October 17, 2009
I had been sick for a couple of days. During the illness I watched very little tv, to be precise.. I watched very little infotainment, or news, as it is still called in some circles. This evening I decided to tune in to see what the latest headlines were. I was met by the excited image of Geraldo Rivera going on and on with a torrent of babble about something. There was a crawl zipping along the bottom of the screen proclaiming that an "imminent arrest" was about to take place. I paid close attention as he threw it to an on the scene reporter, proclaiming that the international media had caught the story and the suspects had been followed by a Brazilian news crew and were currently in their home as search warrants were being served by local officials.
I sat in abject horror as I watched the back-story unfold.
A family was being accused of telling a lie about their six year old son being inside of a twenty foot balloon as it was floating around for two hours....
I shit you not.
I was dumbfounded... I began flipping channels, checking out all the cable news programming. The heads bobbling around the screens were all deadly serious. The expressions they carried were of the type you would expect from people reporting that Washington DC was under a nuclear attack. I was amazed... this is news? From either angle you approach the story, whether the son was lying for some reason about being in the balloon, or the family had done this at the behest of the attention craving father for simple exposure... This is not news.
If this is was a publicity seeking event should they charge the family in question for the cost of the rescue effort? Exactly how many different tv shows did the six year old boy throw up on? Why did the father run out and immediately get on Larry King? Was the mother involved? If the father put these children up to this, should child protective services be contacted to evaluate his fitness as a parent?
Who gives a damn?
Some asshole called the cops and reported that his kid was in a huge balloon floating around in an uncontrolled manner. My interest would wane with the answer to the question, "Was he ok?" being, "Yeah... turns out he wasn't in it."
Without further pontification, I turned the television off and decided on the spot that I would not tune into another news channel for the duration of my life on this planet.