Dan Lyons gets paid to write for Newsweek?! Pt. III

Sun, Jan 11, 2009

Analysis, Featured, Finance, News

Newsweek columnist Dan Lyons is up to his old tricks again with a new article about Apple that is more about tabloid-esque personal attacks against Steve Jobs than actual substantive reporting. I’m not a tech-industry insider, so I can’t shed any light on why Dan Lyons seems to have a personal vendetta against Steve Jobs, but whatever the reason, his personal feelings obviously get in the way of him writing objectively about Apple. You would think that a writer for Newsweek would have a little bit more integrity, but in any event, let’s take a look at Lyons latest hack-job of an article.

In reference to Jobs’ letter regarding his health, Lyons writes:

He appears determined not to groom a successor, saying last week in an open letter that he intends to remain in charge, and if at some point he can’t do his job, he’ll make that known, thank you very much. He grumbled that he has “given more than my all to Apple for the past 11 years,” and ended by declaring, “So now I’ve said more than I wanted to say, and all that I am going to say, about this.” At least he was being polite.

First of all, we have no idea if there is a succession plan in place after Jobs leaves, but assuming there is, what makes Lyons think that Apple would make this public information? And as for “grumbling” about his service to Apple over the past 11 years, Jobs made it clear that he would step down when he was no longer able to effectively run Apple. Until that day comes, he has the full support of the board of directors, so I’m not sure what the problem is. Lyons, though, shows his true colors when he sarcastically references Jobs admission of a hormonal imbalance, and is seemingly offended that Jobs writes that he won’t reveal more about the matter in the future. Call me crazy, but I imagine announcing to the world that you have a hormonal imbalance isn’t the easiest thing in the world. Does Lyons want weekly updates about Jobs’ health?

Lyons continues,

Last summer, Jobs called a New York Times columnist a “slime bucket” for having the audacity to inquire about his health. Meanwhile, Apple’s stock keeps plunging and then rebounding as Wall Street tries to figure out what’s really going on.

Jobs called New York Times reporter Joe Nocera a “slime bucket” because Nocera kept trying to make public what Jobs felt was a private matter, his health. I’m not really sure why this is a big deal. Meanwhile, Apple’s stock plunged this fall in response to broader economic conditions, not due to the health of Steve Jobs. In fact, Apple’s fundamentals have never been stronger.

Compare Jobs’s recent recklessness to the way Microsoft managed the delicate hand-over of the company from Bill Gates to Steve Ballmer.

Now, Lyons describes Jobs’ actions as being reckless, but fails to provide any hard evidence to back up his lofty claim. And as for Bill Gate handing over control of Microsoft to Ballmer, the shift in power might have been seamless, but Microsoft’s success since Gates’ departure has been anything but rosy, and I somehow doubt that the smooth C.E.O transition serves as any consolation to Microsoft shareholders. Not to mention, Jobs is still the acting C.E.O of Apple, so until we actually see what succession plan Apple has in place, it’s a bit premature to be making comparisons to Microsoft, don’t ya think?

Jobs, in contrast, seems determined to hang on at Apple no matter what. See, in the world of Steve, it’s all about Steve.

Again, Jobs said he’d step down when he’s no longer capable of effectively running Apple, yet Lyons somehow interprets this to mean that Jobs is “determined to hang on at Apple no matter what.” Add in some more personal attack against Jobs, and you have yet another Dan Lyons column – a rambling piece void of any intelligent discussion about Apple or the tech industry at large.

Ironically, it is Gates, his archnemesis, who will likely go down in history as the classy one: the one who knew how to exit gracefully, the one who is devoting the later years of his life, and all of his billions, to helping the world’s poorest people—and not clinging to his CEO job while he insults reporters and plays petty cat-and-mouse games with Apple shareholders and fanboys.

Three cheers for Lyons, the nations foremost leader in all things class! And a round of Boo’s for Steve Jobs, for having the audacity to stay on as Apple CEO when Dan Lyons clearly wants him to go.

If anyone has any idea why Lyons has a strong dislike of Jobs, please fill us in in the comments.

And lastly, the question must be asked – Dan Lyons gets paid to write for Newsweek?!!


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5 Comments For This Post

  1. instig8r Says:

    I stopped reading Fake Steve Jobs because the guy clearly did not understand Jobs OR Apple. Dan Lyons is now Fake Dan Lyons. He’ll never find a shred of integrity under the rocks he has been upending lately.

    BTW, Bill retired early to serve the poor because he is trying to buy his soul back. Good luck with that!

  2. Art Vandelay Says:

    It seems pretty obvious that the “hormonal imbalance” excuse is pure BS. So the Newsweek guy has a point about Lord Jobs playing cat & mouse with shareholders. He needs to name a successor and formulate an exit plan.

  3. KenC Says:

    Wow, “pretty obvious”?!? Do you really think, a CEO would go on record with a BS excuse? Lying about material events would open Apple up to shareholder lawsuits. If you think Steve’s explanation is “pretty obvious”, please explain what’s so obvious.

    Clearly, it ain’t obvious to me.

  4. ben Says:

    I need to read the full Newsweek article but I agree with most of what I have read on this page.

    As someone with a genetic enzymatic health condition I wholeheartedly agree with Jobs’ desire to disclose this information in a limited way. It took me some time to tell my best friends and family let alone the nation. It seems that if he does not comment on speculation, more rumors grow…and yet if he does comment on speculation by giving a glimpse of his personal life it meets disdain.

    What more do they want? Blood tests to prove it’s a hormonal condition (art vandalay)? To be written off as unfit for employment because of a medical condition?

    I want to believe that people like us would not be written off just because of health-related issues…I’m pretty sure most Americans with Disabilities share similar thoughts. I’d like to see Lyons willingly offer full and public access to his medical records if he expects Jobs to. Maybe we’d write him off as not fit for journalism…but I think he earned it in his own right with that article. Then again, to be fair, we can’t fault one man for his opinion.

  5. chano Says:

    This is a truly idiotic article. If Newsweek prides itself on its journalistic integrity and it allows this kind of trash into its pages then it must acknowledge that it too will go the way of many major publications and disappear. It would deserve to. The sooner the better. Who would miss it if this is considered useful, informative or even news. It isn’t NEWS but it is WEAK. I guess that says it all.

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