IS ABBY SUNDERLAND, the 16-year-old California girl who tried to sail around the world, actually nothing more than a better-trained nautical "balloon boy"? Part of a money-making stunt by her parents?
Conflicting stories allow you to decide.
According to the New York Post, her father Laurence Sunderland told the paper that he has signed a deal for a reality-TV show entitled "Adventures in Sunderland." The paper says he inked the deal shortly after Abby set sail in January. The Sunderlands are a large, home-schooled family so it could be ratings gold - or, at least, ratings tin.
Gee, it's almost a shame they found Abby. This could have been a real-life sequel to "Lost."
"The show might be about family, it might be about Abigail's trip. It's something that was shopped around," Laurence, who says he's broke despite his yacht management company, told the Post.
"We thought it might be a good idea if it was encouraging to kids to get out there and do things," Sunderland said of the possible show's theme.
Really, Laurence, isn't it bad enough that "Jackass" encourages kids to do unsupervised stuff that might get them killed? But at least they're within driving distance of a hospital.
Magnetic Entertainment of Santa Monica is allegedly involved with the show - and the documentary film "Abby's Journey" - according to its Web site, but the company did not return calls about the project.
A spokesman for Abby's family, however, said the Sunderlands have NO current plans for a reality TV show.
Jeff Casher did not say why the family needs a spokesman or who's paying him.
Casher says he spoke with Laurence yesterday morning and Laurence told him that a reality show was discussed last year when Abby's brother Zac sailed around the world, but it never came about.
Tattle's view is that if the Sunderlands make any money off this adventure it should go to defray the costs of Abby's rescue.
Amazing how many times people do crazy, dangerous stuff and think nothing of the fortune it costs someone else to save them.
* Chidi Benjamin Uzomah Jr., who stalked Ryan Seacrest, was sentenced yesterday to two years in California state prison and ordered to stay 500 yards away from the host of "American Idol," and his many other workplaces, for 10 years.
Uzomah, 26, received the maximum sentence after previously pleading no contest to stalking. He did not speak during the sentencing hearing.
Probably just as well.
* Charges have been dropped just before the trial of Georgia man Neal Horsley, who was accused of threatening Elton John on the Internet and outside the singer's Atlanta condominium.
Horsley was apparently angered when John told an interviewer that he believed Jesus was gay. Fulton County Superior Court Judge Kimberly Esmond Adams said Horsley's actions didn't warrant criminal charges.
Prosecutors say Horsley, 65, posted terroristic threats against John online and that he picketed outside his John's Atlanta property with a sign that said "Why Elton John Must Die."
That's allowed in Georgia? Why does Tattle think that if Horsley posted terroristic threats against Judge Adams online and stood outside her house with a similar sign, he'd be in jail today.
* Sigourney Weaver has helped Auburn, N.Y., honor the man who brought sound to motion pictures.
Weaver was in Auburn for the city's second annual Founder's Day. This year's celebration honored Auburn native Theodore Case, who was working in his lab in the Finger Lakes city in 1916 when he pioneered a method to put sound on film.
The Case Research Lab is now maintained by the Cayuga Museum of History and Art.
Weaver, whose films include the "Alien" franchise and "Avatar," was the special guest at a fundraiser for the museum. During a speech outside city hall, she said she owes the Case family "my entire career."
That must have really ticked off James Cameron.
* MTV officials say the search is on for a new social media maven who will engage with the MTV audience and serve as a liaison between viewers and network honchos.
MTV General Manager Stephen Friedman called the TJ (or Twitter Jockey) position "a natural evolution of how we connect with our audience."
The network has identified 18 potential candidates and is asking its audience to find two more. The 20 hopefuls will compete in a series of online challenges this summer designed to reveal their personalities and demonstrate how they connect with Twitter followers.
Five finalists will compete on a live show Aug. 8 and fans will pick who gets the new job.
"The hope is that this person will be dynamic, engaging and energized, an enthusiast within the social media world," said Dave Sirulnik, the exec overseeing the contest. "Somebody who will represent the audience by taking their thoughts and questions and . . . through an ongoing dialogue with them, be able to bring those questions inside the walls here to the people who make MTV."
Insight MTV execs gain from the TJ's interaction with fans could influence programming decisions, Friedman said.
"Twitter and Facebook enable us to make smarter decisions," he said. "This will benefit us hopefully as much as it benefits the audience."
Viewers can nominate themselves or their favorite Facebook friends for the position online. The MTV TJ will be based in New York and earn a six-figure salary.
A six-figure salary?
To tweet about MTV.
And some folks think four horsemen will be a sign of the apocalypse.
Daily News wire services contributed to this report.