Leonard Doyle of The Independent newspaper in London writes Monday about how technology company executives fear and coddle Wall Street Journal tech gadget reviewer Walter Mossberg.
Doyle wrote, “Silicon Valley moguls are in awe of Mossberg and clear their diaries to attend a technology conference he hosts. They also make pilgrimages to his office. It’s situated on the eighth floor of a nondescript building a few blocks from George W Bush’s White House. Next door is K Street, ground zero for America’s vast and highly paid lobbying outfits.
“But it is Mossberg that the moguls want to see, not the president, the politicians or the PR firms. A couple of years ago Eric Schmidt, the head of Google, came to get Mossberg’s opinion on what he thought of the world’s biggest search engine. Mossberg often chats with Gates and has a relationship with Apple’s Jobs that many online conspiracy theorists believe is a little too cosy; when these giants of the computer world have a product to launch, they want Mossberg to review it first, and don’t mind flattering him with a personal visit. Jobs himself would presumably have been pretty pleased with Mossberg’s recent verdict on the gadget of the season, Apple’s iPhone: ‘Despite some flaws and feature omissions, the iPhone is, on balance, a beautiful and breakthrough hand-held computer.’
“But Mossberg, small and round with a grey goatee and bald pate, bristles at the suggestion that he might be influenced by such fawning attention. In fact, he routinely denounces what he sees as the rip-off tactics of the industry, especially when it comes to families.”
Read more here.