February 1 2007

Someone needs to tell Boston to calm down

It would seem the entire city of Boston needs to calm down. Because, if you listen to them, this is the face of evil…


The above pictured device was part of an ill-conceived guerrilla marketing campaign for the Adult Swim show Aqua Teen Hunger Force. The plan was that hired flunkies in 10 cities would place the devices around their respective cities to raise awareness of the upcoming movie. This plan was carried out as long as 3 weeks ago in some cases.

Flash forward to January 31st in Boston when a concerned citizen called police to report a potential bomb under a bridge. The city sprang to action closing roads, the harbor, scrambling bomb squads, activating the terror control center and, most importantly of all, having a team of bomb sniffing dogs search the mayor’s office for 15 minutes. The device under the bridge was rendered harmless by an explosion. Now, flash forward to later in the day and somehow Turner Broadcasting learns it’s their devices, they call all the cities quickly and explain, and they apologize to Boston. Well, their apology wasn’t enough for Mayor Menino.

Now, up until this point, I kinda shook my head at the whole thing, I thought the bomb search of the mayor’s office was a bit excessive, but fine, I could excuse it. But then…then came the city’s total, and complete, mental break down where they lost any shred of pity I had for them. Here is a list of some of the things they are doing, or plan to do:

– Sue Turner Broadcasting Co., the Cartoon Network’s parent company, for the estimated $800,000 to $1 Million spent on the response.

– Petition the FCC to pull the network’s license

– Criminally prosecute the men who planted the devices, Peter Berdovsky and Sean Stevens.

There is talk of charging them with the planting of a “hoax device” which is any item planted to cause panic. According to this article:

“To do this kind of placement of devices the way it was, an individual had to know or should have that it was going to create the kind of panic it did,” Coakley said last night during a press conference.

The city of Boston also said during the men’s arraignment:

”It’s clear the intent was to get attention by causing fear and unrest that there was a bomb in that location,” Assistant Attorney General John Grossman said at their arraignment.

Really? It’s “clear” they anticipated the mayor’s office being bomb sniffed for 15 minutes? (Just how big is that guy’s office?!?) It’s “clear” they anticipated the harbor being closed? It’s “clear” they anticipated the city of Boston over-reacting? Or is it “clear” they were two guys hired to go around the city putting up little lighted signs?

The men’s lawyer made an excellent point though:

Michael Rich, lawyer for both of the men, said the description of a bomb-like device could be used for any electronic device.
”If somebody had left a VCR on the ground it would have been a device with wires, electronic components and a power source,” he said.

Look…the city of Boston is angry, I can respect that, but instead of handling this calmly and professionally, they’re acting like kids on a playground who want to lash out at the bully. They don’t understand they are making themselves look like a laughing stock. From the same article:

“I cannot state strongly enough the seriousness of this offense,” said Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley. “Commerce was disrupted, transportation routes were paralyzed, residents were stranded, relatives across the nation were in fear for their loved ones here in the city of Boston.”

Maybe because you reacted without thinking? Do you really think a terrorist would plant a bomb with a little figure on it done up like a Lite-Bright? And what does this all teach terrorists? They can destroy our economy by going around planting black boxes with fake wires anywhere they want and bring entire cities to a stand still, why even mess with the explosives? This will be cheaper, faster, and easier. No chance of explosives detection since there are no explosives. Yep, thanks for teaching them a new trick Boston because you couldn’t handle this quietly and with a bit of professionalism. *salutes*

And a last interesting thought, even if Cartoon Network pays for all the stupidity, aren’t they really getting a bargain for the amount of press coverage they’ve gotten?

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