But who will pay me for suffering through Will Ferrell’s last three movies?

Sony just settled a lawsuit brought by moviegoers tricked into seeing a crappy film by a blurb in a movie ad from a nonexistent critic. Members of this classless action lawsuit can get a $5 refund per ticket.

When I was TV critic at People, I gave a bad review to some bad TV show and NBC pulled a quote out of context: I said something to the effect that it was an incredible piece of crap and their ad said, “Incredible! – Jeff Jarvis/People.” I wrote about this in my next column, complaining about the “NBC pinhead” who’d done this dishonest deed.

Now this happened to be during the development of Entertainment Weekly. And it so happened that my alleged business partner went to Hollywood for meetings to flog the idea of the mag. When he returned, I asked how the meetings had gone and he said that his meeting at NBC was with “the pinhead.” The biz guy was uncomfy. I said welcome to the world of church and state.

And Hollywood wonders why it’s shrinking. They make crappy movies and then lie about them. [via Freakonomics]