News and notes from Reston (tm).

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

FalconGate 2019: RTC Thwarts Will of the People, Shackles Popular Vote Like So Many Parking Bumblebees (Updated)

Someone call the UN, Jimmy Carter and all the chad counters in Florida, as the wishes of Restonians have, once again, been crushed through BLATANT electoral fraud. Wake up, sheeple!

With 64 percent of the vote, the Reston Now Readers’ Choice Award for Falcon Names clearly goes to Free and Parking — the falcons’ new nicknames.
Yay! The people have spoken. The Restonian On Your Side Election Integrity Team had been carefully monitoring the results of the election in anticipation of shenanigans. But kudos to our BFFs at Reston Now for nibbling at the hand that feeds it sponsored content at least acknowledging the top vote-getter and memesplaining the significance. But wait, what's this?
But for the official name, upon further reflection, it was clear that the regal birds deserved a more befitting, less joke-y name.

So like Boaty McBoatface before it, “Free” and “Parking” will be how the birds are remembered by many, but the clear second place winner in the voting — “Robert” and “Anne,” a reference to Reston’s founder Bob Simon and Lake Anne — will become the falcons’ actual names.

As in other totalitarian regimes strip malls, dissent is allowed--up to a point. Then the bumblebee is clamped on, metaphorically speaking, and dissent is crushed like so many would-be photographers.

Needless to say, people are taking this well. "Boston Properties still doesn't get it," one commenter wrote. "I wish the best to Robert and Anne whose life expectancy surpasses that of most tenants at RTC."

Another quickly mocked up this T-shirt:

RTC's elite crisis managers probably anticipated they'd take this hit, but that people would forget in time and learn to stop worrying and love the birds. Funny, that's also what they thought a few years ago, back before all the empty storefronts and elite nail salons and the number of lawsuits filed by its own tenants equalling the population of its beloved, if now misnamed, falcons. And we can't wait for BPX's next elite stunt!

Update: Reston Now issues an official statement about the whole naming brouhaha, saying, among other things, that they made the call to not go with Free and Parking, that "no money or favors changed hands," and that there was some "disappointing" salty language in Facebook comments about the whole situation:

The fact that we now have Boston Properties upset at us, for including “Free” and “Parking” in the poll to begin with, and readers angry at us for not selecting those names as the official winner, is frustrating to say the least.


  1. "Nickname." Snort.

    The elite PR staff must subscribe to the "no such thing as bad publicity" philosophy.

  2. Peasant From Less Sought After South RestonMay 2, 2019 at 10:35 PM

    EPIC fail! The Fox 5 10:00 PM newscast tonight reported on this naming controversy, mentioning both Reston Now's role in it and the continued unhappiness with paid parking at RTC.

    Wonder if in years to come this combined BPX/Reston Now public relations fiasco is going to end up in MBA courses, together with the 1985 New Coke disaster, as case studies in how not to market a product.


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