In Chicago: GTA IV Ads to Be Pulled From Buses as Transit Authority Caves to Pressure

As police and city officials in Chicago deal with a rash of recent shooting incidents, the local Fox News affiliate has questioned the posting of ads for Grand Theft Auto IV on buses and buildings of the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA).

And, just like that, CTA president Ron Huberman folded on the issue, telling Fox News through a representative that the ads would be removed.

It’s not the first time that Chicago’s buses have provided the setting for a GTA controversy. In 2004 Gov. Rod Blagojevich railed against transit ads for GTA San Andreas.

Over the years, GTA transit ads have come under fire in other cities as well. In 2006 Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and others forced the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA) to pull ads for GTA Vice City Stories. The transit chief there justified his decision by issuing a policy which equates M-rated games with X-rated movies.

In the past, GTA bus ads have also come under fire in Portland, Oregon and Denver.

GamePolitics is awaiting comment from GTA IV publisher Take Two Interactive. We also sought comment from the ESA, which referred us back to T2.

GP: The GTA IV transit ads shown by Fox News depict neither violence nor sex. Does the CTA reject ads for R-rated movies? Suggestive or violent television programs?

As I’ve written before, the video game industry needs to assert its First Amendment rights in these cases, which essentially come down to selective censorship by quasi-governmental entities.

UPDATE: I should add that in 2003 a group called Change the Climate successfully sued the MBTA when it refused to run ads calling for a debate on marijuana laws. In that case, the U.S. First Circuit Court held that:

There is direct evidence through statements made by MBTA officials that the reason for rejecting the advertisements was actually a distaste for Change the Climate’s viewpoint.

This suspicion of viewpoint discrimination is deepened by the fact that the MBTA has run a number of ads promoting alcohol that are clearly more appealing to juveniles than the ads here.

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone


  1. 0
    Avea says:

    As for flat out lying, the Mass Effect thing’s the only one I’m aware of. Mostly it’s how they birddog their guests whenever they dissagree with the reporters. Oh, and how they fired a lady for not lying on air, and when she sued them, they won. That upset many people.



  2. 0
    EricT says:

    “And for those defending this game they sound stupid in there defense. Just play the darn game and keep your mouth shut. Defending it is just plain stupid.”

    Telling people to shut up about, as if it’s something we should be ashamed of, is just plain stupid. It’s a freakin’ VIDEOGAME. No matter what you do in GTA4, you have not *actually* harmed *anyone*. You have wiggled your fingers and caused pixels on a screen to change color. That’s all.

    If getting titillated by depictions of sex and violence means there’s something wrong with you, then there’s something wrong with *all* of us, and we need to immediately shut down a majority of radio and television stations, and start burning books and film reels, because that shit pervades *all* human cultures.

    Who exactly are you helping by pretending that your 14 year old — in 2008, in the age of the Internet, in the age of cable television, when shows like South Park have been playing on the Cartoon Channel for over a decade — is so naive and sheltered that GTA4 is going to represent his passage out of innocence? There are popular games like Dead Rising, where you literally hack people limb from limb, splashing blood and gore all over the environment. Nothing in GTA even comes close. Any number of TV shows have far more graphic sexuality than *anything* in GTA.

    GTA presents a cartoonish, and often intentionally humorous, depiction of violence and sexuality. It’s nowhere near as affecting as a good film, and nowhere near as able to influence as popular music, because emotional buy-in is much less intense in a non-linear format. When a little boy has his GIJoes shoot at each other, does that make him a sociopathic murder-to-be? Should we be appalled at depravity? No. It’s *play*. It’s not real. That’s all we’re doing in GTA, playing with digital Hot Wheels and action figures. Nobody gets hurt. It’s not lowering our ‘murder threshold’ or tempting us to shoot up heroin and pimp out our sisters.

    The ignorant hysteria over this is unbelievable. This is movies/comic books/heavy metal/etc. all over again. My wife, who’s into history, points out that this kind of hysteria goes back as far as you want to look, to things like the introduction of the garter belt. Apparently people just aren’t very good at learning from the past, and we are indeed doomed to repeat the same stupid shit over and over again.

  3. 0
    DarthDeez says:

    Also in harmony with my previous post is the notion or act of murder and crude sex okay especially for kids as long as it’s simulated or virtual. I’m not saying I haven’t played GTA but:

    1. I’m an married and responsible adult in my thirties.

    2. I would never BRAG about the atrocities of the game.

    It’s a guilty pleasure that I play occasionally. But I would never think it’s okay for kids to play. And for those defending this game they sound stupid in there defense. Just play the darn game and keep your mouth shut. Defending it is just plain stupid.

  4. 0
    DarthDeez says:

    Below are actual post from kids and adults (around 80-85% kids though) conversing on an ONLINE MESSAGE BOARD regarding Rockstar Games new title – “GRAND THEFT AUTO IV”. This thread or chat sequence is from a conversation started called “Tell me the sickest thing you‘ve done“. Now this game is only supposed to be sold to adults. Many of these adults either buy it for their children, themselves, or both. When asked about the despicable and controversial content, defenders/players of the game deny this form of entertainment does not harm the subconscious mind. In fact they blame parents for their children’s behavior not games, movies, music, etc. While that defense contains some truth, it contradics itself – because a good parent wouldn’t let their child play a game like GTA . So in essense their calling their parents bad.
    For those of you who aren’t familiar with the “GTA” series it involves horrific violence, lewd sex including prostitution, profanity, theft, alluding authorities, and large amounts of other crude and morally depraved acts in a free roam open world atmosphere. That means you have no restrictions, but instead control what and where the player goes and does at anytime in an entire city which contains strip clubs, bars, drug and gun houses, etc. This new game GTA IV has been released on the new High Definition consoles like the Playstation 3 and the X-Box 360, which contain more photo realistic graphics (in other words you pretty much see every bad thing you do. I compiled or copied the post thread so many of you can see what the children (and some irresponsible and mentally unstable adults) are playing. The tone from these players is one of delight and laughter at these acts their admitting to doing in the game. I did not alter the comments, words, or even letters in anyway.

