Daft Punks

Pundits are no strangers to criticizing companies, and those who want to maximize their SEO Klout verticals know the biggest target of them all is Apple.

Apple: Once, a company that could do nothing right and was doomed to failure is now a company that can do nothing right and is still doomed to failure.

And that is to be expected. “New media” publications (read: tech blogs) rely less on facts and more on the desultory ramblings of analysts who tend to confuse cogent analysis with the aftermath of their Chipotle burritos.

But there’s a new game the kids are playing these days and the goal is to, well, make themselves feel better, I guess? I’m not exactly sure based on the source material.

Yesterday, Jay Yarow wrote a piece for Business Insider called “Apple Blogger Praises Apple For Making Insignificant Improvements To Apple Maps” (no link because we here at Macgasm value your brain cells).

In the missive, Yarow takes Apple writer and commentator Jim Dalrymple to task for saying nice things about the company. Really.

Dalrymple is one of the most pro-Apple bloggers in the world. He’s constantly attacking Apple rival Samsung (see here) and disparaging anyone that speaks ill of Apple (see here).

The maps blog post is mostly about Apple improving “flyover” coverage, which is the 3D renderings of buildings with satellite photos, as well as some improvements in Japan and China.

The flyover stuff for Apple is pretty much useless, so bragging about fixing it seems silly. You don’t need flyover for anything. It’s neat to look at, but it doesn’t help you get where you’re going.

Jim has an opinion. He digs Apple and loathes Samsung and that opinion is not hidden or misconstrued in any way on the Loop. Anyone who thinks an article with the title “Asshole Samsung” is vague needs to go back to school.

That’s Jim’s prerogative. His site is an extension of himself and his opinion is part of it. A disagreement with the sentiments expressed within his piece is understandable — a disagreement with its existence is not.

But since Mr. Yarow seems to be an expert in “real” journalism, let’s take a look at some of his recent articles:

  1. “Don’t Want To Alarm You, But Analysts Think Apple Is Having A Truly Terrible Quarter”
  2. “The First Analyst To Become Negative On Apple Now Thinks The Stock Is A Buy”
  3. “Samsung’s Ad Budget Grew By 5X To $401 Million Last Year, Crushing Apple”
  4. “The Only Thing That Has Really Changed At Apple Is That There’s No More Reality Distortion Field”
  5. “And Now ANOTHER Analyst Thinks Apple Might Miss Its Own Guidance”
  6. “Apple Has Two New Boring Ads for the iPhone”

And that was all just on the first page of results.

Two of the articles that mention analysts quote Walter Piecyk from BTIG. If you’ll recall, Piecyk claimed just a few days ago that Apple was headed for the same fate as RIM, Motorola, and HTC. Mmm, do I smell barbacoa?

The other analyst article quotes Peter Misek, a man who once thought he saw the mythical Apple Television just before it slipped under the water, never to be heard from again.

So, if we’ve learned anything from Yarow, it’s that Samsung is “crushing” Apple by spending more money on terrible TV ads, the latest iPhone commercials are “boring” because they actually show you what the product is capable of, and Apple is doomed because people who are professionally wrong said so. Excuse me while I queue up my “Anti-Apple Blogger Criticizes Apple for Being Apple” article.

But I’m not here to shred Yarow’s numerous straw men. This is about his screed against Jim Dalrymple and the Loop. My question is: what was the point? If Yarow had an issue with the Apple Maps piece, why didn’t he just make it about the information instead of a whiny rant about Jim’s admiration for the company? Was this supposed to shame him into being more critical for criticism’s sake?

It didn’t help when Yarow’s cohort at Business Insider, Steve Kovach, chimed in on Twitter:

Pretty rich coming from the co-author of the hard-hitting journalistic endeavor, “How To Make Your Tumblr Look Incredible”. Pulitzer-winning stuff right there.

I could sit here all day and make jokes about Business Insider‘s laughable lack of credibility, or how it’s run by a guy who was banned by the SEC for stock fraud, or how it robs page views from other sites that actually publish well-written, thought-provoking content.

But instead, I’ll quote John Martellaro at the Mac Observer who penned a great article about this whole situation called, “The New Apple War: Targeting Pro-Apple Writers“:

The simple fact of the matter is that there are distinguished, capable writers whom you can trust when you read their thoughts about Apple. Mr. Dalrymple is one and has long been considered one of the most authoritative writers about Apple. Just because he points to errors of omission and errors in logic and analysis by others doesn’t make him a biased, brainless Apple fanboy. Not every opinion is valid, and we as writers must write plainly so readers can judge us on the merits.

Sites like Business Insider aren’t in it for the facts. They’re in it for the page views and like I said before, ain’t no party like an Apple-hating party. Apple certainly does things to invoke criticism and when said criticism is presented both logically and coherently, then there shouldn’t be a problem. No company is infallible, even when it’s running circles around the competition (article provided by Jay Yarow, who manages to squeeze in at least one diss at Apple near the end).

However, it’s impossible to take a writer like Yarow seriously when the crux of his complaint isn’t the content of the article, but rather the article’s creator. When the Macalope pulls apart a piece, he counters a point with proof to the contrary. Yarow may as well have called Jim a “doody head” and kicked over his sand castle.

But we don’t read Business Insider for its maturity. We read it because Here Comes Honey Boo Boo doesn’t return for another two weeks.

Harry is an aspiring novelist, the author of the popular Web column CuriousRat.com and a co-host of everyone's favorite 30-minute tech podcast, inThirty.net