Thurott: "Apple sycophant" reviewers just furthering Apple’s brand.

Paul Thurrott has now thoroughly debased himself. His Microsoft meal ticket threatened, he spends a lot of time taking shots at Apple with little or no reason. You can click the THUD label on my blog to see some of this crap.

However, today Paul reached a new high in low. No longer content to ridicule bloggers or the Apple community, he’s taking shots at big names in technology journalism. It’s pathetic, and Paul ought to be ashamed, though it seems clear at this point he has no shame.

I’m not sure what prompted Paul to really lose it this time. Is it his sense the iPhone will be a big hit? Is it his sense that Apple will have another big hit? Is it his sense that Microsoft has nothing, and he is being listened to less? Is it because more and more bloggers are critical of his BS and calling him on it? What made it necessary for him to bad-mouth (with no facts, mind you) respected journalists in the tech industry? Whatever the reasons, he lost it today.

On his Internet Nexus site, Paul comments on the first iPhone reviews that have come in. In the opening paragraph we get this:

“…with all the expected Apple fans at high profile publications publishing their early Apple iPhone reviews. Here are three obvious examples listed in order by their stature in Steve Jobs’ rolodex:”

He then lists the reviews from Steven Levy at Newsweek, Walter Mossberg at the Wall Street Journal, and David Pogue at the New York Times.

“Why highlight these reviewers? First, all three reviewers quoted above went to great lengths to explain how long ago they received the devices, which does more to separate Us from Them then it does to establish any sort of reasonable experience on which to base a review”

No, Paul, you’re highlighting these reviews because they’re the first ones to come out, and are positive. So much so, in fact, that you feel the need to discredit their authors.

“Us from Them?” Are you kidding me? Who is Us? Who is Them? As near as I can tell from your article, “Us” are respected tech journalists who get jobs at publications like Newsweek, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York times. “Them” would be bitter bloggers such as yourself. That must be it, because you can’t be trying to create some sort of envy here between your readership and the reviewers. Geez, Paul, when I buy a car magazine I don’t get pissed off at the guy who gets to drive around in the Lamborghini all day. It’s his job! In short, Paul, jealousy is never pretty.

“You get the feeling that these guys wrote most of their reviews before they even had the iPhone.”

No, I don’t get that feeling. You didn’t either, but it’s the best you could come up with. You’re accusing them blatantly of not really reviewing the phone. That is, of not doing their job.

“Second, while each did a commendable job of pointing out problems, especially Pogue and Mossberg, each also hit and then exceeded the Apple-required number of superlatives. That should make anyone nervous, given the expense and important of the iPhone.”

“Apple-required?” First, how many Microsoft-required articles do you write, Paul? I think I know your answer, so take your Apple-required accusations and shove them up your Vista. You’ve already flatly accused them of not reviewing the phone, but now also accuse them of taking direction from Apple (no doubt to further the brand, which we’ll get to in a minute). How much direction do you take from Microsoft, Paul? Yeah, I know your answer to that one, too.

As for the comment that it should make people nervous, why? I felt they all reviewed the iPhone and brought out the pros and cons. It’s clear the pros outweigh the cons for all of them. The only thing that makes me nervous is when a pseudo-respected blogger such as yourself can downshift into yellow journalism and sully the reputation of respected journalists. You’d shit your pants if even one of these guys wrote so much as a sentence in their space to take shots at your product reviews. Of course, you don’t have to worry about that because they’re professional about their business.

“I think the true story of the iPhone will be told in the coming weeks as real people, not those who seem interested in furthering Apple’s brand, get their hands on the iPhone. I’m looking forward to using an iPhone. I’m looking forward, too, to seeing what real people–not Apple sycophants–think about it too.”

Wow. Did you just hit post and not proofread it first? So now Levy, Mossberg and Pogue are interested in “furthering Apple’s brand?” On the take, as it were? Apple sycophants? Jesus, Paul. First, I know it’s hard for you to believe, but just because some tech journalists do not worship at the Microsoft altar does not make them Apple sycophants. Second, apparently you are the one who has already written most of your review on the iPhone, since you refuse to accept reviews from respected journalists who have actually, you know, used the device for a couple weeks each! Your true colors are showing, Paul. More so than usual.

“I guess what I’m trying to say is this: When it comes to something complex and life-changing like the iPhone, you can’t just review it like an MP3 player or a revision to Hotmail.”

Ah, yes, thank God you’re here to tell us (and Levy, Mossberg, and Pogue) how to review products, Paul. “Complex and life-changing?” Are you insane? It’s a smartphone, Paul! By all accounts a pretty damn good one, but a smartphone nonetheless. It seems to me that these three journalists approached it wisely, having reviewed smartphones before. And in two weeks I bet it didn’t change their lives once. You’re beginning to sound like a raving lunatic.

“You have to really use it, and do so alongside competitors, and do so over time, to put it in perspective. (As I did with my Windows Vista review, incidentally. You just don’t want to screw something like that up.)”

Heh. Better hope your iPhone review is better than yours for Vista. Most people trashed it, but not you. Perhaps you were simply furthering Microsoft’s brand? No, not you, silly me. Only the “big three” would do that. And only for Apple.

“We need a review that forgets the hype instead of wallowing in it.”

Pathetic. Truly pathetic. Who else you gonna take a shot at, Paul? Is everyone who writes a good review going to get a tirade like this? So I guess Edward Baig of USA Today is next on your hit list? I’m sure you’ll update your site with his piece later.

This was the most embarrassing article you’ve ever written, Paul. Seriously. It doesn’t just make your opinion of the iPhone a foregone conclusion — there’s no sense in anyone reading your “review” when you publish it — but more important than that you reviled three respected journalists. And all because they liked a product you apparently abhor.

Disgusting stuff, Paul. You owe all three of them an apology.

2 thoughts on “Thurott: "Apple sycophant" reviewers just furthering Apple’s brand.

  1. That’s not exactly an endorsement of Thurrott’s article or accusations. Nor does it counter the obvious bias he shows for the iPhone even though, at the time, he had never even used one.

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