures her. "I will be racially agnostic. No 'yo, whazzup!'" (They give all the good lines to the husbands.)

Lynda meets Mary Amons and Cat Ommanney at the Madison on a snowy day. (This is your tipoff that the Housewives are, as usual, time-traveling. In the fake Bravo chronology, the Nov. 24 White House incident hasn't quite happened yet, remember? And yet it didn't snow in D.C. until December 5.) The talk is of how stressed Cat is, with her husband Charles traveling so much. And of all the crazy stories going around about the Salahis. (Again, stories that they would have seen in The Washington Post and other fine outlets... only AFTER the White House incident.) Lynda proclaims that Michaele never modeled for her agency. Cut to the Salahis, in yet another limo, champagne in the back seat, on their way to the Inn at Little Washington. (She's wearing a tank top, the sun is shining, the trees are verdant, soooo... guessing this is at least two months earlier? Yep: The Salahis dined at the Inn the last day of September that fall.) And cut back to the Madison: Cat wondering "how does a couple exist like this for so long." Ominous music. Lynda alleges that the Salahis' home is in foreclosure (reported by one of the New York tabs in the days after the White House incident, but never confirmed) and that Oasis Winery had declared bankruptcy. (Both the winery, controlled by Tareq's parents, and Tareq's own business based at the property filed for bankruptcy, after being locked in litigation with each other for years.)

Cut back to the sunny day at the Inn at Little Washington. (Located 70 miles from D.C. in small-town Washington, Va., it is widely considered one of the best, and most expensive, restaurants in the region. Unclear if the Salahis paid or if they were comped in exchange for the free Bravo publicity.) They greet general manager Kaan Caglar with hugs and kisses, and join their friends "Daphne and Stewart." (Hey: Call us! Or write to reliablesource@washpost.com. So much to discuss.) Chatter about the America's Polo Cup, and how they're going to play India next. The Salahis go on about their recent "several weeks" visit to India -- a "major press conference" at the embassy (you can actually find some bland little press-release style write-ups of this apparent event in Indian publications from summer 2009), a meeting with "the royal family of India." (There are so many no-longer-ruling royal families around India, it's a hard one to check.) And most exciting, Tareq tells the camera: "President Obama is hosting India at the White House state dinner."

Lynda goes to the Burkina Faso embassy to meet with the designer -- an elegant woman named Clara Lawson Ames (don't worry, you're not supposed to have heard of her) -- and the ambassador's wife, Araba Yonli. (Not a bad score for the D.C. "Housewives," which has had a hard time evoking the power and influence it so badly craves. You may have never heard of her -- but before her husband got this gig, he was the prime minister and she was the first lady of Burkina Faso. So, hey!) Lynda is touched by Mrs. Yonli's desire to show that African isn't just about poverty and war, but also great fashion.

Back to Cat's house, where she's asking Charles to print one of his photos of Obama -- she wants to give it to the president at the White House Christmas party. (As a photographer on the presidential beat, it's typical that he and his plus-one would be invited to annual party for journalists, one of the couple dozen cast-of-hundreds receptions hosted by the White House during the holiday season.) He tells her that Obama is looking forward to meeting her, and she glows: "Charles has bored Obama senseless with chat about me and photographs of me for years." (Yeah, that one's hard to fact-check... The Ommanneys gaze at each other warmly, belying the overtones of doom that producers have tried to layer onto their scenes in an attempt to catch up with the news -- not made public until June 2010, in our column -- that they had split.)

Quickly now: Stacie and Jason, frustrated not to have heard back from the half-brother, decide to go to the Nigerian embassy for help finding her father. Lynda calls Mary (on speakerphone, of course, as required by reality-TV regulations) about the Burkina Faso fashion show -- and tells her she has "posted a picture of Tareq and Michaele with security," to keep them out. Mary, as you remember, doesn't want to see them after they humiliated her and leveled false accusations about her daughter at their "grape stomp dinner." Michaele tells the camera that those other 'Wives are "destructive and cliquey... I'm all about big love for everybody!"

And finally, a brisk yet rich scene in which Lynda Erkiletian shows D.C., if not the entire world, how a true Bravo Housewife does it! She dons a shiny dress, calls in her stylist and assistant: "Katie, can Ishmael have some chardonnay please?" She admits she'd never heard of Burkina Faso. She beckons her boyfriend Ebong "for a little scotch on the rocks, pretty pretty please, oh, gosh, thank you!" And tells him, "you're so hot, I'm having a hot flash right now!" She has Ishmael put a big flower in her up-do. to go with her chandelier earrings. And then before she leaves for the big fashion show, requests her astrological charts. We're on notice: Lynda is the alpha Housewife, the uber-Housewife, the Housewife 3000, and she should have the spinoff. ("Can Ishmael have some chardonnay please?" I practice saying it myself, but I just can't do it right.)

Stacie and Jason meet with a Nigerian embassy staffer, Stella, at Sova Espresso & Wine Bar. (Never thought it would happen! A Housewife has ventured into Northeast Washington, all the way over to the edgy H Street corridor.) Stacie still doesn't know her father's name, but her mother did send her photos, and damned if Stella doesn't recognize his tribal garb: "This could be a chief in my village." Stacie's dad taught in Owerri? That's the region Stella's from! They might even be kin. And Stella knows some people to call. (This is great stuff. Stacie should have the spinoff!)

The fashion show at Union Station, and brief impressionistic moments of contrived drama: Lynda asks security to watch out for the Salahis -- because they crashed the Congressional Black Caucus gala, she reminds everyone. Cat complains that Charles doesn't like to go to these kinds of things, though he's there. Cat blanches at the sight of Erika Martin Hughes (of last week's star-making catfight), and won't sit next to her. Mary tells the camera it's not her problem if her friends don't like each other. D.C. Councilmember David Catania impresses Lynda with his talk of how hard he's pushing for gay marriage, which prompts "celebrity colorist" Jason Backe to one-up him with a story about how he and Ted Gibson got gay-married sooo long ago that even their gay friends were shocked at the time. (Backe clearly views Catania, now making his third "Housewives" appearance, as a rival for the role of so-called "seventh Housewife," after undisputed "sixth Housewife" Paul Wharton, who is here, too. His hair is flat-ironed, and again, the producers are trying to curtail his spinoff bargaining power by cutting his lines.) More talk of Lynda barring the Salahis from the party. (And we're all thinking this is more time-travel, right? Another one of those tricks -- last week's episode was especially egregious -- where we're made to believe that post-White House revelations about the Salahis are actually occurring to these super-perceptive 'Wives before the big scandal? But no! Turns out this fashion show actually WAS taped before the White House incident, on Nov. 20. For once, we're exactly where we're supposed to be in the time-space continuum.) The absent Michaele tells the camera that Lynda is "jealous" of her. "I'm the prettiest, I'm the hottest, I have the most friends, I'm Miss D.C.!" (On first viewing, I assumed Michaele was saying SHE was the prettiest, etc. On second, I think she's mocking Lynda, claiming this is what Lynda thinks of herself.)