    P.S. – LOL means laugh out load for those who don’t know. And Roman and Michelle are characters in the game. Numbered star wanted level is the level of authorities after you which include Police, Feds/Government, and Military. The higher the level the greater the authority will come after you (6 being the highest).

    I do not wish to display the name of the board due to legal issues. But it is a well known one.

    The comments. Each dash (-) represents a new comment or post starting with the opening post:

    – Give it to me, your sickest experiance so far in GTA4. How *beep* up can you get???

    – Shot up the hospital. One of the nurses was on the ground pleading and I shot her right in the face. Then after killing everyone inside, I killed all the cops charging in through the front door until I died.

    – I cant believe you shot the nurse in the face!

    – I cant play till I get home from work, but i am living my sickness through your sickness. So did her head splatter or what?

    – Well her head kinda jolted back, and blood splattered all over the ground. And before that, when I first started shooting, there were a bunch of people sitting down. I went up behind some guy, aimed my shotgun at the back of his head and fired. He kinda slumped down onto the ground and everyone started screaming, a few people ran but most of them were kinda crouching on the ground looking scared. I went from person to person with my uzi, killing every single one of them.

    Another time I shotgunned an old lady in the face through her windshield. Then I shotgunned her husband in the passenger’s seat but he didn’t die, and kinda stumbled out of the car. So I got inside the car and ran him over a few times.

    – Oh! You guys are sick! lol but seriously tho omg…

    – Stop being so sick!

    – It’s conversations like this that get me all moist and sticky.

    – This is funny as hell

    – Then get out of here!

    – I know this is probably more of a “had-to-be-there” moment. I was going about 90 miles an hour not looking and then i glanced up just in time to see my car plow right into some sort of mime or mexican flamenco musician or something. He was just crossing the road right there in the middle. The reaction on his face and him flying over the hood was just perfect. By the way, it’s really neat to see these things from the in-car camera. Also, there’s boxes and barriers and cones galore and those are fun to plow thru as well. Also you can cross the bridges into the other boroughs and see what a six-star wanted level is like. I lasted 10 minutes one time. I can’t wait to get the rocket launcher. And the helicopter.

    – 3 STAR WANTED LEVEL feds are on my hummer, i dive out just as the chopper comes into play, the hummer is blown up by police bullets and takes out numerous fed and civillian cars. I am now on foot. I run up on a slick looking car and as i punch the drivers lights out and drag out the driver, as i do this the feds try to blast me with a shoutgun and in the process blast the driver who is covering me. He hits the floor and his blood is splattered all over the passengers door. I later die on foot. EPIC

    – The sickest moment I’ve had so far was drunk driving. I took Michelle to a bar and got a little drunk but manage to drive her home OK. I thought driving drunk was pretty cool so I decided to take Roman out also. When we got out of the bar we were hammered. It wasn’t too long before the cops were on our tail. Eventually the car caught fire and I jumped out, leaving poor Roman in the ensuing flames, which still looked sick. I had to pick him up at the hospital shortly after.

    I’m sure that there are crazier things you can do in the game. I’ve only played for a couple hours, but if you haven’t tried driving drunk I highly recommend it.

    – Speaking of Michelle and the chicks, do they actually show you being intimate with the hos or dates? Or, is it like in the other ones, where the car shakes and that’s about it?

    – I have the Australian version, so the car just shakes when you pick up a prostitute. With girlfriends, it just shows the outside of the their house, and you can hear what’s going on.

    With prostitutes in the uncensored version you can actually see humping though.

    – Ok, cool. I’m pretty sure mine is the uncensored version, since it has the “mature” rating/ I’ll have to see what happens when I come across a whore.

    – I found these two vagrants and I smacked their faces in with a baseball bat. When one of them was running away I got in a car and chased him to a dead-end where I smacked my car into him which smashed him into a wall and you could hear him shout ‘BEANS!’ as I crushed him.

    – Oh, I thought of another one. I accidentally fired my pistol while I was inside my safe house and it gave me a wanted level. I didn’t think anything would happen because I was inside the apartment, but funnily enough about thirty seconds later a cop showed up. I killed him, and then proceeded to kill all the cops who attempted to get into the apartment. One of the cops I shot a couple times and he fell to the ground. He started crawling along, and he said ‘please…I have children…’

    I aimed my shotgun down at his back and fired. It was at that moment that I realised I’m a morally corrupt human being…because I laughed.

    – Did he try to make his death funny? You know, by shouting ‘MURDER ME!’ or ‘Shakespeare!’ as he got shot?

    – Hah, that would’ve been awesome.

    But no all he did was plead for his life before I put him out of his misery.

    – MAN YOU ARE SICK!!!!!
    Tell me more! Tell me more!!!

