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I was curious as to how Obama’s visit to New Orleans might be covered in the national media. Would it serve to re-focus attention, however briefly, on our recovery efforts? Perhaps the national economic situation trumps concerns about rebuilding one particular city?

As it turns out, though, there just wasn’t much media coverage at all. (Despite a surprisingly harsh write-up by Eugene Robinson.) The media was distracted because a kid hid in an attic for a few hours while a balloon floated around.

The whole thing is now revealed to be a hoax, but of course that doesn’t stop the coverage; it merely multiplies it. Now the hoax is the story. The real joke is on us, of course — all of us. We seem to have lost our grip. It’s almost like we, as a society, are helplessly riding on a runaway balloon, and all anyone with half a brain can do is relax and try to enjoy the scenery as it rushes past below us.

So in honor of Balloon Boy, here’s a mix to accompany your ride.

Of course there is the possibility that we, as a society, are not hostage to a runaway balloon at all. Perhaps we are hiding. In a box. In the attic. Don’t you think it’s time we came down?

Published inMusic & AudioNew OrleansNews & Media


  1. Lee Lee

    I agree with everything there B. When did real news become second fiddle to these sorts of stories, and when if ever will it end? I’m personally tired of it.

  2. B, I too felt that the coverage of the President’s visit was terribly, um, brief. I also have to confess that I’d gone out to the other room to turn on CNN and see what they were saying about Obama, to find the balloon with child story. With a grandson of 9, I was in tears as that thing flew across Colorado allegedly with a little boy inside and no really feasible way to bring it down. As it crashed I held my breath, terrified, grateful for the tape delay, screaming at the first responders to get the hell over there and find that little boy. Yup, turns out it was a hoax. Norad was on alert, Denver Airport shut down. Balloon experts from all over the country talking about what could, or rather what could NOT be done, and all I could think of was how scared that little boy must be, shut out visions of a dead little kid, and be grateful I wasn’t his parent.

    That having been said, the timing sucked. I think the parents are fruitcakes of the highest order, and after all is said and done, the major media outlets STILL could have done better with the Presidential coverage. They could have gone BACK to it, done a one hour recap, something. I couldn’t believe that they didn’t.

    These idiots apparently did this in hopes of landing a reality show. I do wish that the news outlets had figured out that our reality show has had a four year run, and is still being played out.

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