November 30th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Reality TV gone too far when it comes to W.H. 'crashers'?


President Obama greets Michaele Salahi at last week's state dinner. Turns out Salahi wasn't invited. (WHITE HOUSE PHOTO)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The White House "crashers" are just the latest example of why reality TV may have entered dangerous territory.

Michaele and Tareq Salahi made it past Secret Service and inside the White House for President Obama's first state dinner without being invited. They met the President and the Vice President.

President Obama insists he still has "full confidence" in the ability of the Secret Service to protect his family. But the agency has said it's "deeply concerned and embarrassed" - as it should be.

Some lawmakers want criminal charges brought against the couple. That's an excellent idea.

There are reports the couple wants in the neighborhood of half a million dollars for an interview about their story. They deny it.

And the couple is being considered for the cast of the reality TV show "The Real Housewives of D.C." They had television cameras following them around the day of the state dinner.

Another grab at 15 minutes of fame by people who would live their entire lives unnoticed otherwise. Remember the Colorado father of the so-called "Balloon Boy?"

This loser was trying to get media attention for his own reality show when he made up a story about his six-year-old son being carried away in a home-made helium balloon. He agreed to plead guilty to a felony charge.

Reality TV has given these people the idea that anyone can be a celebrity - and some are committing dangerous, and potentially criminal acts, just to get on the tube.

And to think it all started with a fat, naked guy wading around in the water looking for fish on a CBS program called "Survivor." In retrospect, it seems pretty harmless.

Here’s my question to you: Has reality television gone too far when it comes to the White House "crashers"?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Brian from Atlanta writes:
These "crashers" should have criminal charges filed… This is a test case. If this is not handled properly, the nut jobs will come pouring out of the woodwork doing whatever they want without consequence. I surely hope these folks are locked up and star in the San Quentin version of "Survivor."

Calhoun writes:
Reality TV is like any other business: it supplies based on demand. The issue is not with the genre, but rather, what our society finds to be entertaining.

Ed writes:
Suggesting that this is nothing more than "reality TV going too far" is the liberal media's way of deflecting blame away from the White House. The real story here is the Obama White House is amateur hour.

K. from Wisconsin writes:
Absolutely. Reality TV is only encouraging these misfits. It’s far past time to stop publicizing already dysfunctional people for the sake of "entertainment."

Matt from New York writes:
I don’t think reality TV has the ability to go too far. There will always be brainless people out there who eat that nonsense up. Personally, I agree with your statement that it's much easier to produce. But look at it, it's just stupid. There is no talent, no point, no BRAINS behind it at all.

Dianne writes:
Here's a reality TV show for you, Jack: Auction off the clothing and jewelry worn to the party by the White House party crashers and donate that money to a soup kitchen near their home. Now put the couple on house arrest (their house, not the Obamas') and sentence them to work in the kitchen for 2 meals a day at that local soup kitchen for a year. Maybe they would learn an important lesson about reality. That's a show I'd watch.

Filed under: Media Coverage • White House
soundoff (200 Responses)
  1. Mike from Denver

    What is the penalty for trespassing at the White House? Maybe it can be a prison reality show. They could even combine it with Bubble Boy's parents.

    November 30, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  2. Kim L

    This is a waste of our resources and is giving the couple what they desired. Why would we waste time on air discussing this matter. We have more important issues and people are facing real trials here in America. Why can't we do some stories about business that are trying to make a difference during these hard times and create some hope for the American public. This is a secret service matter and should not consume the media or public.

    November 30, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  3. Patsy, Texas

    Yes, Jack, too far! This couple is the epitome of self-centeredness.
    That's about all I can say, because the rest of my comment
    concerning these idiots would be bleeped!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you.

    November 30, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  4. Daniel Gard

    They should be brought up on federal charges of trespassing or better yet some felony if possible.

    November 30, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  5. Kevin, Chester Springs PA

    Yes, way, way too far. These idiots should be arrested, fined and sent to jail, not offered a TV show.

    November 30, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  6. BigD Security Crash, Mn

    Anyone Sneaking or Attenpting to Sneak Past Security where Our President is Concerned Should Be Persecuted + Security Should be Prosecuted for Dereliction of Duty.
    The Only Way She Could Have Gotten Through Security is With the Wideness of Her Bleached White-Tooth Smile + the Slender of Her Slenderness in Front of a Lethargic Security.

    November 30, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  7. Victor in Saanich, B.C. Canada

    Reality TV making it to the airwaves has gone too far !!! It speaks to the depths a nation can slide in many instances. The real issue with what happened is the amateurish security apparatus surrounding the President and the White House itself !!! God forbid the unthinkable should happen [AGAIN!!] because the nation's streets would glow with the fires of rage !!

    November 30, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  8. honestjohn in Vermont

    Enuf of these two celeb wannabees. Charge them and fine them and send them to jail where they can have a little reality.

    November 30, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  9. K

    Absolutely. Reality TV is only encouraging these misfits. Far past time to stop publicizing already dysfunctional people for the sake of "entertainment".

    November 30, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  10. Ed from Texas

    Not if the sequel is "Enhance Interrogation of White House Crashers."

    November 30, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  11. Mel Skillman

    Tryon, NC – Reality TV had gone too far long before the WH "crashers." Quality television rarely presents itself today. But the really sad and apparent result of this recent situation is that this nation is not totally outraged with the Secret Service (remember, the agency tasked with protecting our President) . Fox immediately blamed the White House Social Staff and other cable channels have smirked, laughed and rolled their eyes while telling this story. We are reminded constantly of the state of our nation's security, i.e. our southern borders, lack of shipping inspections at our ports and let's not forget having to remove our shoes before boarding an airplane. The Secret Service allows a formally dressed couple without security clearance, without checking with the WH Social Staff and because it was raining to enter the White House to rub elbows with our leaders and President? I am shocked at all of our news agencies for their light-hearted coverage and truely frightened for our country. Is everything a joke?

    November 30, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  12. Dee Anderson

    Yes, it's gone to far. This couple should be fined all the money they receive for their interviews and more.

    (Las Vegas)

    November 30, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  13. Dennis North Carolina

    no but it shows cracks in the system. what if they were bi laden and wife?

    November 30, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  14. Colleen Brooks, Charlotte, NC

    They should pay a fine. Maybe go to county lock up for awhile....make an example out of them.

    November 30, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  15. Bizz, Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    Jack I thought it amazing that a couple could become rich and famous just for having multiple births. Going too far was when we had balloon boy and every one fixated on a balloon in the air. My only enjoyment out of that was when balloon boy asked the question who in the hell is Wolf. Now with people being able to crash a White House state dinner just to increase their chances of getting their own TV reality show is mind boggling. But with people like this being able to get more than their 15 minutes of fame with the help of the news media, makes one wonder what is next?

    November 30, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  16. george

    Just another show for the three ring circus that the news media now runs. THis was a much more serious matter than just someone crashing the dinner party for the President, it could have had much more bad consequinces.

    November 30, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  17. Greg, Ontario

    This is not funny Jack and heads should roll. I think a statement is being made here, that they can get to President Obama anytime they want. Also all other heads of state that attend dinners at the White house should rethink how good the Secret Service really is and take precautions of thier own.

    November 30, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  18. fred hughes

    Considering the amount of security that this President has had to have, these people should be arrested and the judge should put a permanant gag order on them about this incident with the threat of prison time.

    Livingston. AL

    November 30, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  19. Sherri-Illinois

    Only someone "White" could have pulled off this embarrassing episode in the Obama Presidency because anyone of "Color" would never had made it pass the first security without a Invitation.

    November 30, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  20. Albert K., from Los Angeles

    No Jack, reality TV should not be blamed for these two airheads breezing over the heads of White House security anymore than the winds of Colorado should be blamed for releasing Balloon Boy's balloon. Two security breaches on the same night resulted in two intruders penetrating deep enough into the White House to hold the president's hand. We should thank reality TV for showing us the reality that the biggest bag of hot air is our Secret Service.

    November 30, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  21. Brandon

    I suppose it is this paradox of our greatest freedoms leading to our greatest troubles that causes many of today's problems.

    But to answer the question, reality TV will go as far as regulations will let them as long as it remains profitable. There is no "too far" for reality TV show producers.

    People who pull publicity stunts like this, along with any networks that reward such stunts with offers of wealth, should be penalized. How far do we let our citizens go before we consider them a threat to homeland security?

