Wolf Blitzer is a professional interviewer. He has prepared questions. He listens to the response that he gets to his questions and uses the response to formulate his next question. That’s what he did when he interviewed Richard Heene, the Colorado father of 6 year old Falcon. Wolf was exploring the issue of whether the report by the Heenes that their son was trapped in a balloon was all a publicity stunt. Falcon was found hiding in the family’s garage last Thursday after the family reported that they feared he had disappeared and was floating around in a homemade helium balloon, flying 50 miles through the sky.
Watch Mr. Heene squirm when he is asked to comment on his son having just said on camera “you guys said that we did this for the show. ” The boy was answering the question raised by Wolf of why he just did not come out of the garage attic when he heard his family calling for him. The father barely looks at the camera. His wife also looks a bit worried.
Litigators are professional interviewers, like Wolf Blitzer. They come prepared. They have background on the person they are deposing. I’m quite sure Wolf had background on the Heenes. Lawyers who litigate for a living are like electronic lie detectors. They can smell when someone is not being truthful.
Now the Heenes are being charged with crimes related to what appear to be false reports about their son’s supposed flight on a hot air balloon. They may be completely innocent. Time will tell. Right now it sure doesn’t look good for them. But you don’t have to be an expert in body language to see that the Heenes were unsure of themselves and worried about what their son had said and what they had said, or might say, on camera. They were being scrutinized. Not unlike what happens at a deposition.
Lesson here? Tell the truth at your deposition.