Friday, November 13, 2009

Idiot David Lane

So, Richard Heene pled guilty today to a felony. He's the guy who, along with his family, engineered the hoax that caused a big rescue operation to save his son who was supposed to have accidentally taken off in a helium balloon, but who was actually hiding in the garage as instructed by his parents. A lot of Americans watched this rescue effort anxiously, including some people in my office.

From the Denver Post article, we get this:
After the hearing, Richard Heene's attorney David Lane said that the seriousness of the charges reflects the anger Americans felt after learning they had been duped by the parents into fearing for Falcon's safety.

"Don't mess with America's emotions," Lane said. "America has the emotional instability of a hormonal teenager."
I can't believe the man's lawyer would say something so offensive and unprofessional. It is not "emotional instability" that causes people to become angry when they've been tricked into fearing for a young child's life, or to want restitution for a foolish crime that wasted public money on an unnecessary rescue operation.


Sally said...

What makes actual hormonal teenagers hard to deal with is that their emotional reactions are difficult to predict. In this case, people reacted pretty much just as you'd expect: they were concerned about the fate of a child they thought was in grave danger, then angry when they found out that the parents had faked the whole thing. This is one of the weirder examples of the fundamental attribution error I've seen in a while - attributing the emotional reactions to a dispositional factor (emotional instability) rather than situational factors, even when the emotional reactions were perfectly in line with what the situations demanded.

And it hardly requires much in the way of emotionality (stable or otherwise) to believe that people who play hoaxes like this, and thus waste taxpayer money, should be punished for it if for no other reason than to send a message to others who would try it.

Tam said...

Right. I mean, I bet you never even heard about this until it was all over and yet you still believe, dispassionately, that someone should pay.