And now, here we are. History will reflect that it was Nov. 24, 2009, when Michaele and Tareq Salahi stepped into the Erwin Gomez Salon & Spa of Georgetown, as we see them do here, with Michaele-hugs for everyone. Big night tonight, huh? "Oh my gosh," she says, "this is the state dinner." (The following scene at the salon unfolded in real life over about six or seven hours. Why that long for makeup and a blowout? Many takes and retakes, apparently; and then the Salahis had to wait for their limo.)

Erwin Gomez himself is doing her makeup. (Erwin has been very good for our column over the years.) She explains: "This is his first state dinner... It's to reach out and just make relationships stronger." Some random bluster and name-drop: "In 2005, we sponsored Rock the Vote, [garbled, something about wine], we got a chance to connect with President Obama then." (We've been over this already: They went to that party, and got themselves into a crowded grip-and-grin with the then-senator, and who knows if maybe some free Oasis wine opened doors, but even if so, "sponsored" is a big stretch.)... Then more about polo being a special "bond" between India and the U.S. (Presumably ranking third, after concerns about Islamic extremism in Pakistan and the increased outsourcing of U.S. jobs to Mumbai.)... And, ohhh, will President Obama remember them? (No.)... And will Oprah be there? "She's been a big part of both of our lives." (Really, how so? While the Salahis got a nice photo-bomb shot with Oprah during the Inauguration, her people maintain she doesn't know them. Then again, hasn't Oprah been a big part of everyone's life?) ... Michaele says she called the White House social secretary's office to see if it's okay to wear a sari. "They were like, wow, that's great." (The White House denied any such contact when Salahi friends floated that idea early on.) But you don't want to promote this kind of thing, she says: You want to be humble! (Mwah-MWAH! Bravo knows you know what's coming, the legendary Facebook-posting binge.)

Moving on to the chair of hairstylist Peggy Ioakim (along with Erwin Gomez, Ioakim later was subpoenaed by a federal grand jury investigating the White House incident), who gets another earful. "The president will be there. I can't wait," says Michaele, "being there with the prime minister, Mr. Tata and his wife, and the ambassador of India." (Mr. Tata actually appears to be a surprisingly arcane and sophisticated name-drop: Ratan Tata, head of India Motors, was a guest at the dinner that night. India Motors owns Land Rover, which of course was at one time a sponsor of the Salahis' troubled America's Polo Cup, though they cut loose by the time the India match was in the works.) She calls it a homecoming of sorts: That she used to go to the White House all the time as a makeup artist. "I used to work with presidents, first ladies... It's great to go back." (Don't know what to tell you; it's certainly the first time we've ever heard that story. Michaele did indeed do makeup back in her pre-Tareq days, but that was at a cosmetics counter in the Tyson's Corner Nordstrom.)

When did she get the invitation? At first, through a phone call, Michaele says. "I want to see that invitation," says Peggy. "Do you have it?" Sure, says Michaele -- and heads out to the limo.

This is when things get weird. Michaele's earnest rooting through the car in search of a (non-existent) paper invitation is a bizarre sight for those who have followed this story closely. (Not only did the White House deny inviting the couple; emails that the Salahis' own legal team released after the state dinner scandal erupted show that the couple knew they had no formal printed invitation. Up until a day or so before the event, they had pestered a Pentagon official to help them get in, and the official gave them mixed signals about their prospects -- but ultimately a sorry-but-no... and then, they told her in an email, they headed on over the White House just "in case." What happened at the gates of the White House remains a baffling lapse of security. But their own records suggest they did not have a formal invitation and knew they did not.)

Weirder still: For the first that we've seen in this series, Bravo suddenly pulls back the curtain to show Michaele's odd exchange with a producer.

Producer: "You're still looking for it, right?"

Michaele: "Well, I don't know. Who has it?"

Producer: "I don't know -- I thought you were going to run out there and bring it here."

Michaele: "What do you want me to look for?"

Producer: "Remember, your invitation, you said, you'll look for it, and I'll bring it back to show you."

(God help me, this is like the Zapruder film! I've watched it so many times, trying to probe its secrets, but I still don't understand. Is the producer prompting Michaele what to do and say for the camera? Or is the producer simply trying to restore focus and calm for a cast member who, sensing potential humiliation, has started to zone out under stress? And why is Bravo showing us these interactions? Do the producers think it gives insight into Michaele's demeanor during this moment? Or do they think it helps exonerate Bravo and Half Yard Productions against accusations they were in on a scam? Half Yard maintains it had no idea the Salahis were not actually invited to the White House.)

Michaele seems no more concerned about the missing invitation than about an also-missing bra and pair of shoes. (Bravo seems to bleep out the brand or designer name of the footware, unless those were actually some [expletive] shoes.) A producer nudges her, sounding a little tense or excited: "You lost the invite, why is that not a big deal?" Says Michaele, calmly, "It's probably safe at my house, is what I'm thinking." Tareq tells the camera, apparently at some later date (but when?): "An invitaton to the White House is a formality really. It's something you keep, possibly frame... You do not need the invitation to get into the White House."

Suspenseful music, like something out of a chase scene, kicks in. (Bravo knows you know what's coming.) Erwin helps Michaele wrap her dress properly. "You work hard, you give a lot of love, and you end up at the White House," Michaele says. The music turns a little poignant as they climb into the limo. Stacie is on the cellphone. "We are going to the state dinner!" says Michaele.

Coming up next: The headlines, the cable news. A confrontation with the other 'Wives. "Crashers, crashers, crashers!" says Mary. (Must be what inspired the "don't call them crashers" letter that the Salahis' new lawyer sent to the rest of the cast, according to TMZ.)



See earlier D.C. "Housewives" fact-checking recaps:
The imposter Redskinette (#7, Sept. 23)
For better or for worse (#6, Sept. 16)
Archive of episodes #1-5

See The Salahis at the state dinner -- what happened?

See The Washington Post's coverage of "The Real Housewives of D.C."

By The Reliable Source  | October 1, 2010; 6:38 AM ET
Categories:  Housewives recaps, Real Housewives of D.C., White House State Dinner, White House crashers  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Who's that guy on the Jumbotron? Nats' "in-game host" Clint Khoury wraps up another season.
Next: Michaele Salahi sari sells at auction for $7,000 -- to a non-fan

Comments

Wow. Nice recap.

