The soul of wit
23 April 2017 15:54 (South Africa)

There must be easier ways to land a TV reality show: balloon boy a hoax

  • Branko Brkic
    branko3048 a ray
    Branko Brkic

    Brkic is the founder and editor of The Daily Maverick.

    He has edited magazines on business and politics, technology, and wildlife. He has also published fiction and non-fiction books, most of them in Serbian. Though he has never pretended to be a reporter, his wide knowledge of politics (especially in America), combined with his experiences in a disintegrating Yugoslavia, gives him an unusual outlook on events in South Africa.

    Despite the vowel-poor surname, he tells anyone who asks that he hails from Hyde Park, Johannesburg, having spent most of his adult life in South Africa.

    Recent columns:

A child trapped on a balloon, floating helplessly out of control, has been proved to be  a stunt created by the child’s parents. Sheriff Jim Alderden explained: “They put on a very good show for us, and we bought it.”  The sheriff now plans to file charges against the parents who claimed their six-year-old son had climbed aboard the homebuilt helium balloon before it drifted skyward. Their claim led to a huge aerial and ground pursuit, but authorities eventually learned the child had never left the ground, and the whole stunt was just a scheme to jumpstart the family’s reality television career. The TV production company that had been developing a show about the family - who had already been in two episodes of “Wife Swap” - now say development has been stopped. The plot is all wrong, they say. The irony is that the family’s stunt did become the centre of a reality show all of its own, once the false report of their airborne child grabbed national attention as the balloon drifted across Colorado. That was until the father accidentally spilled the truth on CNN’s Larry King Show.  Maybe this family watched the hit cartoon movie “Up” once too often.

  • Branko Brkic
    branko3048 a ray
    Branko Brkic

    Brkic is the founder and editor of The Daily Maverick.

    He has edited magazines on business and politics, technology, and wildlife. He has also published fiction and non-fiction books, most of them in Serbian. Though he has never pretended to be a reporter, his wide knowledge of politics (especially in America), combined with his experiences in a disintegrating Yugoslavia, gives him an unusual outlook on events in South Africa.

    Despite the vowel-poor surname, he tells anyone who asks that he hails from Hyde Park, Johannesburg, having spent most of his adult life in South Africa.

    Recent columns:

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