Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Palin has near miss with a tomato

In Minnesota at the Mall Of America, at one of those tardfests called a book-signing, I believe,

Conserva-tard Sarah Palin nearly got pasted by a tomato-wielding moron

who has the throwing abilities of

Corky from Life Goes On. A cop got smershed by the juicy projectile, making our imbecile here a mere footnote compared to this guy.

Anyway you can read about this here, here and here.

I can’t decide whether Sarah Palin really is babealicious or not.

OTOH, Gina Gershon still got the goods.

Tiger-free, so far!

What do these three media whores have in common? Tiger Woods completely missed bonking them! Perhaps The Woodster does have some discriminating taste, after all!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Palin intentionally funny at Gridiron Club

The Palinator and U.S. Rep Barney Frank were the main course at the Washington press corps Gridiron Club holiday roast . With a little ghostwriting help from Eric Schnure, Al Gore’s former speechwriter, the future talk show host 2012 Republican Presidential candidate delivered some zingers at her liberal media tormentors.

Did I mention Barney Frank was there? I think he wowed the press with his imiation of Mister Magoo – not the Jim Backus version,

this version. Yeah, I hated it, too.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

White House posts party crashers photo to its Flickr site

Unless you’ve been under a rock the last few days, the big stories are Black Friday, Tiger Woods, and that pair of reality tards who snuck into the White House.  Even though the White House is embarrassed at this screw-up, they’ve helpfully posted the photos on their official Flickr page.  Money quote from the woman’s Facebook page: “I hope you will join me at the next featured event I support or endorse in the Washington DC region.”  Like she’ll be able to do that from the slammer.  And check these photos.  Aren’t those the Marines who are supposed to be, um, safeguarding the President from tards like this?  And Joe, wipe that sloppy used car salesman grin off your face.  Meanwhile, check Katie Couric here.  She’s thinking, “Who is this pale, thin person?” (Memo to the Dynamic Duo- I’d call home if I were you, as the Secret Service would very much like a moment.)13341_183864406877_101907941877_2806771_3673961_n13341_183864396877_101907941877_2806770_8073486_n

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Cramer talking us down too

Well he picked us up like a dirty whore, took us for a ride, had his fun, then shoved us out of his car and left us in the gutter. Bastard! See here.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Dear Gizmodo: Don’t even think about fucking with the screens at our show

So you might have heard about this big kerfuffle at CES where some reporters from Gizmodo went around blasting out TV screens with some kind of little remote control device and then filming themselves doing it. Now one of them has been banned for life from CES and Gizmodo editor Brian Lam (photo) has penned this lame defense saying that blasting out screens at a trade show is a form of civil disobedience and I guess is right up there with MLK at Selma or something. I will address Brian’s essay below but before I do I just want to send out this warning to Gizmodo and anyone else who might be thinking about blasting out TV screens at Macworld: Think twice, losers. Because we will not be banning you from our show. We’ll be fucking tasering you right there on the floor. Then, when you’re lying there on the floor in shock, we’ll carry you off the floor and put you on a plane and rendition your ass to someplace so awful you’ll be praying for death. I mean it.

Brian’s argument seems to be that Gizmodo’s rebellious pranksters are real journalists and the rest of the filthy hacks are just a herd of sheep who do whatever we vendors tell them in order to keep getting access to our products and those of other vendors. Says Brian: “Every tech journalist has to decide whether or not he’s writing for companies or for readers.” Brian seems to think that if hacks just rewrite press releases and regurgitate the info we give them that somehow they’re not legitimate journalists. I disagree. What is the point of turning this wonderful symbiotic relationship between vendors and hacks (access, articles, advertising) into some kind of adversarial relationship? Why can’t we all just get along? At Apple we hire the finest writers and thinkers we can and set them to the incredibly difficult task of explaining our amazing products and guiding customers and media people alike to a deeper understanding of why these products are so exceptional. Why wouldn’t the best reporters in the field take advantage of this service? They’d be foolish not to. And why make an enemy of us? What’s the point? Because you think you’re “serving readers” and giving them “the truth,” whatever that is? Friends, I kind of resent that statement, because it implies that the story as we vendors tell it is not the truth. That people at Apple are liars. That we consciously set out to mislead the outside world or give them bad information. We all know that’s not true. We wouldn’t still be here in business after thirty years if we were doing stuff like that, would we?

