Blowhards also end up looking like idiots over PR awesomeness

Apparently the news story from earlier today that there were reports of "suspicious packages" in Boston which caused officials to shit bricks has been updated to reflect that these items were in fact neon light signs advertising the tv show Aqua Teen Hunger Force.

Imagine the neon sign in a bar window that says "OPEN" or that advertises a particular kind of brew. Now imagine that instead of a slogan it's a picture of a cartoon character. That. That's what cause our valiant Homeland Security officials to panic. [I can't come up with a picture of one of the signs in a hurry, but go here and look at the characters Ignignokt and Err.]

Boston mayor Thomas Menino offering steadfast leadership in the face of this big joke:

"The individuals who may have placed these bombs, or these packages, I should say, should be warned that this is a, that there's a heavy penalty," Menino said. "It's imprisonment: 2 to 5 years for each one of them. So it's not, We're not playing around. We're throwing everything at it."

In response, Turner Broadcasting offered this subtly funny statement:

Turner Broadcasting released a statement expressing regret for the incident. It said that as part of a marketing campaign, the devices have been put into place for two to three weeks in 10 cities: Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Seattle, Portland, Ore., and Austin, Texas.

I'd like to state for the record that these things have been spotted all over Atlanta for months. My favorite local bar had one at least 18 months ago. They are all over the place. They're the kind of thing people want to swipe and put up proudly in their apartments, like traffic signs but much cooler. There hasn't been any panic at all about them the whole time.

Mayor Menino, you're out of line. These aren't intended as a bomb threat. In fact, you're supposed to know exactly the organization behind them, and to watch that organization's hilarious, creative, quality programming.

Is this what the Department of Homeland Security is about? Shutting down cities over neon signs?

EDIT: picture here.

EDIT3: It gets better:
City Councilor Michael Flaherty was fuming and demanded that Turner Broadcasting “reimburse the city of Boston for every dime spent today on this serious public safety threat.”

“It’s outragoues, reckless and totally irresponsible,” Flaherty said. “What a waste of resources.”

"Serious public safety threat"? Some clowns in Boston overreact to what's obviously a harmless bit of diversion at first glance and Turner has to pay for it?

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