    November 30, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  22. Doris Lauter

    Yes, reality tv shows are all over the dial, and I'm not interested in some joe blow doing his thing. It's not entertaining at all. These gate crashers should get time for trespassing, otherwise, everyone looking for a camera to follow them will also try it. It is absurd to think that these people want money for an interview. They are no longer interesting.....we've seen enough.
    Ojai, California

    November 30, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  23. Jeff Crocket in New Britain, CT

    The is not about Reality TV or party crashers! It is about a White House Staff, run by Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, screwing up!!

    The Secret service is their scape goat!!

    November 30, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  24. June

    I don't see the connection between reality TV and these two self centered, headline hunting,self-important , money grabbing wannabees. They should be up on whatever criminal charges apply. I suspect heads are already flying at the secret service headquarters.

    November 30, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  25. J W

    In my opinion, speaking as one who has to help foot the bill for all these hoity toity social types dining high on the national nickel in the name of politics, all while the masses try to make ends meet, just about everything has gone too far.

    November 30, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  26. Rob from New York

    Ya know, when someone runs on the field during a sporting event, they turn the cameras away to avoid encouraging copycats. The media is so desperate for a story, they're turning these nothings into news. If reality shows are where this country is heading, it means our entertainment industry is too lazy and cheap to use the one free tool they have, imagination. Why aren't we making our lives better instead of watching some attention starved idiots whom we are enriching?

    November 30, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  27. William

    Not only television but people in general. Yet ANOTHER case of a flashy blonde who thinks she is so beautiful, and we all just deserve to see her. You guys make them money, why don't you just DROP IT.

    November 30, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  28. Greg

    I dunno. I don't watch reality television shows. If I want to see reality, I go outside.

    November 30, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  29. Lance, Ridgecrest, Ca

    Jack, Yes, absolutely. The media has reported the incident, the secret service has taken responsibility, now the media really needs to stop covering these criminals and let the law put them in jail where they belong. The media is the driving force behind antics like this and the ballon boy fiasco, and they really need to stop sensationalizing these publicity seeking morons.

    November 30, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  30. vern-anaheim,ca

    jack,yes it has,this couple broke the law and should be jailed for it as i would have if i had done what which they bdid.i must say the secret service was lax on this .these people could have been terrorists and wanting to harm the president which thank god they didn't want to harm the president

    November 30, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  31. Independent Joe


    The weird couple crashing the White House dinner went to far Jack, not reality television. I hope they get some sort of punishment. My god, what people will do for a little air time.

    Joe M (Minnesota)

    November 30, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  32. reptilian96

    Jack wasn't this the same intelligent agency who got blamed for iraq WMD and false claims several times already. Do we really need this agency and it's Incompetent staff?. I mean i rather have my tax dollar go to something productive then shamefull. I think it's been proven over and over again that the Intelligence is not being gather in a accurate maner and that agency really don't know what is going on which makes one think what other mistakes are yet to come. Are actually getting the bad guys or simply putting anyone on the cross?. I'm Disgusted, it's gastly performance and they are making the big buck for it. If i would made this sort of mistake at my work head would be rolling by now.

    November 30, 2009 at 5:17 pm |

    Hell no! Not in this case. They embarrased the security people in charge of the White House and they embarrased the President.
    This incedant way over shadows any link to reality TV.
    If we cannot protect one little piece of real estate from unwelcome people, how can we protect the country from the same?
    The gov't can prosecute these two people all they want, it still won't clear the Gov't from the fact that this was a gross mishandling in the security measures of the White House.
    What will the Gov't do now to over shadow this incedant so it dissappears from the news media? Maybe the Tiger Woods incedant is just that.

    November 30, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  34. FrankD

    Any monies they make from their "Balloon Belle of the Ball" publicity seeking – specifically their asking for $500K for an interview – should be confiscated, and these people should face judicial punishment including fines and imprisonment.

    Also any sleazy media station that abets them – like Bravo TV – should face the same punishment.

    November 30, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  35. David A Whitaker

    Jack this is what I have to say, the person that made the mistake should be relocated to the basement. Everyone need a job, but not in the front of the White House.. And the couple that trespassed on the White House ground should be lock up for at least 60 days, and then not be allow to make any money off of the situation.


    November 30, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  36. Paul G

    I have only one question. Why are these people not being charged with criminal trespassing. The White House is not some nobody's house. It is a Federal building, if you break into any other government instillation you goto federal prison. Why are these people not locked up. They broke into the White House, they are criminals, not thrill seekers. This kind of stupidity needs to be stopped and they should not be allowed to continue to thumb their noses at the government. They wanted to make a name for themselves, well congratulations they did as federal criminals.

    November 30, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  37. Denis Duffy

    Jack, they should have been arrested. More over, the Secret Service should have had answers for the public in twenty four hours. Instead, we have the Obama reality show. Inept, incapable, incompetent. Just what we have come to expect from the Obama presidency.

    Upper Saint Clair, Pa.

    November 30, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  38. Susan Lynch

    I am absolutely infuriated at the way some broadcasters are handling the story about the gate crashers at the White House State dinner! They are soft- pedaling what was clearly a BREACH OF NATIONAL SECURITY! One broadcaster had the nerve to tell a caller who was upset about it that that he (the caller) "didn't get it!" He went on to tell tell him he should understand that the whole purpose of the stunt was to get money and attention! Perhaps the broadcasters are the ones who don't get it. People have carried GUNS right up to town meetings and getting away with it. There was lax security at several huge Obama rallies. And what about the proliferation of racist posters and "jokes," and outright threats aimed at Obama? Somehow everyone was kept 200 yards away from George Bush, weren't they! No slips-ups there! This situation has been framed as a harmless prank. Well, it's not harmless. Do you remember the Russian guy who was poisoned? What better place than a party to deliver a little lethal poison. These security "mistakes" may or may not be intentional (and that's another frightening aspect of the problem), but the persons who are at fault are the people who purposely moved into what was supposed to be a secured area. They should receive the fullest penalty possible, as THEY are the perpetrators! You know, this business of news as entertainment is getting tiresome, not to mention DANGEROUS! Tell the so-called journalists to just keep it up: keep on inciting all the nut jobs and racists to think of as many ways as possible to bring down the President! Tell them to be sure to make their cutesy remarks when the inevitable result of news as entertainment fulminates into the ultimate desire of more people than you might think in this country! I don't know when I've been more disgusted with the irresponsibility of the media!.

    November 30, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  39. chaney, La.

    Yes Jack it has, first balloon boy, now WH crashers, these people need to be prosecuted..... these acts are dangerous.... some people are so narcissistic they dont care if anyone else is harmed by their selfish acts.....

    November 30, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  40. Conor in Chicago

    Reality TV has always been a farce. Reality doesn't have a camera fixed on you at all times and the idea that these shows show "reality" is laughable. As for the White House dinner it just goes to show that sometimes the Secret Service will screw up. Just ask JFK.

    November 30, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  41. Ryan, CT

    Reality TV has just gone too far in general!!

    November 30, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  42. Luci - Pekin, IL.

    Yes it sure has. They should be proscuted and land in jail. How stupid can anyone be. I guess we found out.

    November 30, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  43. Lin

    If the White House crashers are Americans, they know from early age that there are two ways to get into the White House. Be escorted on a tour. Be invited by a formal invitation on real paper to be presented.
    No matter who points a finger at whom, all the other fingers should be pointed at them with legal consequences. Besides trespassing how about endangerment to all at the dinner. They have shown that it is possible. I guess someone will try to blame it on an Honor Guard next.

    November 30, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  44. Teri K

    It isn't 'reality tv' that has gone too far, it's the American hunger for their 15 minutes of fame and fortune that has gone off the deep end. The more important topic regarding this incident is the failure of the Secret Service in protecting our President. There has been a 400% increase in death threats aimed at President Obama compared to the threats made towards Pres. Bush. Either the Secret Service needs major help or at least an investigation into 'who' is really running things there. There will always be ego or media hogs trying to get into the spotlight, but we only have one President and this type breach should not have happened and should never happen again.
    Teri in Palm Coast, FL

    November 30, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  45. Jackie in Dallas

    Reality TV has just gone too far – period. It is boring, banal, and in some cases, getting downright dangerous. No wonder the networks are struggling if reality shows are the best they can do. I can remember when we had television with actors, scripts, and stories...or at least good entertainment. The lack of such is why I watch almost nothing on commercial channels anymore.