If you want the God’s honest truth, it’s this: Nobody needs the media. They really serve no useful purpose. They know it, and we know it. We can tell our story much better than they can, and we do exactly that, every day of the week. Nonetheless, the media refuses to go away — not because they have some big holy mission, but because there’s money to be made at what they do. From our perspective it doesn’t hurt to have a venue that appears to be independent and objective and trustworthy. So we form an unholy bargain with them. We never discuss this bargain openly with them, but sooner or later the scales fall from everyone’s eyes and we all know exactly how the deal works. It’s like this: We keep the hacks alive by buying ads from them, and we let them preen and preach about their sacred calling and we even pretend that they really are objective and intelligent and that we totally respect them, even as we utterly control them and totally shape their coverage of us; then to add a final layer of irony we pay them to let us reprint their rave reviews on our Web site, and we pretend that these puff pieces actually count for something, even though we the truth is we practically wrote them ourselves.

Brian Lam seems to think there’s something wrong with this. Oh well. He’s young. He’ll learn.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Time to look back at some of this year’s highlights

With the new year looming (at least in the opinion of Euro-centric people who abide by the Western calendar; I’m not one of them, preferring to live one day at a time, regardless of month or year) it’s time once again for us to take stock of the year that’s gone by and try to learn from it. Which is why I’ve posted this wonderful video of John Dvorak predicting the huge failure of iPhone. Namaste, grandpa. I honor the place where your head and your ass become one. Better luck in 2008.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Fortune, you dumbass motherfuckers

Oh snap! as Herbert Kornfeld might say. Look who got punked in their own list of stupid items. Folks the item above comes from Fortune magazine and it’s part of this year’s 101 Dumbest Moments in Business list. If you can work your way through their crap interface to #51 (it’s shown above, or you can click to it here) you’ll see Fortune taking this lame crack at big bad Apple for being mean to a little girl named Shea O’Gorman who sent us a letter suggesting ways to improve the iPod.

Just one problem with Fortune putting this incident in their list of dumbest things that happened in 2007: This actually happened in April 2006. Don’t believe me? Check out this TV news report about little Shea O’Gorman, dated April 13, 2006. Or this article about it from AppleInsider dated April 14, 2006. Or this one from Engadget, also April 14, 2006. Or this one from Ars Technica. Or this one from MacWorld UK on April 17, 2006.

Nice work, Fortune. Perhaps you have room for one more item on your list? Apple faithful, the Fortune article has a link where you can “Email the editors.” I urge you to use it.

For what it’s worth, I’m sure that little Shea O’Gorman is a nice little kid, albeit in a bratty, know-it-all sort of way. But trust me — her ideas were total shit. Our legal department was right on the money with that letter.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Copygate update: eWeek freetard hack spanked by Ziff-Davis colleague

Not for being a lazy copycat who lifts press releases word for word, — a fact first revealed by the FSJ Spotlight Team last week — but simply for being a biased, unreliable freetard. See this piece by Microsoft fanboy Joe Wilcox where he tears Steven J. Vaughan-Cut-and-Paste a new one for intentionally misreporting the results of a Linux Foundation survey to make it seem like Linux is taking over the world when in fact, um, it’s not.

But the real bonus here is that SJVN is still up to his copycat ways, though he’s making a little more effort to cover his tracks. Like, now when he lifts entire paragraphs he puts quote marks around them. For example in his latest story he lifts a paragraph from a Linux Foundation guy’s blog and puts it in quotes to make it look like he interviewed the guy. Giveaway is that the Linux Foundation guy made a dumb mistake — he used the word “import” on his blog when he meant to say “important” — and the goof survives, intact, in Steven J.’s article.

