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Rep. Slaughter's Cameo In Terrorist-Tracking Reality Show

Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) will be surrounded by three hot beefcakes in an upcoming episode of the new NBC show titled "The Wanted," the Sleuth has learned.

The controversial series, which premieres July 20, chronicles a Navy SEAL, a Green Beret and a journalist -- three good-looking, buff guys straight out of Central Casting, though apparently they are real-life people -- as they chase down Muslim extremists and other international criminals who are living below the radar in the United States.

In a trailer of the series, Congresswoman Slaughter, who originally hails from Kentucky, delivers this riveting line in her Bluegrass State accent: "How could our government ever have allowed this to happen?"

Slaughter, the chairwoman of the House Rules Committee, made her way into the series when the producers of the show were investigating the case of a suspected Rwandan war criminal who at some point was living in the congresswoman's upstate New York district.

Perhaps it's the same suspected Rwandan war criminal who was suspended from his teaching job at Goucher College after NBC producers and a Rwandan prosecutor brought the case to the school's attention. Slate magazine and the New York Times both reported back in February that the NBC-paid journalists on the story raised eyebrows for working in cahoots with law-enforcement officials.

More recently, a New York Observer media reporter wrote that "The Wanted" is "like a nonfiction version of 'The A-Team' meets 'The Hunting Party.' And something tells us that it is not going to sit well with anyone worried about the blurring of the lines between entertainment and news, and journalists and law enforcement."

The trailer makes the show look like a great deal of fun, however, and a must-see for journalists, government officials and law-enforcement types who monitor terrorism-related issues. It's definitely guy TV. As a DirectTV Web site description of "The Wanted" puts it, the show is "equal parts documentary, extreme journalism and real-life television," taking you on a "world-changing journey with an elite team of highly skilled, real-life operatives as they track down indicted war criminals and terrorists."

Slaughter will appear in an episode built around the alleged Rwandan war criminal, we're told, but it's unclear when that particular episode will air. Slaughter joins plenty of other lawmakers who have made cameos in movies and television shows, including Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas).

"Everyone who works for Congresswoman Slaughter knows she ought to be on the silver screen, but we'll take this network cameo because the show looks solid, the action scenes are realistic and she always wants the good guys to win," Slaughter's spokesman, Vince Morris, tells us.

By Mary Ann Akers  |  July 8, 2009; 8:11 PM ET
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