By Tim Cuprisin Media Columnist Published Jun 17, 2010 at 11:00 AM
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Yes, I know commercial TV is a business and its goal is to make money. But Bravo's "Real Housewives of D.C." crosses a line, including in its cast Michaele Salahi and her husband, Tareq, who we all remember as the White House party crashers.

It premieres Aug. 5, and marks another low in "reality" TV.

Bravo knows this. That's why the channel's senior vice president, Andy Cohen, posted a rationale on the Huffington Post earlier this week:

"The great advantage to a docu-series, rather than a scripted drama or comedy, is the unexpected ...  Late in our production cycle Michaele Salahi told producers that she and her husband Tareq had been invited to the White House State Dinner. The production crew filmed the Salahis' preparation and arrival at the White House gate, but left as the crew wasn't credentialed for the Dinner."

And Salahi wasn't invited. She lied. 

And Bravo has rewarded her for evading security -- and for lying to the producers of the show.

Bravo has chosen to make the lie part of its TV show, which Cohen describes as tapping "into the life force of Washington."

The formula for sleazy "reality" TV is simple. You need exhibitionists willing to act out in front of a camera, and you need an audience of voyeurs. And then there's that third part of the equation: TV execs willing to exploit both to make a little cash. 

Soccer, on the radio, really early, at a bar: WLUM-FM (102.1) morning voices Brian Kramp and Jon Adler broadcast live from from the Nomad World Pub from 6 to 10 a.m. Friday before and during the U.S.-Slovenia World Cup game.

On TV: The president's speech on the Gulf of Mexico catastrophe pulled in some 32.1 million viewers on 11 broadcast and cable outlets, according to Nielsen Media Research. Barack Obama's last prime-time speech, January's State of the Union, drew 48 million viewers.

  •'s Michael Ausiello is first with the news that "Gabe," the assistant to Kathy Bates' character, will be a regular on the next season of NBC's "The Office." He's played, quite nervously, by Zach Woods.
  • The latest "Glee" rumor: Justin Timberlake will drop by next season as Will Schuester's brother. He does kinda sorta look like Matthew Morrison.
  • Syfy has ordered six episodes of a "reality" show about collecting movie and TV memorabilia. There's no word on when "Hunting Hollywood" will hit the air.

A national honor for Channel 6 and Brad Hicks: Channel 6 has picked up a prestigious Edward R. Murrow Award from the Radio, Television and Digital News Association Wednesday for Brad Hicks' report called "Twisted Family Tree," about a Manitowoc family with a history of abuse.

Madison's WMTV-TV won a Murrow for a story called "Power to Forgive." You can find the list of winners here.

Here's the report by Hicks -- whose team included video editor Dave Michuda and photojournalists Miles Cooksy and Tim Viste -- which won in the hard news category:   

Tim Cuprisin Media Columnist

Tim Cuprisin is the media columnist for He's been a journalist for 30 years, starting in 1979 as a police reporter at the old City News Bureau of Chicago, a legendary wire service that's the reputed source of the journalistic maxim "if your mother says she loves you, check it out." He spent a couple years in the mean streets of his native Chicago, and then moved on to the Green Bay Press-Gazette and USA Today, before coming to the Milwaukee Journal in 1986.

A general assignment reporter, Cuprisin traveled Eastern Europe on several projects, starting with a look at Poland after five years of martial law, and a tour of six countries in the region after the Berlin Wall opened and Communism fell. He spent six weeks traversing the lands of the former Yugoslavia in 1994, linking Milwaukee Serbs, Croats and Bosnians with their war-torn homeland.

In the fall of 1994, a lifetime of serious television viewing earned him a daily column in the Milwaukee Journal (and, later the Journal Sentinel) focusing on TV and radio. For 15 years, he has chronicled the changes rocking broadcasting, both nationally and in Milwaukee, an effort he continues at

When he's not watching TV, Cuprisin enjoys tending to his vegetable garden in the backyard of his home in Whitefish Bay, cooking and traveling.