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Turner Broadcasting reports amazingly successful marketing campaign cost mere $2M

Boston, Cambridge, Somerville to share in marketing bonanza - state homeland security effort to also be thanked for its part in a Turner promotional campaign that garnered a formerly obscure cartoon series headlines around the world and mentions on all the late-night talk shows.

"I guess you CAN buy publicity like this!" a gleeful Turner executive probably smirked in the elevator ride down from Mayor Thomas Menino's office this morning, after a settlement was reached with city and state officials.

In serious-crime news, however, Menino says he still wants to "throw the book" at those two guys hired by Turner, because unlike Turner executives, they do not wear suits and did not bow down and kiss the mayoral ring.

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Don't forget that they were all unserious to the press corp. Clearly that is a capital offense in our society. Better deport them.

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Juniper Pearl notes the settlement is roughly twice as much as officials claimed it cost to clean up after the two LED dudes:

... sure, $1 million is no great loss for tbs and probably less than they would ultimately have paid to put an end to all this, and you've vowed to put the money to great use in our homeland security and transportation departments--but you demanded it because you were in a position to do so, not because it was your legitimate due. that isn't justice, it's bullying, and bullying is wrong. once the money was promised to you you agreed not to pursue legal action against the network or the ad agency, but you're still pressing those ridiculous charges against berdovsky and stevens, who were operating as agents of the network and the ad agency. how is that sensible? ...

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We got yer breakdown right here. Also interesting:

By making these payments, Turner and Interference resolve any potential claims, civil or criminal, that might be asserted against Turner or Interference or any of their subsidiaries, employees, or contractors, except for Peter Berdovsky and Sean Stevens, by any of the state or local governmental entities that relate to the effects of and response to the marketing campaign on January 31, 2007.

Did Turner even try to protect the two guys it hired? Did the pair go further than Turner asked them to in putting the things up? What gives?

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from coakley's statement:

"It is our hope that these funds will cover not only the expenses incurred by the many agencies who participated in the response and investigation of the devices discovered in the Boston area last Wednesday, but they will also enable our communities to enhance homeland security, or to pursue other important community initiatives."

what other initiatives? if one cent of this settlement goes toward anything not related to security or police activity, i'll be forced to call the four city officials involved in the deal every hour on the hour until each of them confesses to having a brazen core of money-grubbing evil.

this whole thing's left me so jaded that i could imagine coakley or menino insisting that turner not cover berdovsky and stevens, so they would still be viable public examples. i know they're discussing ways to keep their case from going to trial, but the charges against them are ludicrous. and if i hear someone refer to this as a "hoax" one more time . . .

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Since the citizens of Boston, Cambridge and Somerville paid for the emergency services through their property taxes, at least $1MN should go to OFFSETTING THE TAX LEVY in each community. That is the only way the people who actually pay the bills get reimbursed.

But I can guarantee that it won't. It will come in to each municipality as "Other Revenue" and just give each city more cash to play with, rather than reimbursing the folks who actually footed the bill.

If you aren't apoplectic about being screwed over twice, you should be.

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At this time, the charges against Peter Berdovsky and Sean Stevens remain and because they have separate counsel, are not part of this agreement. However, prosecutors have begun discussions with their defense counsel regarding a resolution of the criminal charges short of trial.

Hopefully it was discussed and settled with this payment, but they just don't want to blatantly look they are *totally* for sale. Maybe all the charges will disappear with a wink and a nod.

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