We recently received a solicitation from video chat site Paltalk to see if we'd like to join in an interview with Amanda Congdon. Talk about a short memory. A few months back, Paltalk got in touch with Gawker for a chat with Congdon and Arianna Huffington. We cooperated, on the condition that we'd get to run a highlight clip on Gawker. Unfortunately (for us), things did not go as planned.First, we asked for reader queries, and received the expected raft of obscenity and foolishness. There were a few gems, which we dutifully compiled for use. However, we'd have to settle for just Arianna, as Amanda, now on West Coast time, wouldn't be interviewed until the New York staff was well into the second half of happy hour. So fine, Huffington solo.
Paltalk prez Joel Smernoff showed up at Gawker HQ to set up the video feed, and our own Intern Heather (now Editorial Assistant Heather) asked the questions. By all accounts, Huffington handled even the coarsest questions with characteristic aplomb, and all present were dutifully amused. You'll never know though, because after a day of silence, Smernoff finally responded to our "where's the damn clip" emails:
Thanks for reaching out to us and glad that Gawker was able to participate in the live chat with Arianna yesterday. Unfortunately, after discussing this with counsel and given the relationship with Huffington Post, they are uncomfortable with releasing any of the proprietary video from the chat for external purposes at this time."Reaching out"? You contacted us, pal(talk). Never had I been date-raped for content with such careless poise. We obviously shouldn't have let him leave the office alive without surrendering the clip first. Further questions about what was meant by "the relationship with Huffington Post" went unanswered. We asked Arianna herself what that might mean, and she had no idea.
So, to Mr. Philip V. Ramirez at GroupGordon Strategic Communications: Thanks for "reaching out" to us for the Amanda Congdon interview. Unfortunately, after discussing this with what little dignity you left us last time, we are uncomfortable with releasing anything to you other than proprietary feces produced precisely for such external purposes. At this time.