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September 30, 2014

BalloonBoyHoax

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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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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