Welcome Guest | Register | Login

Media Focus on Balloon Boy and Richard Heene Illustrates America's Fascination With Absurdity


After kicking the tires on this topic and pitching it to my writing team I finally buckled and decided to pen a piece on the latest 15-minute celebrity; Balloon Boy.
Why this story is dominating the headlines is beyond me. 
Perhaps it's a slow news week.  There's only so much one can talk about the economy.  Everybody knows The White House is under fire and must do something about rampant job losses.
The Michael Jackson saga has hit a lull (for now). 
Balloon Boy happened at the right place at the wrong time for this family.  The Dad, who is a nobody trying to become a somebody desperately wanted to put himself out there so he could land a reality TV show.  Hell, he even recorded some awful theme songs to boot.

So, what did he do? He pimped his son out. 
Normally a story like this would be open and shut and the Dad would be arrested and we can all move on with our lives. 
But, no! Balloon Boy is still dominating the headlines.  The media is giving this moron exactly what he wanted; fame. 
His half-backed scheme backfired on him in comical fashion.  Instead of getting publicity he is facing jail time.
Richard Heene has now become America's most hated man.  Maybe this is more of a testament to the American Public Conciousness.  We love when somebody is doing worse than us.
No matter how bad our day is, at least we're not facing jail time and looking like a complete ass in front of millions of people like Richard Heene-the wannabe reality TV star. 

At first this story was front-page news, grabbing the CNN "Breaking News" headline when this so-called weather balloon on the loose landed on the ground, but there was no child inside.  From there it became a media sensation. And, everybody was duped by this numskull. 

With that said, there's no reason why this story should be receiving the attention it is.  I hate to be Mr. Serious here, but I find it completely irresponsible that the media has basically turned their back on covering the return of fallen soldiers.  That is something that should be getting front-page headlines. 

But, once again our media has it's attention turned toward the absurd and is beating this dead horse over and over again.

To quote the lyrics from that John Couger Mellancamp song, "Aint that America?"
Photo by NY Daily News