It takes tremendous trust to deceive the world together - making the Salahis the model American couple.


The Stanton Peele Addiction Website, December 3, 2009. This blog post also appeared on Stanton's Addiction in Society blog at

True Love - The Salahis

The SalahisTareq and Michaele Salahi seem as though they spend their life together engaged in cons. All evidence is that the Virginia couple gate-crashed a supposedly inviolable White House state dinner on November 24th. Yet they appeared together on NBC's Today show - leaning on one another - outraged at the accusations: "We were invited, not crashers, and there isn't anyone who would have the audacity or the poor behavior to do that,'' Michaele Salahi fumed.

This replicated their allegedly breaking into a Congressional Black Caucus party at which the President was speaking in September. But their biggest fraud of all may be the Salahi's signature event, the annual Land Rover America's Polo Cup, which they bill as the "world's most prestigious and largest . . . charity polo event," benefiting the Salahi-run charity Journey for the Cure.

According to the Washington Post, the claimed corporate sponsors of the event say they are not sponsoring it. Past suppliers say they have not been paid to the tune of $100,000s, and there are law suits between the Salahis and numerous providers. Records show the charity has donated scant thousands of dollars to its charitable beneficiaries.

On top of all this, Michaele reportedly crashed a Washington Redskins cheerleaders' reunion in September - although she was never a cheerleader for the club!

What a couple!

Can you imagine how difficult it must be to cheat and lie all the time - and yet to keep your marriage and partnership together? It's reminiscent of the couple - played by John Cusack and Annette Bening - who con people together in the 1990 film, The Grifters. But that relationship didn't survive.

(For advanced film students, see the loving grifters in the 1932 Ernst Lubitsch film, Trouble in Paradise, played by Herbert Marshall and Miriam Hopkins. In that one, Marshall has to seduce the woman they are swindling and for whom both work. What trust! Although there was a little contretemps, Hopkins and Marshalll end up together. Now THAT'S love!)

In order to work together conning people, you must have implicit confidence that your partner will pick up your story. You both have to act outraged - as the Salahis did on the Today show - when your integrity is questioned. You have to sign and file court papers together, swearing to untruths.

What faith they must have in one another. If only ordinary couples could back each other up like that, most marriages would be far happier!

So I nominate Tareq and Michaele Salahi as the best married couple of 2009.

That is, if they are really married.