Plum TV releases footage of party crashers in Aspen
December 4, 2009
ASPEN – The Salahi couple’s stay in Aspen has turned into a media event in its own right – nearly one year after they came here for a snow polo tournament, and more than a week after they crashed a White House party.
On Thursday, Plum TV issued a press release declaring that the network uncovered “rare footage of White House party crashers from 2008 Aspen polo event.”
The video shows the now infamous couple, Tareq and Michaele Salahi, appearing on camera for Plum TV during last year’s World Snow Polo Championship in Aspen. The wife calls the Plum appearance her “two minutes of fame.”
The couple’s current Q rating is in another stratosphere compared to their visit here last December, as they have been under intense media scrutiny ever since they allegedly crashed the White House state dinner on Nov. 24. The couple appeared on NBC’s “Today Show” Tuesday, and insisted they were invited to the party.
Washington considers it a serious matter. On Thursday, the Secret Service said it was placing three officers on administrative leave because of the gatecrashers.
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The same day, the Salahi couple’s Aspen appearance on Plum TV had made such websites as The Washington Post, myfoxdc.com and mymag.com.
The video was distributed by the New York-based firm DKC Public Relations.
Plum plans to air the video on its Dec. 5 premier of its “Top of the Mountain” show. Plum TV has a studio in Aspen, and also is carried in other luxury resorts such as Vail, Telluride, Nantucket and the Hamptons, among others.
While the couple’s hobnobbing with the powerful, rich and politically elite has been well documented of late, their financial status also has come into question.
New Castle rancher Barry Stout, who organizes Aspen’s World Polo Championship, told The Aspen Times this week that the couple owe him $19,500 for their entry fee in last year’s tournament. The couple put down a $3,000 deposit and that was it, he said.
And Thursday, Virginia regulators said they are investigating the fundraising practices of an enterprise run by the couple.
The probe is focused on the Salahis’ annual polo cup event, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services said in a two-sentence statement.
The state regulatory agency enforces Virginia law on charitable fundraising, which prohibits solicitors from making misleading statements designed to defraud donors.
The Salahis say that money raised through their America’s Polo Cup undertaking goes to their nonprofit Journey for the Cure.
The polo event and the foundation that the Salahis run have been mired in controversy and financial disarray.
Three vendors who served the annual polo cup event, created in 2006, said they hadn’t been paid, The Washington Post reported.
The Salahis’ nonprofit Journey for the Cure, established in 2004, didn’t register with the state of Virginia to raise money until last month, a spokeswoman for the state regulatory agency said.
Click on this link to view the Plum TV video: