It's Official: Teen Sailor Abby Sunderland's Parents are Hypocrites

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It took awhile, but I'm starting to realize Abby Sunderland's parents are just as bad as Balloon Boy's parents. Maybe not as weird, maybe with better haircuts, but just as dishonest -- and even more hypocritical.

Actually, if the Heene Dad was like Laurence Sunderland (pictured left), he really would have let his kid, Falcon, go up in that Balloon instead of keeping him hidden in the garage. But, despite all of nutty Richard Heene's grandiose reality TV aspirations, he likely thought allowing his child to set out alone in a vessel was far too dangerous.

I've been reading a lot of thoughts from Opposing Views readers who say the Sunderland family was right to let their underage daughter journey around the world... alone. Instead of the lazy teens of today, the arguments have gone, here was a girl who was learning self reliance and hard work. She had to do so many difficult things for herself!

Well, now the Sunderland story is starting to unravel, and we're realizing they may not be as wonderful and supportive as we previously thought. A documentarian says the father pushed his daughter into making the trip. If this allegation is true, it's borderline criminal.

Allowing your teenage daughter to sail around the world is one thing -- and something I still disagree with -- but a father actually encouraging his daughter to literally risk her life by sailing alone through the treacherous Indian Ocean is insane.

But the Sunderlands aren't done yet. Now we learn about a reality show, which is already in the works, and we find out what the Sunderlands really think about self reliance and bootstraps. In terms of their credibility, this is where the Sunderlands lost me.

When asked about paying the $300,000 it cost for the Australian government to find her daughter, mom MaryAnne Sunderland said the Aussies should contact the U.S. government. "We're not wealthy," she said.

Right. Just horribly hypocritical.

I thought this was supposed to be a great life lesson for Abby and the many young people of America. How you can't rely on anybody else. How you must figure things out and solve problems on your own.

Nope. The second the Sunderlands had to actually accept responsibility for their actions (remember, this was a risky choice, not an unlucky break) then the good ol' American taxpayers could step in and pay for it.

What a joke. A judge is making the Heenes pay for their phony rescue in Colorado. If I was the Australians, I'd be writing up a bill and getting my international postage ready.

Somebody owes you some money.

And it ain't us.