    November 30, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  46. Jacki from Tampa

    Reality TV has gone WAY too far. These 2 should be booked, jailed and not allowed to ever be on TV or allowed to publish or profit in any way from thiss stunt. And some smart judge should pull the plug on every tv station giving them exactly what they want. Get these people off my TV, please, and put them in jail instead.

    November 30, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  47. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    No reality television hasnt gone too far but the secret service hasnt gone far enough. where was Charles Holder when this was going on he is in charge of national security isnt he. maybe he should pull his nose out of fair trials for Osamas hinch men and let the military do there job and pay more attention to buisness at hand the future security of this country not the past . Charles Holder do your job or step aside.

    November 30, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  48. ebc

    If I was Secret Service, I would have shot these two idiots. LOL. The Secret Service screwed up BIG TIME and heads should roll all the way down South Capital Street.

    If this was Mr. & Mrs. Jones, or Mr. or Mrs. Gomez, etc. they would be in hand-cuffs the very same night and charged as felons.

    This couple had to LIE, they were not on the guest list and Secret Service should be held accountable.

    November 30, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  49. Scott Stodden

    Absolutly because when Michaele & Tareq Salahi crashed the state dinner they put our President Of The United States and his family in danger weather or not they caused President Obama and his family any real danger or not. I feel the Secret Service and the people at the front doors of the White House should be all held responsible because if people can just walk into the White House without an invitation and get all the way to the President then the President and his family are not safe and in my opinion I don't have faith in the Secret Service to keep our President and his family safe, Shame on the people who let them in. Everyone involved should be charged and sent to prison.

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)

    November 30, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  50. Ro from Ohio

    So tired of "Balloon People", " and "Idiot Crashers". They should go to JAIL !!

    November 30, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  51. Linda in Arizona

    I don't see this as a story having anything to do with reality tv shows, which I never watch, and never have. To me, this story is about the current administration's cluelessness in getting rid of the social secretary who would have known these bozos weren't on the guest list, just because she worked there under bush. Ask Desiree Rogers the real reason behind it. She was responsible for there being no one there to stop these scumbags. And it's nothing to brush off lightly. Blondie had her HAND on the VP's chest, and was inches from the POTUS. There are probably hundreds of ways she could have harmed or killed either one of them other than with a gun. To blame the Secret Service is unfair. They DID their job. How could they have known the White House fell down the stairs on THEIRS?? And if you don't think they're fully cognizant of their error, watch the MORON Gibbs try to deflect and stonewall repeated questions about it in today's presser. It was disgusting. The Obama bunch are amateurs in every way, and that would be okay, but they're also arrogant and think they know it all. THAT is dangerous.

    November 30, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  52. Dan, Chantilly VA

    Reality show or not, these people have been in the news 24/7 for almost a week now, which means they've succeeded. This "story" took place last week and should have been news for about 5 minutes, but you guys keep talking about it and we all keep talking about it so everyone still cares. The only way these people will go away is if we stop paying attention to them. We can insult them, decry their acts, and yell at them all day, but we're still paying attention to them and that's all they wanted in the first place. The only just punishment for people who do this stuff is to bar them from ever appearing on television. As for the public in general, we need to let these stories go after the first day and go back to following stories that matter.

    November 30, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  53. bob, oshawa, ontario

    Jack, yes, they went too far but this dry run on how easy it was to get past W.H. security is a major concern. After all the tough talk on stricter security measures across the country after 9/11, the lapse at the W.H. dinner is unbelievable. I think they may have erred by having so many steps in place the right hand didn't know what the left hand was doing. I think if the Seinfeld Soup Nazi had been there, he simply would have been able to. by just looking at them. have said, "No pass for you!" I hope Obama's confidence in the security is justified.

    November 30, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  54. Chad from Los Angeles

    I just hope these people are charged with trespassing and serve some time. Need to make an example out of these idiots!

    November 30, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  55. Randal Coon

    Yes. I have never cared for "Reality TV shows." They never seem to deal with much reality.

    Anytime the Secret Service allows 2 people to get as close to the President and Prime Minister of India as it did that night, it has left the realm of "reality TV..." It has breached the system for which we pay millions for, at least, annually, and one that all of use depend upon very much.

    "Innocent trick?" Absolutely NOT. They could have changed the face of World Governments if that had been their goal.

    Randy Shreveport, LA

    November 30, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  56. George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

    "Reality" TV went too far a long time ago. EVERYONE involved with this idiotic trespass/criminal act should be prosecuted... AND, they should not be allowed to make ANY money from the "project." If they signed a deal, they contracted with law breakers to help them break the law. Aiding and Abetting is what I think it is called.. And that is only for the ones that are not directly involved with the conspiracy.

    November 30, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  57. Melissa M

    Is anyone really going to believe that this issue is about reality television and not a lax secret service? People will always try to get their day in the sun, it's the secret service's job to make sure that these folks don't get close to the president.

    November 30, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  58. Gigi Oregon

    All it proved to me is what I've always believed the White House is not "the peoples house" it belongs to the Government and not the people. But I'll bet I helped to pay for the party. And everyone invited probably got a tax write off for what it cost to attend (you know business expense).

    November 30, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  59. James Cornett

    Jack, the word Security should never be taken for granted. The couple that got by Security at the WH could have easily been terrorists. Look carefully at the photo of her shaking hands with the President with both of her hands gripping his. She could have easily had a needle with deadly poison inserting in his hand with the grip she had. It's looks like she has that evil stare as she could have injected a needle in him. We need to take another serious look at our Security.

    November 30, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  60. Maria

    I'm not sure I'd call crashing a White House State dinner reality TV.

    I'd call it a criminal act and do whatever the law allows. These people could have done everyone there bodily harm, and it was a dangerous situation.


    November 30, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  61. Jay in Texas

    Oh well, you can always say that President Obama is keeping his promise to open the White House up to us regular folks I guess.
    Brownwood, Texas

    November 30, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  62. Karen - Nashville

    Of course. How can you get "reality" from such phony people as these? But the big worry is that these shameless people likely were not stopped short because the Secret Service officers didn't want to be accused of racial profiling.

    November 30, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  63. jim Blevins

    Personally, I'd rather watch a "no signal" message than [un]reality TV. This did uncover a serious fault in Obama's security. External appearance of these people is exactly what Obama has most to fear. Unhinged southern "white folk".

    Jim, Craig, CO

    November 30, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  64. Louise

    In regards to the question about reality ... and the
    salahi couple crashing the White House State Dinner: – The couple should be prosecuted for breaching the security of that State Dinner thusly threatening the U.S. President and family, and Foreign Dignitaries, plus all of the invited guests.

    Or, when did it cease being a Federal Crime to disregard what everyone knows is illegal?

    November 30, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  65. David in Raleigh, NC

    The scary thing is that if this couple showed how lax the security is around the President.

    If these people had wanted to harm to the President, nobody would have stopped them from doing harm to the President.

    November 30, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  66. Denise from Phoenixville, PA

    Although some might think the party crashers had benign intent, suppose they did not? They intentionally thwarted national security, and ought to be treated in the same way as hackers are treated–both breach national security, both make false statements to a federal agent (hackers by using passwords to which they are not entitled, the party crashers by respresenting themselves as invitees), and both present a clear and present danger to the President and national security.

    November 30, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  67. Chris in Philadelphia

    People are getting a little crazy when they attempt to get on reality TV. The family in Colorado was way out of line and sent police, fire and EMS scurrying all over to try to save a boy that wasn't in the balloon. Then there is this knucklehead couple sneaking into a gala event and getting face time with the president. One of these wing-nuts trying to make a name for him or herself is going to get someone hurt or worse since they disregard rules and sanity to get 15 seconds of fame. Producers of these shows should be held accountable since clearly contestants or hopefuls can't be trust to do so.

    November 30, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  68. MARK PRIBBLE Anna Illinois

    YES. These two people should be hung out to dry. To say the President was in no danger is crazy. They could have been carrying poison or many types of other killer agents in or on their bodies. They better prosecute these two, not a slap on the wrist like the balloon boys parents, WHO'S NEXT

    November 30, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  69. Keith in CA

    In this age of instant celebrity, there are plenty more wackos willing to up the ante on the outrageousness scale to get their 15 minutes of fame. If there is any justice, this couple will be appearing on Court TV and then on to Survivor: Federal Prison.

