“You said we did this for a show.”
That’s how 6-year-old Falcon Heene responded to his father when asked why he didn’t come down from the attic in which he was hiding when he heard people calling for him.
Thursday afternoon the nation watched the drama of “Balloon Boy” Falcon Heene unfold before them on live television. After hearing Falcon’s response to his father, people are wondering if the whole thing was a publicity stunt.
Falcon Heene was believed to be trapped in a silver, disc-shaped balloon built by his father. The balloon traveled 50 miles in two hours before landing gently in a dirt field. Rescuers and emergency responders on the scene quickly discovered Falcon was not with the balloon.
Richard Heene, Falcon’s father, had scolded Falcon earlier in the day for climbing into a battery box attached to the balloon. Falcon then climbed into the attic and hid in a box. When his brother, Brad, saw the balloon floating away, he thought Falcon was still in the battery compartment. Brad then ran inside and told his father the balloon was airborne.
And thus began two hours of wall-to-wall coverage that had millions glued to their televisions.
But Falcon’s comments when it was all over are shining a different light on the story.
Was this whole thing a publicity stunt?
Dalton Agency partner and Director of Public Relations Michael Munz spoke with WJXT’s Nikki Preede about what kind of effects publicity stunts can have on someone’s image. While Munz didn’t say the whole incident was a publicity stunt, he did offer plenty of thoughts on what something like this does to mole public perception of an individual.
You can hear what Munz had to say tonight at 5:30 on WJXT.