    – I went on the train platform. Killed a few people . I like when they run and scramble. It’s fun to shoot them in the back with the shotgun as they run down the stairs. Also fun to shoot them onto the platform as the train’s coming in.

    Anyway, the police were on my back so I ran down the track (there’s a bit in the middle that trains don’t come down) and stood there, about halfway between two stations. I knew the police wouldn’t come. So I started firing down through the gap at the police on the street below me. They got snipers on nearby rooftops, they sent the helicopters, and I solved all of that with the rocket launcher. When I got bored, I put in the cheat to get rid of the wanted level and ran down the track to the next stop. At the next station, I pushed someone onto the tracks and fell down too. We fought a little on the track, but somehow some other guy started fighting him, and I got up and watched them from the platform. Of course, a train came a few seconds later, killing them both.

    I’ve also annihilated the bowling alley and strip club. Shot the stripper while she was twisting herself around the pole.

    – lso fun to shoot them onto the platform as the train’s coming in.

    Hahaha! Awesome! Man, we’re all just a bunch of sociopathic killin’ machines! I love it!

    You don’t spin a menorah.

    – i was driving eratically down a hill in a sentinal when i hit a chick and she bounced off a lightpost into oncoming traffic were she was thrown into the ditch like a dead deer.

    – I was doing stunt jumps on a motorcylce and got clotheslined by a highway sign. It took me off the bike and I fell into the highway where I got nailed by a semi. THe combination of the clothesline, fall, and truck was enough to take me from full health to dead.

    – I dont really aim to do that many sick things but most mornings if im passing the beach I like to take a walk down to the water and punch that pussy in the face who’s doing the Tai Chi. He always runs away. I never kill him tho, I like to come back thinking its the same guy everytime I punch him.

    Oh actually, after one of my trips to the beach I saw a woman using those binocular things, I walked up and blasted her in the back of the head and then used the binoculars myself.

    – As a morning exercise, when I lived in Roman’s place, I walked out the door and shot the hotdog stand guy on the opposite side of the street in the head.

    I went into the hospital and beat the people lying on beds with a baseball bat. When the cops finally showed up, I killed about a hundred. They were all lying at the entrance, so other cops fell over them.

    A fun, though not sick, thing to do is to start a fight at the strip club. I love to do that while Roman is with me and we were supposed to go eat.
    – Speaking of the strip club…

    I went in to the club, had a nice little hottie take me back to the champaign room for a lapdance. After her dance she says “Ohh, i need to finish myself off after that one.”
    This offended me deeply, so in retribution I beat the hell out of her like a…well, like a cheap whore. Of course then the bouncer has to show up, and gets shotgunned as well as the few remaining patrons in the club running wild like cattle in a pornographic stampede. Noticing the strippers cowering by their poles I dispatch all but one and as I step on the platform and aim that gun at her head she mutters something about “college money” and I paint the floor with her head. Then I go down in a blaze of glory as the cops rush the place…..

    This is what I seek in a game.


    Be mindful parents and adults in general. This is what MANY children and deranged or *deranged in the making* adults have access to. I know the majority of players of this game will not immediately go out and start a murderous rampage. But the LONG TERM effects that this content may have on children is the concern. And this crudeness WILL manifest itself if not by action but attitude and speech as you read above… Advertising this game in very public settings will create the urge for kids to get their hands on it. As I have said before if they can’t advertise pornography on the side of a bus why this game. It’s for Adults only.

  5. 0
    Laughing says:

    You all are missing one very interesting angle.

    While I agree that the gaming industry needs to do a better job of standing up for itself, in a weird way having the local FOX news affiliate in Chicago get all moralistic and having the CTA pull the extremely tame ads for the game (I live in the Chicago area, I’ve seen ’em for weeks now … there are “worse” ads the CTA has run) … Somehow this all seems to suit the “self-image” of the game. It styles itself as the “bad boy” of video games, with more freedom for sex, drugs, violence, and crime than other games. Cripes, it’s only got an “M” rating. You dig around, there’s far worse crap out there with way more sex, drugs, violence, and crime portrayed. Just from the looks of it, though, most of the stuff exists for its own sake and not for good gameplay. And if I’m not misremembering, ESRB will, if you push the envelope far enough, actually label something with an “R”. People comparing GTA to X-rated material are probably just more scared than anything. It’s a new medium. People get scared of new media. But back to the point I was making, I think both the publisher and the developer stand to profit a little bit in this case over the fact that this particular series has a “rep” outside the gaming audience as a “shameful example of violence and debauchery”. Think about it. When you step into the world of Grand Theft Auto, you’re stepping into the world where your the game’s protagonist/antihero is veiwed in much the same way. It’s symmetrical. And it reinforces the gaming experience, I’d imagine, to some small degree. (I’m not a GTA fan, so I can’t speak from personal experience here … there have been plenty of other games that are more my type. I’ve been playing these way too long.)

