prof. e.

Mass Communication, [multi]media, methodology and much, much more!

Balloon Boy Makes My Point

Posted by prof e on October 21, 2009

hoaxWhen I posted my blog entry about accuracy in the media last week, it was the day before the Balloon Boy story broke. Since then we’ve been served a non-stop drama that started with a young child at risk, progressed to a possible media hoax, and reached a crescendo with apparent criminal charges filed against parents Richard and  Mayumi Heene. The media circus that gave birth to the spectacle is now feeding off of the dead carcass and will continue to do so until all that remains are bleached bones. Would-be actors who craved instant fame got infamy, which they will now try to peddle to unscrupulous reality show producers and tabloid publishers. There’s even an online video game based on the whole sordid affair. The one bright spot in all of this, if there is one, is that Colorado law prevents criminals from profiting from their criminal actions. Forgive me if I come across as harsh and skeptical…but perhaps a healthy dose of skepticism was what was needed last Friday.


5 Responses to “Balloon Boy Makes My Point”

  1. Lacey Chesser said

    I agree, we gave the family just what they wanted and they might make a ton of money off of our need for drama. We played this story on the news all day when there is still a war going on and I am sure there was something much more important happening that day. It is like the Sandra Bullok cheating scandal was played more than news about the eartquake.

  2. Lindsey Harris said

    The media, whether we like it or not, are nothing more than gossip hounds. They use any story they can find and focus more on the lives of the people we want them to focus on or things we want them to focus on sadly enough. By becoming famous or doing something “epic” or stupid as all hell, you are awarded more coverage than things of value. No we do not care that you got cheated on; it happens to a lot of American wives your age. People care because you’re famous.
    Tiger Woods, for example, is not the only man to cheat on his wife in the entirety of the world. Sadly, he is not even the only man to do so in such large numbers. Some men cheat. But you give attention to the famous ones because they can “hit a small ball with a stick”. And the media says that since he is a role model, he should be ashamed. And every other cheating father in the country is not a role model?! It is not that hard people; there’s a war, there’s natural disasters, the failing economy, the rate of crime; bloody hell, it practically writes itself!
    Congratulations on fooling the country into thinking you were endangering your child. Have internet infamy and a lifetime supply of someone following you, waiting for you to screw up and do something else news worthy.
    You are now part of America’s most pathetic group; the attention starved willing to do anything. Enjoy your stay, complete with complimentary paparazzi and news coverage.

  3. Kayla Fisher said

    I think it’s sickening what some people with do for fame and fortune! This is a major flaw of media coverage in our society. Every day, our own country has new issues that could potentially have an effect on the whole nation; issues such as poverty, war, illnesses, education, and technology. Those issues could use a bit more media coverage, rather towards parents looking for the easiest “handout” by any means possible, even if it evolves using their own children in the possess. Just take the mom off the show Kate Plus 8 or the Octa-Mom. Do these mothers deserve to be rich and famous based on their decision to raise a ton of kids? Please! We shouldn’t humor these people and encourage them to live off our government instead of making a descent living like the rest of the world is expected to!

  4. Tyler Shomaker said

    I believe this news story was a complete waste of time. Even from the beginning this sounded completely ridiculous that a boy was carried away by a balloon. The media has grown more and more into entertainment and allowing it to do so by carrying this story is ridiculous. Media should try to reinstate its fact checking more rigorously so that people in the future try not to get their claim to fame. Honestly this story sickens me that our news organizations are so easily swayed by such a story.

  5. I believe the context of this story was looked into, more to entertain the public. However it is the medias job, that when a story of general interest to the public is brought to their attention, they are to cover it, to give the consumer what they want. Reading this article reminds me of the topic concerning what position would we rather be in, and the statistics from the actual survey showed that most young kids would want to be the personal assistant of somebody famous, just to get a taste of what fame is like. The parents of balloon boy fall into that category. Why they thought this would be a great way to gain fame legally is beyond me; but nonetheless that was the intent. The idea of what is entertaining in American society has become a bit absurd. If something like this were tried in say, China; things would have played out a lot differently than they did here in America.

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