Bomb Scare: It's No Cartoon
Questions were being raised today (Thursday) about whether television contributed to the near panic that gripped Boston Wednesday after a number of mysterious devices were discovered that authorities suspected could have been planted by terrorists. At least one Boston station cut out of regular programming and began continuous live coverage after police closed off some major roads and halted several subway trains. Station execs in Boston defended their coverage, noting that the police action had brought commerce in the city to a standstill. But Tom Rosenstiel, director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism, told the Boston Globe that reporters had excessively speculated about bombs and terrorism. "If you have no evidence that anything bad has happened ... you shouldn't run the worst-case scenario," he said. Late in the day, Turner Broadcasting disclosed that the devices were merely magnetic lights intended to promote the Cartoon Network's Aqua Teen Hunger Force and that they had been part of an outdoor marketing campaign that had been in place for two to three weeks not only in Boston but in nine other cities as well.