Sunday, October 18, 2009

Why So Serious (About Balloon Boy)?

And now the Larimer County Sheriff's Department is talking about pursuing felony charges against the "balloon boy's family", including conspiracy and attempting to influence a public servant. Furthermore, it sounds like both the media and law enforcement have some questions about a possible domestic violence scenario playing out within the Heene family after learning that there was a "suspicious" call about a disturbance at the home ealier this year (the fact that their nervous son, Falcon, was sick enough to know up during interviews on morning talk shows while the parents pressed on, anyway, doesn't help matters). Additionally, CNN has been pointing out at every possible opportunity that Richard Heene, who describes himself as a "storm chaser", is neither a real scientist nor a meteorologist as previously reported (his highest degree is from high school), and has been pointing out some crass rap videos made by the family, implying that the videos are evidence of bad parenting.
Sounds like the jackassery of the Heene family (and I suspect the father to be the main culprit) is bringing them some unexpected, collateral consequences.
People seem a little angrier at the Heenes than this stunt probably merits (well, maybe the anger will turn out to be deserved if there's abusive behavior going on, but I think the current hostility toward the family is a little out of proportion to the hoax itself).
Still, I can't help wondering if a lot of the anger that's being directed at this family actually comes from being a little ashamed that not only did we all got tied up in a sensational, tabloid-ish news story (I mean, in following this story so intently, there's a bit of a "rubbernecking at an accident" analogy to be made, isn't there?), but the whole, ridiculous thing turned out to be a lame hoax in the end. We all not only got fooled, but we got fooled by something which played on a certain amount of morbid curiosity in the first place.
It's enough to make people angry enough for one hell of a backlash.

1 comment:

J.S. said...

If anyone's wondering why I erased "Amy"'s comment, it's because her link was actually just to a spam page. Yup, first comment in days and it turns out to be spam.