Cable News Gets Punked by a Six Old Boy and a Balloon

Friday, October 16, 2009

Yesterday will go down in history as the most embarrassing day in cable news history. Shortly before 3PM EST, all news stopped and the networks switched their coverage to Falcon Heene, a six year old boy allegedly floating over Colorado in a homemade helium balloon.

The anchors were orgiastic in their reporting. MSNBC’s chatterbox, Tamron Hall, yakked without taking a breath, her voice sounding like she was calling cattle futures back home in Ft. Worth. Sidekick David Shuster, weighed in from time to time to tell viewers how neighbors said the boy’s parents were “amateur scientists” and “storm chasers” and the Keene’s backyard “had trees.” CNN’s Kyra Phillips, with her head lowered in mock grief reported the boy had “fallen out of the balloon somewhere over Colorado.” Her sidekick Rich Sanchez, demanded to know, “where then is the body?” FOX’s Shepard Smith said, “if the boy is still alive, this is a wild ride he will never soon forget.” And so it went, hour after hour. The story of the boy in the balloon was so important that the three cable news networks didn’t even break for commercials. Something not seen since the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Of course no one in their right mind actually thought this homemade silver balloon – resembling a Jiffy Pop popcorn popper, was sufficiently air worthy to hoist a six year old up to heights of 7,000 feet. Photographed from an phalanx of news helicopter, the balloon yawed at one edge and appeared to be dangerously at risk to deflate at any moment. But this didn’t register with the anchors reporting the story – they were simply giddy from inhaling the same helium that filled the boy’s personal balloon.

Three long hours later, at approximately 6PM EST, news reports started to trickle in confirming what many expected to hear all along: the six year old boy was never in the balloon to begin with. The balloon boy was safe! By 9PM, the Heene family appeared on Larry King’s CNN program and young Falcon Heene revealed the startling truth: cable news had been punked.

Watch it:

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9 Responses to Cable News Gets Punked by a Six Old Boy and a Balloon

  1. TOM339 says:

    This stupid story was on in the breakroom at work yesterday and at one point, I swear there were at least 50 people away from their desks, glued to the TV images of the balloon drifting across Colorado.

    Finally, one of the managers said, “That thing isn’t big enough to hold enough helium to lift a human being. Not even a dog or cat.” But no one listened to him. They wanted Falcon Heene to be in that damned balloon.

    People don’t think. They’re passive recipients of the crap reported on TV and they accept it as fact.

  2. Brigadoon says:

    This isn’t the first time CNN pissed on itself. A few months ago, they reported a terrorist attack on the Potomac river resulting in the closure of Washington National Airport. In fact, the Coast Guard was practicing routine maneuvers on the Potomac. CNN was in such a rush to break the news that they didn’t bother to fact check before they reported the story.

  3. Prairiedog says:

    I missed all of it.

    Until I turned on Tweety at 7 p.m., expecting to see some political news and there was David Shuster blathering away about the balloon boy.

    So I turned the dial to Wheel of Fortune.

  4. Big Hank says:

    No one fact checks anything today.

    If cable news thinks a story will generate audience, off they go into the wild, blue yonder, helium balloon in tow! Maybe Ted Turner will buy CNN and fire the lot of those moron anchors beginning with Wolf?

  5. bradfrmphnx says:

    “Tamron Hall, yakked without taking a breath, her voice sounding like she was calling cattle futures back home in Ft. Worth”

    LMAO…literally, I’m still looking for it. Equally odd is the fact that it is still looped in the morning programming telling us, “He Was Just Hiding In The Attic”! They’ll ride this to his alotted 15 minutes of fame, write a book about it, and pay for his college education.

    In a related story…I was building a rocket in the back yard, now it and my twins are missing…

  6. Rachel says:

    I keep thinking one day David Shuster is going to smack Tamron Hall across her mouth with a chair just to shut her the hell up. She’s the most annoying MSNBC anchor. A nice woman but that voice is really hideous. About the wall-to-wall coverage of the balloon boy, cable is electronic tabloid news.

  7. lea-lea says:

    Excellent Christopher!

    I thought I was the lone cynical voice who thought the cable chorus was disgusting and disingenuous.

    These New York media elites will do anything for ratings. Flush them all.

  8. Walk on Socks says:

    That over-made-up sow on CNN, Kyra Phillips, spent this afternoon justifying her shilling yesterday and with her lips pursed, and her brow arched, today said:

    “Reality show history, hands-off parenting, and many unanswered questions are just a few red flags being raised to authorities today about the parents of little Falcon Heene.”

    This bitch doesn’t know her ass from a hole in the ground and if the Heenes loose custody of their son over the media firestorm, I hope Kyra Phillips and CNN and all the rest of cable news, gets sued.

  9. Rock says:

    This makes me glad I have a job where I don’t get to watch TV. I missed everything, yet I missed nothing at all.

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