Greetings. As I anticipated, I've been receiving strong reactions to Stupidity Meets Overreaction in Beantown Bomb Scare.
While there's always a "silent majority" one never hears from, most of the responses so far are falling into one of two categories which are diametrically opposed to each other:
Category 1: The Cartoon Network campaign was utterly harmless performance art and the associated persons and companies should not be held responsible in any way. Boston officials have no real justification at all for their actions in this case and are abusing free speech, while demonstrating a poorly run emergency response system. Shame on you, Lauren, for suggesting otherwise.
Category 2: The placing of the Cartoon Network campaign light boxes near major transportation corridors, in combination with more or less contemporaneous but unrelated "conventional" (hoax) threats, fully justifies the authorities' actions. Any suggestion that they overreacted is itself an overreaction. Shame on you, Lauren, for suggesting otherwise.
When I find myself sitting on the fulcrum (ouch!) at the center of an essentially balanced reaction equation on a controversial topic, I tend to suspect that I've staked out a reasonable position.
So I'll stand by my original assessment. The Cartoon Network campaign was misguided and a stupid move -- and the Boston authorities overreacted. All I can do is call 'em as I see them.
By the way, the judge initially pulled into this case has already suggested that the serious "bomb hoax" charges seem unlikely to hold up, since there appears to be no evidence of the required intent on the part of the Cartoon Network culprits. Based on existing public information, this seems to be an appropriate view.