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Hell in a handcart Media

Stay classy, National Enquirer

I wrote this two years ago. It’s relevant again, with the National Enquirer running a particularly horrible story about Steve Jobs based on that old medical procedure, “showing a media-friendly doctor a photo and publishing whatever shit he says”:

Steve Jobs doesn’t have his finger on the nuclear button, he doesn’t run the world, and his personal life is none of our business. He’s a smart man with a good job in an interesting company, a man whose family don’t need, let alone deserve, to see every newspaper, blog, TV station and forum poster second-guessing his doctors’ diagnoses.

6 replies on “Stay classy, National Enquirer”

I honestly don’t understand the mass primal freak-out over what is indeed his personal and private health. From the way some people were reacting, you would honestly think the man had a pan-Apple kill switch hidden under his desk.

Jobs did choose to turn himself into a newsworthy celebrity CEO. Not that that particularly excuses The Enquirer, but they wouldn’t bother running these stories about the head of, say, Boeing, and there’s a reason for that.

True, but is that Jobs’s doing? He’s never been one for turning up at the opening of an envelope, and his presence at things outside apple press events is pretty much zero. I think the rock star thing is others’ invention – I don’t think he’s unhappy about it, but I’m not sure he created it. Media likes a narrative and secretive control-freak genius is one of the oldest ones going :)

He drums up maximum hype and combines it with maximum secrecy to get millions of people on tenterhooks for the upcoming Apple announcement. That announcement then comes from him, in person, on a big stage in front of thousands of people and broadcast to millions more. Not all CEOs do this; lots of them don’t even view new product announcements as their job and have marketing staff to do it for them. And the refusal to bother with anything non-Apple is part of it: it means the only time he’s seen is at big important eagerly anticipated events which are all about him. So yeah, it’s his doing.

Oh, I agree with that, but I still don’t think being a showman in any way justifies the invasion of privacy – I don’t think he’s ever used his private life as part of the promo thing, has he?

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