THAT EXPLAINS IT
In journalistic patois, the saga of White House party crashers Tareq and Michaele Salahi is “the gift that keeps on giving” — a ripe story that provides endless fodder for reportage and fancy analysis, without a whole lot of effort. The only thing that would make it more interesting would be if Elvis, UFOs or Monica Lewinsky were somehow involved. Or maybe Bo Obama.
On average, about 6,000 Salahi-themed stories have appeared daily since the couple sashayed past White House security late last month, according to a Google search. And what a trajectory: The accounts have covered politics, media, national security, clandestine agencies, bureaucratic foibles, debt, lying, social climbing, etiquette, popular culture, frivolous society, fashion and public opinion. A few initial surveys reveal that roughly three-fourths of Americans say the Salahis “endangered” President Obama and should face prosecution.
But there’s always more. Why’d they do it?
“A surprisingly large number of people — about 2 percent of the adult population — seek fame as an end in itself. For these people, fame is the defining element of their lives and, once in place, it is virtually impossible to eliminate,” says human behavioral analyst Orville Gilbert Brim, author of “Look at Me: The Fame Motive From Childhood to Death.”
For all the importance attached to celebrity in American society, it has been ignored as a primary human motivator, he says.
“A person driven by the fame motive will go to remarkable lengths to achieve it. Their motive is not power or wealth, it is fame itself,” Mr. Brim adds.
And maybe a cool half-million for, say, “Real World: The White House Crasher Edition.”