By Dan McDermott
Warren County Report
We received the following press release from a representative of Tareq and Michaele Salahi shortly after midnight this morning. What do you think? Leave your comments.
Statement of Lisa Bloom, attorney for Michaele and Tareq Salahi:
Michaele Salahi, along with the other Real Housewives of D.C., was a guest on The View this morning. She was treated very poorly by the hosts of the show.
False and defamatory allegations have swirled around the Salahis since November 2009, when they were accused by the media of being “White House party crashers.” From the inception of that allegation to the present, the Salahis have consistently and vehemently denied that they were “party crashers,” and have publicly revealed emails from a White House liaison to substantiate the fact that they were led to believe that they were invited and welcomed at the state dinner. Nevertheless, many in the media continued to defame them by referring to them as “party crashers.” Few in the media even bother to add “alleged” to the title.
In fact, the government has not alleged that they are party crashers. While a grand jury investigation, costing untold tax dollars and wasted hours of time, drags on for eight months, the Salahis have never been charged with any crime. Nor is there any indication that they can be charged with any crime, since by all accounts – including the government’s account – they presented their real names and real IDs at several White House checkpoints, where they were cleared into the dinner. Video of the event shows the Salahis being announced by their real names and entering the dinner. After the dinner, the Salahis emailed a thank you note to the White House liaison, who responded the following afternoon with, “You are most welcome! I here (sic) the smile in your email and am delighted that you and Michaele had a wonderful time. Have an extraordinary Thanksgiving and many blessings to you both!”
Similarly, the Salahis were invited to the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Dinner, held several months before the White House dinner, as guests of their prior attorneys. Nevertheless, once the media whipped up a frenzy about the Salahis after the State Dinner, some went back and developed the additional false and defamatory claim that they “crashed” that dinner as well. Again, a fabrication.
In advance of Michaele Salahi’s appearance on The View, the show was advised not to refer to Mrs. Salahi as a “party crasher,” as that statement is false and defamatory. Nevertheless, she was called a “party crasher” at least five times on air, by my count, including by Joy Behar, Sherri Shepherd, and by the prerecorded male voice that announces the show.
During pointed questioning about an unrelated incident where Mrs. Salahi had been called “anorexic” (also untrue), Whoopi Goldberg came from backstage behind Mrs. Salahi, shook her arm, and told her to move on and talk about the White House. This was startling to Mrs. Salahi, as she was being interviewed by Joy Behar and Sherri Shepherd, and Whoopi Goldberg was not part of the segment. Ms. Behar and Ms. Shepherd were conducting the interview, so it was up to them to “move along” to whatever topics they chose. As a guest, Mrs. Salahi was answering all questions asked of her as best she could, and at that point, she was being asked about another incident, so that’s what she was answering. Mrs. Salahi was surprised and unnerved (as anyone would be) that someone would come up from behind on live TV and tell her to stop answering the question that the actual interviewers had posed to her. If Ms. Goldberg didn’t like how the interview was being conducted, she should have taken her grievances to the shows producers and co-hosts — not Mrs. Salahi, and certainly not while she was a guest on the live show.
Sherri Shepherd then told Mrs. Salahi on air “you should be in jail!,” the applause light went on, and the audience and Real Housewives members cheered that statement. The U.S. Attorney, after a laborious eight-month review of the evidence, has not seen fit to charge her with a crime to date. But Sherri Shepherd, who apparently has not reviewed any of the evidence, sees fit to tell a guest on her show that she should be in jail. This is outrageous and defamatory.
Backstage, Mrs. Salahi was in tears. She told a show producer she was upset that Whoopi Goldberg had come up behind her and grabbed her arm. The producer went to get Ms. Goldberg, who then yelled a long series of profanities at Mrs. Salahi (yelling the word “fuck” or “fucking” at her dozens of times in a loud voice), accusing her of accusing Ms. Goldberg of “hitting” her. Mrs. Salahi said she’d never said that, got the producer back in the room, and the producer admitted that “hit” was her word, not Mrs. Salahi’s. Ms. Goldberg continued to verbally berate Mrs. Salahi, refused to apologize for her language or her on set behavior, and left the room.
Mrs. Salahi’s overall experience on The View was degrading and demeaning.
Whoopi Goldberg’s response:
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