Somebody Set Up Us The Bomb

So, as I look out my 15th floor window here at home, my view is polluted by three news helicopters hovering over the city. It turns out that there was a series of “bomb threats” caused by certain devices found at important places throughout the city (near hospitals, on interstates, underneath major bridges, etc.).

The real kicker though, is that this was a publicity stunt gone horribly wrong. Highways were closed, subway lines were shut down, lots of people were late for work, and hundreds of police officers and FBI and ATF agents had to get paid — all because of a dumb marketing campaign, and a dose of somewhat irrational paranoia.

Now, I hear from jrandall, that he has obtained a video (it was up on youtube, but has since been taken down) that shows them putting the devices up in several places in the city and its surrounding environs. I hear that some people may have been able to watch the video and obtain said devices before the police and bomb squad could arrive. I shall obtain said video shortly and put it back up on the internet in a stable place, so stay tuned, and maybe get ready for some scavenger hunting.

Okay, here’s the link to the video. Feel free to go scavenger hunting, everyone:

Apparently, I just missed one right down the street from me near Fenway Park. The cops are just arriving now to “diffuse” the device.

  1. #1 by Mike on January 31, 2007 - 6:40 pm

    See, this is the problem with dorks: Who in the hell thought that anybody outside of an extremely small subset of the general population would have any idea what the hell those things are supposed to be? What percentage of people even know what the hell “AQTF” actually is in the first place? It’s no wonder they were mistaken for something “suspicious,” especially when placed in conspicuous public locations and viewed in the daylight.
    I am trying to picture grown men getting so excited about a weird-ass cartoon that they construct and distribute marketing materials on its behalf… and all I’m seeing is myself punching said grown men in the face repeatedly for being such losers in the first place.
    Great post, though. Love the title.

  2. #2 by Mark J. on February 1, 2007 - 11:48 am

    There’s plenty of blame to go around, but boiled down, this was a gross overreaction by authorities. Look at the pictures of these things. They’re barely wider than four AA batteries. What bomb squad officer looked at these things and saw something dangerous?
    If the goal of terrorism is to make us all so jumpy that we panic and disrupt our daily lives over trivial things, I’d say Mission Accomplished.
    And I agree with Mike, great title.

  3. #3 by amanda on February 1, 2007 - 5:32 pm

    i read on a message board somewhere that they should have put some sort of stamp on them or something–“call tbs if there’s a problem”–and i think that would have been a little more responsible of turner, but come on. arresting these kids for anything other than, like, littering or graffiti or something is absurd.
    at least the mooninites got the publicity they were looking for! who doesn’t know what athf is now… they took like 10 minutes to explain it on the news last night!

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