    November 30, 2009 at 5:51 pm |
  70. Chris H.

    Unfortunately by even talking about these so called "stars", we have given these people what they have wanted. Let the secret service deal with the foul-up and as for the "crashers", the best punishment would be is the simply stop acknowledging them.

    November 30, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  71. Rich McKinney, Texas

    Jack Reality TV is the farthest thing from reality that I know of. This was two people who got famous from a television show. They claim now that they are not seeking monetary compensation for their story. Yeah right. They also went to a party at the White house that they were not invited too so their credibility is lacking. The sad thing is that nothing will happen to these people that got within feet of the two people that hold the highest office in the land. Even worse is that the two people that hold the highest office in the land also host other members of the highest office in their land and that makes them vulnerable too . I bet that gives their security details a nice warm fuzzy feeling.

    November 30, 2009 at 5:55 pm |
  72. Chad from Los Angeles

    Yes, if they had done this during Bush years, Cheney would have water-boarded them a few hundred times by now. They are lucky!

    November 30, 2009 at 5:56 pm |
  73. Patricia D'Angelo

    These people broke the law (at least trespassing) and they endangered the safety of the President by doing what they did. They should be charged with these offenses rather than being given a platform on the Larry King Show as was planned. Just because they were dressed up in fitting clothes, and appeared to be appropriate guests does not imply that their behavior was any less criminal, nor that they are any less jerks! I am so angry at such garbage behavior. We have a country in great need in so many ways, and now we are having to spend time on these jokers!

    November 30, 2009 at 5:59 pm |
  74. joe m

    first there was octomom, then there was balloon boy and now we've got the white house crashers. people are willing to do these stupid things just to have their fifteen minutes of fame. none of them, however, ever really stop to consider the human cost of their actions. both octomom and balloon boy's parents have traumatized their own children with their desire for fame. the salahi's will be responsible for several people loosing their jobs; this at a time when we have so many people already out of work. the saddest part of all this is that at the end of the day their reasons are wrapped up in their own narcism and greed. i say these people need to be given a taste of 'reality' by being prosecuted, like balloon boy's parents, and maybe, just maybe they'd realized how trully irresponsible their actions were.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:01 pm |
  75. Don in Grand Rapids , MI

    Really Jack, Reality TV! It has nothing to do with this, if anthing is shows just how Obama's weakend our great country. Tell me how secure you feel with his Hope and Change? If these party crashers had been terrorists how easy it would have been to ........................I'm waiting with baited breath to heard one of you left wing media hypes to blame the intrusion on President Bush, then my life will be complete!

    November 30, 2009 at 6:01 pm |
  76. Loren, Chicago

    In this case, reality tv provided a very valuable public service, pointing out a glaring hole in White House security. What the Salahis did is not much different than what a lot of politicians do every day–sell themselves and their story for personal gain. It is ironic that you note lawmakers are pressing for criminal charges. Would they feel the same way if their own questionable behavior were exposed? We can only hope that people realize that reality tv has been over the top for a long time and it's time to put it out of its misery.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:02 pm |
  77. Antonio from Washington D.C.

    The one thing the media loves to death, is stupidity! IThey're hooked on embarrassing people.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:02 pm |
  78. eric

    These two idiots committed a felony. They should be arrested, charged, and sent to jail. In the meantime, stop covering the story. The only story about these two I want to hear is the one in which they are made a harsh example.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:06 pm |
  79. Sean in California

    There's a big difference between wannabe reality stars like Michaela Salahi and Sarah Palin.

    Michaela was able to get into the White House.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:08 pm |
  80. Leslie

    To say that the secret service messed up is an understatement. They totally blundered the situation This is more on the lines of breach or breakdown of security. There is no way that a T.V show should even think about doing something like this. So yes they have gone too far. With all the talk about homeland security the first and second families were in danger due to a break down in security. Not only should the couple be bought up on charges but so should the shows producers and also the person in charge of the presidents security. This should never happen to a head of state of any country especially ours.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  81. Jon Gill,philadelphia

    They do just encourage this kind of behavior. This could have ended tragically. But yes, absolutley too far.
    I tell people if you want reality, watch the news. Go to a food bank and volunteer. Take a drive through the bad side of town and see other peoples' reality. Kindof makes Survivor look fake as can be.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  82. David

    Yes, considering that Mrs. Salahi spent seven hours at the beauty parlor, then didn't leave a tip. Why do a reality show about somebody who clearly has no idea what reality is?


    New York

    November 30, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  83. Annie, Atlanta

    Reality tv went too far from the start, as I was trying to teach my kids right from wrong while my husband tuned in. It pits people against each other, and the low down slimiest backstabbing manipulators always win. Makes you wonder how low we’re willing to go.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  84. Stuart Grosse

    Yes, reality TV has gone too far. But Jack, it didn't start with Survivor, it started with seven kids in a loft in New York. MTV was doing reality TV with Real World and Road Rules long before CBS came out with Survivor.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  85. Michael from NYC

    No Jack, reality TV has not gone too far yet. If these people want more "reality", then let's prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law, and broadcast every humiliating second of it, right down to the moment they lock them up & throw away the key. And then we can move on to more important things...like Tiger Woods. Yawn.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  86. Don Howard

    Jack – It would be nice, and smart, for Bravo and the other "Reality TV" outlets to immediately come out with a statement denouncing the Salahis, Heenes, and others who believe breaking the law is the way to get your own TV program. They could nip this in the bud.

    Don Howard
    Newtown, PA

    November 30, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  87. Brian in Atlanta

    Great segment today. To me this is very clear. These "crashers" should have criminal charges filed and should be sentenced to 100 years in prison without ANY chance for parole. Let's see how they can perform in a reality show from behind bars for the rest of their lives. Treason? Threatening the president? let's throw the book at them.

    This is a test case, if this is not handled properly, the nut jobs will come pouring out of the woodwork doing whatever they want without consequence. I surely hope these folks are locked up and star in the San Quentin version of "survivor".


    November 30, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  88. EugeneWiese

    reality shows are a poor excuuse for entertainment. The white house episode should be a wake up call. The damn gait crashers should get a big fine and jail time for Fraud and trespassing. Gene

    November 30, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  89. steve - Midland, TX

    Did these people really "break in"? If Obama's people had done there job properly they would have been turned away at the door and it would not be an issue. I think the White House should pull a Tiger Woods here and just let this story go away. Handle it behind the scenes. How embarassing.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  90. maddy w

    Jack –
    I don't know what we're even talking about this. These losers shouldn't be given this much thought! By talking about them, they're getting exactly what they want – attention. Does the media really not have more important things to report about these days?


    November 30, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  91. Jerry

    Damn Right! Reality TV has gone to far.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  92. Dawn

    I hope that they are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
    Shame on any outlet that gives them airtime, whether it be an interview or a show.

    And Shame on any viewer who would tune into such low BS in the first place.

    We, the viewers, need to press for a raising of the bar when it comes to quality news, and tv programs in general.

    The power rests with US.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  93. Karl from SF, CA

    Reality TV is anything but. What planet calls this nonsense reality. I watch COPS and pulling over drunks is one thing, but the rest is so staged it's unreal. Those two clowns that got into State Dinner should be wearing orange jump suits and eating their meals off steel tray for a few years. THAT is reality.,

    November 30, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  94. Matt, NY

    I dont think reality TV has the ABILITY to go too far. There will always be brainless people out there who eat that nonsense up. Personally, I agree with your statement that it's much easier to produce. But look at it...it's just stupid. There is no talent, no point, no BRAINS behind it at all.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  95. steve in virginia

    Yes reality TV has gone too far as well as everything else on TV other than retro reruns. But that isn't the story. The story is that they were let in by several layers of those who used to be the best bodyguards in the world. The other story is how we can have confidence in Obama protecting the entire country when his subordinates can't even protect one square block. Or even a tent.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  96. Courtney from Fort Worth, Texas

    Yes it has gone to far. The media makes the statement that they are not giving these people the attention they seek but the actions say otherwise and the same goes for the viewers and the people that are commenting on this blog. We're still giving them the attention they were seeking therefore making them more likely to end up on a reality show in the future. I hope to not see these losers on an upcoming reality show on MTV or VH1 or I will have a field day.. Jack...stuff like this should be only shown for 5 minutes and that is it..it's done and over with.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  97. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    Heres an off the wall comment Jack the couple was searched for weapons but how do you search people foe Ebola or the black plaugh .