  6. 0

    […] The hysteria surrounding the release of GTA IV has officially crossed into the realm of the absurd as moralizing groups of busybodies lead (shockingly) by Fox News successfully forced the transit authorities in Chicago to pull GTA IV ads from their buses. In Miami, professional attention whore Jack Thompson forced the Miami-Dade transit authority to yank GTA IV ads from bus shelters. […]

  7. 0

    […] O texto de hoje foi publicado na revista GameMaster de fevereiro desse ano, por ocasião da proibição de Counter-Strike e EverQuest. Porém, selecionei-o para voltar à ativa porque o assunto está mais vivo que nunca, com a recente proibição de Bully e a iminência do lançamento de Grand Theft Auto IV, que já causa burburinho pelo mundo e traz incertezas sobre seu possível lançamento oficial no Brasil. […]

  8. 0
    BatmanASB says:

    It’s not the ads to blame for shootings, it’s the gun control problems in the cities. The only guns that should be made are the ones for police, military, and hunting. The government is stupid for letting people carry around guns for “self-defense”, the government should fix this gun problem instead of blaming it all on M-Rated games!

  9. 0

    […] According to a report on Monday from GamePolitics, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) has caved to minimal pressure from FOX News regarding the use of advertisements promoting the latest installment of Grand Theft Auto IV on public transportation throughout the city. The local Chicago affiliate of the controversial news desk questioned the city’s use of the ads, stating, “With so much focus on kids and violence these days, we wondered why ads for a violent video game have begun popping up again on CTA buses and train stations.” Days later the ads were pulled. […]

  10. 0

    […] According to a report on Monday from GamePolitics, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) has caved to minimal pressure from FOX News regarding the use of advertisements promoting the latest installment of Grand Theft Auto IV on public transportation throughout the city. The local Chicago affiliate of the controversial news desk questioned the city’s use of the ads, stating, “With so much focus on kids and violence these days, we wondered why ads for a violent video game have begun popping up again on CTA buses and train stations.” Days later the ads were pulled. […]

  11. 0
    Tony says:

    I live in Chicago and I have to say there’s definitely a difference between the content of Fox News proper and Fox News Chicago. They’ve had largely the same anchorpeople and reporters since before Fox News was even of importance on cable TV.

    I’m not naive enough to imagine the cable network has no effect on the local stations, but there’s definitely a difference in content and tone, particularly given how liberal Chicago is in general. I don’t think you can apply the Mass Effect issues and so forth directly to this affiliate.

  12. 0
    Justin says:

    There are three sides to this coin. First off on a financial side Rockstar won’t lose any money with the removals of their ads. I work for the smallest Blockbuster store in our region and we have over 50 presales for the game. Second, I can understand where the city of Chicago might not want to advertise GTA in a time when violence is spiraling out of control, cuz lets face even though the ads didn’t depict violence when you say Grand Theft Auto you don’t think of cute and cuddly kittens. But on the same note it is wrong for Fox News to try to alienate and demonize (Albeit it’s not the first time they’ve done this.)a game for being the most hazardous thing advertised to children. Hell if they stay up late enough they catch ads for the Playhouse, and I’m pretty sure this is not a child’s playhouse. Third, I do believe R*/Take Two should get their money back for the pulling of the ads. I’m not from Chicago but if the CTA is losing money then they shouldn’t have let Fox News bully them into pulling the ads or at least asked Fox to cover all the money lost.

  13. 0
    James Ether says:

    See, I am from Chicago, and the CTA is in deep financial trouble. It’s actually a huge issue because the city wants to hold the Olympics but the CTA is almost bankrupt (having been bailed out by the governor at least once) and has been canceling alot of the routes. I don’t think that the first amendment rights of anyone has been infringed because it’s simply paid advertisement and Rockstar knows that if it allows companies to make controversy out of their games they gain more puiblicity. Inversely by taking legal action Rockstar makes companies wary or making controversy out of games because of legal repercussions i think it’s all playing ou tinto Rockstar’s ands because this really isnt the first time this has happened. it’s just a poor buisness move on the part of the CTA

  14. 0

    […] Seven days from the launch of a game that will probably hurt the box office receipts of Iron Man, I’m keeping myself in check over the deluge of information concerning GTA IV. It’s extremely tough to keep myself in the dark about one of the most anticipated titles in this generation of gaming, but a fresh entrance into the title is something that can’t be understated concerning the cinematic nature of the narrative. One story did mange to slip through the crack though; a piece over at Gamepolitics on the removal of a GTA IV advertisement from Chicago city buses. To sum up the article, the Fox News affiliate in Chicago pressured the transit authority to remove the advertisement. […]

  15. 0

    […] The Chicago Transit Authority has decided to pull down all Grand Theft Auto IV advertisements. A local Fox News affiliate reported on the subject, leading to a response by the president of the CTA, Ron Huberman that agreed to take down the ads. The question was triggered by the recent major school shootings occurring in the Windy City. Illinois is notorious for being especially critical of violent video games. […]

  16. 0
    MasterAssassin ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    The CTA are a bunch of hypocrites. And with thier recent funding problem, you would think they would be smart and take the ads. I also saw an add for Street Kings on a bus yet nothing was said over that. Couldn’t R* sue them for breach of contract though?

  17. 0
    hcf ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Let’s not get too drawn up into the righteous indignation…Rockstar is running ads here in the bay area on buses as well, and although I haven’t got a whiff of any controversy over it, it seems to me they’re running ads on transit purposefully to evoke the kind of media attention they’ve gotten in Boston and so forth. They want this result, that’s why they’re not suing over it.

    If at some point some game developer tries to run an ad and really needs the ad space and not the controversy-generator, then that’s another fish to fry.

