Banned in Boston (was Turner Broadcasting:"Stunt Gone Wrong")

Ric Werme
Thu Feb 1 10:42:58 EST 2007

>From various notes on the topic

> Of course, we now know it's a hoax.

>No, we don't know it's a hoax;

> but why haven't other cities found it necessary to react so violently

> Absolutely not. If these devices had been written off as a prank, and
> one of them blew up, we'd be ripping the Boston police department to
> shreds.

> ok, people, I gotta be at my worst level of sarcasm   re paranoia

Personally, I think this was an ill-considered plan at best.  The person
who reported the suspicious object did fine.  I was in London once and saw
sign asking for such reports (back in IRA days).  The initial response
may have been okay.  I do think bomb squad people are too quick to blast
things with their water cannon, and this is one such case, but that
action was defensible.  However, the actions and reactions since that
first event have turned into the theatre of the absurd.  And why did the
bomb squad think it was a bomb?  It could have been radiological or biological
device in which case blowing it up would be the _worst_ thing to do.

By the way, I got a Po 210 refill for my Staticmaster dust brush a few
days ago.  $14.50 plus shipping from New York City.  The instructions
include "Keep away from children or persons who are unable to observe these
simple precautions."  I bought a 35 mm slide scanner and boy, can it image
dust!  Umm, where was I?  Oh yeah,

I drove my wife to the Manchester(/Boston) airport today and heard two
separate cost estimates - $1,000,000 and $750,000.  These go along with
yesterday's $500,000, $600,000, and $700,000.  I heard today's numbers on
WBZ, making this post related to Boston radio.  So there!

Turner may have gotten that much advertising, I suspect they should pay it
and move on.

The people who were arrested perhaps should be charged for littering and
tried on Court TV.

Had this been a Real Terrorst Attack, why oh why would these devices be placed
in plain view?  Unless the terrorist organization were all real idiots, they'd
be planted on the _other_ side of beams or tucked between things (which would
increase damage).

These were not the size of car bombs, perhaps some high tech explosives
would cause some injuries, but there's no chance they'd take a bridge
down.  During a coal mining strike when at was in college in Pittsburgh,
someone exploded a few sticks of dynamite at the base of a bridge.  The
shockwave just reflected away from the concrete and nothing was damaged.
The people who shot a truck carrying dynamite on the PA Turnpike did
better, crater, killed truck driver and injured themselves.

While I fully understand that the bomb squad is a bunch of trained paranoiacs
and have no sense of humor, that's no excuse to abandon common sense.  So
many things about the objects were wrong, I think deserve any criticism
they get for their reponse _after_ the first sign.

Mayor Menino should be leaning on Turner Broadcasting for reimbursement,
but he should be saying "We will be talking with Turner and expect that
they will reimburse us for our costs" instead of taking the incensed
play-acting politician route.  If he's not careful, someone might note
the character on the sign was a Mooninite and suggest that future shows
call their leader Mayor Moonino.  Of course, I would never mention that.

I might mention that the Mayor et al learn about "LED throwies" There's a good chance that
inspired this advertising campaign.

What else might the late-night comics say?  This all seems way too easy....

"What did Homeland Security know and when did they know it?"
(Some enterprising reporter found a web page with a headline like
"Who's putting signs on our Bridges," but Googling that didn't work.)
Aren't these people suppose to be on top of what's happening here?

"Homeland security announces new post of Guerilla Marketing Czar."
That way, Turner and the marketing company could alert Homeland
Security about such plans.

"Indecency complaints filed about obscene gesture by Mooninite."
I'm amazed at what the media has done with the middle finger "salute."
Some media pixelated it, I saw one shot with the full display, a cut
to a talking head, then a cut to a different scene with pixelation.
Good Morning America has one of the signs, but they cut out the LEDs
for the finger (assuming it really is a finger).  That probably will
hurt resale value on Ebay....  The Union Leader, being a newspaper
simply cropped their photo, see
Turner sells bumper stickers of the image and "Mayor Menino."
Turner could send him the proceeds as part of restitution.  I suspect we'll
be seeing a lot more of that LED image in the next few months.

And, of course, "Banned in Boston"

     -Ric Werme

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