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Norman Lear Headshot

Why I Have Some Empathy for Balloon Boy's Dad

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So the Heene family put one over on us, you and me, just plain folks and families all across the country. But CNN and MSNBC and Fox??! And those giant, senior broadcast institutions of newsworthiness, NBC, ABC and CBS, who certify legitimacy by just covering such stories with a straight face? Did any of them find a minute to wonder if their scraping of the hogwash/bullshit/celebrity-baked crap from the bottom of the news barrel and serving it up 24/7 doesn't have something to do with creating a climate that mistakes entertainment for news to an extent that it all but seduces a Richard and Mayumi Heene into believing they are -- even if what they dream up to qualify is a hoax -- entitled to their 15 minutes? I don't know, but I have some empathy for Balloon Boy's Dad.