Up, Up and Away: The Quest for Celebrity

What are your thoughts on Balloon Boy? No, seriously. Now that the family has been exposed as having lied about Falcon being in the balloon in order to gain fame, what are your thoughts on our seeming insatiable desire for celebrity?

Read the stories below to give yourself some background on the story. There are also links to what other people are saying about the incident over Colorado. After you've digested the issue, please leave a comment. What can we take from the Balloon Boy incident? What does it say about our love affair with the media?

Balloon Boy reminder that TV is full of shams

Bay Area's Balloon Boy (this is a different perpective)
6-year-old boy found alive in attic...
Balloon Boy charges...
Commentary: Balloon Boy...
Commentary from NPR (includes video from CNN)

61 comments:

Jackie said...

So, it turns out that the father [allegedly] wanted a reality show to get money to build an underground shelter thing for when the sun blows up in 2012. My thoughts? We have some people in this world who do crazy things for what they believe in. I mean really, a reality show is the only way to raise money?

Kimberly said...

I like crazy people. Especially crazy people that are stupid. Hm, I suppose money is everything nowadays. It seems that money is worth more than family. I don't know why, but that's just how it is.

Carla said...

The whole "hide-your-kid-in-the-attic-while-we-pretend-he-flew-away-in-a-giant-helium-balloon" publicity stutnt is ridiculous. How irresponsible of the parents to do something for a supposed "reality TV" show. It's frustrating and really pathetic how people constantly find the need to get attention through these kind of shows, which by the way are the lowest forms of entertainment. To begin with, why would you do something like that anyawy? I don't understand people, ever.

rachel said...

Wow. They sure were desperate for money. If the family really needed the money for some "underground shelter thing" as Jackie said, that is just stupid! Sometimes I just really dont get people. Its kind of sad what people will do for fame or money.

Tracy said...

I think it's sad how people do these sorts of things just for the publicity. Some people are just overly-extreme attention-seekers that find some sort of satisfaction in wasting everyone's time. This pair of attention-seekers (the father and mother)included their whole family in an attempt to get their own reality show, and to do this they openly subjected the public to worry and anxiety. To be frank: that's just low. Even then, he seems rather stupid if they thought they could have even gotten away with it by forcing their kid to hide in a box.

Jennifer D said...

I don't understand how some people could just put their families at risk, knowing how big the consequence will turn out. To put everything on the line, especially family, just for money?

I think it's sad, crazy, and stupid how people would do anything just for money.

But that's just my opinion.

Stephanie said...

Doing the impossible, and what is out-of-the-box always attracts some type of attention. I think the Henne family resembles the Gosselins'. They are using their kids for fame and money. Bad publicity is just as good as good publicity-- it's PUBLICITY.

Samson Tong said...

The boy's family is trying to raise money by gaining fame from this hoax. During down economic times like now many families are striving to earn money. How? They are willing to go as far as putting their child on a helium filled balloon and releasing him into the sky. Money is not as important as the lives and happiness of your family. I think this family has the opposite logic.

Stacy Chan said...

Especially in today's world with dozens of reality shows on-air, I am not suprised that the Heene family did it for fame.

But, did Richard and Mayumi actually think they could get away with their plan? With their 6-year-old accomplice?

Sabrina said...

Fame and fortune is what the bulk of society is after, even if it means losing one's dignity in the process. A 6-year-old boy named Falcon Heene was claimed to have been floating around in a hot-air-balloon unsupervised. Once the story was set straight, the public realized that the boy was actually hiding in the attic. This whole incident was seen as a publicity stunt by the boy's parents. It just goes to show that not many people can make an honest living anymore. It is sad what this world has come to.

Aundrea said...

Stupid balloon boy. Too bad kids are bad liars and balloon boy said, "I thought we did this for the show." Silly boy, didn't you learn from your father. So dad tried to gain publicity from an event that actually happened in 1964. Peopl are crazy, it's all about the get-quick money scheme. Some people just go to greater extents to achieve that.

Brendan said...

I find it extremely hilarious how Falcon, after all the hype his father was creating, told journalists that his dad told him it "was for the show." You cant expect a six year old to know how to create intricate lies just for a tv show, which is probably why this whole story failed.

