Downwind From Larimer County

Jeffrey Weiss at Politics Daily wishes the media had applied the wisdom of Ray Bradbury to the “balloon boy” saga:

It will never happen, I realize. Too much money. Too much publicity. But I know what I’d like to see happen to the man who set up the “Balloon Boy” hoax…. Science fiction writer Ray Bradbury offered the prescription back in 1969 in a short story called “Downwind From Gettysburg.” This is a tale of a man who builds a mechanical, computerized Abraham Lincoln exhibit — which a publicity hound named Booth shoots and wrecks. Here’s what the creator of the Lincoln robot does to punish Booth:

“It never happened, Mr. Booth. Tell your story, but we’ll deny it. You were never here, no gun, no shot, no computer data-processed assassination, no outrage, no panic, no mob. Why now, look at your face. Why are you falling back? Why are you sitting down? Why do you shake? Is it the disappointment? Have I turned your fun the wrong way? Good,” he nodded at the aisle. “And now, Mr. Booth, get out.”

[Thanks to David Klaus for the link.]

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One thought on “Downwind From Larimer County

  1. Oddly enough, that’s exactly why I have no hesitation at all dismissing folk tales about the original John Wilkes Booth living years after the assasination of Lincoln. He was clearly an attention-seeking sort. If the Feds had really shot the wrong man, and Booth gone into hiding, how long could he keep the secret? A year or two? Five? Ten? But sooner or later he’d have bragged to someone — his type coudn’t possibly have spent the rest of his life in anonymity.

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