Commentary: Balloon boy's honesty deflates parents' tale

The Kansas City StarOctober 20, 2009 

If Richard and Mayumi Heene wanted TV exposure, as authorities allege, they've certainly succeeded.

But the family isn't experiencing the thrill of a reality show -- something the parents had reportedly been pursuing.

No. The cameras following the Heenes belong to news stations. They're on hand to record the event if the parents, as expected, are arrested on charges that they staged a frightening hoax last week.

Authorities allege that the parents set loose a helium balloon and first alerted local TV outlets, then the sheriff's department, with the news that their 6-year-old son might be aboard. He wasn’t.

If the reports are true, the Heene parents stood by while the Army National Guard deployed a helicopter and search teams poured into the Heenes' neighborhood. Coverage of the bizarre tale monopolized news channels around the world.

To read the complete editorial, visit The Kansas City Star.

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