As a guy who spent the better part of twenty years of his life in Hollywood working as a publicist and in the TV news biz, I almost found the flap with the Salahis getting into the State Dinner amusing. Almost, except that particular party-crashing represents a huge security breach, surprisingly bungled by the Secret Service. What makes it funny is the fact that the crashers were followed by a camera crew for their soon-to-be lame reality television series.
Not wanting to let an excellent opportunity for some pop culture grandstanding to pass it by, congress is of course, flying into action. Members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform have placed the blame for the security breach squarely on the shoulders of a single, unnamed Secret Service officer.
"It's very clear that there was one person who allowed these two individuals to go from Station 1 to Station 2," Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), the ranking member on the committee, told reporters. "One person's error appears to have led to a person having literally hand-to-hand contact with the Vice President."
If true, that is not going to be welcome news at the kitchen table of that particular officer. I can hear the spouse scream, "You lost your job because of WHAT?!"
And now the piling on begins. Because with two seemingly futile wars draining our treasury, not to mention a fragile economy freshly rescued from falling off the cliff, congress finds this situation to be The Most Pressing Issue Of Our Time.
Rep. Peter King (R-NY) said he would push to subpoena White House social secretary Desiree Rogers over the infamous party-crashing incident, saying that "we'd be happy to look at it." Funny, King wasn't very happy to look into George W. Bush's folly into war a few years ago before we committed troops. He seemed happy to look the other way as the financial industry was busy destroying middle class America. Nope, some third-rate reality TV buffoons' ability to schmooze their way into a State Dinner is tops on his radar (telling commentary on how relevant the GOP has become). "Country First" and all of that.
Well, if those two showed up at a party I was working, I would have gladly sent them packing, back to their rented limo and to parts I-couldn't-care-less. My first real job in Hollywood was working at the huge and impressive PR firm, Rogers & Cowan and we manned many an event that required strict adhering to the list of invited guests. My clipboard was sacrosanct, and no deviations were tolerated!
"I'm sorry; I don't care if you were the third lead on that ABC sitcom last fall, sir. Your name is not on the list, so you simply cannot get in," was a usual response after flipping through the sheets of endless names. "And you, Miss Griffin, don't even THINK about it."
It makes me sad to see the Secret Service get caught up in such a stupid blunder. But I'm sure whoever let the TV zeros in will be punished or fired... a measured and appropriate response. I have tremendous respect for any anyone dedicated enough to take a bullet for The Leader of the Free World. It is certainly more than I could say I was willing to do for my demanding, Type-A personality PR boss.
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