The Heene Balloon Boy Hoax has gone on long enough to demonstrate nobody really tells the truth any longer when pressed for a confession of fact; and the experience confirms the mainstream media will swallow any hollow story plowing fallow ground as long as it flies and implies some sort of innocent death.  

I chuckled when CNN
— showing the balloon live in flight hovering 5,000 feet in the air and speeding along at a gusty 30mph with a 6-year-old-boy allegedly along for the ride for two hours — told us in their most semi-serious “newsy voice” that they would “not show live” when the balloon landed on the ground to protect us from, perhaps, seeing the death of a child on television as he tumbled along the freshly planted wheat field; but showing the same boy fall out of a balloon at 5,000 would’ve been just fine.

The fact that the Heene Hoax might have been helped along by a media company is especially ugly:

Larimer County Sheriff Jim Alderden announced Sunday that he’s seeking charges, including felonies, against Richard Heene and his wife, Mayumi. Alderden said the stunt two weeks in the planning was a marketing ploy by the Heenes, who met in acting school in Hollywood and have appeared on ABC’s reality show “Wife Swap.”

“We certainly know that there’s a conspiracy between the husband and wife, you’ve probably seen some of the e-mails and some of the things on the Internet suggesting that there may be other conspirators,” Alderden said.

Alderden said documents show that a media outlet has agreed to pay money to the Heenes with regard to the balloon incident. Alderden didn’t name the media outlet but said it was a show that blurs “the line between entertainment and news.”

It wasn’t clear whether the deal was signed before or after the alleged hoax, or whether the media outlet was a possible conspirator.

“Let’s call it (my statement) short of speculation that a media outlet was in on the hoax, but let’s not discount the possibility,” he said.

Let’s hope Heene will at least have to pay back the $14,000.00USD spent for the military helicopters involved in his faux balloon chase.

I don’t know how Richard Heene could have believed this hoax would turn out any way except horribly for him and his family, and the fact that he was trying to sell himself as a scientific reality show host confirms that the total rejection of his proposal was sound and moral:  What sort of scientist can’t predict — using the scientific method, logic, humanity, and basic parenting prescience — that a balloon hoax of this magnitude that purposefully destroys an innocent son can only burn in the sun and founder into the ground?


  1. I knew some people that got genuinely worried. I only heard about the whole thing after the fact when it became very obvious that there was no way the laws of physics would have permitted a child that heavy to ride in a balloon that weak.

  2. I was watching the Yankees channel when they mentioned the balloon boy thing and I switched to watch the last 30 minutes of it on CNN both on TV and on the web. CNN The Web Version is much better than what we get on TV. I heard the balloon expert say it didn’t look like anything was in the balloon basket and the on air anchors sort of gasped and heaved a bit and changed the topic… the suggestion being that he’d already fallen out and was dead… not that he never got in the balloon in the first place.

  3. Hi David,
    I remember reading that the family took part somekind of reality show…I wonder if they are just being spot-light hungry?

  4. It’s unfortunate that so many of these “reality shows” are really scripted and built in the editing suite — there’s nothing real about them any more.

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