Balloon Boy, the Last Act?

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Like it or not, recaps of 2009 will almost certainly include the media-circus that is Balloon Boy. Ever since cable channels followed an empty silver balloon across the sky, the press has been transfixed by the odd explanations of the parents, six-year-old Falcon's vomiting during a TV interview, and reality-show antics. Now the saga reaches a pause, if not a close, as parents Richard and Mayumi Heene head to court to plead guilty to felony and misdemeanor charges, respectively. Is this the end of the story? Commentators aren't missing their chance to weigh:


  • "The Real World" Creator John Murry in the Washington Post: "Some will blame reality television for the Heene family's actions -- and the lengths to which people will go for a small taste of fame. But that's not fair. Trickery in the name of gaining a little attention didn't start with television, and it certainly wouldn't end if we stopped every camera crew currently following someone around a house, on a date or on a deserted island."
  • Gina Serpe, E! Online: "Our long national nightmare punch line is over. Nearly."


  • Michael Roston, Newsbroke: "I'm happy little Falcon and his two older brothers get their family kept together. Hopefully now that no one is going to jail, they can focus on being a happy family whose primary goal isn't becoming the next version of Jon and Kate Plus 8. Call me in five years if you really want to talk about love, care, and compassion in the Heene family."
  • Ernie Smith, ShortFormBlog: "The couple behind one of the stupidest hoaxes in recent memory has chosen not to subject the American public to a long, drawn-out trial."
  • Perez Hilton: "The Heenes are finally ready to give it up! It was all a dirty lie! We don't need anymore of this shiz!!!"


  • Allen099: "Balloon Boy parents plead guilty. I want to feel bad for these people, but I can't. What they did was stupid."
  • Drsigne: "Balloon Boy's parents likly 2 gt probatn. So who's going 2 pay 4 all the expenses n tryng 2 rescue the boy who wasn't there?"
  • MAfreedom: "Balloon Boy parents plan to plead Guilty at the trial in the morning. They are sooo f*cked!"
  • Sibusio: "Balloon Boy's parents did the Hoax to drum up publicity for a TV show of their own. Whats the big deal? We live in a Nation of lies anyway"
  • ErinRosalita: "Dear World: Get over the balloon boy thing. And also, put on some pants--leggings are not appropriate enough coverings alone."
  • LeonardChong: "Balloon boy parents are going to plead guilty. I say send them away in a silver balloon and get over with it"

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.