Thursday, October 15, 2009


I have worked (full time) in television news for thirteen years now. Yeah, that sounds sad to me too. In the time that I have been in this profession I have learned many things. For instance, almost everyone in this industry has a deep seated fear of being left out. Also, free food is like crack to us. Oh, and we can all predict the future.

Don't worry, people in the media aren't all savants that are drawn to the business because of our magical powers. If that were the fact at least one of us would have warned NBC about the Jay Leno disaster. We can tell the future, because we have seen it all before. Man who claims he was kidnapped by mysterious assailants? Faked it. Politician says he isn't lying? He is. Balloon boy? Not in the balloon.

Let me tell you what happens, at least twice a month, in every newsroom in America: a child is reported missing, and a camera crew is dispatched. Is the child really missing? No. Is the child sleeping at a friends house, or in a place other than their bed? Yes. Did the parents look ANYWHERE before calling the police? No. Really, it has gotten to the point where the words "missing child" make me roll my eyes rather than say a prayer. And I live in the land of Elizabeth Smart.

The balloon boy thing did have a few "wild card" factors that made it a bit to figure out. His brother said he saw him get into the balloon. His parents are clearly nuts. His name is Falcon. However, the law of averages still says he was just fine, and in a place someone should have looked BEFORE they called CNN. You know, like a box in the attic.

Oh, well, there's always next time. Until then, I really hope someone sends some muffins to the newsroom. I am craving carbs.


Steam Me Up, Kid said...

Is it true that the family was once featured as one of the families on Wife Swap? As soon as I heard that, my ears perked up and I was like, "Yep, they faked it."

Gina said...

I just watched the Wife Swap episode a few days ago and was telling my coworkers about it at lunch. Then an hour later I saw the story. And actually, their Wife Swap appearance made me think it was real - because those people were BATSHIT CRAZY! They encouraged reckless behavior on the kids and gave them NO supervision.

Anonymous said...

My real question is: Did anyone, police, newspeople, local yahoo's think to ask an engineer if a 17' diameter balloon could lift a six year old. There is not enough lift in that balloon to raise a small cat. The dad built it, you think he would have half a brain and say, "There is no way it could carry him."

I would like to think that people are smarter than this, however life always proves me wrong.

Anonymous said...

Who hides in a box IN THE ATTIC ABOVE THE GARAGE? At the age of six?

I didn't even know we had one.

And Falcon?

Those parents need to be shot.

Badass Geek said...

I thought the whole Balloon Boy thing was just crazy. I mean, it was obvious to me that the balloon wasn't big enough to hold a six year old.

Glad he's okay, but still.

just making my way said...

I was crazy at work yesterday and didn't even know about it until I talked to my parents. At that point the balloon had landed and they had confirmed the kid was not in there.

My step-mom's exact words, "He's hiding somewhere."


Aliceson said...

They weren't just a family on Wife Swap they were the CRAZY family on Wife Swap. What a bunch of whackjobs! And I so agree that Falcon is an f'd up name along with Aiden, Braden, Caden, Jaiden, Hayden, etc. Enough to drive a person nuts.

I love the name Meg though. I have a cousin named Meg and I always loved her name.

Aunt Becky said...

Yeah, Nonplussed is a great title for the whole thing. I caught it at the end while I was chatting with Badass Geek and it sounded hoaxy. But who wants to say that? Sounds cruel, you know?

Nik said...

I remember these true facts from Erik's stint with the news. But it was kind of fun yesterday trying to think of how to get the balloon down. I had plans. Only a few of them involved weapons.

MomZombie said...

So true. When I was a cub reporter (such a cute term!) I was always the one sent out to do the nut job stories about the missing husband who forget his meds (went to Vegas for the weekend) or the woman who had "all the evidence needed to take down city hall" but showed up empty-handed (and also forgot her meds). I covered these subjects and wrote the stories in earnest, totally believing I was doing a public service. Only later did I realize how the newspaper and I had been manipulated. After while you realize there are attention whores out there who use whatever medium they can to get noticed. You know, there will be that one time you ignore something and it breaks wide open as a huge story.
And 'Wife Swap'? We had a family here involved in that. Not much is 'real' about those reality shows. Just about every detail of the family we knew was faked or manipulated for maximum viewer entertainment.