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Old 01-31-2007, 08:18 PM   #16
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The idiots. That's irresponsible in the post 9/11 world.
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Old 02-01-2007, 08:55 AM   #17
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this is one of the most asinine over-reactions i have ever seen. some 40 of these advertisements were placed in various locations in new york city, 50+ in philly, seattle... pretty much every major metropolitan area in the united states. these things have apparently been up in boston for a few weeks now.

a little common sense could go a long way.

this...



...shut down boston. a simple little piece of advertising that in no way resembled a bomb, shut down one of the biggest cities in america. gotta love it.
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Old 02-01-2007, 09:09 AM   #18
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All that showed in the daylight was the batteries and wires, until one that was placed in an area in which it was darker showed what it was. The technology that exists these days can make the most innocent thing into a bomb, so it's not an overreaction when you consider that.. I would think the same reaction might have taken place in NY too. I'm sure there are suspicious packages and objects reported in NYC on a regular basis, and the bomb squad is called, etc. It was where they were placed too.

The police commissioner said that Turner placed some boxes inside some corporate offices in CA and that the bomb squad was called out. Is that an overreaction? I don't think so, not in the post 9/11 world.

Statutes exist in MA for hoaxes under which in might be possible for Turner to be held legally responsible-they are looking into it. They already arrested two guys who placed them, I'm sure that was more to get info out of them than it was for any other reason. But legally they were able to arrest them.

Froth, fear, and fury
Cartoon devices spur antiterror sweeps; two men are arrested

By Suzanne Smalley and Raja Mishra, Globe Staff | February 1, 2007

Enraged city and state officials yesterday readied a legal assault against those responsible for a guerrilla marketing campaign that dotted the city with small battery-powered light screens, setting off fears of terrorism and shutting down major roadways and subway lines for parts of the day.

Authorities last night were retrieving the 38 magnetic signs depicting cartoon characters under bridges, on storefronts, and outside Fenway Park, among other locations, that were installed as part of a Turner Broadcasting System marketing blitz for a Cartoon Network television show.

For much of the day, police treated the signs, which measure about 1 by 1 1/2 feet and feature protruding wires on one side, as potentially dangerous. But their investigation shifted when they happened to move one of the signs into a darker area. The sudden lack of sunlight prompted the lights forming the character's image to brighten into color. Sometime between 2 and 3 p.m., according to a public safety official, a Boston police analyst recognized the image as a cartoon character, and police concluded it was likely a publicity stunt.

Turner Broadcasting System Inc. apologized about 4:30 p.m. for the campaign, which included cartoon characters making an obscene gesture.

"We really deeply regret that it was horribly misinterpreted to be a public danger, when all it was intended to do was to draw attention to a late-night television show," said Phil Kent, chairman and chief executive of the network, based in Atlanta. "This is not the kind of publicity we would ever seek."

The ordeal began around 8 a.m. when an MBTA worker spotted one of the devices affixed to an Interstate 93 ramp near Sullivan Square in Charlestown, forcing the shutdown of the northbound side of the Interstate and tying up traffic for hours. The State Police bomb squad blew the object apart with a water cannon at about 10 a.m. Then, in quick sequence just after noon, reports of similarly suspicious devices flooded police lines, sending anti terrorism forces to over a dozen locations in Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville.

Last night, in Arlington, police arrested Peter Berdovsky , 27, an artist originally from Belarus, who told the Globe earlier in the day that he installed the signs for an ad firm hired by Turner Broadcasting. Berdovsky, who described himself as " a little kind of freaked out," faces up to five years in prison on charges of placing a hoax device in a way that causes panic and disorderly conduct.

Attorney General Martha Coakley's office announced late last night that a second suspect, Sean Stevens, 28, of Charlestown, had been arrested in the case about 11:30 p.m. Like Berdovsky, Stevens was charged with placing a hoax device and disorderly conduct. Both suspects are scheduled to be arraigned at 9 a.m. today in Charlestown District Court, said Coakley's office.

Turner Broadcasting's apology did little to assuage outraged officials in the three cities, where lawyers are preparing legal efforts to recoup the cost of the police mobilization.

The deployment of scores of state, federal, and Boston police specialists, from bomb experts to terrorism analysts, exceeded $500,000, according to Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino.

Asked last night if Turner Broadcasting would reimburse the state and cities, Kent said, "We're certainly going to look at all the facts. We're a very responsible company and we try to do the right thing."

While police responded to the episode with swiftness and gravity, some Bostonians, especially younger adults, were amused by the spectacle and suggested authorities overreacted. But Coakley said the placement of the devices, on key infrastructure points, like highway ramps and under bridges, alarmed even seasoned investigators.

"For those who responded to it, professionals, it had a very sinister appearance," Coakley said. "It had a battery behind it and wires."

Turner Broadcasting acknowledged that it never sought approval or alerted authorities that it would put up the signs. The company hired by Turner for the campaign, New York-based Interference Inc., declined comment.

The signs, installed about two weeks ago, were part of a 10-city marketing campaign for the cartoon "Aqua Teen Hunger Force." They had not set off terrorism fears in New York, Los Angeles, or any of the other locations, and it was not clear whether they had been widely noticed in those cities. Yesterday Turner Broadcasting scrambled to alert police in the other cities to their presence.

Kent described a nerve-wracking sequence of events yesterday afternoon, when he received a call from one of the company's executives saying, "Turn on CNN." The news network was at the time featuring news of the bomb scares in Boston.

The company, realizing its campaign was probably the cause, went into damage control.

A visibly angry Menino said he would ask the Federal Communications Commission to yank TBS's broadcasting license for what he called "an outrageous act to gain publicity for their product."

The "Aqua Teen" program, launched seven years ago, chronicles the adventures of a talking box of French fries and his irreverent fast food pals. The images on the signs, including the characters with grimacing faces making the obscene gesture, are tiny video game characters that make cameos on the show, which airs during the Cartoon Network's late night programming block called "Adult Swim."

Menino and others said the campaign was especially reckless given Boston's sensitivity to terrorism threats, after planes that left Logan Airport on Sept. 11, 2001, were hijacked and flown into the World Trade Center.

Menino was also upset, he said, because top executives at Turner Broadcasting did not contact him directly to discuss what happened. The mayor said he did not receive a call from the company until about 9 p.m., and it was from a low-ranking press official.

"Give me a break. . . . It's all about corporate greed," Menino said, adding that he wanted make sure "not the guy we arrested today pays, but also the people in the boardroom have some obligation also on this issue."
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Old 02-01-2007, 09:29 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by MrsSpringsteen
All that showed in the daylight was the batteries and wires, until one that was placed in an area in which it was darker showed what it was. The technology that exists these days can make the most innocent thing into a bomb, so it's not an overreaction when you consider that.. I would think the same reaction might have taken place in NY too. I'm sure there are suspicious packages and objects reported in NYC on a regular basis, and the bomb squad is called, etc. It was where they were placed too.

The police commissioner said that Turner placed some boxes inside some corporate offices in CA and that the bomb squad was called out. Is that an overreaction? I don't think so, not in the post 9/11 world.

Statutes exist in MA for hoaxes under which in might be possible for Turner to be held legally responsible-they are looking into it. They already arrested two guys who placed them, I'm sure that was more to get info out of them than it was for any other reason. But legally they were able to arrest them.
the same reaction wouldidn't take place in new york... the same things were IN new york (and boston, and philly, and seattle... ) for weeks and one one said a word. yes, "suspicious" packages are found in new york city all the time. the police come in, they investigate, they see that it's just an exploding soda can (like what shut down penn station for 45 minutes last fall) and they move on. they don't look to arrest the guy who shook the soda can.

it should have been painfully obvious within the first hour that this was nothing more than a guerrilla marketing campaign that had, in fact, been going on in boston for weeks at a time. the fact that it took 6 hours to accomplish something that your average teenager could have figured out in 5 minutes is utterly ridiculous.

this is not a new york is better than boston bullshit thing. forget about new york... these things were found in every major city in america. this is a little common sense. i am not faulting the initial reaction by the boston police department. it was quick, it was swift, and it was in the utmost of caution. it was exactly what would be expected in this post 9/11 world of heightened awareness. but upon arrival at the scene and seeing what it actually was, half a million in man power to take down the rest of them was not exactly neccesary.

if there is an issue to be discussed here regarding terrorism fears, it is not the fault of turner broadcasting... it is the fault of each and every one of these cities, boston, new york, philly, etc... that devices that some, for whatever reason, could see as "suspicious in nature" could be attached to bridges and tunnells for WEEKS without anyone in law enforcement noticing, and it took a metro guy to finally call it in.
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Old 02-01-2007, 09:36 AM   #20
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I'm not making it any sort of "NY vs Boston" thing, so no need to even go there. I mentioned NY only because it was associated w/ 9/11 even more so than Boston was, obviously.

The police commissioner explained that they have to approach each remaining one with an abundance of caution because the possibility always exists that someone could make a similar one that was a bomb, so you'd have to take that up with him. In my opinion that is an appropriate response under the circumstances.

Like I said the bomb squad was called about it in CA, and we don't really know what happened with any or all of them in other cities. The statutes exist in MA, so if they want to pursue it in order to recover money that's their decision. It's up to the law to decide if they have a case.

No one messes with Mumbles Menino, as Turner will find out
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Old 02-01-2007, 10:25 AM   #21
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they may be charing these two men but when looking at the charges i find it very hard to believe, esp. assuming that turner will provide them with some very good lawyers, that the state will be able to prove any sort of intent...

Quote:
charges of placing a hoax device in a way that results in panic, as well as one count of disorderly conduct
... it is clear that these devices were not supposed to be fake bombs, just advertisements. maybe they could get hit with the disorderly conduct charge but that's like a glorified speeding ticket and holds no teeth.
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Old 02-01-2007, 11:09 AM   #22
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I agree it was a bit of an overreaction, but Turner should have at least contacted each city to let them know what they were doing. It would have saved a lot of trouble.
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Old 02-01-2007, 11:22 AM   #23
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No press is bad press as far as I'm concerned...

In most cases incidents like this help the cause, look at Micahael Richards with his rassist rant, what happened? Sienfeld DVD sales went up something like 300%...
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Old 02-01-2007, 11:28 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by elevated_u2_fan
No press is bad press as far as I'm concerned...

In most cases incidents like this help the cause, look at Micahael Richards with his rassist rant, what happened? Sienfeld DVD sales went up something like 300%...
Comparing one of the best sitcoms of all time to a random cartoon does't work well. I don't think TBS is going to see a spike in ratings because of this stunt.
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Old 02-01-2007, 11:38 AM   #25
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Comparing one of the best sitcoms of all time to a random cartoon does't work well. I don't think TBS is going to see a spike in ratings because of this stunt.
I'm certianly not comparing them in terms of quality but I can almost guarentee they will see a spike in ratings.
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Old 02-01-2007, 12:33 PM   #26
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I´m watching because of this.


And I agree with Headache.
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Old 02-01-2007, 12:58 PM   #27
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i'm begining to think that the terrorists have, indeed, won.
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Old 02-01-2007, 01:28 PM   #28
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People are stupid.

In other news .....

My name is...
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The mic-rula,
The old schoolah,
Ya wanna trip? I'll bring it to ya.
Frylock and I'm on top, Rock you like a cop
Meatwad you up next with your knock-knock.
Meatwad make the money, see.
Meatwad get the honeys, G.
Drivin in my car, livin' like a star.
Ice on my fingers and my toes and I'm a Taurus
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Old 02-01-2007, 02:02 PM   #29
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i'm begining to think that the terrorists have, indeed, won.
I hadn´t thought of that.

They HAVE ruined a lot of things for a lot of people.
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Old 02-01-2007, 02:57 PM   #30
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Wasn't me.
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