Since making an unrequested appearance at last fall’s state dinner at the White House, it seems that no matter how hard we try, we can’t get rid of Tareq and Michelle Salahi. Especially in this town, that type of reality famous is rare, and the local Washington Post has really embraced the celebrity by posting many stories and features on the couple since their moment of infamy last November – to the tune of 110 articles written by 30 different writers.
For two socialites who may not exactly have a long list of accomplishments, that sure seems like a lot of space in a dying medium. That hasn’t been lost on some of the WaPo’s readers, who have penned many a letter to the editor about this excessive coverage, to the point that the paper’s ombudsman, Andrew Alexander, dedicated his column yesterday to defending the decision to keep running stories related to the two:
But at its core, reader interest centers on the unique audaciousness and astonishing self-absorption of the Salahis. Many object to continuing coverage because they find the couple detestable, especially the Salahis’ moth-to-flame craving for media attention. Many readers have told me they view the couple as villainous and some eagerly await the Salahis’ comeuppance.
But many of those same readers harbor a what-will-they-do-next curiosity. They’re eager for each new episode in what amounts to a serial drama. The Salahis don’t disappoint. Journalistically, they’re a gift that keeps giving.
Readers, how much is too much coverage of one pair of spotlight seekers? Alexander argued that the “gossip crap” is something long missing from the gloom of the normal Post perspective. Do you agree?