  18. 0
    John Q Public says:

    Perhaps to a point, but the mere fact of more guns isn’t going to make things automatically better. I am more of the line of stiffer punishment for gun crime, and the black market for selling guns along the line of drug smuggling after all by the very definition someone buying a black market gun has illegal intent. after all a law abiding citizen would buy their legally. And this idea of muggings going down due to concealed weapons on the surface may at first blush seem logical, how about another perspective, the robber shoots first then rob you? After all why take the chance?? And not to mention the number of high strung people in traffic these days lets add more guns in mix? Plus the problem of children and guns (School shootings) I believe the vast majority got the guns from home not the black market. Also an FBI stat from a few years ago cited that most gun violence in the home wasn’t the result from an intruder using a gun on home owner but from someone in the home using it against a family member. Another supply of black market guns were stolen from law abiding citizens. And another thing to ponder say you get a citizen and a bad guy to square off, care to get caught in that cross fire, or worst yet the citizen shoots and kill the wrong person, or in a dark parking garage someone shoots some poor guy trying to find his car after working over time. Or guns in bars? Nothing spells a good time like alcohol and fire arms. I live in an area that has a concealed weapons law but certain places you can not carry it (bars and churches for example), so you leave it in the car?? Car is stolen or broken into another gun in the hands of a criminal.

    I just pointed of just a few situations where good intentions can lead to adverse out comes; so more guns don’t make you safer the same as saying citizens can’t get guns in of itself won’t fix either. But the US has more gun death and violence than all of the other western contries combined yet something else to ponder.

    But I do think gun traing and gun safety would help after all you have to get a license and past a test to drive a car why not something simular for having a gun?? Even law enforcement have to get gun certified and recertified?

    The point I was trying to make that just the mere fact of more guns won’t make you safer, and keeping guns out of the hands of citizens will solve it either. One approach mayne very harsh sentences for criminals even caught with a gun.

  19. 0
    Father Time ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    Just to clarify the pro-gun position is (summed up) that bad guys will always get their guns due to the black market so let regular citizens have concealed carry so they can defend themselves they figure if more citizens (who live in those areas) carry concealed guns muggings and whatnot will decrease since the criminals will now fear the armed victim even more (since there are more of them). It’s not the same thing as saying drugs can solve a drug problem, since you can’t use illegal drugs to cure addiction.

  20. 0
    John Q Public says:


    You are right Fox News don’t express thier left wing views on air, they express their right wing views on air.

    *****Off Topic Soap Box Moment*******

    So Chicago is the only city with a gang problem and its down to the Mayor’s political views; and more guns is going to solve gun crime? And before you decide I am anti-gun I am not, I disagree that more guns is going to make it better, That’s like saying to someone with a drug problem take more drugs, or to solve the drug problem legalize drugs, you shifted the problem not solved it; but thats off topic about slanted news coverage and how video games is the cause of society’s problems, before that it was TV and movies, Rock music, and way back when in Salem it was witches; but not to mention the problems, of poverty, poor education and lack of economic opportunity as causes .

  21. 0
    JustChris says:

    “The thing that really bothers me about this is that the CTA consistently is facing budget cutbacks….”

    Right on. At a time where our fare rates are almost increasing again, and a lot of maintenance work is to be done on the rail system, cutting back a few controversial ads doesn’t sound like high priority. I haven’t even seen one of those ads in the CTA buses so far. I still see a few on giant billboards, though, while riding on one of their trains.

    Also, GTA is the only game where I see is aggressively marketed everywhere. No other popular mainstream games come close to it.

  22. 0
    Aliasalpha says:

    @TheEdge & anyone else wondering about fox

    I’d recommend finding a copy of the Al Franken book “Lies And The Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair And Balanced Look At The Right”, it’s a pretty comprehensive accounting of the bollocks in the media. Even if you take the not-unreasonable position of assuming he’s hyping it up (Even though he actually cites sources & explains them), there’s still a LOT of substantiated stuff.

  23. 0
    Father Time ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    One more thing, bringing up gun control right now would be de-railing a topic which is something that should generally be avoided when having serious discussions on the internet.

    Oh and neither the governor nor the mayor demanded the ads be taken down so bringing them up would also be off-topic.

  24. 0
    Father Time ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    Apparently you weren’t here when they called Mass Effect pronographic or when they won the right to lie and perhaps you haven’t noticed their clear as day bias (oh and the reason we aren’t bashing the other news networks is because this story comes from fox not the other networks)

    And apparently you also weren’t here for the HUGE gun-control debates we’ve had here. Not all of us are anti-gun (like me for example).

    But please ranting nonsensical conspiracy theories are great to listen to especially since Jack has apparently left us.

  25. 0
    Father Time ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “We shouldn’t block advertisements because you don’t know how to do your job as a parent?”

    Did I just hear those words coming from a FOX news report…

    err rapture watch guys you may want to take a look at this.

  26. 0
    ZoneDaiatlas says:

    Get off the “I HATE FOX NEWS” alright? I’m sorry Fox News doesn’t express their left wing views like CNN (Communist News Network) or PMSNBC/MSDNC does everyday on their networks.

    It’s also nice to know that you won’t mention the political affliation of the Governor and the Anti-Gun loser Mayor, because both of them are LIBERAL DEMOCRATS! Just maybe if Mayor Daley let law bidding citizen to own a gun since it’s stated in the Consitution your city wouldn’t be infested with gangs.

  27. 0
    Anon says:

    Lol, there are GTAIV ads all over. Store fronts, billboards, even some building in NY have a giant Niko painted on the side.