Besides showing the producer breaking the third wall (or maybe it's the fifth wall at this point?), did you notice how they made a point of showing Tareq playing with his cell phone as he waited for Michelle to leave at the end? They cut back and forth to him checking for messages and her standing in front of a window with the streets lights clearly on behind her. I swear they even enhanced the shot to emphasize the streetlights.

At what time did Michele Jones send that last ("sorry, no invite") voice mail that he didn't get cuz his battery was dead?

Also did you catch in the promo for next week that Bravo's microphone captured the conversation at the first security checkpoint? That should be interesting. Did he blag or did he not?

Bravo threw them so far under the bus I'm actually feeling sympathy for the Salahis. They've hurt so many people over the years, but right now they just seem like small time scammers who've been devastatingly exposed on the big stage.

Today is Michaele's birthday, btw. Happy B-Day, girl. Never thought I'd be saying that to you.

Posted by: MeriJ | October 1, 2010 8:17 AM | Report abuse

I just checked Dimond's book. They claim the final Michele Jones message was sent "probably about the time they were leaving the salon to go to the White House."

It really looked to me like Bravo was drawing attention to his working cell phone and the street lights at the end of the salon scene. But whatever.

Posted by: MeriJ | October 1, 2010 8:29 AM | Report abuse

The Bravo time line has me a bit confused. If the Salahis were talking about the state dinner back in September, does that suggest months-long scheming on their part?

Posted by: StuckatWork | October 1, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

On the make-up for presidents thing:

In the book Michael says she went to the WH a single time to do make-up for a news correspondent in the early '90s.

She says she also did private make-up for Lady Bird Johnson and her daughter Lynda Bird Robb, and for Tipper Gore and her mother-in-law Pauline Gore -- presumably at their homes. The book has a photo of her with Lady Bird and Lynda Bird in Lynda Bird's kitchen. The book doesn't clarify whether these were one-time sessions or ongoing work.

So on the show last night, she mooshed all that together and threw in Vice-Presidents or whatever to get the claim that she did make-up many times at the WH.

You know, he lies for sure. She appears to participate fully in his scams for sure, including the business shenanigans with vendors. And the various videos of her explanation for the cheerleader story prove she is a facile liar in her own right.

But when she's prattling on like last night, should we really call that lying? I can't imagine that anyone who knows her takes anything she says too seriously.

When I hear her talk about herself it feels like I'm eavesdropping on another person's daydream fantasies.

Posted by: MeriJ | October 1, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Sharp eye, MeriJ. You put me to shame. Next time, you should email me with your thoughts after the show, so I don't miss these things before I publish.

StuckatWork, it didn't even occur to me to explain that. The Inn at Little Washington dinner was taped Sept. 30 -- coincidentally, the same day the India dinner was announced. But that's irrelevant; if you watch carefully, the state dinner doesn't come up at the dinner table, but rather in Tareq's separate camera time, which could have been taped whenever.

Posted by: The Reliable Source | October 1, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

And sorry for the technical glitch that shut down comments for a few hours today.

Posted by: The Reliable Source | October 1, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Amy:

Did you even go to bed last night?! Or is Bravo giving the press advance copies now? I was amazed to see you'd gotten the recap up by 6:38 this morning.

I did send those same observations to someone else right after the show. As I went to bed I thought I should have sent them to you guys too, but it felt presumptious. Everything I know, I learned from you two. Will do, next time!

I was watching to see whether Bravo would throw the Salahis under the bus or merely imply a "last minute crashing" while leaving enough ambiguity to protect their corporate asset.

What we saw makes me think Bravo doesn't plan to have a second season, or at least not one that includes the Salahis. (So maybe Michaele's Today Show was payback for the premature leaks?)

Posted by: MeriJ | October 1, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse


Well, NOW will all of those 1% doubters who have continued to give the Salahis the "benefit of the doubt" finally realize they just might be posers and pathological liars?

They NEVER received a written invitation, which they actually admitted after the fact. So, there is only one conclusion to be drawn: Missy's staged attempt to find that elusive invitation which did not extist was simply that-- absolutely staged, just like so many other staged actions on their part.

And another thought-- I thought the battery to their only cell phone was "dead" [at least that's what they told Michelle Jones]. Curiously, Tareq is shown checking his blackberry, and Missy is shown speaking on a cell phone on the way to the White House.

History does have a tendency to come back and bite liars quite substantially in the rear end, especially when it is extensively recorded on videotape.

You know, and I know, when the Salahis gave that excuse to Michelle Jones that they never received her message they were NOT invited because of a dead cell phone battery, they never suspected at that time, in their own self-delusional minds, that would come back to haunt them. After all, they were only looking for those oh-so important photo ops to to clinch their roles on RHODC and support their polo folly and somewhat questionable "charity".

The extent of their self-delusion is obvious by their apparent belief no one would have questioned their totally unexepected appearance at the White House.
Well, too bad for them, but someone did.

Now, maybe a couple of people in the universe might opine that Tareq and Missy are just innocent pawns in a vast conspiracy to sully their good names, notwithstanding the fact of their trail of bad debts and deceit across multiple jurisdictions for years. And those people are certainly entitled to their opinions.

My opinion is they are pathological liars and Sociopaths, who will do and/or say anything to advance their own goals.

Posted by: LAWPOOL | October 1, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

From the beginning I have had no doubt that the Salahis were poseurs, fame whores, wannabes...whichever descriptor you so choose. From this footage and discussion, I now believe that the State Dinner incident was the unfortunate payoff to a gambit the Salahis could not legitimately fulfill in an attempt to ingratiate/impress the show's producers and Bravo. I'm guessing they told the in-the-works show that they could get into the dinner with their supposed connections to India and the polo world, and that would make great TV. Obviously, they could not get an official invitation but continued the charade to save face with Bravo and get some good footage regardless. At security, if they were turned back, they would still have had some good video in the can at the White House. Somehow they got in, got announced, got their photo ops and split. I think the production company may even have been complicit, knowing the Salahis weren't invited, but the crew was booked; so they decided to take it as far as they could and got a bonus they never expected and publicity for their show that you could not buy.

Posted by: angryreader | October 1, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

That free oasis wine that opened doors was stolen from tareq's mom.

Posted by: growler55 | October 2, 2010 12:51 AM | Report abuse

angryreader said: "I think the production company may even have been complicit, knowing the Salahis weren't invited, but the crew was booked; so they decided to take it as far as they could and got a bonus they never expected and publicity for their show that you could not buy."

