The News Pauper: Thank You, Balloon Boy!

By W.B. Dunne

In the News Paupers humble opinion, the Balloon Boys episode brings to light the extent of the American medias fixation on sensational stories. One wonders which well-researched story was blown out of the water by the Colorado idiot with an oversized Mylar balloon.

Ever since baby Jessica fell down that well in 87, media outlets stand like sphinxes awaiting the next distraction. Of course, we can all recall our own heart tugging distraction from the earnest duties of journalists muckraking where those trillions have disappeared to. A steady stream, an actual genre has appeared to relieve the masses from the nastiness of the news. Shows like Inside Edition cropped up; infotainment became the name of the assault on the press. All through the Clinton presidency, this disease infected the airwaves and culminated in the Monica Lewinsky story. This mentality destroyed the discussion regarding who was to lead our country, and we got George W. Bush and the Iraq War and what will most likely be remembered as the greatest economic calamity in our history.

The father of the Balloon Boy is now the target; ironically getting exactly the attention he wanted by the very media he is accused of lying to. Whether he is ultimately charged with the fraud in the courts is irrelevant. The absolute destruction of informative outlets for real news — in this hour when truth is the only thing that can help us — is as great a crime against us as any committed by Dick the Cheney.

The same folks we are supposed to be feeling sorry for have perpetrated one giant hoax after another upon us. Screw that.

The idea that all of us are to run to defend the poor dupes in the news who ran with this story and demonstrated their complete disregard for our intelligence makes the News Paupers blood boil. If charges are to be laid at anyones feet, it would be appropriate to begin with the outlets themselves. We were lied into two wars and countless violations of our rights. Those starving for information eke along on a diet provided by bloggers on lonely websites.

Does anyone really think that the revelations involved in this case will change in the slightest the dynamics of our discourse? The News Pauper anxiously awaits the moment of truth that will result from this vicious circle, or, I guess Ill wait for the Balloon Boys series to appear. I do not expect the press to become aware of itself and start doing the job they were invented for doing; that is, reporting the relevant facts in an impartial manner.

At least this demonstrates, even for the thickest dolt, the reality of where were at in this country right now.

Contact the author at WBDunne@LTSaloon.org

2009 W.B. Dunne. All Rights Reserved.