    So why the buses? It’s complete BS if you ask me. I see R rated movies with a lot of violence on bus ads all the time, what makes video games different?

  28. 0
    Brandon ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ DarknessDeku

    I never said it wouldn’t I just meant that if GP started to report on more than just games I would trust it as unbiased… although if he did start to become biased I’m sure we would all crucify him… figurativly speaking.

  29. 0
    Aaron says:

    This goes to show you what kind of crooks we have running this state. It’s nothing but freaking Crook County filth that takes kickbacks and subsidies like it’s nothing. And you wonder why Chicago has become more costly to live in these days.

  30. 0
    Brandon ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Guys I just checked out the FOX site where the video is and I noticed at the top of the page is an ad for Miller beer; inarguably more dangerous than video games.

  31. 0
    Brandon ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    This reminds me of that trainstation in… Boston I beleave that was forced to take down GTA: Vice City ads but was plastered with ads for some brand of hard liqour

  32. 0
    IN Kraft says:

    “Go back to bed America, your government is in control once again…
    You are free to do as we tell you!
    You are free to do as we tell you!”

    – We Want Your Soul, Adam Freeland

  33. 0
    John Q Public says:

    @ JC Fox didn’t have anything to do with the sorry???? Come now you know better than that. Wasn’t it on the FOX network??

    Not to mention the slanted reporting on the game Mass Effect. I just find it very courious that Fox News or as I like to call them the “Cartoon Network” would rail against so called mature material considering the content that Fox has put on the “Public Airwaves over the years, and the tabloids owned by News Corp and the R movies made and distributed by 20th Century Fox and other studios owned by News Corp. I guess they can only rail against their competitor’s smut not their own.

    Well for me I need the facts not to told what to think I am more than able to do that for myself.

    @ The Edge well you should watch it for a week and see for yourself. Well a major one “The War” but to be fair many lap dogs in the media took part in that one. The echo chamber they call fair and balanced. Isn’t there a law regarding truth in advertising. Well I can suggest watch O’Reilly then watch Countdown on MSNBC I think you will get a clear picture on the bias.

  34. 0
    GRIZZAM 512 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    As for flat out lying, the Mass Effect thing’s the only one I’m aware of. Mostly it’s how they birddog their guests whenever they dissagree with the reporters. Oh, and how they fired a lady for not lying on air, and when she sued them, they won. That upset many people.

  35. 0
    GRIZZAM 512 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Yep. FOX taught me how to be a good reporter. If someone dissagrees with you, you just make wierd noises and cut them off until they get frustrated and decide to leave, and then when they sue you for slander, you sue them for not agreeing with you, and then you get 6 million dollars in a settlement and start to invite only those who agree with you on to your show, and then, because so many people take the stupid shit you say at face value, you convince the world to turn on itself and elect you president, upon which, you erode people’s rights until you trigger a rebelion and are exiled. Yep…I report, you die inside…(END RUN ON SENTENCE)

  36. 0
    J C says:


    News Affiliates are pretty much independent. It just seems to me, that people want any excuse to bash Fox News, when they didn’t really have anything to do with this story.

  37. 0
    TheEdge ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @anyone who will answer

    Sorry, aside from the lying fest that was Mass Effect,what else has FOX NEWS said that was false and misleading?I don’t watch much(I may occasionally watch with My Dad)but I keep hearing stories about ho they mislead viewers.
    Would you give me some examples?

  38. 0
    Nash ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Im sorry but does FOX regularly go find the dumbest people on the street when it comes to videogames?

    The first lady interviewed blamed the ads for violence?

    Im sorry but if your child is dumb and retarded enough to be persuaded by and ad of a few guys in a lineup, you are a terrible parent.

    The second lady with sunglasses was probably the smartest one there and even the FOX decided to bash her comment..

    I hope the CTA pays back the money to Rockstar, if you cave in to the retards at FOX you got to pay back the guys who spent over 90 grand on their ads which under my assumption had a contract…

    Plus that news anchor is a fool…period…what happened to unbiased reporting?

  39. 0
    GRIZZAM 512 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    Probably. That was the thing about Boston; they took down the GTA ads, but left the Sopranos ads up. This is probably no different.

  40. 0

    […] Shameful. After MyFox Chicago ran a little piece questioning why a violent game is being advertised on city buses, the head of the Chicago Transit Authority had the ads removed. There are so many things wrong with this, from ignorance on parade to the violation of free speech as a public authority arbitrarily decides what gets to be advertised and what doesn’t. Earlier they decided that M-rated games were equivalent to X-rated movies. […]

  41. 0
    Loudspeaker ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I completely agree that CTA has violated R*/Take Two’s right to free speech. However, good points have been brought up that such a fight would bring negative focus on Take Two as a company.

    I suggest an alternative angle that still proves they’ve got some cahones on ’em.

    Sue CTA for misrepresentation of their product, aka advertising.

    Those signs on those buses had to be approved BEFORE the contract for advertising was signed and CTA received funds. What went on the buses was no surprise, it was just Faux News making noise and the city of Chicago bowing down. Make them pay monetarily. Make this kind of action VERY costly to those who do it.

  42. 0
    mlucky says:

    fox distorts games again.

    one person thinks it should stay and everyone else wants them down? a little bit uneven air time.

    that and mentioning a bunch of killings in the city before hand.

    EA should have sued Fox over the Mass Effect slander to send a message that this kind of crap is not acceptable. but it is Fox so what do you expect.

