Party Crashers' Charity Was Hundreds of Thousands in Debt, and Other Tragic BafflementsS

Tareq and Michaele Salahi's "signature social event," the Land Rover America's Polo Cup, was neither sponsored by Land Rover nor as profitable as it claimed. Do these people have any grasp on reality, at all?

The U.S.-India polo match that has come to define the public's notion of the Salahis' social life was an overblown charade that raised barely any money for the Salahis' charitable foundation, which was also an overblown charade, The Washington Post reports.

[M]any sponsors listed by America's Cup for 2010—including Land Rover, Cartier, the St. Regis Hotel in Washington and the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co.—say they are not sponsors for that event. Many vendors in previous years said in interviews that the Salahis have not paid for their services in the event's three-year history, expenses totaling about $500,000. Many have filed lawsuits, and the couple has countersued often.

The polo cup's website claims it has been "patroned every year by the President of the United States," though there is no record of any president doing such a thing. Tareq is on the regard saying the 2007 cup raised $250,000, despite the fact that Journey for the Cure—the event's beneficiary—received only $18,608 that entire year. Some speculate about "non-charitable purposes" (read: embezzlement) but it seems more likely that the pay-off was emotional. The Salahis' collective fibs are the "Stuff White People Like" of high society: Land Rovers, Cartier, polo matches, royalty. Even their cancer charity, "Journey for the Cure," has a hollow ring to it, like something you'd read in a chick lit novel about blue bloods.

And then there are other reports of other, even sadder party crashes, like the time Michaela crashed a Redskins cheerleader reunion and almost got away with it—until she got overconfident and tried to bust a move. ("But when I saw her dance, I thought, 'hell no!'" one of the legit cheerleaders told the New York Post.) Or their Congressional Black Caucus party crash, where the Salahis were allegedly escorted out.

The ability to look someone in the eye and tell a bald-faced lie, and to keep telling it with utmost certainty, even as your listener realizes that you are lying, is a rare skill. When it appears, it tends to be in the power-hungry and fame-obsessed: Rod Blagojevich, Omarosa, and Octomom come to mind. These are creatures both marvelous and perplexing: Do they ever let the guard down, even internally? Is there ever a moment when Michaele turns to Tareq and says, "That whopper was a big one. Are you sure we can get away with this?" What about when the Salahis filed their $18K Journey for the Cure tax return—how did they delude themselves then? Is it really possible to stare untruths in the face, then flip your hair, flash a smile, and pose for the camera—or do you just have to break down and go postal at some point?