Thursday, May 22, 2008

Goatberg’s on a break

El Jobso fan boy Nick Wingfield is sitting in for Goatberg for a few weeks while the latter learns new ways to jam more me’s-myself’s-and-I’s into his columns.

We were all set for Son of Goatberg, but here’s the interesting thing: In just over 800 words, Wingfield does not include one self-reference. Thankfully the article is replete with mentions of my genius. Which makes it semi worthwhile. But really, this is news?

While the Goatberg drought is a pause that refreshes, Wingfield gets massive demerits for failing to focus solely on the 3g iPhone as he has been instructed. Instead, he speculates on all the cool other stuff we’re cooking up. As all filthy hacks should know by now, the interwebs are abuzz about our new device. It’s the natural order of things.

So, Nick, girlfriend: How do you explain this lapse? Katie will be in touch. And, she’s ticked.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Goatberg pronoun count up from last week

Amazing stuff, Goatberg watchers. Walt’s column this week (see here) is 853 words long and contains 17 uses of I, me, my or mine. That’s up from 15 uses in last week’s column. This week’s column is ostensibly about a pair of Bluetooth headsets, one from Plantronics and one from Aliph. But come on. We know what he’s really writing about. By the way, in advance of the 3G iPhone release we’ve had Walt in for a check-up on his hypnosis and everything seems to be in tip-top shape. Also, just for kicks and to make sure he’s fully buttered up, I took Walt out to dinner at Il Fornaio in Palo Alto. The great part of dining with Walt is watching the way he treats the waiters and other staff. He’s like, “Do you know who I am? I’m Walt Mossberg, goddammit! Yes, from the Wall Street Journal. Have you heard of it? It’s a newspaper in New York. Kind of a big deal. Now will you please bring me the kind of bread I asked you for? And then would you go stick your head in a vat of boiling pasta water? Thank you. No really. I mean it. Boil your head. Fine. Call your manager. I’d love to speak to your manager.”

And on and on and on. All night long. God I love hanging out with him.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Damn you, Goatberg! You’re spoiling the fun!

So as you may recall, last week we introduced you to a new game that the hacks in the Wall Street Journal newsroom have been playing for years. It’s called the Goatberg Game and the point is simply to count up how many times the egomaniacal Goatberg uses the word I in his column. Half points for words like my, mine, and me. Plus one point for every word that’s used in a phrase that is utterly unnecessary to the story and could be cut without losing anything. Last week, for example, Goatman used the word I thirteen times in a single 840-word column.

But this week Goatberg has pulled a fast one on us — he’s churned out a column where he only uses the word I twice. See here. We’re not sure but we think this may be a new record for Walt. Then again, as Walt acknowledges in this week’s column, his piece today is a retread — or as Walt puts it, “updated from a similar column I wrote in 2006.” To see the original from 2006, go here.

Here’s to hoping that when Walt sits down to write a fresh column he maxes out the egometer once more.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Moshe got to Mossberg; Mossberg retracts 3G iPhone statement

Silicon Alley Insider gets the story here. Walt says he has no actual knowledge of when the 3G iPhone will ship despite having mouthed off about it a couple days ago. Says Walt: “If I knew when this date was, why would I announce it in the middle of a sentence at the Finnish embassy, rather than report it in the Wall Street Journal?” Yeah. Because Walt is all about putting Journal readers first. So on the day that the 3G iPhone does finally ship, and Walt runs his review on that very same day, maybe someone should write to the Journal and ask him how long he’s been using that new iPhone and why he didn’t tell his Journal readers all about it the moment it arrived.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Goatberg takes a crack at me

See this story where Goatberg is quoted speaking at some conference in Israel. Money quote from Walt: “Microsoft chairman Bill Gates is a genius and a very tough businessman. Apple CEO Steve Jobs is both tough and a genius in some ways.” (Italics mine.) Oy vey. So Gates is a flat-out genius, but I’m just a partial genius. Is that it? Or maybe this just got messed up in the translation. FWIW, can’t you just see old Walt over there pontificating and holding court and giving his little mini evaluations of all the big tech CEOs? Like he’s the wise old sage of the Valley and it’s his job to sit in judgment of us. Walt, when you get back from Israel we have to sit down for a chat.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Goatberg is threatening to break the embargo

