Balloon Boy Takes Flight

Some magazine covers that will soon be among us

So the bizarre, twist-and-turn-laden balloon “flight” of six-year-old Falcon Heene yesterday Captivated The Nation…by which we mean, of course, that it Captivated The Nation’s Media. The Balloon Boy story, with its irresistible mix of human drama and utter strangeness, will surely continue to enthrall us until some other bright, shiny thing takes our attention—and not only on the nation’s cable networks, but also within those traditional vehicles of American ideas: magazines.

Below, then, some cover stories we can expect to see over the next few weeks:

The Atlantic: “Are BallOOns Making Us STOOPID? Andrew Sullivan on Balloons, Blogging, and the Perils of Hot Air; Corby Kummer on How Falcon Heene’s Favorite Meal—the Tempeh Manwich—Is Taking over the Denver Food Scene; and Richard Florida’s Vision for a Helium City of the Future. (Also, visit for an online special: “The 100 Bravest Balloonists of All Time! Click Through to Check Out Each One—Two or Three or Four Times!”)”

Cosmopolitan: “Balloons in Bed: Twelve New Tricks That’ll Make Him Pop!!!”

The Economist: “THE POWER OF INFLATION: A Dryly Droll and Acerbically Authoritative Account of the Economics of U.S. Ballooning—An Account, If We May Be So Bold, Which One Had Better Read Whilst the Account Remains Fresh So That One Will Not Provoke the Ridicule of the Educated Urban Elites Whom One Calls One’s Friends”.

Entertainment Weekly: “The Heene Family and Their Book Deal: A Sneak Peak inside If We Did It

Esquire: “Balloons We Love! Ten of the hottest blow-ups in the biz.”

Good Housekeeping: Mayumi Heene on Family, Life, and Love—“Being a parent is the ultimate storm!”

Gourmet: [Too soon.]

GRAND SLAM, The Magazine for Employees of Denny’s and Its Subsidiaries: “BALLOONS OVER MY HAMMY: The pancake, egg, and sausage breakfast that keeps Balloon Boy fueled for his journeys”

Harper’s: “Balloons in Geneva: Why the Time Has Come to Recognize the Rights of Rubber.” By Scott Horton.

The Huffington Post: “Balloons Shaped Like Breasts! (PHOTOS, SLIDESHOW, POLL)”

McSweeney’s: “If You’re Having Trouble Reading This Headline, It’s Because We’ve Decided to Print Our Current Issue on the Side of a Balloon. Talk about High Art! Wheeee!”

The National Review: “Balloons and Socialism: What Americans Need to Know to Keep Their Tax Dollars Safe from Pelosi and Company”

The New Republic: “DEATHY BY BALLOON: Betsy McCaughey digs deep into the study just released by Americans For Balloon Safety, and comes to the explosive conclusion that, buried on p. 742 of the report, the Obama administration reveals its intent to tether all Americans over the age of 50 to a hot-air balloon roughly the size of Rhode Island and float them away to Canada. McCaughey also proves that the 20-foot-wide balloon named in the report is bigger than a 30-foot-wide one, using science.”

New York: “Um…what did Gawker say?”

The New Yorker: “Fiddlesticks…what did Gawker say?”

The New York Review of Books: “The End of Irony? The Fate of Mirth in a Post-Balloon-Boy World”

Newsweek: “BALLOONS AND ANDREW JACKSON: Pulitzer winner Jon Meacham, who recently won a Pulitzer Prize, explores the connection between two touchpoints of American Democracy—balloons, and our seventh president—in a manner pleasing to both coastal elites and fellow winners of the Pulitzer Prize.”

Real Simple: Twenty Surprising Uses for Mylar! (#12: Use it to build a balloon that will loft you so high that you’ll end up getting interviewed by Wolf Blitzer!)

Reason: “The Right to Balloon: If Falcon Heene Felt Like Faking a Balloon Flight, That Is His Own Damn Business.” By Matt Welch

Slate: “Explainer: What’s Up With Balloons? A Charmingly Counterintuitive Take”

Time: What Newsweek said. Or something on the economy, or culture, or whatever.

TV Guide: “Why the Balloon Boy Story Was Much More Important than Obama’s Trip to New Orleans, and Why Cable News’s Priorities Were Spot-On: Our April 1 Issue Preview!”

US Weekly: “TO BALLOON AND BACK: Lady Gaga describes her harrowing battle with balloonorexia. The star reveals: ‘Rubber-based products got me where I am today!’”

Vanity Fair: “Ladies Who Latex! Hollywood’s Hottest Young Stars Gather for Balloon-Inspired Debauchery at the Waverly Inn, as Graydon Carter Leers Watches. (Inside: A Photo Essay of the Event, Shot by Annie Leibovitz in Exchange for a $25 Dunkin’ Donuts Coupon.)”

Vogue: “Balloons, in Colors That Pop! How to wear the fall’s hottest accessory.” (Inside: A Photo Essay of Balloon-Bearing Celebrities, Shot by Annie Leibovitz in Exchange for a $25 Dunkin’ Donuts Coupon.)”

See you at the newsstand!

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Megan Garber is an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University. She was formerly a CJR staff writer.