Agreed. At least by the end of the salon taping, Half Yard surely would have guessed what might be going on, knowing that the Salahis had previoulsy crashed the CBCF dinner. Which is why they made of a point of aiming that long range mike at the initial security checkpoint to see what would happen.

But I doubt they were feeling too comfortable about it. CYA or no, that clip with the producer grilling Michaele on her missing ticket sounded pretty tense to me.

(Did you catch what I said, Lisa Bloom? Crashed crashed crashed. If you have a problem with that, contact me at maryamons@mcclain.neighborhood.va)

However next week we might hear in that Secret Service footage a conversation that, while not exonerating them entirely, could prove that they did not lie or otherwise break any laws in bluffing their way in past the first checkpoint -- other than claiming that they should be on the list.

Bear in mind that the Congressional Committee was given access by Bravo to the footage from that day. I would have to think that the security checkpoint footage was included. So I'm guessing Michaele did her best pretty-but-clueless routine and they were waived past. Didn't the Post originally report that MS did all the talking?

Whereas Tareq would have been the more likely of the two to do something legally actionable.

Posted by: MeriJ | October 2, 2010 1:54 AM | Report abuse

Lisa Bloom: That Mary Amons thing was a joking reference to the the promo clip for the next show. I am not the individual known as Mary Amons. You would find me in Takoma Park. Bring it on, baby!

Posted by: MeriJ | October 2, 2010 2:00 AM | Report abuse

I'm actually jennifers1 - DCPowerGator is my husband's login...a Florida football fanatic in case you didn't guess. Big game against Alabama this weekend, I'm just hoping to survive. Personally, my father played football for Notre Dame and unfortunately I'm used to losing. He's not.

Back to the topic at hand. MeriJ - you're far too kind. I actually at one point felt sorry for these people too. Their situation seems untenable at this point. But then they keep on talking...

I know Mr. Lawpool is looking forward to seeing them at Taco Bell, but I don't think even they would hire them....

Everything they say seems to be a lie. It's really just too much. I recall her being the make-up artist for a LadyBird PBS documentary which may explain the picture. I highly doubt Tipper and the other claimed connections. Honestly, she seems just as bad as he is. For example, why say that the people who did that very sorry looking doll asked her to do it, when the company stated that their agent approached them? And yes, the Redskin cheerleader's asked her to join the alumni association? The continued assertion that they were invited to the State Dinner (now they were apparently on some secret non-invite list)? That's just a few of the nonsensical statements she's made. Please...

The worst though (even compared to the non-charity and other fraud allegations) are their actions against his parents. In the end I can't get beyond that. Given what we know now, he took a fairly successful family business to ruin through disreputable actions and the acquisition of luxury cars, boats and Redskin's sky box tickets that did nothing but inflate his own self-importance. Not to mention his horrible public allegations against his mother who just seems to have been trying to get him under control. And believe me I have a mother who is hard to handle at times, but this is just too much beyond the pale.

Not to sound like my aforementioned mother (actually a wonderful woman by the way)...they really should have gone the Tammy Faye Baker route. You know, I've done wrong, but I'm really sorry. We're American, we always go for that. But no, they are apparently too delusional and crazy.

Wow, this was long....

By the way..PARTY CRASHER, PARTY CRASHER, PARTY CRASHER, PARTY CRASHER, PARTY CRASHER...the least of your issues. Sue me please. I live in Capitol Hill, I know plenty of laywers.

Posted by: DCPowerGator | October 2, 2010 2:21 AM | Report abuse

Given all the analysis and sleuthing over the past year, I find it incredible that no one has pointed out the obvious - there is a very distinct and detailed process to gaining entrance to the White House. Any invitation requires that the invitee must submit their name, social security number, place of birth and birthday by a specific deadline in order to be cleared for entry. Why did this issue never come up in anyone's investigations? Anyone who has ever gone over to the White House for meetings or events knows these rules.

Posted by: raffinee | October 2, 2010 6:19 AM | Report abuse

raffinee:

I believe they did submit all that to Michele Jones when they were hoping they might get a real invite.

Jennifers1: You are right on the money, as always, especially about his mom and his destruction of that winery. Which may have gone under any way, but giving away all the wine to gain entry into society -- as growler55 reminds us -- and going sideways on all that Oasis spending and managment focus surely accelerated the decline.

But then it's all his mom's fault! Or "the mom" as "the son" would put it when speaking through his sock puppets...

Posted by: MeriJ | October 2, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

jennifers1:

Good post. The sordid tale of the Salahis' is just so terribly wrong on so many different levels.

The troubling part is, so long as the Diane Dimonds of the world serve as their apologists, and media such as the producers of The Today Show give them face time on television, it only serves to reinforce their own sociopathic, if not psychotic, self-delusions.

And you are correct. Probably not even Taco Bell would hire them now. Every time they open their mouths, they hang themselves a bit more, and they dig themselves a deeper hole they are likely never to crawl out of. I suspect their lives in the not-too-distant future will be relegated to the equivalent of circus side show freaks.

I do not and will not feel sorry for them.

The people to feel sorry for are, first and foremost, his parents. I also feel sorry for all of the businesses, vendors, contractors, employees and even local governments they have conned and finagled and stiffed over the years, because I am beginning to think there will never be anything there to recover from.

So sad.

Just my opinions.

Posted by: LAWPOOL | October 2, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Isn't it very telling that Bravo has posted the clip of Michaele's attempt to locate the paper copy of their invitation? DC Housewives #1 Bus passenger list only includes Michaele & Tareq if you define passenger as one riding inside the vehicle or any clinging to the undercarriage.

The Salahis either play the I don't know, didn't know, and or jealousy card insisting they are victims and have found the perfect attorney to represent them. How can a rational person expect to maintain their integrity after they have been filmed searching for a piece of paper (or anything for that matter) they knew did not exist at the time they were filmed searching for it. Is Michaele going to add actress to her CV or resume now? Tareq claiming his battery was dead: yes, batteries do die out but Michaele's phone was working. Tareq is a heck of a phenomenally inept businessman if he couldn't think to use Michaele's phone to check his voicemail to follow-up on the status of an event as important as that one.

Because of the state dinner shenanigans, just barely & tangentially involved government employees were dragged into this mess and a very talented & respected Chicagoan were part of the fall-out . Even if you believe that the depth and especially public nature of the"breach" justified her job loss, Michaele and Tareq are considered the architects of that loss and despised.

Posted by: ChicagoMary | October 2, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse


And now the last remaining dominoes start to fall.

