On Assholes Tracking Steve Job's Health

I've been thinking about these stories on Jobs' health, because people keep sending me links. There are three reasons why the press, public and financial community would track Steve Job's health. None of them are good enough to justify making a story out of a person's sickness, which we reluctantly posted on yesterday.

Looking back, I think we covered it well, but today I'm seeing more newspaper features and even photo galleries checking up on Steve's health over the last 10 years and comparing photos. It's exactly the type of activity that makes a subject despise the press and it's a good reason why I sometimes hate the press, too.

For those of you not clear, here's why this a story: Fans of Apple gear may worry that if Jobs is sick, gear won't be as good. Finance people worry that if the gear isn't as good, or if Apple's leader gets seriously sick again, they won't make as much money and so, it is time to sell stock. The press? Well, the press, we follow it for the interests of the two previous groups who deem it a story. I get that. But I wish it wasn't tracked. Those reasons are all driven by profit, without much immediate good for readers.

Inevitably, some will ask if we would we cover this sort of thing if it was Bill Gates or Steve Ballmer? Gates and Ballmer aren't as integral to Microsoft as Jobs is to Apple, so I doubt anyone else would. The answer is that we might have covered personal issues like this in the past, but I'm happy enough letting go of it going forward out of respect. I mean, we've all had people get sick in our lives. Maybe it's best if we just let the stories slide.

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Maybe I'm just being sensitive. What do you think?

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DISCUSSION

hiphopopotamus
Hiphopopotamus

Personally do not care about JobsWatch2008, but just to play devils advocate... Jobs has intentionally positioned himself to be a major component of the Apple brand and marketing plan. He made himself part of the story.

This isn't a hollywood star who the papparazzi claim 'owe' it to their adoring public. This is a CEO - 99.99% of CEO's live completely anonymous lives no matter how big or fashionable their company may be. (Who knows when the Yves Saint Lauren person is set to give their next keybote speech? None? But the company is still followed by countless fashion blogs)

Jobs did not take that route, though it was undoubtedly an option. Jobs IS the face of Apple because that's his strategy. So when people want to report on Apple, they get to report on Jobs.

That's the game, you don't get to change the rules at halftime.