I cannot tell a lie


With the ongoing compression of our news cycle, I have already reached my limit on Balloon Boy before I even had a chance to post about it. I’m sure you have too, but if you haven’t watched the actual moment when wee Falcon Heene blows his parents’ cover on live television, it is really worth taking a look. Here’s a partial transcript:

DADDY HEENE: Falcon, did you hear us calling your name out at any time?
FALCON: Mm hmm.
DADDY HEENE: You did?
MOMMY HEENE: (nodding frantically to elicit correct response) You did?
DADDY HEENE: Then why didn’t you come out?
FALCON: Um. You guys said… that… um… we did this for the show.

Daddy Heene craps his pants.

DADDY HEENE: …Yeah…
MOMMY HEENE: …Nooo…

Even Wolf Blitzer isn’t sure what to say next.

I am very happy that I did not know about these events as they were unfolding, else I would have been glued to the television, sobbing for this terrified six year old boy and his terrified parents. But I have watched the CNN cover-blowing moment about eleventeen times. I love it because it’s so pure. A six year old is just not that good a liar, yet, and I can’t believe his parents didn’t factor that in to their maniacal schemes. Still, It’s not like Falcon tells the truth out of pure, youthful innocence. He gets this devilish smirk on his face first, like, I’m going to be a naughty boy now. Of course, by blowing the whistle on the whole shenanigans, he was just the opposite. After watching the look on Falcon’s face, you have to know this is a hoax, just because this kid is clearly not afraid of his parents at all, let alone afraid enough to hide from them in a crawl space for five hours.

I still don’t really get what Daddy Heene thought they were going to get out of this. If the balloon landed, his kid was hiding the whole time, and the setup was never revealed, was that somehow going to be some amazing event? Not really, right? It is the unraveling, the revelation of the hoax itself, that has kept us all watching.

Of course, the really childish one here is Daddy Heene, who thought he could cry wolf and get away with it. How fortuitous, then, that his son has already internalized the example of George Washington and the cherry tree: he could not tell a lie.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Em October 18, 2009 at 8:15 pm

I sat in my car bawling, listening via the radio to the blow-by-blow coverage as I waited for my first grader to get out of school – so easy to paint my sweet son's face on that terrified, high-flying child.

Shame on Mr. Heene – for this stunt, and for being such a horrendous father. I haven't watched any coverage of this idiot since they "found" the boy in the attic.

My blood pressure can only take so much abuse.

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Mollie October 18, 2009 at 10:25 pm

I'm lucky because I didn't hear about any of this till after the balloon came down. I checked in to the NYT website late in the afternoon and was all, Whaaa? So I went to the blog where they were covering the story, and the latest update noted that they'd just discovered this family had been on "Wife Swap" twice. Aha. So, in short, about 30 seconds elapsed between when I became aware that this was happening and when I realized it was going to turn out to be some BS publicity stunt. Two separate appearances on "Wife Swap"… That's all I need to know.

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Patois October 18, 2009 at 11:01 pm

Heh heh heh.

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esther October 21, 2009 at 5:55 pm

I was glued to my monitor at work, anxiously watching CNN live!

I love how you addressed this issue. Good for Falcon for not allowing his parents' lies to fester and drag out any longer.

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