Who Are You?

U.S. President Barack Obama (2nd L) greets Michaele Salahi (C) and her husband Tareq (R) during a state dinner for India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (L) at the White House in this official White House photo taken November 24, 2009 and released November 27, 2009. REUTERS/Samantha Appleton-The White House/Handout

Well, now we know the “publicity stunt” is back. First the balloon boy of Colorado, now the real housewife of D.C., Michaele Salahi.

They’ve asked the news folks to “get their bids in” for interviews, according to the AP:

The couple who crashed President Barack Obama’s first state dinner are peddling their story to broadcast networks for hundreds of thousands of dollars, a television executive says.

The executive, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the network does not publicly discuss bookings, told The Associated Press that representatives for Michaele and Tareq Salahi contacted networks to urge them to “get their bids in” for an interview. The executive said the Virginia couple was looking for a payment in the mid-six figures range.

Meanwhile, CNN confirmed that the Salahis had canceled an appearance they had scheduled for “Larry King Live” on Monday.

Network news divisions say they don’t pay for interviews. But for eagerly sought interviews in the past, they have offered to pay for access to exclusive material, such as pictures or videos from their subjects.

Representatives for the couple did not immediately return telephone and e-mail requests for comment.

Michaele Salahis is a reality TV hopeful trying to get on Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of D.C.” Her and her husband’s success in getting into the state dinner Tuesday without an invitation embarrassed the White House and Secret Service.

Scandal marketing and publicity stunts are one thing, but this kind of activity is dangerous and inconsiderate. Keep it clean and honest, please.

Not Safe for Tweets

Always think about where and how your tweets will appear. The above billboard for WPMI in Mobile, Alabama, is one such example, which got both the general manager and news director suspended:

Sources tell Florida News Center that the digital billboard “snafu” from earlier this week, has caused quite a stir at Mobile’s WPMI. Newport Television, the owners of WPMI, have suspeneded General Manager Shea Grandquest and News Director Wes Finley for one week, without pay. The picture below has circulated the Internet, after being posted on Twitter by a driver in the Mobile area.

Talk about a lesso

Thanks to the Banks

I’m thankful I’m not over-extended in my financial obligations. Well, sort of. Got plenty to pay back. I could use some oil money.

Maybe not. Dubai World is looking to the banks that lent them billions to hold off a little bit, according to yesterday’s New York Times:

The government of Dubai, in a blunt acknowledgment of the severity of its financial position, said on Wednesday that it had asked its banks for a six-month stay on its schedule of debt repayments.

The terse statement came in the middle of negotiations between creditors and Dubai World, the corporate arm of Dubai, which has led many of its most ambitious real estate projects, but is now struggling under the burden of $59 billion in liabilities.

For the banks that financed the debt-fueled ascent of Dubai — analysts’ estimates put its total debt at about $80 billion — the move by Dubai to obtain a standstill highlights a truth that many in the region had been trying to make clear to bankers. It is that Abu Dhabi, the oil-rich governing emirate of the United Arab Emirates, will not unconditionally bail out its more profligate neighbor. Instead, a genuine restructuring of Dubai’s debt, with pain being shared equally between Dubai and its bankers, needs to take place.

Try doing that with your credit cards. One by-product of this crazy borrow-and-spend oil economy is the world’s tallest building, the Burj Dubai. Check out this view from the top…

Happy Tweetsgiving

Great idea, for the second time around, via Mashable

Last year, the very first TweetsGiving was born and the social media effort raised close to $11,000 to build a classroom in Tanzania. This year the Thanksgiving Twitter-themed charity event is back in action and hopes to pull in more than $100,000 in a 48 hour International affair for charity.

If you’re not familiar with TweetsGiving, it’s a global, volunteer-organized social media charity drive starting today and extending through Thanksgiving, similar in purpose and practice to Twestival but built around the notion of celebrating gratitude. TweetsGiving gives back to the Epic Change charity in an effort to raise money to build additional classrooms, a library, cafeteria, and dormitory for a school in Tanzania.

Participating in TweetsGiving is as simple as sharing your gratitude on Twitter (Twitter), or any other social media site, with the hashtag #tweetsgiving and a link to TweetsGiving.org. You can view the tagged gratitude tweets, photos, videos, songs, and blog posts on the TweetsGiving site. You can also retweet to spread the word, donate to the cause, meet the TwitterKids of Tanzania (the kids tweet and blog), or select from the city/state dropdown menu to find and attend one of the local parties or events held across the world.

Launch Ringtone

The most thrilling part of being in the satcom business was definitely rocket launches.

Intelsat-14 launched at 1:55 a.m. this morning…

Like the countdown? We made it into a ringtone. Yeah, that was my idea.


If this doesn’t make the case for video review in soccer, I don’t know what does.

Thierry confessed it was a handball: “I will be honest, it was a handball. But I’m not the ref. I played it, the ref allowed it. That’s a question you should ask him.”

Ask the ref? “Parle à ma main” — the Fatal Bazooka video…


Just Shoot

“F8 and shoot.” That’s what photographers tell you to do when you want to get your work into one of the last great magazines for photography: National Geographic.