I persoally feel bad for the kids, though, since now they will forever be the children of the insane hippy meteorologists.

but as for the "adults" in that family, KARMA ANYONE?

Leah said...

This hoax reveals how irresponsible these pasrents really are. They were extremely desperate for publicity, however, using their children receive it is innapropriate. It is shocking how they can put their family at risk with no reserve. This media stunt shows how people are willing to do anything for money and fame.

Chloe said...

Initial reaction: You used your.. six-year-old child?

Forget the bad morals. I'm more concerned with the clearly flawed and incompetent plan and the adult parents for actually believing it would work (if they even thought that).

Regardless, fame is fame whether it's good or bad, and America's lack of togetherness in terms of retrieving and publicizing information is sadly normal (granted, our own fault).

Savanna said...

When people do stunts like this it gets me very upset. When I heard that a boy fell out of a balloon, my heart ache for him and his family, but to find out it was all a hoax is ridiculous. For a parent to pretend that there child has had a tramatic accident just for television is depressing. There are plenty of othr ways to get on tv, and now they are suffering the consequences of lying. I think they deserve to pay a big fat fine, and even go to jail.

Beilul said...

The plan was unhonorble but also very poorly thoughtout. It is one thing to fake the danger of a 6-year old boy, but to think that you could really get away with a hoax as elaborate as it was is just sad. I guess, desperate people do desperate things. I also sends a message about how gullible we are when it comes to the media and the news. They can twist the truth anyway they want.

FLORAINE KYLA said...

Yes we're going through tough economic times, but has it really reached the point where parents are willing to use their own kids to make up a huge lie to make money on a realtiy show? No. Ridiculous. It was an interesting money scam and a nice change from hearing about floods, typhoons and deaths on the news, I'll give the Heene family that, but still, what is going on in the world? The media took this story, sucked it up for all its worth. I even found material about the balloon boy on the bloggin site, tumblr. A particular cartoon caught my attention. It was a cartoon of emaciated children. Child A says: "What can we do to capture the world's attention?" Child B responds: "Launch ourselves in a homemade balloon." The worst of it all, in the corner it says "1 billion starving."

Bottom line the balloon boy story is entertainment, not news. Society needs to grow up, stop gossiping, and focus on more important issues in the world, like kids who have real problems- starvation- rather than a kid who has immature parents.

Oh and kudos to the little boy for honesty and saying "You said we did this for a show" on CNN.

Kimmy said...

I think the father, Richard Heene, is sickening. His choice to make up a story about his son "flying away in a helium air balloon" is ridiculous. Heene's greed for attention caused his family to take part of this unfortunate scam. Too many people are concentrated on their "love affair with the media" rather than their love for their family. This incident exhibits how people are desperate for money and attention. Family should come first, not money and attention.

A_Yueming_W said...

There's nothing wrong with raising money for a reality TV show, if and only if the right method is taken. And this balloon incident just comes across as an outrageously wrong way to gain moolah and publicity. When is it ever okay to wager one's family member's life to get rich and famous, let alone intentionally committing an act that harms the health of one's young son? Never never never.

The Heenes need punishment because what they did is simply intolerable, especially in our society. If not, we are only giving them what they wanted -- publicity. I bet we will hear about a "rocket boy" or a "sailboat girl" sometimes in the future if the right measures are not taken. And just like the boy who cried wolf, someone is bound to get hurt so we need to stop all this nonsense before it's too late.

Davidson said...

All that seems to matter these days are money and the fame. Some people in the world seem to do anything for either of the two. This goes to as far as putting their own family in danger, "hiding your kid in the attic pretending he flew away." Actually expecting to create a reality show based on their story and get away with it is ridiculous.

Melissa said...

I think that this ast was hilarious. Yes, when I heard of a little boy falling out of a balloon I felt bad, but to find it was all fack was great. They were so desperate to be a part of television they risked it all. Well guess what, you got your 15 minutes of fame, now you must pay. It was great entertainment while it lasted and the best part of it all was that the little boy could not keep the secret forever. The parents should have never expected their kid to keep a secret this big, and now they will regret it.

colby said...

