Was the Michael Arrington, Loic Le Meur and Le Web row staged?

Mike ArringtonImage by Thomas Hawk via FlickrHere's the recap if you missed the row:
  1. Arrington comes back from the Le Web conference and says Europeans are lazy. This is why Silicon Valley is better.
  2. Loic Le Meur notes that he had many complaints about Arrington's attitude on stage before the controversial blog post. He asks if he should be invited back.
  3. Loic Le Meur chats to Robert Scoble on video, talks up TechCrunch and the importance of controversy for Le Web.
  4. Loic Le Meur blogs to suggest a filter in Twitter search that lets you order or omit by follower number would be useful and calls it an authority search.
  5. Bloggers, including Scoble, hate the idea and bile blog about it - however, over at TechCrunch, Arrington rides in like a knight in shiny armour to defend Loic.

Now, both Arrington and Le Meur are men who'll think what they say and say what they think. It is very possible that Arrington did just feel the need to agree with Loic here and say so. Heck; I agree with Loic - the filter would be handy.

I have to say that I found the Scoble interview odd though and twittered about it as I watched it. Waking up to read the two of them defending a corner together is curious in timing.

In some ways I would like to think that this has been a clever manipulation. I would be impressed. I like displays of such cleverness. Arrington's call on Scoble's FriendFeed addiction is, I feel, a far less subtle (and less clever) example of the same technique.

However, I'd much rather not have to sort noise (even planned noise) from my signals over at TechCrunch and if I could wave a magic wand I'd do so to ensure TechCrunch remained a news and savvy editor opinion site.

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