    November 30, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  98. Ed

    Suggesting that this is nothing more then "reality tv going to far is the Liberal media way of deflecting blame way from the White House. The real story here is the Obama White House is amatuer hour.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  99. Dolores Surprise AZ

    Jack, I have never watched a reality show and don't ever intend too. As for this couple, they are getting far too much publicy which is what they want. Their photos should not even be shown on the news and they should be just prosecuted behind the scenes and when they have been found guilty, then and only then should the public hear of them. They want publicy and that is exactly what they are getting.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  100. Simon - New York

    Jack, I say since they are so desperate for a tv show. Hows this for an idea for these losers? The Real housewives of Guantanamo Bay. The Sahali's would be perfect for it since they had breached security to see the President of the United States. Then they'll change their minds for wanting a tv show

    November 30, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  101. Mr. Calhoun

    Reality TV is like any other business, it supplies based on demand. The issue is not with the genre, but rather, what our society finds to be entertaining.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  102. Nelson

    You are absolutely right on this one, Jack, In fact, it went too far as soon as it started. Also, reality TV bears no resemblance to reality.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  103. Ken in NC

    Reality TV did not crash the State Dinner. Two people with desires to have their own show did crash it. They knew when they crashed the party that they did not have an invitation. Reality TV is off the hook but the two fools should be “HOOKED UP” in their own private “TV CELL” because of their own stupidity. While they posed no danger to the dignitaries present, the fact remains that they could have posed a threat and for that reason they should be treated no differently than one who would have posed a threat.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  104. Gary

    These party crashers are trespassers on federal property and as such should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  105. Tope

    Jack, you are right about reality shows going out of control I mean common there is show about CAKE for goodness sakes. In regards to the White House Crashers, I personally think the security personel dropped the ball on this one and proper security protocol should be followed next time. Afterall we are talking about the security of the United States President.

    Ontario, Canada

    November 30, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  106. JW in NYC

    The Salahi's have gotten more attention than they could have ever dreamed of, but none of it good. Because of their little stunt, we now know about the family squabble over the farm in VA, the fact that they haven't paid their homeowner's association dues, problems with the finances of his polo events and the fact that Ms Salahi has apparently fraudulently been posing as an ex-Redskins cheerleader! It's probably a blessing in disguise that the circles in which this couple ciruclated will now see them for the huge frauds they are!

    November 30, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  107. georgia

    if people have nothing better to do than watch Jon and Kate and the others, this genre will continue.

    without viewers there is no program.

    the public creates this junk by following it. how does the tabloid press stay in business?

    vancouver, canada

    November 30, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  108. Nick Parker in Ohio

    Reality TV hasn't gone far enough, in my opinion. Hear me out... I hope more losers like these White House crashers keep appearing more and more in various facets of society. I think that, if this happens, the American people will finally get so sick and tired of seeing this crap on TV that they will demand television with intrinsic qualities- you know, like plot, storyline, and acting ability- to come back. And that, in my opinion, is the only way we are going to get rid of these people. If we stop it now, American TV watchers will remember this "reality TV" fad favorably. The tide is just now finally starting to turn against this crap, and I think it needs to continue just a little bit longer before there is a significant backlash. I can't wait.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  109. Rick in Toronto

    Reality Television went too far when it began, Jack. When I watch tv, I want to be entertained by professional entertainers, not people trying to gain their 15 minutes of fame. But the networks find it cheaper to make "Survivor" and other claptrap rather than produce another "E.R." or "West Wing." I'm glad I know how to read, because I'll take books over reality tv any day of the week!

    November 30, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  110. Sybil Dodson

    Yes, way too far! The couple who trespassed at the White House State Dinner should be charged with trespassing and pay a hefty fine and/or do community service hours. If there is no consequences to illegal behavior, it will only encourage others to do the same.

    Waynesville, North Carolina

    November 30, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  111. Gary, New Jersey

    It seems like the more crazy you are the more marketable you become to these reality television programs. I for one do not watch any of them because I fear my brain will turn into pudding after too much exposure. They are disgusting and soon more and more crimes will be committed by people who look to these programs as “Easy Money”. The producers of these programs need to show some dignity and say they will not except acts like these. But that would be down right crazy!

    November 30, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  112. Steven Jordan

    Let's not forget that the first "reality star" celebrity [Robert Hatch] did end up in prison himself. If these most recent examples of reality tv leading to trouble are any sign of what your 15 minutes of fame might bring; you would think these individuals in need of attention would think twice. (before pursuing such radical and potentially illegal stunts)

    November 30, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  113. Dianne Fried

    Here's a reality TV show for you Jack. Auction off the clothing and jewelry worn to the party by the White House Party Crashers and donate that money to a soup kitchen near their home. Now put the couple on house arrest (their house not the Obama's) and sentence them to work in the kitchen for 2 meals a day at that local soup kitchen for a year. Maybe they would learn an important lesson about reality. That's a show I'd watch.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  114. ed t, mililani, hi

    These people should be jailed. There will no doubt be some repercussions with the secret service personnel, and rightly so. No way should these two have been able to crash the party. Reality shows are idiotic to say the least. Just stupid people doing stupid things to other stupid people just to be recognized by being on T.V. The networks will do anything for ratings.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  115. Kelly

    Umm, duh. I don't really think it should be aloud unless it's for a good cause such as Extreme Make Over, Home Edition. There's no point in putting your self at risk for TV. It's stupid and honestly, just grow some talent... or have a good cause in you're show, like helping the homeless.

    North Carolina! (Go Tar Heels!)

    November 30, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  116. joel

    I thought the whole purpose of television and the movies was to get away from the harsh reality of life and forget your troubles. These reality show wannabes are obsessed with this nonsense. I'm not sure which is worse; the way these idiots crashed the White House state dinner to get a tv show or the way the Secret Service bungled their solemn duty to protect the President.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  117. george

    In my opinion yes reality shows have gone way to far and are a mindless form of entertainment,thats just my opinion by the way.

    These two turds that TRESPASSED on gov. property should be fined ten thousand dollars each given a day in jail and each slapped with five hundred hours community srevice.
    This should also apply to their producers and anyone else affiliated with this national security breech bone head move.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  118. Nnamdi

    Yes, the Salahi's should be punished as a deterrent to other fame seekers. Serious boundaries were crossed when they crashed the State Dinner and the Salahi's should be punished severely enough! They embarassed the country even as we played host to the Indian Prime Minister. First 'Balloon Boy', now 'White House Party Crashers', we need to draw the line and send out a strong message to people of this sort. You CANNOT crash the White House Party and unrepentantly try to sell your story! I'm disgusted.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  119. wobblywoo

    Reality Shows – I don't watch them. There's nothing real about them. Come to think of it, there is nothin real about the spin we get about a country speading love and justice at the end of a gun, either. There you go, CNN

    November 30, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  120. Duvan


    When ANYONE is given a TV show, everyone will stop at nothing and do anything to get their own!


    November 30, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  121. Jan

    Even attempting to breach White House Security should be punishable, either by time in prison or time doing public service. All monies gained for publications of these breach details should be given to the local DC homeless shelter.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  122. Dave

    Does the Secret Service never watch movies – In the Line of Fire showed how easy it is to sneak a weapon by a metal detector (e.g. plastic gun or ceramic knife) to assassinate a president.
    These people should be charged with terrorism and treason for showing terrorists how easy it is to get by all the so-called safeguards

    November 30, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  123. Kay - Sacramento

    Reality TV has gone way too far. I dont care about flavor flav's sad attempts at dating women half his age, or how the octomom decides to raise her plethora of children.

    What i do care about is people putting themselves in dangerous positions by breaking the law to "hit the jackpot". They should go and get real jobs, i believe the McDonald's near my house is hiring. Maybe they should start looking there...

    November 30, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  124. Chris

    So, the martial arts expert who kills the President with her bare hands will be a striking blonde with a pretty smile. Makes sense! As for this couple? The maximum sentence in a very stark prison – let Bravo air THAT.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  125. Kathy Quinn

    If dramas, sitcoms, scripted programs with actors, etc. are too expensive to produce, just give me a good new program that explores issues in depth. I am a news junkie and would prefer a news program any day of the week over reality TV programs. The reality TV programs are a complete waste of time.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  126. chris x

    jack your the best forget the rest,I am ashamed the American people have come to be entertained by the most dumbest things,and other peoples private lives. dr.x

    November 30, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  127. Mark Trainor

    Jack, I think the bottom feeders of these reality TV shows will stoop to any level to sell the masses.It's a sad commentary that they will grandstand and use our nation's highest office like a prop in a theatre.

