Thursday, February 01, 2007

Scared stupid

"A quirky publicity campaign for a late-night cartoon show generated far more attention than was intended when a slew of blinking electronic signs prompted fears of terrorism and the deployment of bomb squads"

The city of Boston claims to have laid out $750,000 investigating and removing the LED ads placed on behalf of Aqua Teen Hunger Force. They arrested two individuals and plan to "take and an all legal action against Turner Broadcasting and its affiliates."

So, really, how stupid can you be. This ad campaign had been going on for the better part of a month in New York, Los Angeles and half a dozen other cities. They didn't seem to have any problems. Are you so panicky that you can't tell the difference between a cheap-as circuit board with a blinking cartoon flashing you the finger and a bomb? It takes you three-quarters of a million dollars to figure this out? Are you really that stupid?

The webcomic Otaku-no-Yen sums it up pretty well.

What I think happened is that the Boston PD was so embarrassed when they figured out that the first one was a stupid little toy that they pulled out all the stops in an act of self-flagellation to prove not only how dedicated they are to the cause but so they could rack up a huge bill and then demand reimbursement.

This is reinforced by news that on the same day in Boston, some pinhead placed replica pipe bombs at two locations, a bridge and a hospital. The culprit there has not been charged. Why? Because he doesn't have the deep pockets that Ted Turner has and making an example of a sad, stupid little man doesn't score the political points of taking on a multi-nation media giant.

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