Dinner Crashers

So, about Tuesday.

Yeah, there was definitely a security breach of some sort. Heads are going to roll. And that should be the story. Not the crashers-who-shall-not-be-named. I was walking from a parking garage on I Street to the White House – three and a half blocks, tops – and on the way there this morning I heard at least two conversations that referenced the crashers. In the briefing room, I hear their names all over. They’re instant celebrities – which is of course what they wanted. And it makes me sick that we’re letting them attain such status.

If you spend much time on internet discussion boards, you soon learn a hard and fast rule: Do Not Feed The Trolls. By “feeding the trolls”, it means giving disruptive people fuel for argument or even just paying attention to them. Ignore them, and they go away. If they don’t, they become unbearable assholes, and they get the banhammer. Simple principles of human interaction, really.

Trolls come in varieties other than mere irritating pinheads; for the purposes of this post we will focus on the attention whore. Attention whores cannot stand the fact that someone is getting more attention than they are, and will be whiny and disruptive and announce their presence in all caps and with many emoticons. Not surprisingly, in my expert opinion, the crashers fall into this category. There’s little that more perfectly exemplifies the attention whore lifestyle than crashing a state dinner honoring a foreign dignitary. Not only is it completely ridiculous, it’s just plain rude.

Maybe it was just how I was raised, but I cannot abide rudeness, and this publicity stunt was rudeness of the highest caliber. It was, dare I say, douchey.

One thing I can say for them is that they dared to dare – and it got them in contact with many of the influential people in attendance, including the President himself.

Of course, the real problem with this is the voracious news cycle, the ever-hungering beast. While there are other, frankly more worthy stories to cover, the major networks are focusing on Mrs. Crasher’s hair and makeup tab. Really? Is this the story we should be covering? Tomorrow is World AIDS Day. Shouldn’t we be focusing on the current administration’s policy on helping afflicted nations, as well as combating the problem within DC itself? Hell no. Why do that when we could have something vapid and light and captivating about a pretty lady in a pretty sari who wasn’t supposed to be there?

[As I predicted, the briefing was taken up with questions about Afghanistan and the crashers. We’re making them into a bigger story than they need to be. Yes, I know this article is a meta-irony – me whining about the crashers being a big story while I write a story about them being a big story…but this is all I shall say on the matter. Meanwhile, I’ll write this other article about World AIDS Day over here…]


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