While we're all tut-tutting about what a lowlife slimeball Richard Heene is for allegedly concocting a hoax involving his six-year-old son ("Falcon"...it's as though he'd been planning this thing from the kid's birth) in order to enrich himself, let's remember the circumstances that even made the scheme possible.
"Reality" shows succeed or fail based upon whether they are able to adequately satisfy our inner voyeur.
We watch Jon & Kate, Wife Swap and Supernanny because (a) our lives are so dull that we hungrily substitute someone else's experiences for our own, and/or (b) it makes us feel superior to watch people whose lives are relatively out of control when ours are not.
Or maybe it's (c) something else. I'm sure an irate fan of the genre will enlighten me.
Anyway, there's money to be made if you can just come up with the right gimmick. You have to admit Heene was on to something, if only it hadn't fallen apart when the !@#$%^ kid broke from the script and admitted the whole thing was being done for the show.
Since fame and infamy are equally valid currency in the bank of public interest these days, the Heene family is not necessarily out of the money. The important thing is that we all know who they are now, and we find them fascinating. Ironically, the uncovering of the hoax might even give them clout to demand a bigger piece of the action.
For all we know, the kid was coached to admit the "truth." A hoax within a hoax. Bra-VO!