Another reason that it generated so much comment was that once again, Google chose to say nothing about the problem. PR indeed! If they had a status report on their home page they could tell people when things are gubbed and there would not be so much speculation (or panic on some occasions.)
Letís assume this was in some way deliberate. If a message had been posted by G there would have been little to talk/panic about. I am sure this little exercise, weather planned or not has provided the G buffs with just that little bit more knowledge about the SEO world. No one other than the optimisers gives a rats a*# about PR. SEO's are the thorn in Google's side so why should they be concerned about their public relations to us?