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Location: Sitting inside a TV truck, Somewhere, more then likely in the Southeastern region, United States

I am a grouchy, bald headed old fart filled with opinions and not the least bit shy about sharing them.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Sure they didn't…

Tampa, FL - Now infamous White House dinner party crashers Tareq and Michaele Salahi appeared on the Today Show Tuesday morning. This was after the couple made it fairly clear they were not going to be giving interviews without substantial paychecks.

The problem with that is legitimate news organizations are not supposed to pay for interviews. Paying for interviews is reserved for the "tabloid press." As a result of the Salahi's stance none of the traditional bastions of journalism took the bait.

At least until yesterday morning when they appeared on the Today Show. Host Matt Lauer specifically asked if the Salahi's had been paid by anyone to make the appearance. The answer was an undeniably firm no.

But let's take a look at this paragraph from a USA today story:

NBC's parent company, NBC Universal, also owns the cable network Bravo. Michaele Salahi has been trying to land a part on an upcoming Bravo reality show, "The Real Housewives of D.C.," and was even filmed by the Bravo show around town as she prepared for the White House dinner.
USA Today: White House crashers went without confirmed invitation

Technically by sticking to a strict lawyer's definition of the question "did anyone pay you to be here," no is probably the correct answer. It would have been interesting to listen in on any calls that may have taken place between the Today Show bookers, NBC Universal Corporate, The Bravo networks executive offices, the production company running the reality show and the Salahis.

If someone from the production company shoved the Salahis arms up behind their backs while dangling a reality show slot in front of them, that is not really being paid either. But it is really freakin' close.


The TV business is uglier than most things. It is normally perceived as some kind of cruel and shallow money trench through the heart of the journalism industry, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free and good men die like dogs, for no good reason.
- Hunter S. Thompson

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