As any reporter who covers Apple knows, its fans — and detractors — are quick to find bias in almost any press report. Farhad Manjoo, who writes the Machanist column for Salon, tells the story of Walt Mossberg’s 2004 review of the iMac G5 in the Wall St. Journal. It began:
The piece was, by any objective measure, a rave. By Manjoo’s count, only 70 of the column’s 900 words had anything negative to say about the machine, and those complaints were minor (the lack of a photo card reader and Mossberg’s feeling that Apple had “scrimped on memory”). Yet Apple partisans felt slighted. What did he have against Apple, they wanted to know.
What’s going on?
Mossberg calls it the Doctrine of Insufficient Adulation, and Manjoo (who has experienced the effect first-hand) addresses it in a new book entitled
“True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society.”
The chapter that deals with Apple AAPL is excerpted in Tuesday’s Machanist column. Manjoo finds parallels in a Stanford study of pro-Arab and pro-Israeli students — as we as some choice tidbits from the mailbag of David Pogue, tech critic of the New York Times.
I don’t claim to be in Pogue or Mossberg’s league, but for anyone who has wondered about the phenomenon, I think it’s a must read. See here.