Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Double standard

By now everyone has heard that last Thursday's "balloon boy" incident turned out to be a hoax perpetrated by the parents in an attempt to market themselves for a future reality TV series in which they would star.

I'd like to highlight a few things about this situation for you to consider:
  • It was reported on CNN that the Heenes pitched a reality show idea to the cable station TLC which was rejected.
  • The parents' "hoax" was actually a lie and a fraud for which they will likely face legal charges.
  • They forced their 3 children to participate in this fraud and set a terrible parental example for them.
  • Their fraud cost the police and other authorities considerable time and money, and resulted in a temporary diverting of airline traffic.
  • The Heene family participated in an episode of a reality show called "Wife Swap" where two very different families live for some period of time with the other family's wife/mother while camera crews film the resulting tension and family discord.
  • Richard Heene refers to himself as a meteorologist, although he possesses nothing more than a high school education.
  • Heene sometimes brings the family along when he chases storms, endangering himself and his family.
  • A former colleague described Heene as hyperactive, driven by fame and self-promotion.
  • According to the New York Post, Heene is convinced that he was once abducted by extraterrestrials, and that Armageddon will arrive in 2012.
  • A 911 call from the Heene's home earlier this year raised suspicions of possible domestic violence against Mrs. Heene. During the "balloon boy" incident authorities spoke at length with her about domestic violence as well as the children's safety.
  • One can only imagine the emotional trauma inflicted upon the Heene children by their obviously unsteady parents.

Where are the Heene children now? At home with their parents. Sheriff Jim Alderden says the children remain in the home with the parents because authorities "didn't have enough that would allow us or Child Protection Services to physically take the kids."

Really? Not even temporarily, until the parents were either charged or exonerated? Does the list above sound like the description of healthy, fit parents to you? I think not.

But here's the real kicker: Imagine how different the situation would be if Richard Heene were gay and parenting these 3 children. I'd be willing to bet a week's salary that the sheriff and/or Child Protective Services would have removed the children from the home immediately if Keene were gay.

Isn't it ironic that in many states stable gays and lesbians can not be foster parents or adopt children, solely based on their sexual orientation, while the Heenes and others can endanger their children's safety, involve them in illegal activities, inflict emotional trauma, and set an example of bad choices and illegal behavior?

What a sickening double standard.

Crush du Jour: Mark Salling


A Lewis said...

But, hey, they got exactly what they wanted -- fame. And possibly fortune as well. Precisely what they set out for. They achieved their goal!

behrmark said...

I agree whole-heartedly with you. I think the aspect that drives me nuts is that the news agencies are reporting that the Heenes are only out for media attention and by dwelling on the story ad naseum they're granting the Heenes that exposure. Ugh.

As for Mark Salling, I loved seeing him shirtless, nipple ring glinting in the sunshine. Glee indeed!

Paul Benjamin said...

Hi! I just found your blog and I really enjoy it. I like the variety of your postings.

Oh...and Mark Salling? YUM!

anne marie in philly said...

if the media stop reporting it/interviewing the family, they will fade away.


Jim-The Gaudy Garden said...

You said it ALL !

Larry Ohio said...

If nothing else, Balloon Dad needs to go to prison for that bad haircut. He obviously goes to the Helen Keller salon.

Okay people, listen up. I'm drawing a line in the sand right now. Mark Salling is *MINE*. The rest of you need to keep your filthy paws off him!

wcs said...

Things like this make my blood boil. And Arnie is right, they probably will get exactly what they wanted.

Even here in France we did not escape the story, although we did not have to endure the hours of live tv coverage that was inflicted upon a lot of people in the US.

The only thing those 24 hour "news-fotainment" shows are good for is... uh... wait, it'll come to me...

Bob said...

I refuse to pay attention to this tory for longer than a nanosecond.
The Heene's want attention and they got it. Hope they're happy.

Mark in DE said...

Its curious that commenters keep referring to the Heenes, when they were simply used as an example of double standards, which was the point of the post.

wcs said...

But Mark, you made the point so well that there's nothing meaningful we could add, so we jumped on the easy stuff. Just like CNN did...

cb said...

I was really hoping the kid was dead so DCFS could rescue the other ones and toss the parents in a hole somewhere.

Larry Ohio said...

Sorry Mark, but WCS nailed it. I couldn't think of a good comment for the main gist of your post, so I commented on the Balloon Boy aspect of it. Bad form, I know.