Reported by the press today, on September 13 Tareq & Missy filed a Chapter 7 [liquidation] bankruptcy petition with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Alexandria, VA. of their coveted "America's Polo Cup", their claim to fame, their gem, their self-described "international prestigous event" purportedly "patroned by the U.S. Presidents".

This should mark the beginning of the end of this twisted and sordid story.

Good for the American public I submit, but bad for all of the creditors who won't get paid.


Posted by: LAWPOOL | October 2, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

@raffinee For a detailed account of the investigation, please see this Post story: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/20/AR2009122002668.html. I think that point has been made many times before. Of course, at the end of the day, the White House is adamant that the Salahis were not invited nor put on any list; that's why the fact they were allowed in is such a scandal and a lapse of security.

Posted by: The Reliable Source | October 2, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else exhausted after reading the recaps and comments?

I think MS is referring to herself when flipping her hair claiming she's Miss DC - and gosh darnnit people like me! I just don't see the Lynda-mocking in that lil act.

Posted by: deniseking99 | October 2, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

I like the description of Bravo throwing the Salahis under the bus. Bravo learned the hard way that you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

Tareq may not be a sow, but he's definitely a bore.

By the way, it is a pleasure to read about the collapse of their "America's Polo Cup" venture. How great was the fall of that house when it fell...

Posted by: ehsmith1 | October 2, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

ehsmith1:

Of course, America's Polo Cup has been insolvent and had to fail, and I submit it would have happened sooner but for the fact the Salahis were using it as their personal ATM to support their unsupportable delusional lifestyle. To take it into Chapter 7 liquidation is an indication there is no possibility of re-organization or reviving that last faux jewel in their joint tarnished crown of illegitimacy.

The only remaining dominoe to fall is the declaration of personal bankruptcy.

Under nornal circumstances, I could see that happening in the not-too-distant future.

However, I submit these people are not, by any stretch of the imagination, normal people. So long as they can snooker their way through life, and the press and people such as Diane Dimond give them the opportunity to do so, they will continue to revel and bask in their personal delusional sense of their "reality".

Eventually, I suppose, it all might catch up with them.

My opinions.

Posted by: LAWPOOL | October 2, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

What always struck me about the America's Polo Cup was that there was serious money in play and yet it ended up so deeply in debt every year but one. And what was that, $15K net for that one year?

Think of all that money -- $400,000 in gross income or so per event -- going to pay for an awesome party for wealthy people, but little or nothing actually going to charity or even to many of the small business vendors working to put it on. It boggles the mind.

If the sponsors had signed up and had been recognized in some other way with comparable visibility, but without holding the silly event, there could have been, what, close to a million dollars in funds going to support childhood diseases over those years?

Their charitable events are never managed in a way that would suggest that charity is truly the motivation. On top of the ghost sponsors, the Salahis comp all their friends and would-be friends to the VIP sections, driving up the expenses and killing the revenue from the door. But they get to host a killer party. Pretty much what he did to the winery, I guess.

The polo cup and the Journey for the Cure Foundation have always been the thing that upset me the most about the Salahis. It was all about them, under the pretense of being all about philanthropy. Ruin your family business, hey, that's between you guys.

Charity fraud is just plain detestable.

Posted by: MeriJ | October 3, 2010 12:03 AM | Report abuse

As a result of the polo cup bankruptcy, will we get to see a detailed list of the expenses on these polo events?

I've always assumed they threw an expensive party at which they got to play host.

But I never figured they were otherwise supporting their livestyle with the proceeds.

It'd be nice to know for sure, though.

With all that money coming in and so many of the vendors not getting paid, where did the money go?

Posted by: MeriJ | October 3, 2010 1:00 AM | Report abuse

I think the CIA was the “fall guy” for this out landsih behavior. I believe someone at the White House was in on this, they had to be. My husband and I have been to the White House at least 20 times (with the previous admin) and we never had a paper invitation. Although I was invited to the First Lady’s Luncheon and I did have a paper invitation but, that was given to me at the luncheon already framed. All the arrangements were made via email and phone between the White House Social Secretary and my husband’s office staff. We also had to submit our Social security numbers for what I assume were background checks. There were 5 check points and the first one is when you pull up to the outside gate. If you’re invited you may not have parking and or driver privileges and you’ll have to walk from that point on. The first few times we had to walk after that our driver and car could drive through (after being checked thoroughly by dogs, mirrors and guards looking everywhere. There is NO WAY they could have gotten as far as they did without help from the inside. The picture I saw of them inside the White House shows them in the East Colonnade just outside the “Vermeil room” which is passed all check points that I remember. The fact is these people are horribly shallow egomaniacs with a few connections somewhere.

Posted by: graciegray | October 3, 2010 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Visiting the WH is not the same as being invited to a formal State Dinner.

If your friend asks you over for coffee or to discuss new drapes, they don't mail an engraved invite. If your friend invites you to a formal dinner, with a fixed number of seats, they do.

Posted by: MeriJ | October 3, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

MeriJ:

You wrote:

"I've always assumed they threw an expensive party at which they got to play host.

But I never figured they were otherwise supporting their livestyle with the proceeds.

It'd be nice to know for sure, though.

With all that money coming in and so many of the vendors not getting paid, where did the money go?"

Well, I think you just answered your own question.

To think the Salahis were not supporting their delusional folly with the APC $$ would be extremely naiive.

For example, while I am not privy to the ledgers of APC [assuming they even exist], how do you think the Salahis paid for their trip to Australia before the 2009 APC featuring Australia? Or their trip to India before the 2010 APC featuring India? Both at a time the winery wasn't making money and T & M had no visible means of support.

For crying out loud, even their home phone account at their house in Front Royal is listed as the U.S. Polo Team; want to make a bet APC hasn't been paying for that?

Also, look back at the feeble attempt at financial reports that the Salahis eventually filed with the Commonwealth of Virginia for their "charitable foundation", Journey for the Cure. Of the small amount of money purportedly raised, a substantial chunk went to pay "meals, entertainment and travel" expense. This, despite the fact the Foundation proclaimed on its web site that "100% of our financing" goes directly to the charities that were listed.

For whom, pray tell, do you suppose those expenses for "meals, entertainment and travel" were paid? The Foundation had no employees, only their "Founders", T & M.

If they were paying for their meals from the "charitable foundation", I think one can rest assured they were tapping their private corporation, APC, similarly.

This is not rocket science.

Just my opinions.

Posted by: LAWPOOL | October 3, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

MeriJ:

Also, perhaps I should attempt to explain the nature of APC, Journey for the Cure Foundation, and the relationship of each.

