Yesterday I speculated that it would take less than 24 hours for this speculation from Apple pundit extraordinaire John Gruber to be accepted as gospel truth by the tech press. Apparently I need to re-calibrate my already abysmal expectation of the media; because no more than 3 hours after making that prediction I walked into my local bar and was inundated with panicky fear that the next iPad was being delayed until Fall. Keep in mind that I’m talking about normal people here, people who think that “Gruber” is the bad guy from Die Hard.
As I sat punching myself in the liver and ruminating on the situation, an analogy came to me. I found myself thinking of the Ricky Gervais movie The Invention of Lying.
In the world of The Invention of Lying, no one has ever made a false statement. It’s important to understand what’s meant by that. The brilliance of the conceit is that intent never comes into play. Not only do people in the movie’s world never intentionally lie, they also never guess or speculate. They always state the exact truth as they know it. The result of this fact is that once one man gains the ability to make false statements he gains the ability to completely alter the subjective reality of the rest of the populace. If Gervais says he’s a black, German, Eskimo who invented the bicycle, then people accept that new reality unquestioningly.
I mention this because I’ve become convinced that a good number of the tech press are actually from the movie’s universe. Any comment, no matter how ludicrous, is accepted by the tech press with complete credulity. Furthermore, one the tech press absorbs some random speculation into their minds they cling to it in the face of any and all evidence to the contrary. Case in point, Steve Jobs infamous gaffe during the Antennagate idiocy, “you’re holding it wrong.” Blogger after blogger, journalist after journalist, pundit after pundit has repeated that quote. The problem is, Steve Jobs never wrote that.
Now understand that I’m not making a claim that Gruber’s speculation is wrong. There are some very good logical arguments to be made supporting it. For example, see John’s followup article, or Jim Dalrymple’s article at The Loop. What I am saying is that the press who have reported this story as anything other than the musings of an above-average Apple pundit are fucking idiots.
I’ve ranted about this shit before. I know that it’s probably too much to expect the majority of the tech press to act like actual journalists, but is it really too much to ask them to not report admitted speculation as if it was an Apple press release?