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Big Blog Pranksters

Gizmodo Blogger Banned from CES

At least one Gizmodo blogger has been banned from CES for life after using a device to shut down all the flat screen monitors at CES. The Gizmodo prankster was using a TV-B-Gone Kit which fires off IR beams that power down almost every time of LCD panel. He used the device to power down many of the displays and also to disrupt at least one press event.

The Consumer Electronics Association made this comment, "We have been informed of inappropriate behavior on the show floor by a credentialed media attendee from the Web site Gizmodo, owned by Gawker Media. Specifically, the Gizmodo staffer interfered with the exhibitor booth operations of numerous companies, including disrupting at least one press event. The Gizmodo staffer violated the terms of CES media credentials and caused harm to CES exhibitors. This Gizmodo staffer has been identified and will be barred from attending any future CES events. Additional sanctions against Gizmodo and Gawker Media are under discussion."

The prank has bloggers and mainstream media debating whether or not Gizmodo should also be banned from CES. On YouTube, one viewer (umbradweller) notes, "I'm not going to say that turning off TV's isn't funny, but there is a time and place for everything, and this seems in pretty poor taste to me." while another (LJPro) notes, "Frickin' great! I've made my own trip to Best Buy to have a bit of fun in the A/V dept, but this video by far beats the look of all those poor Best Buy employees."

Perhaps the most concerning note is the concept that the CEA will use this prank as the reason not to invite bloggers to CES in 2009. AS YouTube commenter kowyzg0moo notes, "I know the CEA was already borderline with letting in bloggers and with Gizmodo committing these offenses, it puts bloggers all around in a bad light. I don't think bloggers should be putting their hopes up about attending next year's CES because of this."

My thought is that if Gizmodo was truly apologetic, they would pull the video off their site instead of profiting from the extra publicity. The 'confession' video on Gizmodo has already attracted nearly half a million views, making it one of Gizmodo's most popular articles of 2008.