Jobs: Mean bastard or misunderstood genius? (Or both?)

Dan Gillmor on Grassroots Journalism, Etc.: — I don’t use a Mac and haven’t done more than chide Steve “Barbie” Jobs over the years. I sure have never personally accused him of anything when I did not know the facts. I do know that “Apple” was somehow behind the banning of the Wiley books. But I do not know that Jobs made this decision and never said he did. That said I’d have to ask the Mac-loving uber-bloggers where they get the idea that Jobs was the culprit and not some apparatchek in the company. I now ask this since an inside source has informed me that it was indeed an apparatchek and nobody at Apple is happy about it.

I only mention this because it is this same little uber-blogger clique that is telling us about how bloggers are so superior to “real journalists” but then I read these rants that have no foundation.

From Gllmor’s blog:

Today’s New York Times has a story about Steve Jobs’ decision — an arrogant and counterproductive move, in my view — to ban sales of all books from a publisher that is releasing a new biography about Apple’s Ruler Supreme. The article includes a quote from Mitchell Kertzman. (Note: He’s a friend.) I was a bit surprised by the quote, and asked him about it in an e-mail. He said it was out of context. I asked him if he’d like to explain why in a posting here, and he agreed.

So who can actually back uo this assertion that this was Steve Job’s decision? A quote would be useful. A public statement. Anything. Or is this just a wild guess?

  1. Ima Fish says:

    The reason I think the order came directly from Jobs is because I can’t imagine anyone doing anything of significance at Apple without first obtaining his approval.

  2. Mike Voice says:

    Jobs: Mean bastard or misunderstood genius? (Or both?)

    From the stories I’ve read about him, over the years, I have the impression it is both. 🙂

    But, as with anybody in the public spotlight, only those who know him and/or have worked for him know the truth.

    I’m not surprised the blogs have enjoyed slamming him, since they seem to be ticked-off about the judge’s ruling in Apple’s suit against some “rumor” websites – with the perceived affront that web-sites/blogs are not “real” journalists, and therefore do not enjoy 1st Amendment protections with regard to protecting their sources.

    I do think the judge hit it on the head, though:

    “The public has had, and continues to have, a profound interest in gossip about Apple,” the judge ruled. “Therefore, it is not surprising that hundreds of thousands of ‘hits’ on a Web site about Apple have and will happen. But an interested public is not the same as the public interest.

    Many bloggers will bitch about the “real journalist” issue – loud and long – but how many will offer a detailed/reasoned refutaion of the 13-page ruling?

    How many will offer evidence that Jobs was personally responsible for the decision?

    I get the feeling that the expansion of who qualifies as a “journalist” is starting to dilute the term, similar to how the post-9/11 expansion of who qualifies as a “hero” has diluted the impact of that term.

    Some things can be given to you, but most should be earned.

  3. Rich says:

    ROTTON BASTARD is more like it 🙂

  4. As Leopold the Told, I wish to state that I happen to like Apple and the Mac. My first computer was a Mac back in 1984. And again in 1990.

    I fault whoever came up with the flaming title “iCon…” which is reprehensible and foul play.

    While I don’t believe in “Don’t Worry, Be Crappy” crap of Kawasaki, I do support Steve Jobs and Apple and the Mac. Jobs had the right to do what he did. I support him 100%, and I’m not even a current Mac user…though that may change shortly, especially if idiots get jealous of him and attack him.

    I may go out and get a Mac just to spite the culprits who want Atlas to shrug or shrub..

  5. Pat says:

    I don’t know if Jobs did or did interfere with the book publication or the “real journalist” lawsuit.

    As the CEO of Apple though, unless Jobs decries and or stops these actions, then it is a tactic approval. His lack of action to reverse these decisions, in the end, has the same force and effect as if he actually issued the decisions himself.

    So as my father used to say, “either poop or get off the pot”.


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