Tareq and Michaele Salahi, Balloon Boy: Reality TV dream seekers go too far?
To what lengths will people go to in order to land on a reality TV series? Should reality show producers actually consider and condone the actions of those who've broken the law specifically to get attention to get on the show? Would TV viewers want to watch said scofflaws getting more fame and fortune on their own shows?
It's no surprise that reality shows have been a breeding ground for attention seekers. Any regular Joe nowadays can have their 15 minutes in the sun and possibly even parlay that into extended fame. Some have even made a career out of reality TV show-hopping. Megan Hauserman, we are definitely looking at you.
But with the competition so fierce to land on these shows, those craving fame have been going to additional lengths to stand out. Some just dress up in wacky outfits during the audition process (as seen on "American Idol," "So You Think You Can Dance," etc.).
The most extreme example we've seen so far is the Balloon Boy hoax. The Heene parents have pleaded guilty to breaking several laws when they reported their son Falcon missing, possibly in a runaway balloon, causing a search and rescue mission. Only when Falcon himself slipped up on "Larry King Live," saying that he had hidden out in the home's attic "for the show" did authorities start investigating. Even at their trial, there was buzz that a reality show might still be in the works since the Heenes were allowed to leave the state to seek work opportunities in New York and Los Angeles -- where TV magic is made.
In the case of the Salahis, apparently, Bravo had been following the couple and taping them with the possibility of featuring them on the upcoming series "The Real Housewives of D.C.," although the cast had not yet been finalized.
"Michaele Salahi is under consideration as a cast member; as such, Half Yard Productions were filming the Salahis on that day," says Bravo in a statement. "Half Yard was only aware that per the Salahis they had been invited as guests."
Ah, but the White House says the Salahis were not on the guest list. And if this were just an issue of a couple crashing a party, that would be one thing, but considering the President and Indian prime minister's presence, this was an issue of national and international security.
Counsel for the couple claims that "the Salahis did not 'crash' this event" and they'd be "setting the record straight very soon."
We look forward to hearing all about it.
Do you think the Salahis broke the law? Should reality show producers shy away from Balloon Boy and these types of people? They've cast people with known criminal records before ...
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Photo credits: Facebook, ABC