  43. 0
    Blitz Fitness ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Excellent work CTA! As you consistently raise fees due to poor budgeting, this was the best time to take a chance at reducing your advertising income.

    *Sigh* Yet another part of my hometown, Chicago, that I can’t support. Thankfully I can feed the birds at the parks, they’re at least neutral on the videogame issue.

  44. 0
    GoodRobotUs ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Any round spherical objects will also be removed from the transit system as suggesting they had balls was obviously a gross misrepresentation of the facts.

  45. 0
    valthun ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    They absolutely need to fight for this issue. It’s not about minors seeing their ads since there is nothing on the ad that is suggesting violence. There are plenty of other M rated games that are and will continue to be advertised on public transportation. The issue should be that extremely violent movies like Saw can run ads without controversy on public transportation, and the violence with GTA IV will never be near as graphic as what Saw can be, yet get pulled due to media hype and scare tactics. I am guessing it is because the stations know they will lose hours of tv watching to this game. At least 15 hours for every copy purchased. Thats a lot of tv we aren’t watching.

  46. 0
    Ryan says:

    Knowing how slow the transit authority here is, the game will already be out before all of these get removed. And if its any sooner than I’ll be pissed because the CTA (and RTA as a whole) is a joke and if this becomes a priority … I just don’t see how Ron Huberman can keep his job.

  47. 0
    GRIZZAM 512 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Oh good lord. If they didn’t want to advertise anything with depictions of violence, that’s fine, but it’s f**ked for them to single out video games.

  48. 0
    nightstalker160 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Textbook case of content based discrimination. The game industry really needs to get off its ass and fight this one. Take Two or Rockstar could pretty easily win this kind of case.

    I understand the argument about picking your battles but this kind of case could really be a HUGE blow to the “violent video games are evil” crowd.

    In order to have this kind of discrimination upheld the CTA would be required to show there is a COMPELLING state interest in this kind of restriction. Which means they’d have to bring in real, honest to God, evidence that violent video games lead to violent behavior.

    As we all know the evidence of that is…sketchy…at best. So if Take Two or Rockstar were to fight this we could finally get a court ruling that says something to the effect of:

    “The connection between the advertisement or playing of violent video games and violent behavior is simply too tenuous to uphold regulation of the medium. The state has shown no compelling interest in this kind of content based regulation.”

    It would be a major blow to the regulation supporters. It would create a pretty iron-clad precedent that would stick barring some kind of real evidence that there is a connection between violent behavior and violent video games.

  49. 0
    Benji ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I think there’s something to be said for the industry choosing its battles. If the industry presses the point, then what? It’s protesting for its right to advertise for a highly controversial, mature-rated game, on a venue where many minors will be exposed to it? And honestly, 99% of the target demographic probably already knew the game’s coming out without any advertising at all. I suspect that ($ saved from not paying for any more CTA ads) + (sales generated from free advertisement over the controversy) > ($ from sales generated by bus ads).
    The idealists can say it’s unfair, and it is, but the pragmatists can also realize that there’s nothing much to gain from pressing the point.

  50. 0
    Cecil475 says:

    You know, its high tim the video game industry struck back. The ESA, ECA, The publishers, the developers, the consumers stood up to this. This is retarded, in every sense of the word. These people are using their power to squash this becuase they don’t like it. If you go after ads becuase of what the products, then go after all of them, and not just videogames!

    I wonder if ‘Campaign for a Commercial-free Childhood’ has anything to do with this. I tell you, You want a commerical-free childhood? Get rid of the TV, the internet and lock yourself up ant home and NEVER LEAVE THE HOUSE AGAIN! NEVER TALK TO ANYONE! DON’T READ ANY BOOKS! THROW THEM OUT! And there you have it. A ‘commerical free childhood’ and a ‘commerical free life.’

    Warren Lewis

  51. 0
    Zerodash ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    There is a reason the industry has no balls: they can survive in a world where only children’s games are made. Games with adult themes and provoking, even artistic, content are still a tiny fraction of the total games market.

    Spongebob, Hannah Montana, Mario Party, etc will always sell. The industry will do just fine without violent games.

  52. 0
    Belgarion89 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Honestly, this is probably a great move on R*’s part. As has already been stated, censoring a game only gives it free advertising, which generates more interest than a thousand bus ads. GTA4 is a big enough name that everyone probably knows about already, so a bus ad would maybe raise awareness 0.1%. And besides, R* is a big enough name that they don’t care about something silly like the CTA.

    And besides, as I have often said anyway, Chicago sucks.

  53. 0
    mogbert ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    I took for sarcasm because I don’t think anyone could say that seriously. But my rage is the half asleep, just woke up, tech support rage, and so is more optimistic about human nature. I’ll snap out of it in about 45 minutes or so.

  54. 0
    mogbert ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I don’t know where I really stand on this. Deep down I feel that the game should be allowed to be advertised wherever the company can pay to have them advertised. However, I also recognize the CTA’s right to choose who they advertise. This isn’t about law, it’s about contraversey. They don’t want to be a part of it. Unfortunately, this is seen as a contraversial move.

    I don’t see this as a First Amendment argument. There really isn’t a law against pulling the ads. It could be seen as unfair especially if the city is seeing problems before the game is even released.

