Sunday, June 24, 2007

Summer of Love 2007: Scandal in Silicon Valley


Michael was paid (gasp) by Microsoft to say something about Microsoft. Gasp again.

Even though it ran where an advertisement normally ran, it was text. Since Michael is a writer and it was text, which is writing, even though it was an ad where an ad was, people might have thought it was not an ad, but just Michael writing.

If people couldn't infer that since it was an ad and Michael was endorsing Microsoft, that Michael wasn't have to be kidding me!

Nick just couldn't stand for it and posted something on his blog. It sort of made it seem that what had actually transpired was that Pfizer had paid the New York Times to run an endorsement of some new radical cancer drug, and the New York Time's ran the ad on the freaking front page only it looked like a news story.

Meanwhile back in New York, Fred thought Nick was being kind of dumb.

John who was somehow responsible for the thing in the first place took it on the chin and said there should have been some disclosure somewhere that they were paid endorsements. But they were ads and so this strikes me as John trying to make Nick happy without actually making any sense in the process.

Michael thought Om was lacking in fortitude under attack and that John threw him under the bus and I didn't get the impression Michael found John exactly manly in all of this.

Where are the gentle people with flowers in their hair and LSD?

Is the LSD here for "Let's Start Disclosing" or is it "Let's Stay Dumb"?

Disclosure? Do you expect every Lebron James commercial to end with Lebron saying, "Nike pays me to endorse its products."

I know, Lebron isn't a journalist so it's not a valid comparison. But it is, because it's a freaking commercial. I don't care whether Michael is or isn't a journalist. If I see someone endorsing a product in an advertisement, I expect that it's a paid endorsement. Anyone would be safe in always going with that expectation. I do. Disclosures seem pointless if it's a given.

I remember John a little bit from the 1990s. I didn't know him, we may have exchanged a few e-mails. I heard him speak a few times. He struck me then as someone who thought WIRED magazine was more important than the New York Times. He and Nick both are striking me that way now.

Let's look at the subscriber numbers for both.

Let's not and say we did.

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