Social Question

Tomfafa's avatar

Did balloon boys' parents get a just sentence?

Asked by Tomfafa (2308points) December 23rd, 2009

They got 90 days and 20 days and some fines.

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33 Answers

proXXi's avatar


The media has enough trouble recognizing real news as it is without hoaxes such as theirs.

phillis's avatar

I think so! It wasn’t just the jail time, or I’d have said no. It’s the deal they lost with a nationwide network that was already approved, that they lost shortly after the stunt was uncovered as a hoax. With those two consequences combined, their greed held consequence, and so did their abuse of emergency personnel (a particular grievance I had with the whole event).

jbfletcherfan's avatar

Hefty fines, too! As they should! Look at all the crap they caused!

Fluthermucker's avatar

Well, since we do not allow people to be publicly dry-fisted or caned in the United States, it will have to serve.

chyna's avatar

Yes. They scared a lot of people when the balloon landed and the authorities thought the child had fallen out along the way. The massive amounts of money spent on the search and the air traffic had to be diverted because of that idiot.

TominLasVegas's avatar

If the wife is wise,she’d leave his ass.He is a timebomb waiting to go off.

smashbox's avatar

Yes, they did. Seeking fame and fortune, backfired on them. They got the fame, not in the way, they wanted, and a little bit poorer, instead of richer, as they wanted. If Karma exists, it sure worked in this case.

The real travesty of it all, are their children, and what they are going through, and have been put through.

warribbons's avatar

i request a link for this “balloon boy”

Val123's avatar

I think it is utterly disgusting the way they used their son in that hoax, and then encouraged him to lie…..

PapaLeo's avatar

I read a lot of misdirected anger here. What about our own responsibility? What about the popularity of the reality TV shows and the need for so many of us to get our 15 minutes of fame, no matter what the means or the cost? Have we lost our bearings so much as a society that this sort of thing is even possible, much less celebrated?

I don’t know about you, but I consider the fact that I even know who “Balloon Boy” is as my partial contribution to this phenomenon. When are we going to grow up and value people for their contributions to society instead of communally jeering, and cheering, their antics?

Negative attention is attention nonetheless.

Fluthermucker's avatar

@PapaLeo So blame the victim’s, huh? Nice…

smashbox's avatar

@PapLeo, kind of hard to ignore, when it makes national news.

PapaLeo's avatar

@Fluthermucker Huh?! Who’s the victim here? I’m just saying that we’re all partially responsible.

Fluthermucker's avatar

@PapaLeo If someone commits a crime and it costs me money to pay for the clean-up, I’m the victim as are all Americans. DUH!

TominLasVegas's avatar


Its OUR fault his kids were exploited?Ummm no.I didnt make him do anything,I never heard of the guy until the balloon boy story broke.Why do we insist on blaming others for our screw ups?

phillis's avatar

@PapaLeo – I DO get what you’re saying. I feel the same way, and see the hypocrisy behind it. At the same time, it’s easier to control the occasional attention-seeking hounds than to control millions, so it’s a logistics thing that cannot be overlooked. To fight it, you’d have to retrofit media conglomerates and the public with ethics and a sense of morality. Not likely to happen! But we can dream, right? I’d like to see it, too.

We’ve also just recently started making these assholes accountable for the waste of manpower and equipment. It won’t curb EVERYBODY from trying it any more than jail time does, but it does stop most of them.

I’m giving you a GA for thoughtful input. It’s an excellent point.

smashbox's avatar

—@PapaLeo, I’m not partially responsible, I didn’t put them up to it. I heard it on the news and read it in the newspapers, and then here. I am in no way, responsible for someone else’s actions—

Slick's avatar

Yes especially, the dad which he deserves, he was a real jerk.

Val123's avatar

@PapaLeo I too see what you’re saying, but….the man was just crazy. If this were another time, pre TV or internet, he would have still done something outrageous, and used his kids to do it. I think he should get extra time for child exploitation or something.

phillis's avatar

@Slick – You’re right! He was a jerk. He screwed everybody with his greed. Nobody won, who was involved with him. This is a classic case of self-centered motives without concern for ANYBODY ELSE whatsoever. He even sacrificed his kid for it by teaching him to lie. THe truth is probably that he has been acting this way for a very long time, and this time it caught up to him. This ind of thing doesn’t just show up in a personality overnight.

PapaLeo's avatar

@Fluthermucker Okay, good point. The taxpayers of whatever state or local entities were involved in the balloon chase were clearly victimized by the wasting of their tax dollars. And, yes @TominLasVegas, it is our fault. If you and I didn’t speak out and demand that this sort of pseudo-celebrity exploitation be stopped, then we are all responsible. In my opinion, by being passive and simply saying “not my problem/not my fault” when these things happen makes you a partial contributor to the next time.

How can you be active in making sure this doesn’t happen again? I would start by writing letters to the media outlets who feed on this sort of spectacle, organizing community action groups to boycott products advertised on reality shows, and, in a move of positive action, celebrating the true heroes amongst us instead of the shysters who exploit their own flesh and blood for profit.

Fluthermucker's avatar

@PapaLeo I would agree that I would like to see this type of crass exploitation die. However, that is not going to happen as long as we live in a society that believes in entitlement and that idolizes celebrity. When the top shows on TV are “Reality” shows, then we have gone down the ‘bunny hole’ and will find it hard to make our way back to true reality. Sex sells and bullshit passes for truth.

That’s how we got our latest president.

phillis's avatar

Exactly my point! How do you convince the media not to show sensationalism in favor of heartwarming human interest stories and cover society’s responsibility in the full spectrum of topics? All they see is the $$. They aren’t going to give that up for any reason! That’s ALL they care about.

WE JUST got a new TV series whose previews and “teases” shows a child being kicked in the face by a mule. I find this crass and in exceptionallypoor taste. But the whole premise of the show IS about people getting hurt. All of it! And this time, they didn’t stop at showing clips of people who weren’t actually hurt, either. They went all the way. So, how do you stop it? It’s everywhere.

Vunessuh's avatar

Well personally, I think they should be beheaded and Angelina could adopt their kids.
But that’s just me…

phillis's avatar

HAHAHAHAHA!! She only adopts kids form OTHER countries, V! Who cares about your OWN country. Get with it, chickie :)

Pretty_Lilly's avatar

Part of his punishment should have been to be committed to a psych ward I don’t think he’s playing with a full deck !

rooeytoo's avatar

I think it is a waste putting people like that in jail. Their antics might hurt me in my wallet but they are not serial killers or rapists or people who actually cause bodily harm to the rest of society.

I would rather see them picking up litter along side the road or doing some sort of community service. And jail is a loose term, he gets out during the day to work and goes in at night when he is finished then she does some sort of imitation jail. It is simply a misuse of tax money, they should be giving back not adding to the debt.

I know they are fined as well but not enough restitution in my mind.

smashbox's avatar

@rooeytoo, very good points made.

phillis's avatar

Yep, he did. Embarrassment would be preferable. Put ‘em in shackles and let them improve society.

Pseudonym's avatar

Richard Heene did. As for his wife, her 20 days are “flexible” meaning that she can serve them when she wants. For example, she could go to jail for ten weekends. I don’t think that that’s really just.

phillis's avatar

@PseudonymAgreed. Stars and powerful people get FAR better treatment than the rest of us lesser mortals. It’s disgusting.

avvooooooo's avatar

@TominLasVegas He already has gone off. Several times.

chyna's avatar

His anger issues bothers me too. I hope he doesn’t take this out on the child for accidently spilling the beans on this hoax.

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