    Prosecute all parties to the highest extent of the law .....

    November 30, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  128. Terry from Illinois

    Prosecute them and people will stop all of the games being played.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  129. carolyn Worthington

    The Salahi's did the Secret Service a favor....they exposed their
    ineffectiveness...as well as the ineffectiveness of the Obama
    appointed social secretary. I think the correct punishment will
    be a huge fine and community service...no jail time...they did
    all of us a favor by exposing the flaws in the system...get rid of
    the social secretary and replace her with a professional.
    Her911, morristown NJ

    November 30, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  130. Nik

    YES!!! Regardless of HOW it happened, the fact reality tv was the impetus is the PROBLEM. We have become a nation of voyeurs and instant info gratification...this is all part of having TOO much information at our fingertips. We've not become adult enough yet to say, 'this has gone too far'...

    November 30, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  131. Ross Purintun

    These socialites should be prosecuted to the fullest and sent to federal prison if found guilty. I can see their new reality show–"Life in the Big House"! Plus being rich "jet setters" they could then be placed on the "Do Not Fly List" too. That'll sock it to 'em. How about the IRS checking their taxes for the last 10 years? Plus why not investigate the TV people who assisted them. I smell a conspiracy!? I love a juicy conspiracy!!

    November 30, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  132. Mike B.

    The only thing real about reality TV is that it isn't real. While this contrived trash may appeal some, it isn't my cup of tea. Quit giving these morons attention and they'll go away.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  133. Tom Lyons

    The crashing of Obama's State dinner only points to the ineptness found throughout this administration, which this is only the tip of the iceburg in terms of problems with many of his appointees.
    The "crashers" should be given a significant bonus for uncovering the "chinks in the armor" with our Chief Executive's so called secret service..... Not just embarrasing, but incompetent.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  134. Keli

    I cannot believe that there is any question as to how these people should be treated. They commited trespassing on perhaps the most important premises in the free world and we're debating this? They should be tried, fined, and jailed. Perhaps the reality TV show they desire should be filmed in jail. WIthout a doubt, the White House security should be thoroughly overhauled...the fact that they were successful in their endeavor is both an embarassment and a deep concern.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  135. Scott Reid

    Unfortunately, this is a very uniquely American phenomenon- that is this obsession of being famous. No where else in the world are celebrities revered as much as they are in the good ol' U.S of A. They're seen by many as the be all end of all of status symbols. And so, for many, being famous (or even infamous) is the tantamount to having nice a car, a family and a good job 50 years ago. It's all about status. Just look at the celebrities that are making headlines-your reality TV stars, your John and Kate, your Balloon boy....people who have contributed next to nothing to society (other than perhaps reducing the country's overall IQ) and who are famous for the mere fact that we, the idiot masses, actually pay attention to them. For them, they're status perpetuates their fame, and their fame perpetuates their status. It's a vicious cycle, and the only way it's going to stop is if people smarten up and stop giving these people the attention they so desperately crave.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  136. Ben in New Mexico

    Shaq Oneal stopped by for a visit a while back, introduced himself (though he needed no intro) asking to see the prez and was turned away! These clowns went all the way in, nobody knew who they were and now they're celebrities! I don't like any of this, especially because I don't believe they could have gotten through because of an 'accidental' lax in security. We don't have accidents which allow unknowns and uninviteds to get that close to our president and world dignitaries, we don't allow nuclear weapons to accidentally fly across the country, we don't allow tens of billions of american dollars stacked on pallets to disappear while being guarded by the most powerful and well organized military in the world. But if we did, we would certainly find out why!

    November 30, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  137. Eileen (Peabody)

    Yes Jack, the lure of reality TV has turned this nation of greed into a nation of egotism.

    The thing that frightens me now is if this couple accomplishes their purpose and gains their spot on some reality show.

    In my opinion....Greed (that of the TV producers) vs. Egotism (these party crashers & the balloon parents) will be going head on head as the two deadliest virtues in today’s world.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  138. Matt Lamont

    Of course! Reality TV has gone too far!
    When I watch TV, I watch it for a reason, to entertain myself by getting my mind off the horrors of reality and everyday monotony, such as getting a laugh, or to learn something on what happened in our past.
    When I watch reality TV, I am not entertained. I am watching real people do what they do in their everyday lives. Does anyone care to see people on what their routine?
    For me, absolutely not! I want to get entertained!

    November 30, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  139. Kristina in Mississippi

    Are we really having to ask the question as to whether or not we have gone too far by offering a generous income that would essentially praise these two no-names for an action that should absolutely not be tolerated? And perhaps the worst part is that the American people would support it.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  140. luke

    Jack this was a conspiracy to harm the president.... when was the last time something like this happened? I think everyone incharge of security at the WH should be investigated, don't trust anyone!!

    November 30, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  141. Anthony Costantini

    Reality shows have been taking it too far since day one. They do nothing but highlight and showcase the worst in people. Few are about respectable people who do good things with their lives. It's very sad most are about people who have serious emotional and drug problems. Yet America asks for more, and our youth is growing up with these people as role models. TV disgusts me, and these people who crave attention so much that they exploit their children or other people, are sad excuses for human beings. Put your efforts into something that will benefit or help people, not destroy the minds of our youth.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  142. Paul in Ft. Myers, FL

    If only they had crashed Dick Chenny's "undisclosed location" a few years back. They would still be trying to find their way out of some place with-out TV and we the TV watching public could enjoy more news with substance and less of what ever this is.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  143. ROCO Brooklyn Center, Minnesota

    This is a big time humiliation to the United States Government. I am thankful that these fake celebrities were just looking for a quick fame, which they should of been arrested by now for this foolish behavior. Yes the reality show is giving people in the community dumb ideas that could cause a lot of trouble in the long run. I want to believe that we are still safe in the Nation.


    Brooklyn Center Minnesota

    November 30, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  144. Marvin Gaudette

    Wake up and smell the coffee. The reality is: those two should be commended for exposing the weaknesses of the system!

    November 30, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  145. Julie Lewis

    Yes,absolutely this is a breach to our national security. Not only was our president in danger but so were the other heads of state and guests and then they had the nerve to to post it on face book like it was a joke. This couple could laugh their way to prison.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  146. Derika Zink

    Let me just say right off the bat that they should face serious criminal charges. Regardless of what the intent was, these "crashers" have shown the world that our president can't even be protected in the easiest of circumstances. Obama is more of a target than any other president in my opinion. This war is a cause for great hostility on all sides and the president is the first black man in office. If these idiots get away with this serious prank then more people will be fooled into thinking it's o.k. to do such "pranks" for whatever the reason. I am mortified by this event. President Obama should be also. I pray for his safety every day, and this really worries me for him and for the state of our nation.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  147. Megan

    Of course reality TV has gone too far. When it compromises the security of the President, world leaders, diplomats and various political & broadcasting celebrities, it has gone way too far. It is ridiculous and atrocious to see what reality TV has done to our society. Instead of providing national and global leaders privacy, television and gossip magazines have turned their lives into an outrageous public debate.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  148. Ron, FL


    There's nothing real about the "reality" shows. I'm still amazed that anyone spends time watching them. Someone once said, "It's impossible to understimate the tastes of the American people." As for this couple's story and so many others that CNN and your competitors have beaten into the ground since the inception of the 24/7 news cycle-shut up already. They deserved at most their 15 minutes the night it occurred; afterward, utter silence should have descended over, around, and about them!!!!!

    November 30, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  149. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    The secret service screwd up theres no need to try and put the blame on a T.V. sit com but the fact remains how do you search a person for biological weapons when they them selves can be the host of mass destruction.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  150. BH in Gainesville, GA

    YES. I am sick of losers who break the law then get rewarded for such behavior. This is an embarrassment to our country. Not only did they get close to the President, but they had access to the visiting diplomat as well. Our country is already losing face on so many fronts. Are we going to be PC about their punishment, if there is any? Probably.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  151. Don Demas

    So why is this an issue of a reality show? Should not the concern lie in the fact that the Salahi's were able to attend an high profile social event intend for only certain elite members of society? I mean was there not a guest list? Does the security not run back ground check on the crowd? God forbid your name be similar to a name on the no fly list. I could go on, but security drop the ball. Prosecute this couple for flaws in the system, Whatever! Can you say attention grab off the real issue! It just stands as a mean spirit that americans have and the news outlets helps fan the fire!

