Balloon Boy Another Blow to Trust

Politicians are the ones most lost in forest of fakery
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 22, 2009 3:35 AM CDT
The Heene family's hot-air balloon is seen over Colorado.   (AP Photo/KMGH-TV)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – The Falcon Heene fiasco sums up the dilemma facing a society riddled with fake news, Photoshop fakes, and even fake Rush Limbaugh quotes, writes Daniel Henninger. "Reality TV" is the perfect metaphor for a world where you need to routinely "ask yourself whether what's in front of you is real, sort of real, a hoax or what," Henninger notes in the Wall Street Journal.

Most people have developed a protective shell of cynicism to deal with all this fakery. Henninger writes, but politicians—despite all their spin—are floundering. President Obama's health reform plans became a harder sell than expected not just because of right-wing activism, but because it wasn't pitched well enough to an instinctively skeptical audience.  "We are all balloon boys now," Henninger concludes, "learning every day how to make sure the clever people don't take us for a ride."