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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

What were you thinking?

To the marketing wizards at Turner Broadcasting: what planet do you live on?

To the "homeland security" officials in Boston and 10 other cities: how did these packages with tubes and wires hanging out from them manage to be in place for two to three weeks without anyone noticing?

To the general public: be afraid, be very afraid. No, not of the Aqua Teen Hunger Force but rather for what passes as heightened vigilance five-plus years after 9-11 -- and countless false alarms from the Bush administration.

Turner Broadcasting owes the City of Boston and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts what will likely be millions of dollars as a result of the full court public safety press to deal with this insipid marketing ploy. I would suggest the body parts of Turner executives be left in the same places as these "billboards." I'll settle for them losing their jobs.

There's absolutely no way they can ever repay Bostonians stuck in traffic or on the T for hours lost and angst inflicted.

But there's a much larger question for local, state and federal authorities charged with protecting our public safety: how could this have happened? Does anyone who patrols I-93 or Storrow Drive bother looking at the structures?

It's the perfect counterpoint to the high profile, low value searches conducted on the T in the name of protecting the public. Harass people, not buildings?

Oh, and Mr. Mayor, what's wrong with this statement?
“The individuals who might have placed these bombs or these packages should be warned this is a heavy penalty.”
If your role is to assure a scared and nervous city, perhaps you should choose your words a bit more carefully?

The silver lining is these incidents have probably done more than any dirty bomb drill to drive home the point much more needs to be done to prepare first responders for potential crises, crises that will more likely resemble random bombs and devices than dirty bombs at airports.

The after-action reports from today will be fascinating. The crews will probably get high marks for dealing with the events, but the leaders behind the scene will have a lot of explaining to do over how something like this could happen in the first place.

But nothing like the explaining necessary from the nitwits at Turner.

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