Conspiracy theories about the Boston Marathon bombing started popping up online within hours of the tragedy Monday (April 15). Some of the “evidence” cited in the claims: A recent episode of “Family Guy” predicted the event.
The claim 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 the episode, Peter Griffin wins the Boston Marathon by driving the course instead of running and mowing down people in front of him. Later, he befriends a Muslim man and is unwittingly recruited to be part of a terrorist plot and causes two explosions by dialing his cell phone. The two stories are unrelated, but the edited clip makes it look as though Peter won the race by detonating bombs. Not true.
The actual marathon clip has sportscaster Bob Costas (doing his own voiceover) interviewing Peter and asking, “How did you do it?” The scene does not cut to Peter setting off an explosion. Rather, he says, “Bob, I just got in my car and drove it. And when there was a guy in my way, I killed him.”
As for the supposed “eerie” timing of the episode, it’s just a really unfortunate coincidence. Most animated series work on a schedule far ahead of live-action series, so “Turban Cowboy” was probably written more than a year ago.
FOX has pulled the episode from its website and from Hulu because of the marathon scenes. “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane says he’s upset with the faked clip.
“The edited Family Guy clip currently circulating is abhorrent,” MacFarlane writes on Twitter. “The event was a crime and a tragedy, and my thoughts are with the victims.”