I guess because I chewed him out for violating the NDA and showing off his friggin iPhone at some conference. Of course that’s not what he says when he explains why he wants to run his review earlier than everyone else. What he says is that he’s Walt friggin Mossberg, the most important technology journalist on the planet, and nobody tells him what to do. Not even El Jobso. Walt, you see, has this teeny tiny ego problem. You know what I told him? I said, Walt, you do what you like, but just remember, even the world’s greatest technology journalist can’t do his job unless the technology companies send him their stuff to review. So if you want to burn us on this one, go ahead. We’ll pretend to be all upset and we’ll create a big stink and milk the whole “scandal” for loads of publicity too — and then we’ll shut you down. In the immortal words of Robert DeNiro: Do you feel lucky punk? Then go ahead, make my day.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Goatberg, your ass is mine

So here’s the inside story. We gave iPhones to 10 very special media people but we put them all under super-strict NDAs. One of the rules was that they could not even tell people they had the devices. So what does Goatberg do? The very day he gets his iPhone he goes to some conference sponsored by the Chronicle of Higher Ed and shows the thing off to the audience and starts saying what things he does and doesn’t like about it. I wrote about it here. What I didn’t write about was the fact that I chewed him out bigtime after this happened and now we’re in this big feud. Which is partly why he’s preparing his big hatchet job. Frankly I wanted to take back his iPhone since he violated the NDA terms but our PR people said we couldn’t do that because Walt is too important.

Embargo on reviews ends Tuesday at 6 p.m. so you’ll probably see some of these a-holes posting at 6:01. Or hell for all I know Walt won’t honor that agreement either and he’ll put his review up early. Who knows? The great Goatberg can do as he pleases, apparently, and doesn’t have to honor legal agreements. Well even if he hatchets us we’ll likely get good ink elsewhere. Pogue at the Times has one, naturally. Also Bob Levitus of the Houston Chronicle (cough asshole cough) and Jason Snell of Macworld.

Bit of a warning to Walt: You’re on thin ice, brother. I’m this close to never letting you have another one of our products to review. Keep that in mind when you sit down to write your review.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

News flash: Goatberg is in the Valley

The bastard. Tells us he’s “too busy” to travel and then figures he can slip in without anyone noticing and get some big “software visionary” award [shurely shome mishtake?!] at Heidi Roizen’s house in Atherton last night. Worse yet, traitorberg was out there rubbing elbows and yukking it up with my old pals Dan’l Lewin and Mike Moritz. World-class reporter Tom Foremski writes it up here. Trip Hawkins got an award too and told a story about how one day when he was working at Apple I came to his office and asked him if he’d ever taken LSD (because, come on, the guy’s name is Trip, for Christ’s sake) and then I walked out when he said no. Ha ha, poor old working-class Steve didn’t know the WASP meaning of the name “Trip.” Funny, right? They all had a big laugh at my expense. Bigger news: According to Foremski, Kara Swisher announced that she’s gay. Who knew? Anyway, we’ve sent Katie Cotton and Steve Dowling out to find Goatberg, taser him, drug him, and bring him in for a hypno-briefing. Fingers crossed, Apple faithful!

Holy crap. Goatberg is preparing a negative review

This is what our PR spies are picking up on anyway, based on their supposedly casual chats with Walt. He’s being cryptic and evasive, as usual, but from reading between the lines they sense there’s a hatchet job coming. Partly it’s just that Goatberg wants to redeem himself and regain some semblance of integrity by finally saying something negative about an Apple product. Where better to do this than on the most overhyped product in world history?

For another thing apparently Goatberg is having trouble using his hooves on the touch screen keyboard and he’s suggesting we should have done a keyboard that shows up in landscape mode like this so we could make the buttons bigger. With anyone else we’d just shrug this off but Goatberg is too powerful to ignore. We’re trying to fly him in for a briefing, during which I’ll flatter him and lie to him about what’s going to be in version 2.0 and meanwhile attempt to re-hypnotize him and save the day. It’s a desperate move and I suspect he’s on to us. So far he’s hunkered down in his goat pen, insisting he’s “too busy” to travel. Quelle surprise as they say in Italian.