15 October 2009

The "Balloon Boy" Fiasco

something's not right with this whole situation

so anyway, I first picked up on the "Balloon Boy" fiasco via DrewM's post over at Ace's place a little after 3:00 this afternoon. I was AFK for about 90 minutes and followed the story on the radio.

By the time I sat back down, the balloon had landed but the boy, Falcon Heene, was not on it. He was later discovered hiding in the attic above the Heene's garage, safe and sound. Which is A.Good.Thing., considering what the other outcomes might have been. Anyone who followed the story, especially those of us with children, spent several hours this afternoon playing out the really, really bad possibilities.

Ace opined this evening that it was a probably a publicity stunt, as the Heene boys have posted a music video on YouTube, and this was to garner attention to their "boy band".

Late this afternoon, I surfed around the various news sites and noticed a recurring theme: all of the "news" sites were quick to point out that the boy's family (the Heene family) had been on ABC's "Wife Swap" program and ABC was bringing the family back for upcoming episodes "by popular demand".

And the Heene family just "happened" to be in the news today. Curious.

Ace has a point: it probably was a publicity stunt. But not for the Heene brother's "boy band".

My take on this is that it's a publicity stunt foisted by ABC or the Heene family.

I mean, really: the Heene family just "happened" to be in the news today? What are the odds? Thinking back to my affliction for detective fiction ( Chandler, Hammett, Spillane, et al; they would all be so proud of their pupil) there are three questions that every gum-shoe has to ask: Motive? Means? Opportunity?

ABC has a program that their trying to revive? Motive. The Heene family is known for "odd behavior" (as are me and mine, but we will never, ever be on TV)? Means. A couple of weeks prior to broadcast date? Opportunity.

Or spin it this way: the Heene's compensation for appearing on ABC's program is tied to the show's ratings? Motive. The Heenes just happen to have a rather large helium balloon in their back-yard? Means (and/or Opportunity). Just a couple of weeks prior to broadcast date? Opportunity.

Anyhoo, I glad the kid is safe and sound. I can't wait to see the clips of him on Letterman's show. On second thought, I can wait.

more soon-ish


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