Does this guy even bother to read the stuff when he’s stealing it? Hilarious! Check it out:

From Linux Foundation blog:

These responses definitely came from an “enterprise deployment” perspective. When IT decision makers and system administrators listed the issues with deploying pre-installed Linux offerings, they indicated that freedom trumps convenience. When deploying corporate desktop systems, the administrators want the freedom in defining settings and configuration options. The choice of Linux distribution is import [boldface mine, ed.] as well. IT organizations do not want to be locked into the Linux distribution vendor that is pre-installed on the hardware they have selected.

From the version published by Steven J. Vaughan-Cut-and-Paste:

Cherry added, “These responses definitely came from an ‘enterprise deployment’ perspective. When IT decision makers and system administrators listed the issues with deploying preinstalled Linux offerings, they indicated that freedom trumps convenience. When deploying corporate desktop systems, the administrators want the freedom in defining settings and configuration options. The choice of Linux distribution is import [doh! ed.] as well. IT organizations do not want to be locked into the Linux distribution vendor that is preinstalled on the hardware they have selected.”

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols is the chairman of the Internet Press Guild, a journalism watchdog group. I am not making this up. Much love to dear reader Tim for alerting us to this latest outrage. And to Jason for the artwork. And to the brave editors and management of eWeek and Ziff-Davis for leaving this guy in his job and providing this ongoing stream of achingly funny entertainment. Great work, eWeek editors. Your high standards and commitment to integrity are an inspiration to us all.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

We’ve prepared a tutorial for eWeek hacks

Recently our FSJ Spotlight Team has discovered that eWeek columnist Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols (show hard at work, right) has been plundering press releases and reprinting huge sections of them, verbatim, in stories under his byline. (Ironically these stories are then copyrighted by eWeek parent company Ziff-Davis, which means other hacks can’t copy them from eWeek. Outrageous!) The “Copygate” scandal ratcheted up a notch yesterday after Vaughan-Nichols published an indignant response to our investigation in which he admits to lifting press releases and putting his name on them but then says FSJ is a bastard for calling him on this — because, he says, all reporters do this.

But Katie insists that’s not the case. She says in all her years doing PR and communications, she’s never seen a case of a hack lifting entire chunks of press releases and publishing them verbatim under a byline.

Frankly we’re amazed that this renowned journalist, who is chairman of the Internet Press Guild, remains uninformed about this issue. In an effort to be helpful, our communications team has prepared some links which Steven J. Vaughan-Cut-and-Paste and his editors at eWeek might find useful.

1. Fred Brown, who is vice chairman of the Ethics Committee at the Society of Professional Journalists and helped draft that organization’s Code of Ethics, responded to our email inquiry seeking his opinion about reporters copying press releases into bylined articles.

Fred’s emailed response: “SPJ’s code of ethics advises journalists to ‘never plagiarize’ — it’s the only absolute in the code — but it doesn’t explicitly define what that means. I’d say it means using someone else’s work without giving the author credit. Copying from a press release, without putting that copied material in quotes and saying where it comes from, is, at the very least, lazy and sloppy — and for that reason unethical. But it falls somewhat short of the more egregious forms of plagiarism. As you say, I’m sure the people who produced the press releases are happy to have their carefully parsed words repeated verbatim.”

(Worth noting: The Internet Press Guild, where Steven J. Vaughan-Cut-and-Paste is chairman, claims it adheres to standards set by the Society of Professional Journalists. Ahem.)

2. Here’s an article from the American Press Institute titled “When does sloppy attribution become plagiarism?”

Money quote: “Substantial theft of whole passages of a press release is no different from substantial theft from another source. It doesn’t matter that the organization offered the press release for publication and welcomes your verbatim publication. The obligation to be original is an obligation to readers, not just sources. Consent of the source doesn’t override that obligation to readers. …Our credibility is precious and a sloppy journalist is hardly better than a crooked journalist.”

3. The Seattle Times provides this set of plagiarism guidelines in a Q&A format for its reporters. Money quote:

“Q. What about press releases? Can we lift information verbatim from a news release for background or boilerplate?
A. We discourage using verbatim language from news releases. Quotes from them should be attributed in the text, “…said in a news release,” or with similar language.”

Um, Ziff-Davis editors? Are you paying attention? Of course not. If you were, you’d have noticed this yourselves.