Giant M&M on Turkey Day Rampage
November 25, 2005 11:52 AM   Subscribe

Balloon crashes and injures two people at Macy's Parade. A giant M&M balloon broke loose in the wind and crashed into a light pole at yesterday's Thanksgiving Parade in New York, knocking the light into a crowd and injuring two people. NBC, the network broadcasting the parade, was the only news crew that did not report the event, instead, cutting to a clip of the balloon from last year.
posted by XQUZYPHYR (23 comments total)

 
WNBC 4 reported it an hour later as a new flash during the dog show. I can't blame them for not showing it as it would scare many little kids who had tuned in.
posted by riffola at 11:59 AM on November 25, 2005


MetaFilter: Will these classic candymen get out of this delicious dilemma?
posted by Mikey-San at 12:00 PM on November 25, 2005


Boo hoo, half a million people in one area and all that happens is 6 stitches. How is this news?
posted by Mr_Zero at 12:01 PM on November 25, 2005


The fact that nobody died was pure luck.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:01 PM on November 25, 2005 [1 favorite]


I hear that Michael Brown was there within minutes! As were three guys from the Weather Channel, standing in the wind, hanging onto the lightpost (which may have, actually, been the cause of the pole falling)......
posted by HuronBob at 12:10 PM on November 25, 2005


This isn't new. In 1997, the Cat in the Hat blew into a streetlight, and the debris put an onlooker into a coma for a month. This year, the NYT reported that Macy's has been slowly backing away from balloon handler training. Is anyone surprised that someone got hurt?
posted by Plutor at 12:20 PM on November 25, 2005


Read Gothamist's report for some other notes of interest. Barney's problems at the parade, in particular, are pretty funny.
posted by Plutor at 12:23 PM on November 25, 2005


why is al roker such a stupid fucker?
posted by yonation at 12:30 PM on November 25, 2005


There is a parade in NYC for Thanksgiving? Who knew?
posted by fixedgear at 12:31 PM on November 25, 2005


Mr Zero: This is not newsfilter - it's the best of the web! Shame on you for snarking so.
posted by nowonmai at 12:39 PM on November 25, 2005


There is a parade in NYC for Thanksgiving? Who knew?

Yes, and it is frequently referred to as "the Macy's Day Parade."
posted by scratch at 12:41 PM on November 25, 2005


Cutting to an image from another year seems pretty weak.
posted by raedyn at 12:41 PM on November 25, 2005


I hear Tony Blair had to talk Bush out of bombing NBC
posted by gyc at 12:50 PM on November 25, 2005


Why was NBC so ready with last year's clip of the M&M balloon? Do they always have clips of last year's balloons ready to go in case of accidents?

I smell a conspiracy.
posted by graventy at 1:04 PM on November 25, 2005


why couldnt it have put katie courick out of its misery.
posted by tsarfan at 1:04 PM on November 25, 2005


graventy writes "Why was NBC so ready with last year's clip of the M&M balloon? Do they always have clips of last year's balloons ready to go in case of accidents?"


Worse, if you look at the footage you can see a faint puff (like and explosion) at the base of the pole right before the balloon hits it. I know nothing about structural engineering, but I'm sure that this was all set up by the government. What are Bush's approval ratings these days?
posted by OmieWise at 1:08 PM on November 25, 2005


What's funny about this (to me) is that I was in the parade and I didn't find about this until I got home a couple of hours later. I did hear that Barney had problems, though.
posted by Godbert at 1:19 PM on November 25, 2005


"I did hear that Barney had problems...."

haven't we always known that???
posted by HuronBob at 1:54 PM on November 25, 2005


Oh! The humanity!
posted by SPrintF at 2:52 PM on November 25, 2005


This reminds me of something I heard tell of with the Barney balloon being knifed by police. If you know what I'm talking about, please answer in AskMe.
posted by Aknaton at 3:19 PM on November 25, 2005


Watch it again. The M&M balloon going back to its left. Shot from the front and right. Totally inconsistent with the shot from the Depository. Again...back and to the left...back and to the left...back and to the left.
posted by kirkaracha at 3:42 PM on November 25, 2005


I love MetaFilter.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:40 PM on November 25, 2005


I was at the parade too, and didn't hear this story til I got home. However, I did spend most of the parade making snarky jokes about the fearmongering coverage of "ill-trained balloon handlers" that was all over the NY Metro media the night before. I have to say it was weird that anything actually happened, seeming to justify reports which had the usual element of "does-death-lurk-in-your-medicine-cabinet" hysteria about them.

I suppose the NYT originated the story about reduced training, but all of the hysterical, hyperventiling local news stations picked it up and amplified it to a ridiculous degree, complete with vox-pop interviews asking spectators if they would feel safe at the parade. As a result, every time we saw a handler stumble or make a false move, we'd comment "Poorly trained! Danger, danger! Are you qualified for this task, sir?"

I don't know, folks. In a 75+ year history of drawing crowds of millions, these injuries are sad but not statistically significant. I have feeling there are more injuries like this at your average pro sports event or weekend concert. Let's face it -- we're taking large parachute-fabric balloons and steering them by strings down narrow streets. No matter how much handler-training you've got, things are gonna get bumpy now and then.

Truthfully, my experience last year, which didn't make the news, was scary -- nearly being crushed by overcrowding at the spot we got stuck in at Times Square. It was a really ugly situation with pushing, shoving, panicking old people and crying children. The police had to come sort it out with crowd control tactics. That stuff -- which happens predictably and yearly -- strikes me as way more dangerous than inadvertent baloon-related injuries.

What will we do -- give up, say the balloons are too dangerous? Project images of balloons on large TV screens that cruise down Broadway on flatbed trucks? This is real life, after all. You take risks every morning when you wake up and get out of bed. If that half a million people stayed home that morning, mightn't one of them get burned on the oven making gravy, cut themselves with a knife while pitting olives, or get into a fight with a relative? There's no need to run in circles screaming. We've got to understand that real experiences always come with risk.
posted by Miko at 11:22 PM on November 25, 2005


« Older Chemtrails "are" the linear clouds formed by conde...  |  What can video games teach us ... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments