Experts: Media Spotlight And ‘Balloon Boy’

October 18, 2009
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Some experts wonder how the media spotlight could affect ‘Balloon Boy.’ Read the experts’ media spotlight, ‘Balloon Boy’ theories here.


Could all of this exposure be deleterious to Falcon Heene? That’s what many are wondering, especially after he vomited on live national television while being interviewed. Was he actually sick, or was the pressure and sudden thrust into the public eye too much for the 6-year-old?

These questions will likely intensify after a press conference Sunday revealed that his mother and father would now face multiple charges related to the event.

It has been widely reported that Falcon Heene’s father was fervently pitching the idea of a reality show centered around his family to multiple networks. Now authorities believe last week’s events could have been part of that effort.

Larimer County Sheriff Jim Alderden said:

“It has been determined that this is a hoax, that it was a publicity stunt and we believe we have evidence at this point to indicate that this was a publicity stunt in hopes to better market themselves for a reality show.”

Suspicions arose following an interview on CNN where Wolf Blitzer asked Falcon if he heard his father calling for him during the search. The boy replied: “You said that we did this for the show” (see the video below).

Soon after a whirlwind of speculation swept the country. People seemed to grow frustrated that they were subjected to a four hour long, heart wrenching burst of uncertainty regarding Falcon’s whereabouts. Not to mention the money and resources required to conduct such a search, which led National Guard helicopters to pursue the balloon.

Professor of family and child sciences Ann Mulis told CNN:

“The vomiting could be due to nervousness, stress or some illness, but a continual push for a person to be in front of the media and do things that aren’t developmentally appropriate can be stressful to a young child.”

Other specialists believe that there could be lasting psychological effects related to his media exposure, which some even called “exploitive.”

If the charges stick, this is one sad case. If it was a hoax, to call 911 claiming that your 6-year-old boy is trapped in a runaway balloon is not only odd, but deplorable. Then to subject him to the media rush at such a young age is just unconscionable. Now, one of the most intriguing stories of the year could become one of the most detestable.

What are your thoughts? Are the experts right to suggest that the media spotlight could be harmful to ‘Balloon Boy?’ Give us your thoughts below.

I’ve included a few videos related to the event for you to check out below.

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One Response to “Experts: Media Spotlight And ‘Balloon Boy’”

  1. 1
    robert miller Says:

    Balloon Boy is a story about a giant condom.