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HardyHarHar

Aqua Teen Hunger Force (ATHF) declares war on American (USA)

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From CNN

 

BOSTON, Massachusetts (CNN) -- Two men pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges they created panic by placing "bomblike" electronic light boards displaying a cartoon character with an upraised middle finger throughout Boston.

 

Assistant Attorney General John Grossman called the light boards "bomblike" devices and said that if they had been explosive they could have damaged infrastructure and transportation in the city.

 

Peter Berdovsky and Sean Stevens, will be released on $2,500 bail, said Mike Rich, their attorney. The next pre-trial hearing is scheduled for March 7.

 

On Wednesday, authorities shut down bridges and a stretch of the Charles River. The scares sparked criticism of Turner Broadcasting System Inc., the parent company of CNN, because the cartoon "moon men" were part of a so-called guerrilla marketing campaign to promote the late-night Adult Swim cartoon "Aqua Teen Hunger Force." (Watch how the scare unfolded Video)

 

The moon men, or "Mooninites" as they're known to the show's faithful, are delinquent outer-space men who make frequent appearances on the program. Photographs of the devices show several tiny light bulbs protruding from a circuit board that houses wiring and at least four batteries.

 

Berdovsky, 27, a freelance video artist from Arlington, Massachusetts, and Stevens, 28, face charges of placing a hoax device in a way that results in panic, as well as one count of disorderly conduct, said Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley. The hoax charge is a felony, she said.

 

According to his Web site, Berdovsky is a graduate of the Massachusetts College of Art who goes by the nickname "Zebbler." Berdovsky has a green card and is seeking asylum in the United States, Rich said.

 

A Web site, http://www.zebbler.com, features a video of people assembling the LED moon men and driving around Boston installing them on buildings and other structures. Turner Broadcasting has said a third-party New York advertising firm, Interference Inc., conducted the campaign, and the Web video's introduction states, "The Interference Information Network takes on the ATHF," referring to "Aqua Teen Hunger Force."

 

Interference Inc. had no comment on the incident.

 

Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis called the stunt "unconscionable," while Boston Mayor Thomas Menino called it "outrageous" and the product of "corporate greed." Democratic Rep. Ed Markey, a Boston-area congressman, added, "It would be hard to dream up a more appalling publicity stunt."

 

Phil Kent, TBS's chairman and CEO, issued an apology to the city and said in a statement that police were notified as soon as Turner realized the marketing campaign was mistaken for something sinister.

 

"We also directed the third-party marketing firm who posted the advertisements to take them down immediately," Kent said in a statement. (Read the full statement)

 

But while Menino and Coakley called the apology inadequate, others disregarded Boston's response as much ado about nothing.

 

Twenty-two-year-old Todd Venderlin, a design student at the Parsons School of Design in New York City, saw one of the devices two weeks ago as he left a lounge in south Boston, according to The Boston Globe. He said he was stunned when he saw bomb squads removing them.

 

"It's so not threatening -- it's a Lite Brite," he told the newspaper, referring to the children's toy that allows its users to create pictures by placing translucent pegs into an opaque board. "I don't understand how they could be terrified. I would if it was a bunch of circuits blinking, but it wasn't."

Devices in place for weeks

 

Turner said the devices have been in place for two or three weeks in Boston; New York City; Los Angeles, California; Chicago, Illinois; Atlanta, Georgia; Seattle, Washington; Portland, Oregon; Austin, Texas; San Francisco, California; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

 

However, only in Boston did the light boards create such a furor. In Seattle and several suburbs, the signs were removed without fuss, according to The Associated Press.

 

"We haven't had any calls to 911 regarding this," Seattle police spokesman Sean Whitcomb told AP on Wednesday.

 

Police in Philadelphia told AP that authorities had confiscated 56 of the devices. In New York, a street was shut down for 45 minutes after two of the devices were found on an overpass, the New York Post reported. In all, 41 of the devices were found in the Big Apple, according to the newspaper.

 

In Boston, however, state, local and federal authorities shut down the Boston University and Longfellow bridges, and blocked maritime traffic from the Charles River into Boston Harbor. Bomb squads scrambled throughout the city and its suburbs, snarling traffic and mass transit in the city.