"America's Cup of Polo, Inc", trading as "America's Polo Cup" [APC] is a private Virginia for-profit corporation organized and owned by T & M. It also is an IRS Subchapter S corporation, meaning that any corporate profits are treated as personal income to the shareholders.

"Journey for the Cure Foundation, Inc." is a Virginia non-stock, non-proft corporation organized and controlled by T & M purportedly established as a "Foundation" to collect donations and forward the same to qualified charities under the IRS Code. In other words, a "Foundation" is typically a non-profit conduit to make donations to qualifed charites as it sees fit.

The annual America's Polo Cup was organized and run by the Salahis' private corporation, APC. At the same time, they stated it was to "benefit" their "charitable" Foundation, Journey for the Cure. I don't believe they ever said publicly how much of proceeds from the event would ever actually be turned over to the Foundation. Slick.

But it provided valuable PR to market the event in the name of "charity", prompting sponsors perhaps to participate in the first place and even pay much more than they otherwise might have done for a purely for-profit enterprise. After all, it was all for "charity", right?

Any funds actually transferred to the Foundation from the APC functions could have been done in one of two ways: A direct transfer from APC to the Foundation, with APC claiming a charitable donation, or showing it as income to T & M and then T & M transferring funds to the Foundation, which could be shown as a charitable donation by those individuals.

Since APC is, after all, a private for-profit corporation, use of APC funds for meals and travel by T & M to exotic destinations might be legitimate "business expenses" of APC if it is claimed those expenses were incurred in furtherance of the corporation's business. And T & M could even have paid themselves salaries from APC if they wanted to. All legitimate business expenses.

Nothing illegal about that. Morally, however, it does raise some substantial issues if APC was paying for such over-the-top expenses while many of its prior legitimate creditors remained unpaid.

The private APC and the charitable Foudation were all very well thought out. I submit it was a very slick way that allowed the Salahis to trade upon a claim of "charity" while the primary goal was attempting to support themselves. And this sort of scheme, sadly, really is nothing new in the world of "charitable" functions.

My opinions.

I trust this provides some clarification.

Posted by: LAWPOOL | October 3, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, LAWPOOL. Very interesting. The scenario you laid out is, of course, what I've feared all along. I was being polite!

I didn't know APC was an S Corp. That's interesting.

So will the bankruptcy make the spending details public? Or will it merely be a matter "here's what we still have and here's what we still owe"?

Posted by: MeriJ | October 3, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

MeriJ:

I am not well-versed in bankruptcy law. It is a rather specialized area.

From experience, however, I can tell you the likelihood of the Trustee chasing down leads/funds, especially in a Chapter 7, is really very remote. I suspect all of the details, assuming they could even be gathered with a fair amount of work, will never be known.

The APC corporation will be liquidated, the Trustee may never attempt to collect what the Salahis claim is owed by others [sort of suspect in the first instance], and the creditors will just be left holding the bag.

A silver lining, if there is one, is that T & M's check to Montgomery County for their 2009 booze was written not from APC, but rather off of the account of their charitable foundation, and the County has sued them individually as well. Still wouldn't hold my breath as to any recovery, however.

Posted by: LAWPOOL | October 3, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

The only assets they list are monies owed to the APC. Want to take any bets on how bogus those receivables are?

For example, some alleged "sponsor" who actually sent multiple cease and desist letters about using their high profile name, long before the event was held?

Or "anticipated" judgments from vendors the Salahis are counter-suing based on services they allegedly failed to perform adequately?

It's revolting. I'm mostly amused by the stuff we see on RHODC. But the charity fraud makes me ill with disgust.

Although I guess I'd put the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation dinner in that category too. Anyone can attend the awards dinner, right? It's not invite-only. It's a fundraiser for their charitable work.

So the only reason to crash the dinner would be to avoid paying the $750 per-person donation.

It's just so low class.

Posted by: MeriJ | October 3, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

By the way, I cannot leave this discussion today without making the following observation:

On September 13 the Salahis filed their Chapter 7 liquidation Bankruptcy case for their cherished America's Polo Cup. Reported something like $60K+ in purported accounts receiveable and $325K+ in liabilities.

Only a month before in August on "Real Sports", Tareq stated the only reason America's Polo Cup had not paid creditors is because monies owed had not been paid. The "Trickle Down Effect", according to him. And I am not making that up, that is a direct quote.

Well, gee, even assuming his claim to $60K+ might all be legitimate, which I sort of doubt, how on God's green earth would that, even if all paid today, satisfy $325K+ of liabilities?

Maybe I'm missing something here. You do the math and let me know.

Posted by: LAWPOOL | October 3, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Too funny! Did one of you post as "Bandit 4" at MS's Bravo Blog? Nicely done!

(Bandit 4 repeated the first half of a prior comment by someone pretending to be lisag1, speaking even more inanely than usual. In the lisag1 comment, she accuses Linda Erkiletian of being Rachel Harshman.)

Posted by: MeriJ | October 3, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

So the Salahis attorney is threatening to sue anyone who calls them crashers. At this point that's like trying to sue people for calling Glenn Beck a crybaby. We already know what we know based on some pretty good information.

Beck cries on TV. After President Obama had a day or two to research the matter, he said the Salahis were not on the guest list.

But just for fun, let's say they really thought they'd been invited to the state dinner -- which is clearly what they said while Bravo's tape rolled.

If they were invited to the dinner, why didn't they sit down and eat?

After all, they didn't say they were invited to State Cocktails. I'm sure they have another colorful fabrication to explain away this one.

But the bottom line is, they spent hours and $ getting ready to go, they got into the White House, then they abruptly left.

Headache, heartburn, indigestion...whatever their excuse, wouldn't you think that if they really had an invite they'd tough it out?

Posted by: LizaWest | October 3, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

LizaWest:

Your inquiry makes sense.

However, the Salahis' apologist, self-described "investigative reporter" Diane Dimond, has provided an excuse.

You see, Missy had a relapse of her Multiple Sclerosis which required them to leave before dinner!

Of course, golly gee whiz, what did they do? They walked across the street and sat in the bar of the Hays Adams for a couple of hours.

Amazing how cocktails [which they reportedly did not pay for] can cure a sudden onset of MS! That ought to be written up in some medical journal.

So, I hope that answers your question.

Posted by: LAWPOOL | October 3, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Lawpool, for your take on this.

Yes, it is amazing that a few drinks at the Hays Adams cleared up her MS so much that she was then able to go home and in the early morning hours upload a gushing account of her evening -- at the state dinner she didn't dine at -- on her Facebook page.

(As an aside, a close relative has had MS for years, and when she's sidelined by fatigue, she's sidelined period. It's a terrible, terrible disease.)

