OLD Media Moves

Journalists spending too much time on Jobs' health

July 6, 2009

New York Times business columnist David Carr argues Monday that the media has spent too much time obsessing about the health of Apple CEO Steve Jobs.

Carr writes, “Like any good columnist, I made phone calls until I found someone — anyone — to agree with me and came up with Paul Saffo, the esteemed technologist from Silicon Valley.

“’Everybody knows that Steve has a grave illness and that he has devoted the same compulsive energy to making sure that the company runs well in his absence that he puts toward everything else there,’ Mr. Saffo said. ‘If somebody sued because they were saying that they didn’t know about his health, they would not have a leg to stand on. This is sleazy entertainment, a sideshow.’

“Sideshows are what the modern media does best. Mr. Jobs is a celebrity, one who has a very high-touch relationship with consumers. He sits at their fingertips, in their ears, connects them with friends. Bill Gates might have changed the world more profoundly than Mr. Jobs, but people who didn’t know him personally didn’t call him Bill. People are always talking about ‘Steve’ this and ‘Steve’ that.

“Because he seems to know us so well, or at least our needs, we like to think we know him back, even though nothing could be further from the truth. He is as inscrutable as Buddha and reportedly no barrel of monkeys to be around.”

Read more here.

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