Americans were glued to their televisions last week watching live coverage of both the Boston Marathon bombing on Monday and the eventual capture of the bombing suspects later in the week. There is no doubt that this was a complete tragedy, and that is why so many Americans were using multiple sources of the media to obtain information.
Some people were turning on the news to watch the coverage through different broadcasts and some people were refreshing their Facebook and/or Twitter timelines to obtain information from multiple media sources about the unfolding events in Boston.
Some people provided commentary with shock, expressing feelings of disbelief that Americans are now living in a bizarre world littered with violence. The outcome left those people questioning whether they should feel safe despite living in a developed, democratic country.
Even more bizarre was the fact that when these events were taking place in Boston, some people were spending time editing together clips from multiple episodes of the Fox animated TV show, “Family Guy,” on YouTube in order to cause more controversy.
The video was edited using scenes from multiple “Family Guy” episodes that were not in the same sequence as they were shown in the original airing of the episodes. Instead, the person who released the video had edited scenes together to make it seem like “Family Guy” had predicted the events of the Boston Marathon.
Local Springfield news network, KY3 reported that the video “gained widespread notice Tuesday thanks to Infowars, a website run by radio host Alex Jones, who has said in the past that the federal government was involved in the 9/11 attacks and the Oklahoma City bombing. The site posted a YouTube clip (since taken down) from the “Turban Cowboy” episode of “Family Guy,” which aired March 17.”
In a nutshell, here is what happened in the March 17th episode…
“Turban Cowboy”, an episode of “Family Guy” that premiered on Fox in March had a general storyline in which the main character, Peter, made a new Muslim friend that convinced him to convert to Islam. Coincidentally, there was also a (10-15 second) joke about Peter at the Boston Marathon.
The joke showed Peter cheating by actually driving the marathon as opposed to running it. At the end of the marathon, a reporter asked Peter how he had finished so quickly and he replied by telling the reporter that he had won the marathon simply because he had driven the entire length and had used his car to drive over other runners when they got in his way.
Also included in the videos were scenes from a different episode that showed buildings being exploded by bombs. The maker of the YouTube video combined scenes from both episodes to make it appear as though “Family Guy” was mocking or had predicted the Boston Marathon bombing.
If you are familiar with TV terms like a “cut-away” joke, then you know “Family Guy” does cut-away jokes fairly often where they break away from the main story line to show a joke, a flashback, or some kind of hypothetical scenario. The reference to the Boston Marathon had nothing to do with the actual plot of the episode; it was only a cut-away joke.
Seth MacFarlane, character voice and “Family Guy” creator has apologized and the episode has been pulled from any reruns or online streaming. MacFarlane took to his Twitter account where he tweeted this in response to the video controversy.
The Huffington Post reported that Fox has pulled the “Turban Cowboy” episode of “Family Guy” from the Fox website, Hulu Plus and other online video streaming outlets. The network also said that they have no plans to show an encore of the episode during any time in the immediate future.