Does anyone read anymore?

After the Macalope took George Ou to task for his paranoid and patently false rantings and Mr. Gruber did the same, the horny one hardly expected to see them uncritically reported elsewhere.

And yet they were.

The first incident was by a goofball that even the Macalope — who covers the goofball beat — won’t touch.

There is considerable irony in a blogger uncritically repeating and boosting false information in a post where he’s taking another blogger to task for… uncritically repeating and boosting false information.

That’s kind of the textbook example of irony, actually.

The second is Seth Jayson at the Motley Fool (tip o’ the antlers to several readers who emailed this in).

There’s a large and tangled web here, but according to ZD Net’s George Ou, the effort to smear the computer security researchers was led by none other than Apple PR director Lynn Fox, aided and abetted by the brittle, easily fooled iSheep at Slashdot and Digg.

Mmm. Well, according to one of the two victims of Ou’s bizarre vendetta, Ou has no idea what the hell he’s talking about. So…

This comes from a company that’s proven to be unbelievably adept at marketing, beginning with its adoption of the MP3 player technology that others pioneered, and the successful creation of the mass fiction that it invented the concept.

The word is “reinvented”, dumbass. Apple reinvented the computer, it reinvented the MP3 player and it reinvented the phone.

It even says that in their marketing materials:

Apple ignited the personal computer revolution in the 1970s with the Apple II and reinvented the personal computer in the 1980s with the Macintosh.


This is, after all, the same company that whitewashed a large options-backdating scandal, giving a free pass to CEO Steve Jobs for the bogus excuse that he didn’t understand the accounting implications.

Is it bogus? The Macalope suspects it is, but he doesn’t know. And neither do you.

Jayson also reaches back to a year ago when Apple fired an employee who jokingly waxed poetic about long hold times for support calls. Does the Macalope think that was the right thing to do? No.

But waaaaiiiiit fooooooor iiiiiiit…

Because, to its credit, the Motley Fool posts the portfolio of each of its writers. Jayson holds no AAPL, but he does hold MSFT.


Well, it’s probably because Microsoft never axed anyone for image reasons.


The Macalope holds an inconsequential number of Apple shares.

  • monkyhead:

    You can’t spell “reinvented” without “invented,” The Macalope. And also “re.” You need the “re” too.

  • Quix:

    Is it just me, or does it seem like the Microsoft PR (FUD) department has been working overtime the past couple of months? Do I smell the pungent tang of fear in the air?

    Throw in the story being celebrated by the Windows horde on Digg right now about Windows being the most secure OS (snicker, snort), and tell me who, exactly, are the Digg iSheep again?

  • John Muir:

    The problem is not that people don’t read, but that like just said: Digg is not the place to do it.

    Caveat freaking lector.

  • WH:

    Anyone read Maynor’s ungagged revelations:

    I have to admit that the more I read of him, I first of all lose track of what he is actually trying to say and next; it seems to me that he is desperately manoeuvering himself out of the waters he entered, splashing blame around him as he goes.
    Didn’t he explicitly say something about demoing on a Mac just because of the smugness of Macuseres? Or was that part of Apple’s evil campaign? Or was it the evil journalists he never should’ve talked to?

    Ah, it is so hard to get to the bottom of things!

    But there is a comment to his blog which is worth reading – a long one.

  • Christopher Letzelter:

    I used to read the Motley Fool AAPL-related articles, because I was under the impression that the Fools were about smart investing. After several years of reading I’ve come to the conclusion that the Fools either:
    completely misunderstand Apple as a company and thereby give misguided investing advice, or;
    are soooo M$-biased that they knowingly give nearly constant negative advice regarding AAPL.
    I vote for the second option. The way I look at it, if I had ignored their advice years ago and bought and continued to hold AAPL, I would have doubled my investment. How many of their Motley readers have fared that well with the Fools’ picks?

  • the “Apple is Evil” flag is getting a lot of play these days… no shortage of peoplewho want to try to get some of that john c. dvorak style web-traffic.

    random jackass on the web runs his mouth about howAppleis evil because they know it will generate traffic

    mac sites will link to it – mac podcasts will mention it – it will get people talking. their advertisers see that the page hits are up – next week… what should i post? good article about the problems with monitization within the open source community? no… i think not… nobody on digg or slashdot will have pithy “fanboy” comments for that…

  • Oh lord, the Motley Fool?

    Haven’t they finished fading into “who gives a rat’s ass”-evence yet?

  • Zo:

    I thought it was “fanboi.” (Or is that only on Slashdot, where they are all, I fear, secret “bois.”) (No, wait a minute, that means wood in French ..)

    Please elucidate upon proper usage of each. Seeing as how you’ve often nothing better to do.

    Think nothing of it.

  • angelo:

    You might want to make that *three* uncritical references to Mr Ou’s latest, errr, whatever:
    (with the MOAB thrown in for good measure…)
    Oh my…

  • Brett:

    Well, I’ve done pretty well with some of MF’s picks, but nothing beats my AAPL gains. I was buying AAPL during the mid to late ’90s as it was sliding to new lows. Since then it has split twice and multiplied 13-fold. And we haven’t even seen the iPhone, yet…

  • interesting statement by Maynor that WH found. Haven’t seen it before. Confirms that Ou “vast” conspiracy is one artcle in Macworld.

  • Public relations is a shady-ass business. Even if Fox did everything that Ou has dreamed up, it would all be in the game. Calling Macworld to push for a certain angle on a story? That’s her job description, as Jayson knows well. I’m sure he fields a dozen such calls a day. Not that that kind of business makes us smile, but it is the real world. The SecureWorks boys’ clumsy, juvenile, 5% correct slurring of a very wealthy and smart company was huge mistake, especially given their inability to respond to the backlash in grown-up English. For the rest of us, it’s been fun to watch and for Apple it’s just paying some overtime to a few people. I think we know as much of the story as we ever will, and certainly enough to put it to bed. The Motley Fool (and “stock picks” in general)? Sooooo 1998.

  • Apple and Steveness are sneaky and devious, but this just reeks of too much tome on Ou’s hands and not enough thought in his writing. Linkbait is just that. Linkbait.

  • Nick:

    David Maynor’s new blog at Errata Security is an exercise in oddity in itself. In the oddest post I’ve seen there yet, Maynor’s colleague is getting all steamed up and talking about “ethical journalism”, because ZDNet had dared to criticize Microsoft OneCare.

    I mean, Gee, even Paul Thurrott has criticized OneCare–it’s *that* bad.

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