Upon further review

The shenanigans behind movie blurbs (“Has audiences standing up and cheering!”) have been exposed now and again, and even lampooned. In its heyday, Spy magazine had a fake critic named Walter Monheit, the movie publicist’s friend, who always had a pun-infested blurb at the ready. Here’s one for the original “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” movie:

Terrapinrific! A snapping good yarn! Donatello is the thinking man’s Stallone!

Now comes the latest in flimflams in movie and TV criticism:

  • A Washington Post story tells us how some reviewers’ affiliations are being inflated to make them sound more authoritative. For example, a critic for a TV station in Arizona is cited as being from “ABC TV.”
  • Keith Olbermann shows us how Fox edited reviews of its new Fox Business Network. Needless to say, the snippets put the new channel in a better light than the reviews from The Economist and The Globe and Mail did.

Walter Monheit feels more real every day.