The dad simply wanted to be more famous than he already was. Guess it wasn't enough for him to already appear on Wife Swap and he had to use his own son in a stunt to get media attention. Its people like this in the world craving so much media attention that makes me sick.

Terilyn said...

Everyone is criticizing the Heenes for wanting fame, but there's a difference between chasing fame honestly and chasing fame dishonestly. Obviously, this incident would be categorized in the latter, but had they openly said "We want a reality show. Watch what we can do." and then proceeded to pull a few of the stunts they were hoping for, like attracting aliens with weather balloons(withOUT all the money spent on police and rescue people and WITH controls and ensured safety), I wouldn't think anything bad of it.

Chris Mendoza said...

Mr. Heene, if the sole purpose for this outrageous stunt was the fame and popularity of T.V.,is justified in some attempt to acquire the power, influence and wealth this society worships as celebrities. However t.v.s extremities include the massive coverage of ridiculous stunts and events in the world, and before Mr.Heene should have thought to arrange his boy to go into a ballon, but really is a box in an attic, then he should of thought of t.v.'s scapegoats like Lindsy Lohan and Britney spears at times. In the lack of morals, this lie is uncalled for and amateur. There is a reason why abc and other programs have broken contact with Mr.Heene, because if he hasn't realized, he has nothing to offer to entertainment except for "the wonderful adventure of me and my soon in a flying balloon every episode" show. The lesson here, if you want to get into t.v. don't be caught in its scandals.

Giselle said...

I was listening to the radio yesterday and they suggested the parents be fined for their actions. Even though there were no serious ramifications for the faux balloon boy, the media was completely a waste of time. I think they should be fined, too. There should be a price for fame, you know?

Eddy said...

Well,

despite Falcon Boy being the new meme over the interweb, this is the exact definition of the cancer killing us all.

Jordan said...

so uh...i think this family is crazy. using their son as a tool to get money is stupid. There are many different ways to make money in the world and this is not one of them. Stupid people...

katie said...

So this family supposedly wants to make money on this stunt for a reality show, even though the father denies that accusation but others believe its true because of the fact that they have been on wife swap several times. My thought is that they should be taken off the air becasue this stunt, true or not, is ridiculous even in tough economic times.

Crystal said...

The father ends up attempting to exploit his own son for the sake of a publicity. It is understandable for people to dream of their own reality show but using your six year old son is not the way to go. There is an extent to have far people can go for the sake of fame and publicity.

emily said...

I think the family just wanted more publicity for money. The good thing is that the boy wasn't in the ballon.

Joyce said...

Can't be too mad at them, they just want to be famous like me!





.... kidding.


Anyways they're all idiots. We should exile them. Not kidding this time.

Leigh Patrice said...

Weeelll, I find this situation very desperate and unorganized. Why would they pull a stunt like this when in the end people will find out that it a fake. And what kind of idea was that?! I don't see that in reality tv shows. I wonder what kind of shows they watch. Nice try for thinking out-of-the-box. haha!

Ch'Kia said...

I think this family would make a good tv show. And atleast the father wants the tv show to get money for the right reasons.

Michael said...

It's insane what some people do to get into the headlines. I mean, if you're Joyce, it's probably normal, but most of the time it's downright crazy. Folks who manipulate their children just for news coverage, I think, are among the worst people in the world. You hear me Joyce? ;)

Charles said...

Balloon Boy A.K.A. Attic Boy...hmm..I think in a way, everyone is crazy for money. According to Jackie, they are preparing for 2010, when the world is going to "END". I think that assumption is BS because didn't they they say the same thing for 2000. That Dad shouldn't be telling his child the world is going to end. Anyways, how is an underground house going to save you from a blowing up sun??

marc said...

this was a total waste of time. having their son hide in the attic while they waste peoples time and money on a wild goose chase is just so stupid. apperantly it would have worked, if they properly taught their son how to lie. even if it was true, how could the parents be so neglecting as to leave the baloon in a childs reach? seriously people like them should think things out more.

nicholas said...

This is rediculous how far people wil go just to get some publicity. 1st this family was on "Wife Swap" and now they want to be the parent of the 2nd "balloon boy". It was a good thing that the father was "busted out" by his son on Larry King Live when he said, "You guys said that, um, we did this for the show." Thats what he gets.

