Ahh, human interest stories.
When TV news shows it’s true colors: uninformed and completely lost without a script.
Talking about the kid in the hot air balloon who ended up not being in the hot air balloon on Thursday in Colorado.
We in the newsroom —- like everyone else in the nation who tuned in —- were glued to the TV and followed with every passing minute as the balloon (that looked a lot like either a space ship or a hot-water bottle) floated through the air with the greatest of ease.
But few of us in the newsroom were at ease.
We hoped the kid wasn’t really in the balloon.
And if he was in the balloon, we hoped the oxygen would hold out.
Or that he wouldn’t fall out of the balloon’s basket.
Before the sigh-of-relief outcome was known, the TV robots made guesses and tried to keep their viewing audience connected.
And they stated the obvious. Did they ever. Just because the TV bimbos and himbos aren’t on camera, they think they have to give us the play-by-play of the balloon floating in the air.
You wanted to yell at the tube —- we’re not in the car listening to you on the radio.
One TV puppet at one time flat out said, “We don’t know anything.”
That is one set up line waiting for a slew of responses.
CNN’s Wolf Blitzer was near the tipping point of already trying to assess blame. Somebody’s got to be guilty.
You almost expected him to say something like “Where’s Superman when you need him?”
Maybe he was hoping Capt. Sullenberger of the Hudson River passenger jet landing could be summoned in time.
Talk about your classic “Cry Wolf” story.
In a TV era of car chases that get instant covereage no matter where it is in the country, one almost wondered if Wolf was asking for police helicopters to chase after the hot-air balloon.
Watching TV covereage re-inforced one thing: the balloon wasn’t the only thing full of hot air.
But it all turned out for the best.
Little six-year-old Falcon Heene was hiding in the garage after his father scolded him for playing inside the balloon’s compartment.
His older brother said he saw Falcon (could there have been a more appropriate name in this story?) climb into the the balloon before it took off.
If anything, the story brought those caught up in it down to earth for a little while.
The newsroom, known for being tough-skinned and skeptical, was uncommonly quiet when it was first believed that something tragic happened to the boy when, after the balloon fell to earth, he wasn’t found inside.
But after it was all cleared up and everything was OK —- everything was back to normal. If you want to call working in a newsroom normal.
Wait until the late night comics get ahold of material on this story.
Letterman has to have a Top Ten List at the ready.
The kid’s not going to be in too much trouble —- may be sent to his room without being able to watch “Sponge Bob Square Pants.”
Just in case though, President Obama is going to invite the kid and his dad to the White House for some beers.
Better make that root beers.