Gawker suggests Jobs was responsible for his own death

An article has been published at Gawker that strongly suggests Steve Jobs died from refusing treatment for cancer and because he turned to alternative medicines. The article cites a post on Quora in which Doctor Razmi Amri (who did not treat Jobs but has studied pancreatic cancer for 18 months) essentially condemns Jobs’ death as being the result of his stubbornness, going on to say that few people die from the form of cancer from which Jobs suffered. Citing no actual knowledge of Jobs’ medical case beyond what the media and secondary sources could impart, Amri states that Jobs allegedly accepted alternative treatments before receiving conventional treatment.

This was, of course, a freedom he had all the rights to take, but given the circumstances it seems sound to assume that Mr. Jobs’ choice for alternative medicine could have led to an unnecessarily early death.

Gawker goes on to discuss how “The condition might have been nipped in the bud if Jobs had acted right away.” Upon reading, it becomes clear that there’s a logic trap in the article. At first blush, it’s purported to be about the ongoing controversy about conventional versus non-conventional medicine, and that’s where Gawker would like you to focus your attention. Yet, no matter on which side of the argument you personally fall, we must ask: In which medical discipline do we give credibility to the diagnosis of a physician for a patient he’s never met and never treated? Amri himself says that his only knowledge of Jobs’ case is what he gleaned from the media, and Gawker hand-picks quotes from Quora to give the impression that he has the ability to make a diagnosis. Gawker itself assume the voice of medical professionals and writes these “lessons” for cancer patients, stressing that they see Jobs as a sad, cautionary tale. They going so far as to downplay the importance of researching your own affliction:

“But there is also, thankfully, a much clearer and easier lesson for patients in Jobs’s experience: Do not waste time. Don’t waste time by ignoring advice to get screened; don’t waste time by drowning yourself in research about your condition; and don’t waste time by delaying medically recommended treatment in the hops [sic] that something else will work.”

It’s important to note that Gawker is no friend of Apple’s. Gizmodo (to which Gawker Media is the parent company) purchased a stolen iPhone 4 prototype in 2010 and would not return it to Apple when Jobs contacted them directly and asked. Apple predictably removed Gawker from the invite lists for their press events and will no longer deal with them. Since then, Gawker has written a number of strongly anti-Apple articles, many of which specifically focused on defaming Steve Jobs and often bringing as much attention as possible to his illness, publishing photos which made him look weak and feeble. Even after Jobs’ death, Gawker has repeatedly gone back to the topic of his life and worked to frame him in a bad light. Even in this article, they conclude by saying that his death was “reason to forgive the brilliant CEO his many faults…”

It’s true; Gawker would like very much to lure us into an argument about the relative merits of conventional versus non-conventional medicine. Instead, let’s call this article what it is: An attempt by Gawker to smear the image of someone they didn’t like.

Corey has been been a tech journalist with a focus on Apple since 1998 and has written for The Loop, MacHome magazine, and as games contributor for The Mac Bible, and co-hosts the iGame Radio Podcast. He works as a… Full Bio