    November 30, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  152. learnfrommyexperience

    Reality TV has become a cancer that we need to cut out! They are such BORING shows anyway! I mean really, a show about people getting parking tickets, or cars being repossessed? Ugh! These shows incite people to do more and more irresponsible things! They are what the law calls unguarded swimming pools: an, "attractive nuisance!" If the shows continue, they should ONLY use people THEY seek out, NOT people who go after them! Otherwise, people will keep on doing more and more dangerous stunts to seek fame! (also, keep them off of the news!)

    November 30, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  153. Mike in Rolling Meadows, IL

    Yes. Reality show producers and executives should be charged as accomplices and held equally accountable if they have knowledge that the perpetrator(s) of an action or activity violates a law or creates damages.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  154. Griffin

    Jack, we've had to endure "reality TV" since the writers strike in 1998 and made the need for 15 minutes of fame worse than drug addiction. The reality is how dumb it makes the American public appear. It just goes to show you that in a void of quality entertainment, TV producers can always fill it with stereo types starving for fame.. It's just SAD.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  155. Martin, Chehalis Wa.

    Maybe these people were actually there to do harm to our President and didn't quite get the chance. Close call none the less; unacceptable in the climate we live in today.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  156. Andrea

    Hollywood "reality-skank" doesn't play well, at least in DC. The White House crashers crossed lines, and it doesn't matter if you're a Republican or a Democrat, they got through security to our President, and that's unforgivable. If this couple doesn't get prosecuted, I hope at least the social players that really count in DC help to make this pathetic pair permanently ostracized.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  157. mr bunch

    The secret service is fully responsible for failure in protecting our president and vice president is this a warning to let the world know we can get you, to our president, I truly feel strong the president should dismiss any of whom had let such strangers pass such highest post in America, and should charges be brought among the couple yes, they should that's falsifying information to highest government officials if you lie in regular court your at attempt of court so whats the problem.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  158. Dan Broadley, Mesa, AZ

    I've always enjoyed watching the TV show "24" even though the plots have become increasingly more implausible. The writers always permit the bad guys to routinely gain access to high security areas, intercept presidential convoys and gain access and control of the White House via hidden, uncharted sewer systems or ventilation systems connected directly to the Oval Office. This couple simply waltzed through the front door making all of Jack Bauer's dramatic skulking seem unnecessary. On a positive note, I'll bet complacency at the Secret Service has come to a screeching halt......at least until the next time.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  159. BB

    While I will admit that "reality TV" has gone too far, let's not confuse that issue with the obvious "lack of social equiette" this couple showed. I don't know why anyone would be surprised that a woman who continues to lie about her employment with various companies, would crash a State Dinner. This, in addition to treacherous breach of national security. I'm sure there's a terrorist group somewhere trying to decide which "Blonde Barbie" to send to the next dinner!

    November 30, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  160. Joe Castle Rock

    Jack come on. What does two people shaking hands with the President have to do with reality TV. This is real news and the American people have a right to know what the hell happened. How could they get by the best security in the world. Forget their motives they will be gone in 15 minutes like ballon boy. But the stench on the Secret Service will smell for a long time. They remind me of secret shoppers who are hired to do such things................

    November 30, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  161. Jackie in Dallas

    And well should the Secret Service be embarassed! This was a blatant security breach. The couple and anyone who was complicit in their crashing of the state dinner should be penalized to the full extent of the law.

    BTW, @reptilian96, the Secret Service is NOT the same agency as provided the report on the WMD in Iraq. That was the CIA and the NSA. The Secret Service has only TWO jobs - TREASURY roles, covering missions such as prevention and investigation of counterfeiting of U.S. currency and U.S. treasury bonds notes and investigation of major fraud; and PROTECTIVE roles, ensuring the safety of national VIPs such as the President, past presidents, vice presidents, presidential candidates, their families, and foreign embassies. We are most familiar with them as the protectors of the President and the First Family.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  162. Julie Lewis

    they should be treated like terrorist! – i am from New York

    November 30, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  163. Dave Mace

    Know your role! Stop offering these glory-seeking clowns a pipeline to popularity.

    LA, CA

    November 30, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  164. Douglas A. Walters

    Hey Jack,

    The last I heard, the days of undocumented guests showing up for dinner at the White House went out with Eleanor Roosevelt, didn't they? Oh well, at least Mrs. Roosevelt's guests were invited...

    November 30, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  165. roy

    There are two issues here: Security for the President of the US and people trying to get a few minutes in the media spot light. The first case demands a thorough investigation with recommendations that will keep this from ever happening again. The second is just an amusing snip for late night TV. It is a mistake to discuss matters that involve security of the President in the same context as the ballon boy incident or any other of those lonely, media starved people; the people that got past the security are not the problem! The process that allowed this to happen is the real problem. This is a serious security problem – and I would like to see some serious questions posed to the White House. Clearly someone is at fault – and it may not be the Secret Service. Did the White House give the Secret Service detail a scolding and new orders regarding guest treatment because of some previous incident involving highly inflated egos that were slightly inconvenienced? Were there too few security people available to handle the situation? Was it really a Secret Service screw-up, or another case of the someone in the detail taking one for the boss? We gotta know!

    November 30, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  166. Alisa - Littleton, CO

    This has gone WAY TOO FAR! The only reality of "reality TV" is that this genre attracts bunches of untalented, half-witted, loser celebrity wannabes and encourages them to keep pushing the limits to get their 15 minutes. Notoriety is fame to them; no matter how negative the attention, it's still attention.

    Fortunately or unfortunately the behavior of the Salahis shows us that this stupidity has developed into something dangerous. It will stop -when we all stop watching.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  167. Steve Canada

    It is only giving the public what it wants to see..Ed Rollins has it right, throw them in jail..These people add nothing to society at all. To give them air time on the same network that sponsors your Heroes segment is just wrong, wrong

    November 30, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  168. Cynthia -South Euclid

    It's sad to think that your able to do such things and get away with it. What were they thinking. This is the President of the United States. Heads should be rolling.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  169. Tom from Goergia


    I thought reality television went too far a long time ago. It demonstrates how the values concerning certain standards have changed over the last two decades since the whole mess began on MTV. These shows require little talent, little investment, and little creativity while trying to reap high rewards and high ratings. In other words, these shows are almost a direct analogy of the "Something for nothing" mentality which is stinking up our nation. The latest examples of attention beggars are merely the stench rising to the top.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:29 pm |

    Jack, trust me,even if The President would like to show his leniency for these fame seekers, We have to unanimously say that, here , his Nobel Price cannot be relevant in this circumstance. If they has been successful in proving that they can by-pass the supposely highly secured place in the world, they shouldn't be successful in getting around its legal consequences.

    Alain N. KAMWA, from MARYLAND

    November 30, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  171. Judith

    Dear Jack,

    Absolutely! Reality shows went too far with the first episode of "Survivor". It is sad to see that so many TV viewers feel the need to live their lives through the actions of others on a flat screen. What has become of the ingenuity and self-respect of the American people?

    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    P.S. All my best to you, Jack, a fellow native New Yorker. I love your show!

    November 30, 2009 at 6:31 pm |
  172. jim

    Yes, and while we're at it, how about ending this reality TV nonsense before someone gets hurt and the rest of us get bored

    November 30, 2009 at 6:31 pm |
  173. Duncan Ballantine

    As a shameless young man, I once slipped past ten layers of security without any credentials to get within a few feet of Reagan during his second inauguration. As long as Presidents must shake hands and kiss babies, there will be opportunities for slippery characters to exploit the human weaknesses even the Secret Service occasionally display. But it will be the American public who ultimately decides when the media have gone too far. Once proud and serious media outlets have followed a large segment of seemingly dim viewers to deeper and deeper depths of the bizarre and inane. And until either viewers' tastes mature, or advertisers refuse to degrade their corporate images by supporting this cheap programming, the rest of us will have to either watch or change the channel.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:33 pm |
  174. Tom in Santa Barbara, CA

    Well, Jack, it is what it is. Reality is what it is. Security is what it is. Embarrassment is what it is. Ego is what it is. Stupidity is what it is. Jail time is what it is. Oblivion is what it is.

