Friday’s far fetched story of “Balloon Boy” flying around the state of Colorado made for great television. The boy even had a cool name – Falcon. It could have only been better if he was named Hawk (shout out to Avery Brooks!!). We are now finding out that Falcon’s family did this for a publicity stunt. Apparently they wanted to be on a television show and they wanted to show the producers that they are an “interesting, quirky, made for television type” family. The Manson Family could be described the same way but unfortunately for them all they could manage was some cold blooded killings. We could blame the network channel TLC for this whole “How can I get my family on TV” Syndrome but that would be too easy. Besides who is truly at fault – the family on shows like “18 Kids and Counting” or the audience that watches them?
The Media Circus behind last Friday’s great balloon chase once again highlighted a glaring case of Media Bias. If you don’t believe me ask Mitrice Richardson, oh wait you can’t because she is still missing. Minorities, particularly black women, don’t stand a chance when it comes to getting media coverage when they go missing. It’s even harder getting accurate statistics on missing minority children. Was 2005 the last time that missing minority children were actually counted? In 2005, the Federal Bureau of Investigations listed girls as being the highest number of missing children at 58%. Out of that number, black girls made up a whopping 33%. Keep in mind the Latinos, Asian Americans, Native Americans and others still need to be included in the percentages. With such high numbers one would naturally assume that missing black girls would get more air time. But that’s not feasible in a country where blacks make up 12% of the overall population. I get the fact that it’s a numbers game but it still doesn’t make it fair.
Balloon Boy owned all of the media last Friday. We watched him eating pizza, blowing chunks and even admitting that he was part of a phony scam. Balloon Boy owned the internet as well. He was the Friday talk of Twitter and Facebook. And now it is Monday and we are still talking about him (me included). I wonder what would of happened if Tamika Huston received this type of press? We will never know so all we can do is speculate with “what if’s”. The Mainstream Media knows they have been accused of media bias but they have successfully claimed denial. While they celebrate their ignorance in bliss, young black girls are disappearing like elephants in a Houdini trick. If it wasn’t for black bloggers, we would never know of the names and faces of the missing. Until the media can be fair in their coverage, black bloggers will have to continue giving a voice to the voiceless. Because the bloggers have to let black girls and boys know that someone is listening. And that someone cares.