AOL Explains: Our Movie Journalism Is Movie Studio PRS

Yesterday, Tech Crunch writer Alexia Tsotsis did a noble thing: she more or less told her parent company to fuck off, in public, after a Moviefone/ AOL rep emailed her suggesting that the "snark" be "toned down." That was entertaining. But the response of Moviefone is even more entertaining! If you like unbelievable things.

Patricia Chui's official response from Moviefone is here. It made me laugh! (Not on purpose.) Particularly this part:

1) The person who wrote that email [to Tech Crunch] was not acting in an editorial capacity. That person's job is to act as an intermediary between the studios and editorial — not to dictate content, nor to weigh in on the content of Moviefone or any other AOL site. In fact, the presence of a person with that role is just one means we have of ensuring editorial integrity on Moviefone.

Ha... ha? They "ensure editorial integrity" by having a staffer whose job it is to receive complaints from the subjects of stories and then act as their advocate in an attempt to get writers to change those stories to reflect more favorably upon the subjects? There's a name for that: a PR person. But they don't usually work for the same company as the writer.

Anyhow, just read the email from the Moviefone/ AOL person ("Let me know if you're able to take another look at it and make any edits") and then read the Moviefone explanation ("Staying on good terms with studios means that we will relay information if asked") and then remember that you never assumed that Moviefone would feature anything other than move studio PR, anyhow.