Among technology companies, Apple is somewhat unique and that tends to polarize both media and customers. Apple is either loved or hated. Yet, the companies products are widely heralded as the best and used by tens to hundreds of millions of well satisfied customers. What gives?
‘I Think, Therefore I Exist’
When it comes to the media’s attention to Apple, that, too, is a river that runs uphill and downhill. Apple gets far more media attention than other tech companies, both good and bad. Why?
Let me preface my analysis with a little history. I’m an old school journalist from the era of who, what, when, and where, ‘Just the facts, Ma’am.’
In college I took a number of argumentation and debate classes, one of which helped to change my view of humanity. One professor seemed to channel Andy Griffith as defense attorney Ben Matlock, though he could argue forcefully both sides of any argument.
In argumentation and debate classes, students are given a book which contains topics which are to be argued in debates as pro and con, for and against. My professor challenged us to give him a topic, any topic from the book. He would then argue eloquently, passionately, logically, and reasonably for the pro side of the topic for three or four minutes. Then, without preparation, do exactly the same on the con side of the argument.
That was an impressive event for it taught me that truth, like beauty, is often in the eye of the beholder, and for those of us who know that, an unending search for what is truth is an important aspect of humanity.
How does that relate to those who skewer Apple incessantly?
Facts vs. Fiction
It should be obvious that any issue can be argued, for or against, and it’s done ad nauseam in modern media which seems to channel the yellow journalism days of a century or two ago.
Yellow journalism, or the yellow press, is a type of journalism that presents little or no legitimate well-researched news and instead uses eye-catching headlines to sell more newspapers. Techniques may include exaggerations of news events, scandal-mongering, or sensationalism. By extension, the term yellow journalism is used today as a pejorative to decry any journalism that treats news in an unprofessional or unethical fashion.
Does that not describe much of what you read or view about almost any topic these days? Politics, religion, business, education, and more are under a constant daily assault that probably undermines society’s ability to remain cohesive and intact.
Why? Because today’s digital world provides people with more outlets to broadcast perspective than ever, and with so much fragmentation in both the message and number of messages, it’s the yellow journalism variety that gets the most attention.
Apple is attacked not because the company’s products are shoddy or unusable, not because it is rich and popular. Apple is attacked because it’s an engaging and popular media sport against a high profile company with character. To many, bringing a company down a few notches elevates the attacker’s position with little effort, and certainly without concern for facts, logic, or reason.
If a well-educated and eloquent college professor can forcefully and convincingly argue both sides of an issue on cue, devoid of research, analysis, or facts, then we owe it to ourselves to dig deeper for truth, and to point out obvious falsehoods wherever possible.
That’s one reason I read The Macalope and why you should, too.