Louisa said...

That man is such is such a bad man. Hiding son in the attic and then claiming that he might be trapped in the homemade balloon that is flying high above the air is pathetic. For him to act upset and relieved about his son being safe was way too dramatic as well. When his son said in front of the cameras that his father told him to do so for the show, I laughed. That is was the father gets! Kids can be so innocent and adults can be so corrupt. Money and publicity can surely make people do crazy things.

Breaunna said...

Initially, rescue crews believed Falcon climbed into this contraption before take off and had fallen out of this balloon sometime during flight. However, after searchig for Falcon, they foud him hiding in a box in the attic. During an interview with CNN's Larry King, Falcon claimed to remain in hiding because his father had done this stunt for publicity. When the father was confronted, he refused to respond. Basically, this man was attempting to land a reality show. I feel this is rediculous. I cannot believe a man would go through all this troule just for money. It's sad to say that people are willing to do whatever they can to earn fame and fortune.

athena said...

What does his wife think of this? Or if she didn't know, how did she feel once she did find out? I think Richard Heene is so focused on himself and money. How could he use his own children to get the attention of the pubic? He obviously didn't think of the possible consequences of using an innocent six year old boy for a stunt like this. Money should never come before family.

Cathie said...

This balloon boy thing was rather entertaining... it's hilarious how a family could go to such a certain extent to gain publicity.

It also shows how people (including CNN) release "news which doesn't have solid evidence just yet" just to be "first with breaking news" .. CNN changed their theory on the balloon boy FOUR times.. shouldn't that jeopardize the trust they have from readers?

Courtney Mariano said...

I think today's obsession with fame is getting too out of hand. People are even taking advantage of their children just to get (or keep) a reality TV show. The Gosselins, Octomom, and now Balloon Boy? I'm amazed at the lengths people are willing to go to just for celebrity.

Stephanie said...

I find society's obsession with fame and money is really pathetic. Why do people go to such an extent to make television headlines? All I can say is that money and popularity do wonders to the minds of people, and it's really sad.

Julia Maniquiz! said...

What is the price of fame? Apparently, it is the manipulation of one's own child - and for the personal advancement of the parent at that. True, the economy is at an extreme low nowadays, but that does not excuse such behavior. It seems as though anybody and everybody is willing to do whatever it takes to get those 15 minutes in the limelight - and the money which comes with this celebrity. The Associated Press's Frazier Moore summed the incident up in one perfect word: "Sickening."

Indep_Elim_Y said...

Wow. What people do these days for their 15 minutes of fame. Many parents nowadays like to exploit their own children just to get some petty cash and/or fame. It's rather sickening. Parents like those don't deserve to be parents.

Patrick said...

I think its pretty dumb. Why would a kid fly away in a helium balloon. But the news station misunderstood what the child said. The child said they were putting on a show for the balloon, in other words, getting the balloon ready to fly. I think the news station should have asked for a better understanding of what the child actually said. Still. BS.

Christopher said...

It was definitely irresponsible and careless of the parents to pull such a stunt. The video of the boy directly saying to the camera that he's going to hide in the balloon is evidence that the whole thing was a set up. First of all, if the parents are trying to convince America that their son is missing, why would they release that video? The whole issue is just stupid. Evidence shows that the family probably did fake the whole thing. The story about the baby in the pram being hit by the train was more interesting.. and obviously real

Henry said...

I think it's really stupid that they did that just for pubilicty. They shouldn't have done that to their kid. I don't think they should go to jail but still should be charged a large fine. I didn't know that people can be this desperate enough. They are bad people.

Stefan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Donovan said...

Well, that family is pretty crazy. All that for fame. The all mighty dollar wins again! If the family was that desperate why didn't they just really send little Falcon away in that balloon. I mean they named him Falcon already, so let him fly! One lesson that should be learned in a situation like this is that if your going to do a scheme, don't get caught. I mean an email gave him away, WHAT AN IDIOT! An email! They should get a reality show that would be called, The stupidest attempts to get a reality show. Now this family is going to have a rescue team bill and some years in jail. hahaha People get stupider everyday.

Stefan said...

All of us have lied before. ZIf you're thinking you never have, you just did it again. I'm going to give you two lies right now.

