After Gizmodo published its exclusive on the [stolen] iPhone 4.0, Steve Jobs called Gizmodo and asked for it back.
For a variety of reasons, Gizmodo wanted written proof that the iPhone was Apple’s.
Gizmodo had also recently been spurned by Apple (in the iPad media blitz). In a follow-up email to Steve, Brian mentioned this as a reason he had pursued the iPhone story so hard. He also explained why Gizmodo wasn’t willing to hand the phone back without a formal request from Apple.
Brian’s email certainly raises the question whether Gizmodo would have published the iPhone story if Apple hadn’t dissed the site when it sent shiny new iPads to old-media tech gods Walt Mossberg and David Pogue, among others.
Given that Apple has successfully dissuaded old media organisations from reporting stories like this (in exchange for shiny new iPads?), it also raises the question of whether the world’s better off with Apple dissing Gizmodo. There’s certainly plenty of “access-for-favourable-coverage” journalism around. The world doesn’t need any more of it.