Emergency Alert System harassment

mapleleaf's picture

In recent weeks, my Comcast cable TV set-top box has occasionally been hijacked in the middle of a program. The cable channel display changes to the letters EAS, and a man in religious garb is seen to harangue an invisible audience. It lasts about 90 seconds and then the system resets itself to the channel I was watching.

In the weeks before that, I’d get the same kind of interruption in my programs. But the TV would display a crude board with the words Emergency Alert System with a notice that a child had been abducted and that I should be on a lookout for a car with a given tag number. What was on the board would be read twice, very very slowly.

When you’re watching a CSI program, that kind of interruption does not improve your understanding of what’s going on. Moreover, I’m watching TV, not cars going down the road, which I can’t see for the trees anyway.

The purpose of the whole exercise seems to irritate Comcast’s cable customers. One evening on the news we learned that the child had been recovered about two hours before the alert was shown. It is obvious now that the latest alerts were screwed up by somebody who supplies the wrong feed on the EAS super-channel, a channel whose setting you cannot change while it’s on. Are we in the presence of a religious zealot intent on showing us “the way” to heaven?

Very young children are most often abducted in custody battles between the mother and the father. It is pitiful to try to inject these common disputes into the daily lives of thousands if not millions of innocent and powerless TV watchers. Every prospective drop of rain subjects us to shrunken screens and plenty of storm alerts from the local TV broadcasters, and now this from Big Brother Comcast.

There’s an obvious nut case running loose with this EAS system!

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Submitted by annoyed on Fri, 07/20/2007 - 12:46pm.

Thank you, all of you, for posting this information. I have been looking online for an explanation for what happened to me last night.

I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. Last night around 12:45 AM I was watching a program on Comcast when suddenly my cable box switched to the EAS system and I found myself watching what appeared to be photographs of a dead body laying on a hard floor with his hands tied behind his back. This was obviously a home movie, not a tv program. After four or five photographs I got a message on my screen saying that comcast was having difficulty and the screen went blank for a few seconds, then my cable went back to normal.

What I saw was really disturbing and did not look staged. I'm sure it was someone hijacking the cable channel. I only hope no one was watching when it broadcast who might have known the person.

Submitted by swmbo on Wed, 06/20/2007 - 11:45pm.

This is really simple and it only takes one phone call.

Cancel ... your ... service, period.

Cable television is not a necessity; you won't fall over into a convulsive attack if you don't have cable. But as long as you're willing to keep paying, they're willing to keep treating you like dirt.

C'mon, take a walk on the wild side; support public television and intelligent programming. You'll get stuff you can watch with your kids and the chance to give Comcast the fickle finger of fate. Laughing out loud

If you and I are always in agreement, one of us is likely armed and dangerous.

mapleleaf's picture
Submitted by mapleleaf on Thu, 06/21/2007 - 6:56am.

I've never heard of "harrassment." The word is not in my dictionary. The novel idea here, or the walk on the wild side, is adding that extra r. (Especially after my title had shown you how to spell it.)

In real life, corporations hire employees. Large corporations hire lots of them, from whatever pool is available to them. Then they train them. The best they can. Then they unleash them upon an unsuspecting public, just like our schools (from universities on down) do with their graduates. These people then go on to do their thing, and occasionally they screw up. That does not mean the whole corporation ought to be condemned, so long as the management has the right attitude and attempts to make things right. So firing Comcast is not a realistic or even a smart move.

Emmyjune's picture
Submitted by Emmyjune on Wed, 06/20/2007 - 4:06pm.

maple, my husband and I feel your pain. Not only do I absolutely HATE Comcast to begin with, but they've been hijacking our television viewing with this crap lately. What is THAT about? We don't really understand it, either. The church programming that permanently seizes our television every now and then is a particular annoyance. I've definitely noticed it lately, and my husband and I were beginning to think it was just us. Glad to know we're not the only ones suffering...

Submitted by dollaradayandfound on Tue, 06/19/2007 - 5:24pm.

CSI watching is your problem.
Several people in California were admitted last year for having delusions about crime scenes!
You know all those guys do take camera crews with them every time they go to a crime scene. It is about as real as a wrestling match by football players.
Just listen to that idiot lady from Atlanta, now on a network show, who hangs everybody under suspicion. She hasn't even been one-fourth right so far.
She used to watch CSI type shows. Watch yourself!
Have you seen the O.J. one yet?

chippie's picture
Submitted by chippie on Tue, 06/19/2007 - 3:03pm.

My husband told me he saw something like "Wayne's World" from someone's basement breaking into a show he was watching (we have Comcast, too). He said it looked like a local loser hijacking the cable channel. What's going on?

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