    Tom in Santa Barbara, CA

    November 30, 2009 at 6:34 pm |
  175. john s

    With all this hoopla about white house crashing, am totally surprized that CNN has yet to post all the ones that happened during the George Bush era. Why, because there was never a single one, if there was, it would have been your lead in story coupled with this one. Protecting the white house from intruders, is about the same as protecting our boarders.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:34 pm |
  176. Brian Delray Beach, FL

    Prosecute these dingbats and send them to a true reality show inside one of our fine correctional institutions. I am sure that close contact with some bono fide murders, rapists, drug dealers,and misc. folks will give them the thrills and chills they so strongly desire. If they survive they will be hot candidates for the talk show circuit and will be able to offer some terrific personal recollections.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:35 pm |
  177. Thom, Des Moines

    Jack, The next big reality series should be titled:

    "Life In Sing Sing with the Salahis,"

    November 30, 2009 at 6:35 pm |
  178. George in Minnetonka, MN

    The White House State Dinner looked like just another reality tv show, no better, no worse, about as pricey, and about as important to civilization. What exactly is a celebrity? In designer clothes, a wantabe celebrity looks like the real thing, which is probably why the gate crashers managed to get in.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:36 pm |
  179. Brenda R. Harris Saginaw, Mich.

    Secret Service? If it had been Bush they would have been shot on the spot. So this tells you what time it is.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:36 pm |
  180. Chas Denver

    Jack you stated that "Reality TV has given these people the idea that anyone can be a celebrity " Of course anyone can be a celebrity. The best example , is this unknown Governor from Alaska who should maybe be a school teacher or President of her Neighborhood Association. Instead Reality TV has made her a celebrity which is causing people to think she is a political star and a possible future President. Reality TV made Jessie the Body Ventura the Governor of Minnesota and Arnold the Governor of California which he tanked. It is the end of our empire as we know it.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:36 pm |
  181. Mike, Sandy, Oregon

    Yes Jack, give them a tv reality show. Get the evidence needed, try them, convict them, put them in prison, all on tv and all "reality".

    November 30, 2009 at 6:37 pm |
  182. Dan from Arlington MA

    Reality: Militants dressed in Pakistani army uniforms penetrate Pak army HQ and kill a lot of top generals. White House worries about security of Pak Nukes.
    Reality TV: Couple dressed in DC society uniforms penetrate White House, spread germs among US's top government officials. White House asks what's the fuss?
    PS: Wife and I just bought new clothes. Where's our invitation?

    November 30, 2009 at 6:38 pm |
  183. Paul E Caruso

    The "crashers" should be awarded a commendation. They may have saved the President a decidedly more ugly fate than embarrasement, by their ability to capitalize on a weakness in this most sensitive security issue. While that was not the intent – that was the outcome. While a petty endeavor, I'm glad they did it.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:38 pm |
  184. win55

    Yes realty tv has gone to far, it is cheap cartoon about no nothing people. I say drop the couple off on the Appalachin Trail and lets see how much they like that party. I would have been arrested but they weren't for some reason. Go Figure..............

    November 30, 2009 at 6:38 pm |
  185. Georgia Willyard

    The worst punishment that those White House crashers can receive is to not have any more news coverage. The real crime is anyone who would pay to air their story.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:39 pm |
  186. Joel

    How did those state dinner guests not get caught? They even talked to the President. Didn't Secret Service check something called a guest list?

    November 30, 2009 at 6:39 pm |
  187. Joe

    As long as there is the offer of money to be made from these reality shows, there will be people to go as far as is necessary to get that money. People who break the law in pursuit of such a reward, as the Sahalis looking for the highest bidder, they should be prosecuted to the fullest and made to forfeit any profit made from their wrong headed pursuit of fame after they are convicted of their crime.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:39 pm |
  188. Jackie in Dallas

    @Gigi in Oregon,

    What planet are YOU from? Do you really think that the President of India was on our taxpayer's dime? State Dinners are a part of the official duties of the President. They represent a "civilized" portrait of the people of this country.

    The White House IS "the people's house". All you have to do is go up during visiting hours and pay a small fee for a guided tour. There are very few residences of Heads of State in other countries where that is possible. Try getting a tour of 10 Downing Street (the British Prime Minister's residence), or the residence of Vladimir Putin (the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation) and you'll find yourself in jail!

    However, having access to the White House during a tour, and having access to the President and First Lady, not to mention the visiting heads of state is NOT the same thing, and should never be considered the same thing. There are enough psychopaths out there, not to mention religious fanatics, skinheads, and idiots (and that doesn't count the terrorists from outside the country!) that the First Family should be kept protected.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:39 pm |
  189. lynne

    Jack, you're late. It was too far when it was conceived. I have enough of my own 'reality' to deal with. I don't need someone elses.

    When you have people willing to live out in the wild, willing to marry total strangers and pretend to have talent on a stage and take abuse for it, something ugly will happen. This must be stopped, people. Stop tuning in. It's not informative or anything.

    If the current economic troubles still persist, look for more ballon boys, tresspassers, 'rich' people flaunting what they have and fools generally up for anything for a buck. It's our own fault because we let the networks dumb us down with this trash.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:40 pm |
  190. Ed, Plano,Texas

    Sorry, Jack. Wrong to pair this with reality TV. This is a crime! For goodness sake, everyday Americans are arrested for not having car insurance, and their car is towed to boot! At least, that is how we do it in the Texies. Just heard on MSNBC that Secret Service has been cut by Homeland Security since they took over from the Treasury Dept. Also, a reporter at the dinner told two WH checkers that she thought they were not on the list. Turns out they were not and no one did anything about it. White House staff heads should roll including dopey Raam Emanuel, who took a picture with the imposters!

    November 30, 2009 at 6:42 pm |
  191. keith in ky

    Don't be so quick to call them crashers, seems their is a connection between the "crashers" and Obama. You don't just walk into a state dinner at the white house,humm- – – just saying seems kinda strange

    November 30, 2009 at 6:43 pm |
  192. A.P.

    I believe it has gone too far. But this sensationalistic type behavior will be short lived if those commiting the acts start getting arrested for felony charges... like ballon boy's parents.......

    November 30, 2009 at 6:45 pm |
  193. Ron in Tahlequah, OK

    Regarding Michaele Salahi and Tareq Salahi entering the White House uninvited, I agree with some of your interviews where it was stated that this couple are guilty of trespassing and should be indicted for this crime. We'll see 🙂

    November 30, 2009 at 6:49 pm |
  194. Dev from PA

    If they were investigative reporters, would they not have been commended for finding loopholes and helping bolster security?. I think we should look at the positive aspect of it. They need to be reprimanded for being foolish, but everyone should see the positives.
    Dev from PA

    November 30, 2009 at 6:49 pm |
  195. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    About a year in jail and these two jerks will get a real honest invitation to the movie theater next time.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:50 pm |
  196. Chris, New York City

    This couple should indeed be brought up on charges and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I don't care if you're a democrat or republican, as an American, you should be completely outraged that the safety of our President was put at risk. Further to that, not only should this couple be punished, but I firmly believe that the Secret Service officer or officers responsible for this security breach be investigated and punished as well.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:56 pm |
  197. Al

    Please stop reporting on these people, you only cater to thier desire for 15 minutes of fame, first it was the bubble boy now it's these professional party crashers. If anything, ask why they are not being procecuted, and also ask why the Secret Service droped the ball, and left the President and others vulnerable. Where is the consequences for such irresponsibility by those violating security and those who allowed it to happen.

    November 30, 2009 at 6:57 pm |
  198. Tony

    Jack, It seems they have got to far when the SECURITY of the President and his family are on the LINE!! Tony in New Hampshire

    November 30, 2009 at 6:59 pm |
  199. JD

    I wasn't impressed by this couples sneaky entry into the White House. A real pro sneak would break into the U S Senate and cast a vote for health care.....either way.....doesn't matter how they vote....just impress me.

    November 30, 2009 at 7:00 pm |
  200. RAL in Little Torch Key, FL

    Prosecute them. It is time to make an example out of these adolescent acting idiots. It seems that "Crap" is becoming the status quo in the USA. Let's start raising the bar.

    November 30, 2009 at 7:00 pm |