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October 3, 2015


Best TV of the '00s: News Events

by Brad Trechak, posted Jan 3rd 2010 2:03PM

9/11More of our best of the decade coverage, which started on Tuesday. You can read the other posts at the link above. We finish up the series by talking about some of the news events that defined the decade, and how TV covered them.

It seems odd to call the news events of the 00's a "best" list. As we started the 21st century, America seemed to have a different tragedy happening at every twist and turn. There was the Year 2000 bug followed by 9/11 followed by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan followed by Hurricane Katrina followed by the worst recession since the Great Depression. We've also had various celebrity deaths recently including the iconic and controversial Michael Jackson.

The tragedies of the decade were accompanied by revolutionary change. America elected its first African-American President. New forms of media such as social networking arose like a phoenix from the ashes of the old media.

The decade was filled with many ups and downs, possibly more downs. The full repercussions of the events won't likely be acknowledged or analyzed for years or decades to come. Wherever we end up, it will have been one hell of a ride.

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Balloon Boy's parents get jail time: is it enough?

by Allison Waldman, posted Dec 24th 2009 11:42AM
richard_heene_balloon_boyAll's well that ends well... unless you're the parents of Balloon Boy. On December 23, 2009, Richard and Mayumi Heene faced the Larimer County Court Judge Stephen Schapanski. Balloon Boy father Richard Heene was given jail time. It wasn't unexpected because Heene had pleaded guilty to a felony charge of attempting to influence a public servant and who took blame today as the brains of the hoax.

To be frank, I think they got off easy. These parents did a horrible thing to their child. Oh yes, they inflicted a hoax on the public, but they manipulated their son to create celebrity.

In case you've forgotten, the scheme was to make the world believe that six-year-old Falcon Heene was flying off into danger in a run-away hot air balloon. The media chased the balloon and the story and Falcon was never actually in the balloon. He was hiding in the garage. It was all an attempt by his parents to get TV attention.

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Top Stories of 2009: Reality scandals

by Michael Pascua, posted Dec 22nd 2009 10:01AM
The Salahis greet president Obama
It's interesting when one takes the time to look back back at 2009, several scandals that occurred this year were related to television. There were four big reality scandals that occurred in 2009, most of them happening in the second half of the year. They have stayed fresh in pop culture buzz.

This list doesn't count Jon & Kate's drama, all the injuries on Survivor, So You Think You Can Dance, and Dancing with the Stars, Chima's explosion on Big Brother, or Adam Lambert's sexual preferences. Those events pale in comparison to the five scandals listed.

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TV's Most Un-Fascinating People of 2009

by Gary Susman, posted Dec 9th 2009 3:53PM
As Barbara Walters prepares to show viewers her annual list of the 10 Most Fascinating People of the Year (pictured, featuring Lady Gaga and Walters) in a special airing tonight, we realized that TV gives far too much airtime to people at the other end of the spectrum. With that thought, here are the year's 10 least fascinating people on TV. Let's all try to make it a New Year's resolution that we won't be talking about these people's overexposure again a year from now.

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TV Moment of 2009: "Balloon Boy" Falcon Heene

by Adam Keleman, posted Dec 2nd 2009 2:00PM
As far as well-orchestrated publicity stunts go, Balloon Boy, aka Falcon Heene (yes, that's his real name) takes the cake.

Playing into the public's fear of child loss and endangerment, the storm-chasing Heene family first reported their six-year-old boy Falcon as trapped in a homemade helium balloon, floating at altitudes nearing 7,000 ft -- thereby setting off a frenzy of media coverage intensely focused on the supposed flight of this very young boy and a distraught family eagerly awaiting his rescue.

But the story gets better: It was all a hoax, a carefully schemed sham created by Falcon's parents, Richard and Mayumi Heene -- who captivated a global, news-hungry audience only for sheer thrill ... and maybe a potential reality show deal in the process.

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Balloon mom admits it was all a hoax

by Allison Waldman, posted Oct 24th 2009 8:07PM
sky_news_heene_familyWell, you sort of knew that this was coming, didn't you? The mother of balloon boy, Mayumi Heene, has admitted it was a hoax. The Heenes knew that Falcon wasn't in the balloon, that he was hiding in the garage. The entire boy in the balloon fiasco was a hoax from the get-go. Her court affidavit confirms what everyone has suspected.

So, this was just another desperate attempt by the family to get on television. Honestly, have you ever heard anything so ridiculous?

I say that because if these parents have even a scintilla of sense, couldn't they have projected what was going to happen when the balloon came down? Couldn't they have seen that there was no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow?

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TV Squad's APB Podcast: Balloon Boy, The Simpsons, DWTS, and more

by Joel Keller, posted Oct 22nd 2009 5:24PM
TV Squad logoPodcast time again! In this episode, Jason Hughes and Michael Pascua join me to talk about TV's doings this week:

Run time is 46:02.

You can listen to the podcast below, or download it by subscribing to our RSS podcast feed. It is also available via iTunes. Feel free to leave us feedback in the comments.

By the way, the music at the beginning and end of the podcast is "Life" by Justin Trawick.

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The Heene Family walks into a talent agent's office and says, 'Have I got an act for you...'

by Danny Gallagher, posted Oct 21st 2009 8:02PM
The "Balloon Boy" incident, the cleanest name I can give this monumental media f#*$#-up, sounded vaguely familiar to me. In fact, it sounded more like the setup to a classic joke with an incredibly unfunny punchline.

It seems the folks at Countdown with Keith Olbermann noticed that as well and turned the whole thing into another umpteenth retelling of the classic "Aristocrats" joke. If you're not familiar with the infamous joke about a family walking into a talent agent's office, search for it on YouTube. But don't come whining to me that your ears won't stop bleeding.

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Heene family faked 'Balloon Boy' accident to get on TV

by Danny Gallagher, posted Oct 19th 2009 9:03AM
An Adams County sheriff's deputy chases down a UFO shapped balloon thought to have carried the Everyone remembers where they were and what they were doing when they learned about "Balloon Boy." Rather, they remember what they were thinking: "Has the news media completely run out of things to cover today or was Chester the Squirrel That Can Water-Ski taking a day off?"

Every section of your TV had been preempted and saturated with coverage of what sheriff's deputies believed to be a runaway balloon that was carrying the life of an innocent boy with it. It even preempted the so-called cable "news" networks that interrupted coverage of the pending health care reform bill. That move only would have made sense if insurance companies refused to cover victims of hot air balloon accidents because they considered "gravity" to be a pre-existing condition.

And the really funny part is now it starts getting weird. The Larimer County Sheriff's Office said the family faked the whole thing just so they could get on TV.

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