So I was talking to Paul Otellini last night and he’s absolutely furious about the Journal story on the OLPC train wreck which ran in the Wall Street Journal on Saturday. Gist of the story is that Nicholas Negroponte has screwed the pooch on his XO machine but somehow it’s all Intel’s fault. Fact is, it’s a devastating piece, and not for Intel, but rather for Negroponte. Katie says the OLPC’s PR people must be appalled — unless they’ve all been fired, which they should have been. (First clue that this is not going to be a good story for Negroponte is the little drawing of him that they put with the story, which I’ve reproduced at right. Can you say dipshit?)
I told Otellini to cool out because if you read the story carefully you’ll see it’s a classic example of a very sly Journal technique which involves appearing, superficially, to be siding with the source of a story when really you’re just giving him enough rope to hang himself. It’s a perfect tactic for the kind of publicity-seeking self-righteous egomaniacs who go around looking to feed a “big story” to some paper because they have an axe to grind about a competitor. In this case it’s Negroponte who’s thrown the rope over the branch and pulled it down around his neck. The poor guy walked right into the trap. He wants so badly to blame someone for his failure, and he shopped around this big anti-Intel hatchet job, and he was stupid enough to trust the Journal. Dumbass!
Otellini says he knows all that — he’s got media people who explain stuff like this to him, after all — but he’s still pissed because Negroponte had the balls to disclose right in the article that OLPC and Intel had signed an agreement which included a “non-disparagement” clause under which both sides agreed not to criticize each other — and now here is Saint Nicholas teeing up a story that bashes Intel. “Can you believe this motherfucker?” was Paul’s direct quote, I believe.
I pointed out to Otellini that in fact this just makes Negroponte look like a jackass, which is why the Journal placed that statement into the story and attributed it to Negroponte. The way this technique works is they try to seem all cool and neutral but they’re really making Negroponte look like a donkey — and right on Page One of the world’s biggest business publication. Nice.
As for the backstabbing by Negroponte, this is classic freetard behavior. They always want it both ways. They want to give away their stuff for free and will talk all sorts of shit about Microsoft and Intel; but if Microsoft cuts its price to three bucks for Windows, the freetards will cry foul in a heartbeat. This propaganda tactic was invented by the Linux community, but it was taken to a new level by Negroponte, who had the genius to add race (read: “Third World”) and “children” into the mix.
Of course when Otellini called Negroponte to bitch about the story Mr. Big Brain bent over backwards to distance himself, claiming he and his people didn’t have anything to do with it. Otellini was like, “Nicholas, you’re fucking quoted in the story. How can you say you had nothing to do with it?” Negroponte said he did not authorize those quotes and he didn’t know where they came from. Then he said, “Um, look, I have to go, because children are starving, okay?”
Negroponte also claims OLPC people had nothing to do with planting this freetard Intel bashing on a Web site in which there seems to most definitely be some side-by-side comparisons going on between the XO and the Intel Classmate. Worse yet, of course there’s not even the slightest attempt to seem fair or objective. Just pure hostile anti-Intel screed. The XO machine is the greatest computer ever invented; the Intel Classmate is a piece of shit. So much for the “non-disparagement clause.”
Now for the highlights of the Journal story, which is worth dissecting because it’s a classic example of a Journal takedown:
1. At a meeting this month in Cambridge, Mass., with representatives of Macedonia’s government, Mr. Negroponte balked at authorizing a pilot project there after learning that officials also were considering testing the Classmate. He told them he didn’t want to participate in a “bake-off.”
Translation: God forbid the customers might be smart enough to run pilot programs and compare machines before they spend millions of dollars. Apparently the idea is that if you live in the Third World you should just take whatever Nicholas Negroponte shoves down your throat and not ask questions. Does anyone at OLPC realize how condescending and contemptuous — and even, gasp, racist — this makes them look?
2. Mr. Negroponte says he communicated this month with Intel’s chief executive, Paul Otellini, and demanded that Intel stop selling the Classmate. Intel, which says there is room in the market for many machines, has refused, according to a spokeswoman.
Caution: freetard egomaniac out of control. The guy admits, right in the Wall Street Journal, that he commanded Intel to stop selling a product. Apparently he’s stunned and outraged that they won’t do whatever he tells them to do. Wow.
But the real killer comes in the final paragraph, where the Journal doesn’t even bother to slide the knife into Saint Nicholas since he is already doing such a great job of it himself.
3. Mr. Negroponte said some initial tech support would be provided by Brightstar Corp., a Miami-based wireless equipment distributor. Just who would provide support a few years from now, he said, was “a frightening question.” The students, he said, will need “to do as much maintenance as possible.”
That’s it. There’s no kicker. That’s the note they end on. A stunning piece of slice-and-dice work. Hats off to you, Journal reporters.
Just FYI, however, this is why we don’t return your calls. You back-stabbing fuckers.