By the way, it's worth reading the Amazon.com comments on the Cirque du Salahi book to get a bead on Diane Dimond. Read 'em and you'll find she has even less credibility than the Salahis.

Is that really possible, you ask?

Posted by: LizaWest | October 4, 2010 2:11 AM | Report abuse

Who's on first? My head hurts...;)

Posted by: semilost44 | October 4, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

This should still your heart: Years ago, The Lesser Salahis thought up this scheme to start a magazine to direct people on their charitable giving. It went nowhere, of course. Had their little plan worked, how many dollars would have been funneled into their private coffers in the form of donations to this shell polo charity instead of worthwhile organizations? These two have been plotting for years on ways to separate other people from their money. They honed their skills on poor Dirgham and Corrine. Don’t ever think that one is worse than the other. They are a perfect match.

Posted by: SidelinesObservant | October 4, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

SidelinesObservant:

I agree. For those that might think Missy is just an idiot "party Barbie girl" [her words, not mine] unknowing participant in their years-long charade [which seems to be the direction that some media outlets are drifting], the facts prove otherwise.

Look no further than the poor sap of a caterer for their 2009 America's Polo Cup who was never paid. Missy was very adept at promising, putting him off, promising, and still avoiding him.

They are, in my mind two of the very same peas in a pod. And lest there be no mistake, they have been very successful in the past at doing the only thing they apparently do well. I would never say it was a match made in 'heaven', for that undoubtedly would be blasphemy; but wherever that match was made, it was a perfect match between two grifters that appear to feed upon each other's self-delusion.

Other than that, I'm sure they're just nice fun people to be around, assuming you like that sort of thing.

Just my opinions.

Posted by: LAWPOOL | October 4, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

> Other than that, I'm sure they're just nice fun people to be around, assuming you like that sort of thing.


Great line, LAWPOOL.

Posted by: MeriJ | October 4, 2010 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Great lines from Stacie Turners's Bravo blog:

"What you didn’t hear in my phone call to Michaele (as she and Tareq were riding to the big house) was, “How did YOU get invited?”

"After all, it’s arguably the 300 most important people in the world, and (no offense, but just keeping it real) I was shocked that the Salahis were in that group. I would continue to be shocked in coming days."

Posted by: MeriJ | October 4, 2010 11:52 PM | Report abuse

OK, one non-Salahi comment about the Burkina Faso fashion show:

"[Houswives]has had a hard time evoking the power and influence it so badly craves. You may have never heard of her -- but before her husband got this gig, he was the prime minister and she was the first lady of Burkina Faso. So, hey!)"

Reality check: Burkina Faso has a GDP of $8 billion, which is an economy just slightly smaller than that of Aurora Illinois, or Overland Park, Kansas. So imagine if the "proximity to power" was the wife of the former mayor of either of those cities. That is how much power these chicks have access to. Wow!

I also wonder if the desperately poor population of Burkina Faso knows what their foreign embassies are up to. Hosting fashion shows, probably just for the vanity of the ambassadors wife, when the average person literally lives on about $1.75 per day.

OK, OK, I need to get back to the Salahis now: Tareq! Listen up! Fat, bankrupt and stupid is no way to go through life son!

Posted by: growler55 | October 5, 2010 7:51 AM | Report abuse

If the Salahis are indeed being "comped" for rooms and meals, won't they have to declare the value of these items as income for tax purposes?

Posted by: MewMar | October 5, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Watch this video of them being interviewed by NBC Channel 5 yesterday, and skip to 1:40 where they dismiss the claim that Lisa Bloom has threatened anyone with defamation lawsuits. Apparently that's just something that the media made up to sell newspapers. Lisa Bloom merely sent a polite note requesting that the housewives say "alleged."

http://www.nbcwashington.com/entertainment/television/Salahis___Housewives__Finale__Going_to_Show_the_Truth__Washington_DC.html

Then look at the actual Lisa Bloom letter, courtesy of seraphina2's website:

http://www.facebook.com/WhiteHousePartyCrashers?v=wall#!/photo.php?fbid=153438694696961&set=a.123202231053941.9903.123198837720947

Tareq also claims the winery is still planning a grand re-opening. Wow. King of De Nile.

Michaele looked different, somehow, in this clip. More weary? More calm? I can't put my finger on it.

Posted by: MeriJ | October 6, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

A local Fox TV clip from the same day:

http://www.myfoxdc.com/dpp/entertainment/fox-5-goes-2-on-1-with-tareq-and-michaele-salahi-100510

At several points, Michaele refers to Corinne and Tareq as "the mother" and "the son," which sounds eerily similar to how the sock puppets from 2007 referred to them.

But maybe everyone on Team Salahi has developed common lingo and catch-phrases they use when discussing hot topic issues.

Posted by: MeriJ | October 6, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

I feel compelled to add the following.

During that Fox5 interview, Missy refers to Tareq coming from "tremendous wealth" re his parents vineyard, supposedly, and in an oh-so-regrettable change of circumstances to have been brought down to their current sad state of financial affairs by what they have referred to in the past as a "Falcon Crest" saga.

Sorry, that dog just don't hunt.

Seventy-some acres of more or less hard- scrabble land, which through his parents' efforts, resulted in a respectable, yet relatively modest, income for Tareq's parents for a number of years, hardly translates into "tremendous wealth". It allowed his parents enough to send Tareq to a military academy and then to college [for 7 years to obtain a bachelors degree, I think I read somewhere], and indulge a possibly spoiled child in polo, etc.

The ONLY way one could ever come by "tremedous wealth" from that marginal and relatively inexpensive property would be by cultivation of Marijuana or Opium.

It just continues to amaze and astound me that these people can continue to operate and live in their own apparent La-La Land without ever considering, apparently, their statements are just quite strange and laughable.

And Missy's statement referring to their prior "tremendous wealth" takes it well beyond the pale of strange and laughable fully into the realm of bizarre.

My opinions.

Posted by: LAWPOOL | October 6, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Jennifers1 again. Condolences to my husband for the horrible Gator loss to Alabama. At one point I remarked "Wow they look like Notre Dame" (who won for once by the way). That didn't go over so well.

Just watched that Fox interview - too funny. The reaction of the other newscaster was just priceless...

What was interesting to me though was the proverbial olive branch they seemed to throw out to his poor mother. The recent objection re the bizarre power of attorney claim was unsuccessful (per the Wall Street Journal)and I guess all their other income streams have been cut off at this point? Remember Taco Bell probably won't hire them...

