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Michaele Salahi has Multiple Sclerosis? What can I say?

I can't believe Michaele Salahi has Multiple Sclerosis. This means that I walked to benefit her one time.

When I learned that Salahi has spent the past seventeen years battling the illness, my first question was: How did it put up with her so long? I've only had to deal with her since the White House crashing and the premiere of Real Housewives, and I'm about ready to surrender.

I'm sorry -- if what she says is true -- that she's suffering. But the folks in this equation I feel really bad for are the other people with Multiple Sclerosis who have to deal with all the negative press. "Help you walk for MS?" I picture people saying. "I've just about had enough of that Michaele by now!"

True, on the bright side, if someone came to the door and made vague statements about "finding a cure for Michaele Salahi," the person might assume that they meant a cure for the condition of being Michaele Salahi, a cause to which many people who've had to watch Real Housewives: DC would be happy to donate.

Much as I've enjoyed making these remarks -- I've got a few more, such as: "What's wrong? Is one sclerosis not good enough for Michaele?" -- is this reaction a sad statement about American culture?

Is it sad that we as a nation have become so callous that when we hear that someone has been afflicted with a serious condition, we respond by making jokes at her expense, just because she put us through hours and hours of reality TV? Is it sad that we have accepted that once you put yourself out in the public arena, anyone can say anything about you? Anything at all? All I do is write online opinions -- which is basically the equivalent of dropping a rose petal into the Grand Canyon and waiting for the echo, except that the rose petal has been very carefully optimized for search -- and people say things about me all the time that I'm supposed to be fine with, remarks that I will gently paraphrase as, "Her intelligence is comparable to her physical attractiveness."

But maybe this reaction isn't saying that. Maybe it's saying that if you make your life revolve around getting attention, people lose sympathy for you. It's like the Boy who Cried Wolf -- or, for those of you who are up on your culture, like that episode of SpongeBob where he keeps ripping his pants. "There's no such thing as bad publicity," they say. Even when that publicity consists of people speculating about whether you actually are making a conscious effort to transform yourself into a giant cat or whether your plastic surgery just went horribly wrong. Make that your standard -- as the Salahis have -- and we're happy to oblige. As Oscar Wilde said, the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about. Just look at Heidi Montag -- or, rather, don't, because she's going to explode at any minute, and I wouldn't want you to lose an eye!

See, there I go again.

By Alexandra Petri  | September 15, 2010; 5:45 PM ET
Tags:  Too soon?; Petri  
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Comments

So many great lines! Thanks for making me laugh out loud on this absurdly absorbing topic.

I guess I have to go back now to read your prior submissions...

Posted by: MeriJ | September 15, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

"Is one sclerosis not good enough for Michaele?" Obviously, not! If she's going to have scleroris, she's got to have them all, plus one for Sparkle.

Posted by: waxdiva | September 15, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

With Salahis there is no sympathy because they have dug the hole of distrust that everyone has as for them. Everything they have done has been for total self-promotion. They wait until the book release to reveal her struggle. Paleez. What's next? I'm dying of cancer as the movie is being released?
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Posted by: seraphina2 | September 15, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

I'm not quite sure who to feel more sorry for - Dimond or Michaele Salahi. Salahi, has an unfortunate illness that I am sadly familiar with, but Dimond is obviously in the throes of early dementia. How else could she peddle her new paperback with a straight face?


After years of fabricating information and selling it to any tabloid that would have her, Dimond advanced her career by becoming ex-Santa Barbara District Attorney Thomas Sneddon's mouthpiece, while he hunted Jackson for years.


These must be lean times now for Dimond. With her biggest story now dead, she is reduced to consoling pretty reality stars on studio sofas.


Yes, all in all I think my pity award goes to Dimond. Exposed by Mike Taibbi, NBC news journalist and Roger Friedman at Fox411 for her falsification of so-called facts and clearly non-objective stance during her lucrative spell as Court TV's jester-in-residence, Dimond is something of a dirty joke in newsrooms.


To be so disrespected in the industry Dimond herself claims is populated by liars is no small achievement - and Dimond is nothing if not an over-achiever.

I'll pass on the book thanks.

Posted by: danzimmerman77 | September 17, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Only MS?

..why couldn't it be Ebola virus?


...damn.

Posted by: bromo999 | September 17, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

I think all of you should be ashamed of yourselves! NOBODY deserves a chronic disease... to make this into a joke is beyond me! As a family member of a person with a chronic disease you guys disgust me!!

Posted by: sparkle80 | September 20, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

I have MS and I howled with laughter at this article!! Whether she has it or not, I'm just thrilled that MS is in the news and for the mere fact that it brings more awareness to a disease that you can not necessarily see but can still wreak plenty of havoc. Just because she uses it as a platform to stay relevant and maybe make you hate her less, well, that’s on her. If it is true or not, I don’t care, I have not given her one minute’s attention anyway. If she cries out “I have MS!” before the spotlight fades to black, well, good for us MSers. First we had Montel, now Michaele…hmph, well, publicity is publicity.

Posted by: snmb | September 21, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

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