Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Sad Case of the Balloon Boy

It appeared from the beginning that there was something strange about the supposed ride of the Colorado boy in his family's "weather balloon." When the boy was found in the attic of his home, there was a short period of normalcy. Maybe the kid had hid out to escape his parents' wrath at possibly causing them a problem.

Then the weird set in. It quickly became known the the family, under the leadership of the father, has been involved in some of the strange reality shows. He has also pitched ideas to reality show producers, to no avail. The family released their home video of the untethering of the balloon which showed no undue concern over anyone being inside. Then, when they made the rounds of the TV morning shows, the "balloon boy" threw up when asked about his hiding in the attic. He responded to his dad with "you said we did this for a show." Kids say and do the darnedest things, when their conscience kicks in and their parents want them to lie.

Now it appears that law enforcement officials will press charges against the father. Whether the charges will be in connection with a hoax or for violations of FAA rules and laws is still unknown. Obviously the father in this case is a publicity hound, obsessed with getting on TV reality shows. What better way than to create an incident that will appeal to the hungry cable networks, who will exploit anything to fill an afternoon on a slow news day.

When some one like this nutcase wants so badly to be in front of the cameras to make a name for himself, nothing will stand in their way. After all they see other ne'er do wells getting their own reality shows after some infamous act. Michael Vick mistreated his dogs, served time in prison and now will have his own reality show. Turning a homemade balloon loose and telling authorities that your son is in it, is a small price to pay to live your dream. There will probably be a fine and a suspended sentence. A small price to pay for a few million, if you can work it out.

The sad aftermath is the children. It would appear that they have been forced to lie and have been exploited by the parents in order to achieve enough notoriety to get the reality show offer. If this is the case, then, hopefully, the authorities will take action to see that the parents are counseled and monitor the situation to ensure the children's welfare. A better outcome would be federal charges serious enough to get the attention of these immature yokels.


Vagabonde said...

I do not watch TV much, but my husband watches CNN while having breakfast so I see it too. I saw the story once and then the next day saw that it might be a hoax. The thing that I cannot understand is this - didn’t the father have enough sense to realize that he if lied and involved his kids then for sure he would be found out as it is too hard to keep everything straight? And what about the kids – is money and celebrity more important than the welfare of your own children? This is sick. But it shows that the culture here is getting dumber and dumber – only interesting in reality shows or screaming tea parties. The news used to come from independent outlets that reported newsworthy stories from here and around the world. Now most outlets have been bought by for-profit large conglomerates which are more interested in titillating the non-reading public rather than giving them real news – and that is the result – spending hours of viewing time on a non-news and sad story.

Doug B said...

I for one will be glad when the reality show craze dies. I believe cable and satellite tv with the plethora of channels have ruined it. More is really less when you compare the quality of the shows of the fifties and sixties with what is out there today.

I wasn't one of those taken in by this story, following it until its stupid conclusion. I was busy doing other things and was barely aware of it. Not my loss.

Diane J Standiford said...

I watched the whole thing, keep my TV on CNN, on mute, just to make sure I don't miss anything as I go through my day in my lift chair. It is the children I feel sorry for. What have they been taught? Sad. The parents need to be fined extensively. The media needs to grow up. Schools need to spend more time teaching writing and acting, so we can have good scripts, good actors, and good entertainment again. Many kids (13-25) can barely put together a sentence or speak English at the 4th grade level.