Are Apple and Publishers Helping Readers by Ripping Them Off?

Apple iPad (cc photo: Tom Raftery)

The Justice Department alleges that Apple‘s collusion with book publishers to fix ebook prices has cost readers $100 million. So why are so many news reports on the anti-trust suit suggesting that the Apple/publisher alliance is actually good for consumers? The New York Times‘ David Streitfeld (4/12/12) warns: Amazon, which already controls about 60 percent of the ebook market, can take a loss on every book it sells to gain market share for its Kindle devices. When it has enough competitive advantage, it can dictate its own terms, something publishers say is beginning to happen. Likewise CNN‘s Doug Gross (4/11/12): […]


Bill O’Reilly and the Invention of the Internet

Last night Fox‘s Bill O’Reilly (3/1/12) asked guest Tamara Draut from the think tank Demos to name just one green energy success story. She tried to resist the question, explaining that in some cases, the benefits of government funding can come much later. Like, she mentioned, what happened with the Internet. But O’Reilly wasn’t going to let those facts get in the way: O’REILLY: Let me break this to you. The Internet– DRAUT: It’s too short of a time frame. O’REILLY: — private money. DRAUT: No, it was public money. Department of Defense, federal money. O’REILLY: Hold it. Have you […]


Apple’s ABC Friends Get China Exclusive

With all the recent critical attention to Apple’s manufacturing policies, it was perhaps only a matter of time before the company decided to push back.One way Apple might do this is by granting an “exclusive” to a media outlet that might put out a different kind of story than the one that people have encountered via the New York Times (1/25/12) or This American Life (1/6/12). So here we have the news that ABC has been granted “exclusive” access to the massive Foxconn facility that has been at epicenter of the controversy over Apple’s labor practices. Why ABC? Forbes contributor […]


NYT’s Apple Debate Factcheck, Without Facts

If Arthur Brisbane wants the Times to consider becoming factchecking ‘truth vigilantes,” this is hopefully not what he had in mind. At last night’s Republican debate (1/19/12), CNN host John King asked the candidates how they would convince a corporation like Apple to employ more workers in the United States: It employs about 500,000 people in China. It is based in the United States, has some employees here, about 40-something thousand, I think 46,000. Most of them in retail stores and at the headquarters. 500,000 of them are in China. As a president of the United States, what do you […]


NYT Invents a Steve Jobs Backlash

Remember how the media all turned negative on Steve Jobs so soon after his death? Me neither. But don’t tell the New York Times. Today (11/03/11) the paper has a piece by Alex Williams pondering the speed with which the glowing tributes turned into something else–i.e., when “bloggers began their assault.” That assault, by Williams’ account, consisted of things like this: “Was Steve Jobs a Good Man, or an Evil Corporate CEO and Wall Street Shill?” asked a contributor on the Occupy Wall Street website. Then, on the Forbes site, David Coursey, a technology writer, wrote an article called “Steve […]


What Would Steve Jobs Do?

On the Meet the Press roundtable on Sunday (10/30/11), talk turned to Steve Jobs. And, as one might expect from the avalanche of hero worship that accompanied news of his death, the chatter concerned how we might all one day live up to Jobs’ legacy. Here’s host David Gregory, speaking to Tom Brokaw: Tom, it’s interesting, author and journalist Jeff Greenfield tweeted recently about Steve Jobs the following: “Imagine a Steve Jobs in the auto industry, in healthcare, in energy, even in government. We’d have a different country.” We know from Walter Isaacson‘s biography that Jobs had some pretty strong […]