The headline news is that Steve Jobs is sick and that’s why he isn’t giving a keynote at Macworld.
One interesting side note is that an online media outlet most people would call a blog got the story right and a reliable old media brand did not.
Here’s what CNBC’s (GE) Jim Goldman reported after Apple announced Steve Jobs would not give the keynote:
Sources inside the company tell me that Jobs’ decision was more about politics than his pancreas. Sources tell me that if Jobs for some reason was unable to perform any of his responsibilities as CEO because of health reasons, which would include the Macworld keynote, I should “rest assured that the board would let me know.
Based on Steve’s letter today, the “politics” explanation appears to have been bogus (or at least secondary). And no one was asking whether Steve Jobs was suddenly too sick to be CEO–the question was why he had decided to pass on MacWorld.
Then, a few weeks later, Gizmodo, Gawker Media’s gadget blog, reported that a source who ” has repeatedly been 100% correct before” told them that Jobs was skipping Macworld due to his health. Based on Steve’s letter, this appears to have been accurate. CNBC’s Goldman, however, immediately got on TV and said Steve was “totally fine”:
I spoke to Apple after these headlines crossed and the company, which officially doesn’t comment on rumours, reiterated the reasons it offered two weeks ago: Apple was pulling out of Macworld because the company didn’t see the need to continue its investment in the expo, which included Steve Jobs’ keynote.
If that was Apple’s official explanation, it appears to have been a lie. In any event, Goldman’s source was wrong.
We don’t mean to single out Jim on this one (most major media got the Macworld explanation wrong or punted on the question). But it is worth noting that one of traditional media’s self-professed differentiators over “blogs”–that traditional media has actual sources–continues to erode.