Balloon Boy

There are those moments that people always remember where they were when they heard the news, Pearl Harbor, JFK assassination, 9/11. Then there is the next level that most people remember, for me one of those would be when John Lennon was killed. Even the recent death of Michael Jackson was a little moment, a “no kidding!”

And with a 24-hour news cycle always on high alert sometimes they try to create these moments. The OJ car chase (I will admit I know exactly what I was doing… driving to Menlo Park from San Francisco to see an ex-boyfriend in a community play thinking, “poor guy, no one will be in the theater tonight.”). The media is hoping we will get involved, stay tuned. Will the next one be a big phony baloney one? Rolling my eyes that I made sure not to turn on the news after reading about balloon boy online lest Vivien see it and worry that she too might be carried away, perhaps by a cluster of birthday balloons.

11 thoughts on “Balloon Boy

  1. Exactly. And did you hear the 911 calls? The mom, crying, pleading…the dad hyperventilating.

    Who can even do that? I couldn’t. I’d say to my crazy husband, “You are flippin’ nuts., I’m not going to call 911 and PRETEND to cry over my child…..real people in real emergencies need that help. “


  2. I’m sorry, but that family kinda makes me sick. They used America. People gave them real prayers and were really worried. Not to even mention the cost associated with all of those helicopters and rescue personnel.

    I mean, I get that they wanted to be fake celebs or whatever, but to abuse real people’s time and to take away from real emergencies that were happening – it’s not cool and it’s not funny.

  3. I was kidding, but not… I did feel used by the balloon boy family. I was so afraid that some child would flop out fo the sky.Then later heard Buzz Aldrin ( imagine a real American hero having to weigh in on this) that OBVIOUSLY a 6 year old boy was too heavy for a helium balloon. Okay, I did go to LORD OF THE FLIES school, so I can see how I might have missed that in my mom anxiety, but shouldn’t CNN, et al have thought this through?

    Alexandra, yes, the family whooped it up for Wife Swap and kept going. There’s the actor in them, but no ethical or moral issues crossed their mind?

  4. I felt completely taken advantage of.

    I was having a rough feeling day, and was laying in bed flipping through channels when I landed on CNN. I watched live for hours on end. I watched until the balloon landed, and then drifted to sleep, and then woke up again to watch live for another century until the boy was found.

    I also think it is important to emphaisze that the media is to REPORT the news not CREATE the news. I’ve felt that way since the VT shootings. I remember the news vans crowding funerals and parking lots. It was impossible to go any where on that campus without someone with a microphone wanting to know if you knew anything or felt something that hadn’t heard yet.

    I think we should all get paid a class action settlements for watching this whole thing unfold for hours on end. Think of all the company money that was wasted when productivity dropped on office computers, the air space that was taken up, the crops that were ruined, the people that gave up time to look for the kid, and so on. I don’t really think we should all get paid, but I do think that someone needs to come up with a realistic figure of how many dollars and hours were wasted on this stunt and show it to the family. They need to know how much money and time was lost on them.

  5. This story made me feel horribly sad for those poor kids. The media is really going to make me develop an ulcer. I’m going to have to start ignoring these stories, and the Jon and Kate ones too. I suffer too much for those kids.

  6. As the wife of a helicopter pilot, that family is SO lucky no one was hurt trying to intercept that balloon. I don’t mind my husband going out to aid in rescues, but darnit, for him to risk his life those rescues better be REAL!

    Shame, shame, shame on those parents. Poor children. Just unbelievable.

    And shame on the news channels, too. The commentary going on during this whole fiasco was laughable. There was no way a kid was in that balloon, and they knew it. Just a dog and pony show for ratings.

  7. I agree KM-SHAME ON THEM!

    I hate that people exploit their children like this. If you want to look like an idiot on national television, you do it on your own and leave the kids out of it.

  8. I’d just like to say that as I was watching it, sporadically because I have a life…I saw the balloon and obviously there was no kid inside but that there could have been a basket attached and perhaps he had detached it and fallen to his death. I bought it hook line and sinker.
    Also, I’m conservative and watch (horrors!) Fox News quite a bit and I’m telling you…they’re the worst of the lot. If a story can be hyped, they’ll do it. The 911 tapes bother me the most. Absolutely no news is delivered during 911 tapes, it’s all about ratings.
    Love, Mo

  9. yes, I don’t like when news outlets play them. local news plays 911 calls a lot. the old new adage, “if it bleeds, it leads.”

    Yes, good no one was hurt trying to find the un findable.

    Frank Rich in the NYtimes had a good piece on Sunday. He did point out that a bigger lie was the WMD tale that the media also fell over themselves accepting. Another demonstration of herd mentality in the media. Oh, there are so many, but one that has cost lives is really objectionable.

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