What is it about Apple Computer and Mac users which brings out the worst in tech writers?
2006 is a banner year for sloppy reporting, sensationalist articles, and ludicrous arguments. Ready for another?
Let’s start with my headline: “Why Do Tech Writers Hate Apple And Mac Users?” What’s the problem with that?
It’s absolute and inclusive, both of which cause problems when engaging in argumentation.
Yes, I know that all tech writers don’t hate Apple and Mac users. That premise also smacks of motives for which I may or may not have knowledge.
This could be a fun exercise, so bear with me a moment or two.
Walt Mossberg, for example, is an excellent tech writer of great reknown and superb skill. From his articles and reviews, I can tell that Walt likes Macs.
Therefore, a tech writer that doesn’t like Macs, Mac users or Apple, as evidenced by his or her writing, cannot be a good tech writer.
I know what you’re thinking. “Kate, it sure seems that way these days.” But the conclusion is wrong. Mostly.
Recently, two self-proclaimed security experts claimed to find exploits in a 3rd party wirless card used in a MacBook Pro.
They and their methods were ripped by John Gruber of DaringFireball. John is not one to be messed with unless you’ve done your homework.
The so-called experts did not and suffered for it. Writers who gleefully jumped on the seemingly huge exploit in a Mac were also ripped for shoddy reporting.
Yet another tech writer, Kieren McCarthy, followed up the whole sordid ordeal with one of the worst, most inaccurate ramblings against Apple that I’ve read in years.
He won Gruber’s Jackass of the Week award for shoddy, irresponsible reporting.
Unfortunately, tech writers with an axe to grind, and forum upon which to grind it, don’t know when to shut up (to mix a handful of metaphors).
McCarthy’s latest anti-Apple, anti-Mac rantings are some of the worst I’ve read in recent years. It isn’t just an issue of being wrong and writing about it.
It’s an issue of not writing anything of value, and what was written was so often so wrong as to bring whatever publication it’s in to a new low level of shame.
Even The Register, The Times, The Guardian, and Tech World, publications which McCarthy has implied he’s written for, won’t touch his latest drivel.
Without reading the whole sordid tale of the MacPro wirless security issue, you’ll spot McCarthy’s problem of living too long in a closet by himself.
His latest rant couldn’t get published in a real tech magazine, so he resorted to self publication—Apple and security: Abuse and ignorance.
Sure, that sounds like an investigative piece full of facts, times, dates, names, and butts kicked, right? Wrong.
Continuing the tradition of 21st century McCarthyism, the very first paragraph is loaded with errors.
Sorry. The experts in question warned of a hole in a product they put in a MacBook. Apple’s security updates, according to Apple, had nothing to do with the alleged problem.
Mindless abuse? I don’t think so. John Gruber deals in facts, not innuendo, conjecture, and vitriolic phraseology common to those who cannot fathom a logical, progressive argument.
McCarthy goes on and on about how everyone who writes anything bad about Apple or Mac users, just covering the facts, gets blasted in return for their unselfish attempts to clean the unwashed masses.
Here’s another. This makes Apple appear to have devious and dubious motives.
Problems, yes. Refusal? That implies some sort of motive for which only the psychic McCarthy is aware.
In an effort to appear factual and well organized in uncovering Apple’s poor record for security fixes, McCarthy dishes out facts and opinions and personal conjecture to form a veritable soup of distasteful Apple stew.
How about this? “McCarthy’s article in The Register was plagued with errors. Editors for The Register refused to comment, and did not inform readers of the errors.”
See how that works? I just made it up, but it makes McCarthy look foolish, and it appears as if The Register is trying to hide something.
Gruber says McCarthy is just making up crap. I agree.
It’s happening too often these days; and from writers with technical experience, but with fact checking skills that match their 3rd grade argumentation abilities.
Mac users like their Macs for many reasons. We’re particular, we want things to work right. Accuracy and dependability are important to us.
Naturally, we get riled up a bit when so-called tech writers do a poor job of writing about tech, and especially when writing about a product and company we admire.
No, Apple isn’t a perfect tech company with a perfect track record, but it produces products which are notably superior to mainstream competition.
Tech writers who have an obvious bias against facts, who delve into fiction as their literary tool of choice, deserve to be skewered. Why?
They write sensationalist headlines which sway the masses. They write, not from a sense of journalistic morality, not with a desire to get at and expose truth, but with an inordinate desire for self aggrandizement.
They’re probably better suited for self abuse. McCarthy claims he’s abused by Mac users. Not so. I fear he was abused as a child.
If Gruber hadn’t already awarded McCarthy a Jackass of the Week award—twice—Mac360 would be happy to provide another.
See what I mean? Click Here to have some discussion of this in the Forums.