You know, the way the Media is behaving regarding the whole [adult swim] marketing deal in Boston is really pissing me off. The Media decided this thing was intended to be a terrorism hoax (when there is no evidence at all that's what it was) and now they're all howling for some terrible retribution against Turner, [adult swim] and the advertising agency that came up with the idea.
As far as I can tell, this is what happened:
1. [adult swim] has a clever viral marketing program.
2. People begin to notice the clever viral marketing program.
3. Someone wets their pants, because LEDs in an odd shape clearly mean we're all about to die.
Police City Officials overreact. (Corrected. Bostonians say police acted appropriately.)
5. Media overreacts.
6. Entire city of Boston is fucked for an entire day.
7. Entire city of Boston is (understandably) pissed.
8. Media, which overreacted and labeled the viral marketing campaign a terrorist hoax, decides that [adult swim] and Turner somehow owe people of Boston an apology, and also owe city all the costs the city incurred as a result of Media-induced hysteria. There's a rather angry editorial at boston.com which really lays into Turner for perpetuating a "terrorist hoax" on an innocent city. The only problem with that is that it wasn't a fucking terrorist hoax! It was a viral marketing campaign that went awry when a bunch of people over-reacted.
So the first thing is that the fucking idiot media need to stop referring to this as a terrorist hoax, because it wasn't, okay? And all these politicians and newsdrones who are embarrassed now that it's clear they overreacted also need to stop trying so hard to put this all at Turner's feet.
Look, I'd be pissed, too, if my whole city was effectively shut down for a day, but how exactly is [adult swim] and Turner responsible for this? Did they tell their viewers to go out and create some sort of terrorist hoax? I'm pretty sure they just told their viewers to build cool LED versions of the Mooninites (which is pretty fucking cool, if you ask me.) As far as I can tell, it was the media and law enforcement who decided to freak out and make everyone in the city of Boston think it was some sort of terrorist plot, and then a terrorist hoax.
Continuing to equate a silly viral marketing stunt with a bomb threat is just ridiculous (and wrong,) and it actually devalues real threats and hoaxes. Remember the 2004 election, when DHS, at the direction of the Bush campaign, jacked up terror warnings whenever Kerry began to rise in the polls, or Bush began to sink? After the third or fourth time that happened, did anyone take any of those warnings seriously? I know I didn't, and that's where the real danger in this whole thing is: the media was so irresponsible and overreacted so supremely in this instance, if there's a very real threat in the near future, how many people won't take it seriously, because they remember this one and all the others?
You know, if the goal of terrorists and the whole point of terrorism is to scare the shit out of us so badly that we leap ten feet in the air whenever someone says "boo," then the terrorists are clearly kicking our national asses.