As I said before reality TV doesn't payoff unless it's a real ratings hit (ie, Jersey Shore) or you're actually likeable. The polo event is also supposedly a no go - although I was looking forward to the Hondurans from Louisiana. Is that sad rundown winery (of course apparently through their own actions) the only thing potentially left?

So these are my questions to those who know better. I have no children and don't plan on it. I know I have a mother who would likely forgive me anything, but for the parents among us - is there a point of no return?

I know several of us Salahi-obsessed (sorry - I mean jealous haters) think the unpaid vendors and other service providers is more damning, but the family thing to me is still much more disturbing. It just seems more of a serious character flaw - far more of a personal affront then ignoring strangers you owe money to.

Sorry, I tend to get off track - but given the interview, my real curiosity is regarding the bankruptcy of the winery. I only have a cursory knowledge of bankruptcy laws.

Mr. Lawpool (an actual lawyer), isn't Chapter 7 liquidation? Even if his mother decided to forgive and forget, what are the options at this point?

To sum up, and this is specifically directed at Mr. Lawpool - I know you refuse to watch the DC Housewives show on principal (which I totally respect). You're a better person than I. Perhaps though you should make an exception for the last episode. From the previews (which maybe misleading) it appears the Salahi's are actually on camera being told they're not on the list. You must admit that could be fun...

I'm probably the last commentator on this article, and I realize very few people will see this overly long diatribe. See you after the finale. And perhaps finally we can put this topic (no matter how much fun) to rest.

Posted by: DCPowerGator | October 7, 2010 12:50 AM | Report abuse

Nice post, DCPowerGator!

Posted by: MeriJ | October 7, 2010 2:51 AM | Report abuse

I feel bad for Michaele some times when I see these interviews, I feel like the gaze of Tareq is always on her judging what she is saying, because Tareq would have briefed her on what lies to tell beforehand. She is always casting glances his way as she talks. I bet she gets a scolding after each of these interviews if she didn't say something just right.

Sometimes I think she is just innocent and cowed by Tareq, and he is the one pulling the strings. But then I see how much she relishes telling the tall tale on her own (her ad libbing before the cheerleading practice, about "I wonder if I still got it after all these years" and what not) and then I don't feel so bad for her anymore. Maybe she is just as comfortable lying as Tareq, just not as good at it.

I do think that Michaele genuinely believes that Tareq comes from great wealth, I imagine that in addition to the lies the two of them tell the public, there would have been huge deceit on Tareq's part during their courtship (of course, right?). In fact, it wouldn't surprise me if she only found out through the press that his businesses weren't paying their bills. I bet he always gave her the impression that the businesses were all on the up and up, and that any debt collector calls were "mix-ups" and what not. This would be a pretty common lie for even a mildly dishonest husband to tell his wife about credit problems, you think Tareq held himself to a higher standard here? No way.


It must be very stressful to conduct these interviews when you have to keep so many lies straight and present a carefully designed facade. So much less stressful to just tell the truth.

Posted by: growler55 | October 7, 2010 8:40 AM | Report abuse

DCPowerGator and growler55:

I share your sensibility on the human aspect of how far the Salahis have fallen. It can't be easy being them right now.

We all wonder about the Tareq vs. Michaele angle on all these cons. But I actually think she is the better liar. Maybe that's because I'm a man and I react to her apparent sincerity better than his. Or maybe she’s better at believing their own lies than he is. Or maybe it’s just that annoying tone of voice he has.

I used to think Tareq was the con man and Michaele was the innocent wife who believed whatever he told her. I no longer see it that way. I think they’re the dream team of grifters. She was definitely a full participant in the stiffing-the-vendor shell games they played over the years.

On a marital basis, really, she looks *more* in charge than he does. I get the impression that he can’t say “no” to her, which may have been a contributing factor to all this financial mess over the years.

In that sense, it is a very sad story. They enabled one another to reach higher than either could have alone and began to achieve their dreams, yet ultimately they reinforced each other's worst impulses and fell into total ruin.

My girlfriend was astounded after last week’s episode that my primary reaction to Bravo throwing them under the bus was “sympathy for the Salahis.” She asked if I would feel that way about some other low-life con artist who ripped off so many people (perhaps sensing that part of my reaction was connected to Michaele being an attractive blond).

I told her that, yes, without question, I do feel sympathy for the typical low-life con artist –- those sad losers who can’t provide a stable home for their kid because they’re always chasing get-rich-quick schemes and barely staying one step ahead of the law or an angry mob and can’t be trusted even by friends & family on even the most basic matters. It’s a wretched life to lead.

Posted by: MeriJ | October 7, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

(Continued from above)

So no excuses, but plenty of sympathy from this quarter. The Salahis are totally screwed.

But one thing I love about America is that no matter how far you sink, there’s is always a path to redemption. It may take years of quiet “good works” to get there, and it certainly requires more than a few contrite words, but redemption is never out of reach.

I’m just not sure how this couple would get back at this point. Further lies or a few concessions to honesty mixed in with more half-lies will be not be the path. And since they seem to reinforce each other’s narcissistic delusions, I’m not at all sure they are capable of changing enough at this point to pull it off. They would need to fully support one another in learning to become different people. That ain’t easy.

Can you imagine what a lousy year they’ve had? And yet, for people like them, how oddly thrilling as well? They are total fame addicts at this point.

Tareq and Michaele: If there’s anything we can do to help… And I really and truly mean that. You guys need help. I know I'm invested enough that I would reach out.

But you need professional help, and not the kind that Lisa Bloom or a new PR firm will provide.

Posted by: MeriJ | October 7, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Don't spare them any sympathy. The worse is coming.

Posted by: SidelinesObservant | October 7, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

According to Andy Cohen's blog, the Salahis are still flying in to do his show "Watch What Happens Live" following RHODC tonight.

I don't want to say anything bad about the Salahis today, in honor of Tareq's dad passing. So I won't say anything at all.

Cohen also announced that the RHODC reunion show will be a two-parter. I've never seen one of these Housewives show before, so I don't know if that's unusual.

If it is, Bravo is presumably doing whatever it can to capture the uptick of viewers watching the finale(s) of their otherwise disappointing DC franchise.

Since it's not just about the Salahis, I'm happy for the other housewives.

Posted by: MeriJ | October 7, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

SidelinesObservant:

If you are reading this, would you be willing to contact me via email: merij_7600@yahoo.com

You or your husband could easily create a temporary email account at hotmail or yahoo to protect your identity.

I have a question about the reader comments posted after an article on Tareq and Corinne Salahi's feud back in 2008:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/11/04/AR2008110403492_Comments.html


Posted by: MeriJ | October 7, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

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