Cable News

Boy in a Balloon

Oh will there be some ‘splainin’ to do!

boy in balloon

UPDATE:  This could turn tragic.  The balloon has landed…and no boy is aboard.

UPDATE 2: MSNBC is reporting that KUSA-TV in Denver is reporting that the boy has been found…alive….in his house.  If true, this is good news – for all of us.  For the cops and the family, there are questions.  A police sheriff is saying that the boy was in a box – but not in the balloon, but one in the attic of his family’s garage.  It was the boy’s brother who told police the boy had climbed in the box attached to the balloon before it took off.  There is a question whether there ever was a box attached to the balloon.

Everyone is speculating why the 6-year old kid was hiding. 

Now MSNBC is dragging this story out.  A woman who switched places with his mother for a reality show said the kid was “a prankster.”  But she speculates that the kid was probably hiding not to fool somebody, but because his father would kill him when dad finds out he let the balloon take off.

Now Ed Schultz, who often is enough to turn me conservative, keeps trying to make this story about what bad parents the boy has.  He’s exploring lines with this woman whether the father cooked this up as a publicity stunt, or that he was a bad parent because he let the 6-year old swear and fart in the house.  Or that they are a weird family because they are storm chasers and believe in extra-terrestrial life.

If you think this was a simple mistake by the kids launching the balloon and a story with a happy ending, think again.  MSNBC is not content.  They want to embarrass the family.

Arian Huffington is now the guest, and she asks “why are we still talking about it?”  She and Schultz are arguing about it.  He is now touting that MSNBC has the biggest interview of the day.  She is making my point and Schultz is getting angrier.  She calmly tells him, now that the boy is safe, we need to move on.  He relents.

So, move along, folks.  Nothing to see here.

Must Be the Other Guy

Anson Dorrance, the famed University of North Carolina women’s soccer coach, once said that there was a key difference between coaching men and women athletes.  When you go into the locker room, he said, and chew out the men’s team for mistakes, every guy there looks around to those who he thinks were the culprits.  It never occurs to him that he could be the problem.  A woman internalizes the criticism and thinks the coach is specifically talking about her.

So it is with reporters, I thought, as I read Jonathan Martin’s story about Obama being a media critic.  Martin assumes he’s talking only about cable news.  That’s particularly ironic, given that Martin’s employer, Politico, focuses exclusively on the to and fro of political grenades.

The irony aside, I welcome another article about Obama doing just what many of us hoped he would:  attack the media.

“It feels like WWF wrestling,” Obama explained to NBC’s Brian Williams in an interview. “You know, everybody’s got their role to play.”

The off-the-cuff characterization was in keeping with his newly emerging role, squeezed in between East Room ceremonies and pushing for health care reform: the commander in chief is becoming the nation’s media critic in chief.

While Martin spends much of the article pointing out examples of Obama’s frustration with cable news, one thing Martin is blind to:  Many news outlets, including Politico, let cable gabfests drive their news agenda.