  55. 0
    Aliasalpha says:

    I think that when dennis talked about their first amendment rights it was the right for rockstar/taketwo to come out and odicially say “You people are total dicks & if you don’t want our advertising money, we’ll spend it somewhere else”

    Did they actually enter into a contract to display the advertising or was this a “coming soon to busses everywhere” thing? If they had a contract, then on the surface, chicago would seem to be in breach of it.

  56. 0
    TBone Tony ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Advertise somewhere that is NOT owned by a government that thinks lowly of you.

    That is what I would be doing.

    As for cases where Fox NEWS has said some bad things about a single Videogame and exagerates to a point where they are lying and the politicians get into the game too, well the Videogame Industry just has to say to itself “OK, enough is enough, we are not going to be treated like this anymore” and start to stand up for itself.

  57. 0
    Yuki says:

    @Sean B

    Yeah, this from a person who apparently isn’t paying much attention to the fact that the industry has been whopping Censor ass in court for the past 5 years.

    Save your self serving rants for the brain dead minions in your church group.

  58. 0
    nightwng2000 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Says a lot about an organization that caves in to another organization (FOX News) that is known for false and fraudulent reporting and even won the legal Right to lie to and deceive its viewers.

    NW2K Software

  59. 0

    […] wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptAs police and city officials in Chicago deal with a rash of recent shooting incidents, the local Fox News affiliate has questioned the posting of ads for Grand Theft Auto IV on buses and buildings of the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA). And, just like that, CTA president Ron Huberman folded on the issue, telling Fox News through a representative that the ads would be removed. It’s not the first time that Chicago’s buses have provided the setting for a GTA controversy. In 2004 Gov. Rod Blagojevich railed against transit ads for GTA San Andreas. Over the years, GTA transit ads have come under fire in other cities as well. In 2006 Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and others forced the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA) to pull ads for GTA Vice City Stories. The transit chief there justified his decision by issuing a policy which equates M-rated games with X-rated movies. GTA bus ads have also come under fire […] […]

  60. 0
    SeanB says:

    This is great work from an admired public official. Video games have no right to be advertised in public. Put them where they belong, on posters in the back rooms of porn shops, where only adults can see them.

  61. 0
    Chris Wallace, Lawyer ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Are first amendment rights extended to advertising? I am not an expert in US constitutional law but I have my doubts that was the intent of this amendment. The way I see it, if a government is preventing you from your ‘expression’ then you might have a case. If a private entity (even one frunded by government) refuses to enter into an advertising contract with you, are your rights to expression being trampled upon?

    You can always advertise elsewhere.

    Now if the government is preventing most or ANY advertising by you, you may have an issue at that point.

    I am not sure this is worth pursuing.

    GP: I have to disagree. This is the further demonization of games and, by extension, gamers. What’s more, the bus companies are not private firms. They are quasi-governmental agencies, propped up in large part by tax dollars.

    Finally, NORML Change the Climate successfully sued the MBTA on this very issue in 2003.

  62. 0
    L42yB ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    Having news stories about how the ads were pulled off buses is going to give GTAIV more overall advertising (globally) than the ads would have achieved on the buses were they simply ignored by the press…

    So basically I don’t care about this. Once again the sensors achieve the complete opposite of their objective.

  63. 0
    Yuki says:

    @ Benji

    It’s called discrimination technically, but to put more of a point on it, there’s also things like “Equal rights under the law” to consider. They won’t all games but an r rated movie gets a pass?


    I still say the industry should be laying the legal smackdown on there ass.

  64. 0
    Benji ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I don’t buy the ‘first amendment’ standpoint for this – companies do not have the right to advertise on property owned by someone else.
    Unless the transit authority has lots of other advertisers lined up to take GTA’s place, though, it doesn’t make good sense. Transit authorities, like any government agency, like money.
    I don’t know if the CTA accepts money for liquor or r-rated movies offhand, but if they do I don’t think they can claim this move does anything.

  65. 0
    Yuki says:

    Again, this continues to make my point, over and over.

    THe industry has no BALLS!!!!!!

    They’d be suing the shit outta these dirt bags right now if they had any guts.

  66. 0
    JohnnyD ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Ads on buses just tell me when to be ready to buy the game, not whether I am going to buy it or not. I like to think consumers are more informed about their purchases than being swayed by advertising on public transportation.

  67. 0
    GRIZZAM 512 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I don’t know…one time when I was five or so, I saw an advertisement for the movie PREDATOR…and then I saw the actual movie…and now I’m an upstanding citizen who may just have a bright future in illustration…where the hell am I going with this?

  68. 0
    Geno ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Oh wow I live in Portland. Oregon and I never saw that those GTA ads were pulled.

    I think it’s ironic considering Portland has so much real world violence on the streets.

  69. 0
    mottom22 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ Yuki

    I think he meant it to be sarcastic. but its hard to really tell with text. if he isn’t being sarcastic, then your comment stands as is.

  70. 0
    Chris ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    The thing that really bothers me about this is that the CTA consistently is facing budget cutbacks. Here, they have a clear source of revenue from a big-time developer and they cave to pressure and lost that revenue. Blago, in his infinite wisdom, pressures them in 2004 to cut the ads, but then tells them they aren’t going to receive the same amount of state funds. It seems a touch ridiculous.

    It should also be mentioned again that Blago spent millions of dollars of taxpayer funds in his ill-advised crusade against games. All during a year of historic shortfalls in the state budget. To think, there was no other suitable alternative last gubernatorial election cycle.

Leave a Reply