Turban Cowboy: Family Guy’s Boston Marathon Bombing Predictive Programming?
April 16, 2013 in Weird News
On March 17th 2013, an episode of Family guy aired on the Fox News network entitled “Turban Cowboy“, and it appears as if some predictive programming may be at play in the episode. The main character of the show Peter Griffin is seen at the Boston Marathon killing people with his car in an attempt to win the race. He is shown on a news program at the finish line with mangled bodies in the background. Later he is seen placing cell phone calls which result in two explosions. The plot of the episode according to the Wikipedia article is as follows:
As Peter, Joe, and Quagmire hang out at The Drunken Clam, they decide to do something to shake up their boring lives. They take Peter up on his suggestion to take up skydiving. Peter is invigorated by their jump and keeps up skydiving despite Lois’ concern, even as his jumps usually result in accidents like falling on Meg at dinner, falling on a ninja that killed a woman, and falling on the castle of the Pig King from Angry Birds with only one pig not ended up killed. An accident at the Eiffel Tower replica in Las Vegas lands Peter in the hospital where he meets Mahmoud, a Muslim. He finds he gets along great with Mahmoud. Back at the Drunken Clam, Peter has Mahmoud stop by to introduce him to Quagmire, Joe, and Brian. They find he has nothing in common with them when he refuses to drink or look at other women. Mahmoud introduces Peter to Islamic culture and he becomes interested in becoming a Muslim. Lois has reservations as Peter starts studying Islam in-depth although she decides to let it pass. Joe and Quagmire also voice their suspicions about Mahmoud as Peter tries to dial up Mahmoud twice only to cause some explosions off-screen. Mahmoud later invites Peter to a Muslim get-together but finds himself unwitting involved with terrorists intent on blowing up the Quahog Bridge.
When Peter drops that he is trying to act inauspicious, the guys begin to suspect that he is involved with terrorists.
One scene depicts a mass killing of participants at the Boston Marathon (clip can be seen here):
At 3 minutes, 33 seconds into the episode: As Peter is skydiving:
Peter: Holy crap, this is awesome! I haven’t felt a rush like this since I won that marathon!
Cue flashback: Peter is speeding his car, killing runners at a marathon
Cue news interview after marathon killing:
Bob Costas: I’m Bob Costas, here with Boston Marathon winner Peter Griffin. Peter, how did you do it?
(background image shows Peter smiling in his blood-drenched car, raising a clenched left fist as he crosses the finish line past many dead bodies)
Peter: I’ll tell ya, Bob, I just got in my car and drove it. And when there was a guy in my way, I killed him.
The second scene shows Peter activating twin explosions (clip can be seen here):
At 15 minutes, 6 seconds into the episode Inside of a tavern:
Joe: Peter, I think you joined a terrorist sleeper cell.
Peter: What? That’s crazy. Look, I’m gonna call Mahmoud right now on this cell phone he gave me. He’ll tell ya.
(Peter dials phone) (An explosion sounds in the distance)
Peter: Damn phone’s busted. Maybe I dialed wrong.
(Peter dials again) (A second explosion sounds in the distance, multiple people are heard screaming)
It is interesting to note that the episode involves Peter Griffin, the protagonist and patriarch of the Family Guy show who is an average white citizen of the US becoming unwittingly embroiled in a terrorist plot. This narrative has been constantly touted by the SPLC and DHS that members of the Tea Party will join forces with Al Qaeda. It is not a distant leap to infer that these groups may unwittingly join forces with Al Qaeda as the episode implies. It is also interesting that in the wake of the Boston marathon bombing all cell phone service was shut down by the Boston police to “to prevent any potential remote detonations of explosives” according to officials, and in the episode Peter Griffin is seen making phone calls that cause explosions (see clip).
Predictive Programming is not a new phenomena. On March 4th 2001, the pilot episode of “The Lone Gunman” famously predicted (or as some claim famously used predictive programming to ready the public response) the 9/11/01 attacks. The pilot episode depicted a plane being flown into the New York World Trade Center; it originally aired six months before 9/11. Foreshadowing a number of conspiracy theories which would arise in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks, the plot of the March 4, 2001 episode depicts a secret faction within the US government plotting to hijack a Boeing 727 and fly it into the World Trade Center by remote control. The stated motive was to increase the military defense budget by blaming the attack on foreign interests. In the episode, the plot is foiled by the protagonists, who board the doomed plane and deactivate the malicious autopilot system just seconds before the plane would have reached the World Trade Center.
In addition to the Lone Gunman pilot, The episode of The Simpsons called “The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson” originally aired on FOX on September 17, 1997 and famously showed 9/11 on the cover of New York Magazine, with the nine purportedly being the price of the magazine and the 11 being the twin towers themselves as seen in the screenshot below. Due to the prominence of the World Trade Center in the plot, the episode was removed from syndication after the September 11 attacks. By 2006 the episode had come back into syndication in some areas; however, parts of the episode are often edited out. One previously such edited item is a scene of two men arguing across Tower 1 and Tower 2, where a man from Tower 2 claims, “They stick all the jerks in Tower One!” Co-executive producer Bill Oakley commented in retrospect that the line was “regrettable”.
Family Guy is renowned for the attempt on every episode of being shocking and funny. Turban Cowboy however, is just plain shocking. The coincidence of death at the end of the Boston Marathon is extremely suspect to say the least. Did Family Guy foretell the future? Is this another example of predictive programming? Or, is it just an unusual and timely coincidence? One thing for sure, you won’t be seeing that episode again on TV any time soon.