 

Coakley and Menino did not rule out the possibility of criminal charges, or a civil suit to recoup what they say is the hundreds of thousands of dollars the city spent to respond to the bomb scares.

 

Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority spokesman Joe Pesaturo said the legal department is sending Turner a letter asking the company to reimburse the city for all costs incurred during the hoax, but the authority had no plans to unilaterally file a lawsuit.

 

Coakley, who said she didn't learn of the devices until Turner sent a fax to City Hall about 5 p.m. Wednesday, said Turner did not provide the locations of the devices. Officials believe there were 38 light boards placed around Boston, some on private property, she said. As of Wednesday evening, 14 had been recovered, Coakley said.

 

"It had a very sinister appearance," Coakley told reporters. "It had a battery behind it, and wires."

 

Asked about whether Massachusetts authorities have the jurisdiction to arrest people out of state, Coakley said she believed they would if the offenses took place in Massachusetts. Turner Broadcasting's headquarters is in Atlanta.

 

Adult Swim shares channel space with Cartoon Network, another Turner enterprise. The Cartoon Network broadcasts during the day and is aimed at a younger audience. At night, Adult Swim takes over the airwaves with its more mature programming.

 

CNN's Dan Lothian and Deborah Feyerick contributed to this report.

 

http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/02/01/boston.bombscare/index.html?eref=rss_topstories

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"It had a very sinister appearance," Coakley told reporters. "It had a battery behind it, and wires."

 

 

godforbid there be a battery with wires attached to it

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that is some bullshit. people are dumb fucks!! what is there to get to the bottom of? nothing, they were basically lite brite's with the little scrappy moon man from ATHF. and how the fuck can you even say thats a middle finger!? its 2d and composed of straight lines.

 

big ups tho! haha.

 

long live ATHF

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9/11 happened guys... never forget... never ever forget..... EVER.

 

OMG A PACKAGE WITH LIGHTS AND IS BIG OMG BOMB OMG OMG 911 LETS ROLL... OMG I CAN HEAR TICKING CLOCKS I THINK! WE HAVE TO STOP THE TERRORIST ATTACK!!111111fuckasdahsdhf1111

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I tried to steal one, I couldnt reach it...............when I saw the news, I was like what the fuck, Then I was watching more, I thought it was some street art, done buy kids.-----weird

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i still don't see how they thought these were bombs. at first i thought these were packages designed to look like bombs.

 

yeah there was a guy on the anderson cooper last night saying they looked like IEDs

i'm sorry, this in no way resembles any explosive device.

the boston government should fine itself for being full of retards.

1

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Oh fucking christ....soon enough people will get felonys for just spitting on the ground. FUcking whiny pricks. Errrrr raise your hand and display the finger of hatred, and smoke while you are doing so.

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People are way to fucking crazy. I mean theres a cellphone service that will send you the national security threat level every 5 fucking seconds. People need to relax and enjoy life. Everyone's too caught up on worrying and trying to be a damn hero. shit.

 

Funny how they were placed in New York and no one complained. In fact 9 cities total I think. And the only one who freaked out was Boston. No one wants to terrorize you Boston!!!! RELAX!

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Boston's mayor wasted 750,000 dollars to dispose of these... way to spend the tax payers money...

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"It would be hard to dream up a more appalling publicity stunt."

 

haha, um i cant think of a more innocent stunt. well except for the middle finger thing.

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I still feel everyone in Boston should make huge stickers of these guys with Boston Redsox jerseys on and put them everywhere.

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Howie Carr is a joke, so is the Herald. So is this ATHF thing. I think it's funny, and the city doesn't stand a chance in court. They're just going to waste more of our tax dollars on a case with no merit. The worst they can nail these guys with is littering. Plus, they're fucking lying about it costing Boston $500,000. There is no way it cost that much to take down several signs with lights and batteries. They should have figured out they weren't bombs once they turned them over and couldn't find any C-4 or explosive material, fuckin' morons.

 

It's costing Newton (city just outside of Boston) 1.5 million to replace 75% of their stop-lights with non-mercury vapor lights--a new federal mandate makes those kind of lights illegal. That's including workers, police details, etc. Even with a bomb squad there is no way that it cost half a million to take down a few of those ATHF ads. I wouldn't even put it at over $100,000. They will probably wind up spending more on court costs than anything else.

 

....

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