1) I have not received any homework today.

2) Velociraptor ninjas broke into my house last night and kidnapped my parents, whom I must now recuse with my laser eye beam vision, which I conveniently got just now, mid-sentance in this run-on sentance. (*Zap*)

Which of these two is more beleivable? (I hope it's obvious) In my opinion, the whole incident is everyone's own fault. It's like when Obama was running for president, there were terrible rumors circulating around about him. Whether people beleived it or not was their choice, regardless of whether it was true, or not. It's the same with this "Balloon Boy" incident. I thought it was pretty obvious the boy wasn't in the balloon as soon as the claim was made. Don't you think when it was released, there would be shouts of protest, or at least struggling noises would have been heard?

To the protest, "BUT IT WAS ON THE NEWS! EVERYTHING ON THE NEWS IS TRUE!" Just like how everything on the internet is accurate, right? News sources are written by people. People who are just as flawed as the rest of us.

(Sorry for the rant)

Rachelle said...

People would do anything for money during times of desperate needs. The father only wanted this "balloon boy" to be useful for his show and gain fame. Apparently the "balloon boy" was more like "attic boy" since the boy was really hiding. I personally do not get why anyone would pull a prank like this. It seems like a very lame story to begin with.

Teresa-Mae said...

Parents exploiting their kids for money and fame is nothing new. Its pathetic how, despite seeing how much troublesome it is, people (like this father) still attempt pathetic things like this.

Katherine said...

I think it's ridiculous for the father to put his family through the media frenzy once again. Didn't he get enough attention for his bad attitude on his OWN on Trading Spouses? This was a case wehere a child could have possibly been missing and in real trouble. However, the father is going to take up some not needed media time to shine his own stupid stunt rather than leaving some time for an issue that is really troubling the nation, or for another child who could REALLY be in danger. All he is done made himself look like a bigger idiot than he already was.

simaran said...

Wow! How desperate can people get? Dangering their son just to make some money. That's just low. Besides they receive publicity now, but in a few days there gonna be a no-one again, so what was the purpose of creating all this drama. They say for a reality show, but how how does lieing about thier child getting stuck in a balloon lead them to get a opportunity for a reality show? Are they gonna do stupid stauts in every show.

Renee said...

Experiencing more in life, adults have the tendency to seek for fame and reputation; whereas, it seems easier to live as innocent as children in this world of reality. It is inappropriate for the parents in the balloon boy incident to gain publicity by that way. On the contrary, Heene knowing nothing, blindly obeyed his parents without any evil intentions. The plan was carried due to the greed of fame. Adults, exposed more to the materialistic world will slowly move away from their childlike character. The main difference between adults and children is clearly revealed through this happening.

Wendy said...

Will the person who uses his/her family and tells a fake story in reality show to get money live a peaceful life? If a person uses the money, which obtained in a sinful way, such as stealing or lying, will he/she have the courage to give the money to the cashier? I surely will not.
The happiness obtained from money, which is got by using an immortal way, is far less than the money obtained by working, which contains one's hardwork and sweat. In the "Balloon Boy" story, Falcon's parents used him to make up a story and raise money. How pathetic it was for people to do anything to gain wealth. Is wealth really that important comparing to family and honesty?

Banpreet said...

It is crazy how people can put money and fame before family in todays society. Showing that your kid has "disappeared" is really pitiful and shows how far someone can go just for a reality show. Seems like Americas reccession has affected American minds and there thought of riches, which is becoming more important day by day.

alec said...

Well, be it a publicity stunt or a real live incident, the truth is still unknown. Reporters don't actually know exactly what occured and one shouldn't make direct assumptions because it may be wrong. In my opinion, however, as i watched the video of a reporter questioning the Heene family and their six year old son, Falcon, I became inclined to agree with the majority of media. It was a hoax and after seeing Falcon's father react-stuttering, looking away from the camera and pausing in sentences-it is evident he used his own blood to make money.

Darlena said...

I must admit, that's quite a lot of effort just for attention. However, it's also stupid and pointless because there is nothing to be gained from being the parent of a boy who was dumb enough to get stuck in a balloon. There are more important and worthwhile things to spend time on.

Natalie Wojinski said...
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