By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers
Washington's notorious couple Michaele and Tareq Salahi, whose eye-popping and illegal crashing of President Obama's first State Dinner last November cost a key White House aide her job and embarrassed the U.S. Secret Service, aren't done yet with their 15 minutes of fame. Not only are they set to appear in the Real Housewives series on Bravo, but they are also pitching several other proposals like their own reality show and a cruise ship trip they'd host as the stars.
"I have lots and lots of irons in the fire for a whole plethora of opportunities for them," says their Australia-based spokesman, Max Markson, a mover and shaker in the publicity world down under. "It's all part of their Austin Powers worldwide domination plan!"
TV shows, speaking engagements, and appearances at polo events (a sport Tareq plays) make sense, but a cruise? It's become the latest fad for Washington types. Newspapers and magazines like to host them both to cash in and promote their products to their best customers. The conservative Weekly Standard, for example, has been hosting cruises for years and has another slated for later this year. Ditto for Newsmax, the conservative news site. President Christopher Ruddy just returned from the first Newsmax cruise, attended by 325 including newsies like Dick Morris. Ruddy called it "a way to bond with our readers and have two-way communication, hearing what they think. It's like a week-long focus group."
What the Salahis would do on the ship is unclear. But one thing's for sure with the social-climbing couple: It would be first class all the way.
Illustration by Ed Wexler for USN&WR.