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Jobs asks author: "Are you a nut case?"

post #1 of 103
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On Friday, Apple CEO Steve Jobs lashed out at an author who wrote an article about the untold story of Jobs' biological father, reports the New York Daily News.

Fredric Alan Maxwell last week emailed Jobs a 4,000-word article he wrote for Fast Company magazine about Jobs' biological father, reportedly a Syrian immigrant and political science professor named Abdulfattah Jandali.

"Are you a nut case?" Jobs replied, signing the oneliner "Steve."

Maxwell reportedly fired back: "Are you?"

According to the Daily News, the Montana-based author has been pushing Jobs' buttons for a while, even conducting 18 months of research for the unauthorized biography. He finally sent Jobs the piece after Fast Company decided not to run with it.

In January, Maxwell was reportedly stripped of his press credentials when he tried to enter Jobs' keynote speech at the MacWorld event in San Francisco.

This isn't the first time that an unauthorized biography has drawn the ire of Jobs.

In April, Jobs had Apple pull all books published by John Wiley & Sons from its retail stores in protest of an unauthorized biography titled "iCon Steve Jobs : The Greatest Second Act in the History of Business" which the publisher had agreed to release.

But Jobs' reaction to the biography did nothing but bolster sales and interest in the book, causing Wiley & Sons to double the book's initial press run of nearly 50,000 and to race it to stores a few weeks ahead of its original publication date.
post #2 of 103
Quote:
Originally posted by AppleInsider
This isn't the first time that an unauthorized biography has drawn the ire of Jobs, who often responds irrationally.

*snip*

But Jobs' overblown reaction to the biography...

AppleInsider stories: Journalism at its finest.
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post #3 of 103
The less discussion people like this are given in any press the less likely they they will stoop to this soft harassment and racism. There shouldn't even be any discussion of the man or his article.

IN FACT the best thing AppleInsider could do is just remove this article and never mention it or the author again. Just like radio stations in my are will never name the person who killed John Lennon, so as not to give him an publicity or notoriety, Appleinsider should do the same.
Make it idiotproof and they'll just make a
better idiot.
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Make it idiotproof and they'll just make a
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post #4 of 103
Yes, but when does not reporting somthing become censorship?
post #5 of 103
Quote:
Originally posted by eAi
Yes, but when does not reporting somthing become censorship?

That is like the chicken and the egg...and is not a good arguement.

I would assume that people know where lines should be drawn. This guy is a freekn' nut case.
Hard-Core.
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Hard-Core.
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post #6 of 103
Censorship can only be applied to government action. It has nothing to do with private interests.

When Yahoo gives into the Chinese government so that it will be allowed to do business there, that's censorship.

If a publishing house decides not to run a piece because they think that either it's unfair, or poorly researched, or simply in poor taste, it's not censorship.

If AppleInsider decides not to publish this info. it's not censorship either. If they do, it's not approval.

Every time a decision is made, something that someone somewhere does not like, occurs. That person may think that it's censorship, but it's not.
post #7 of 103
has anyone actually read that seconds act book?

is it any good?
post #8 of 103
I don't want to hear about Steve Jobs biological father, Eric Schmidt's auntie, or Steve Ballmer's dog. This is gossip, not news.
post #9 of 103
Quote:
Originally posted by melgross
Censorship can only be applied to government action. It has nothing to do with private interests.

When Yahoo gives into the Chinese government so that it will be allowed to do business there, that's censorship.

If a publishing house decides not to run a piece because they think that either it's unfair, or poorly researched, or simply in poor taste, it's not censorship.

If AppleInsider decides not to publish this info. it's not censorship either. If they do, it's not approval.

Every time a decision is made, something that someone somewhere does not like, occurs. That person may think that it's censorship, but it's not.

Thank you! Someone who understands. It's obvious you don't really belong here.
post #10 of 103
This is of course Aple and Jobs not just Jobs.
They are a "public" company and he is therefore a public figure and subject to the scrutiny that comes with that. Besides any one person who makes more than 40 million a year should be publicly critisized for something. You don't make that much money without screwing someone over.
post #11 of 103
So... hate the rich pre-emptively, eh?

What's that called... oh yeah, prejudice.

Nice.

Here's an idea... since everyone has, at some point in there life, screwed over someone else, I say we ditch *ALL* privacy laws, and make *everyone's* life an open book to be peered through and pored through by anyone who wants to.

I mean, if you don't have anything to hide, you shouldn't mind, right?

And yes, that means you too.

'Public figure' my sweet patootie. The only people who should care at all are the shareholders.
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post #12 of 103
Quote:
Originally posted by Kickaha
'Public figure' my sweet patootie. The only people who should care at all are the shareholders.

When Jobs stops appearing on the cover of TIME, then you might have an arguement. Until then...
post #13 of 103
Quote:
Originally posted by melgross
Censorship can only be applied to government action. It has nothing to do with private interests.

Where does this definition come from exactly?
post #14 of 103
Put yourself in Steves position, you are in your office, minding your own business, hurting no one, and you get this rediculous email claiming that...well you know, you read the same story I did...I have to think that a response like "are you nuts?" is a lot cleaner and more professional than my responce would have been...
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You can't quantify how much I don't care -- Bob Kevoian of the Bob and Tom Show.
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post #15 of 103
Maxwell wrote that article probably with the idea of directing anti-Arab and anti-Muslim sentiment against Steve Jobs. He probably thinks he can embarass Jobs by claiming that he is of Syrian descent, especially after the UN claimed that Syria was responsible for the assasination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Maxwell clearly is nuts. Who knows, he may even be dangerous and turn violent.
post #16 of 103
In the same vein, think a moment and put yourself in Steve J.'s shoes.

Running Apple, AND Pixar, a ton of things on his mind.

Now, someone writes him an e-mail about his biological father and some kooky theory.

He actually responds.

6 words too many.
post #17 of 103
Quote:
Originally posted by vinney57
Where does this definition come from exactly?

You are right. The man knows now of what he speaks. He is confusing the abridging an American's right of free speech with censorship. What he means to say the right only applies to the government not private interests. And he is correct there. But we are talking about censorship, the suppression of ideas, and Mr. jobbs is engaged in attempted censorship.
post #18 of 103
Quote:
Originally posted by wilco
When Jobs stops appearing on the cover of TIME, then you might have an arguement. Until then...

Sorry, I don't think that 'public figures' should include anyone but government officials, and even then I think they deserve basic human decency.

I don't give a rat's ass about anyone's private life outside of how they perform their job, and I think those that *thrive* on such crap are bottom feeders who really need to get a life.

In my perfect world, people would mind their own damned business, and stop using 'journalism' as a way of pulling down other people who are arguably more successful, just to make themselves feel better about themselves. It's juvenile, asinine, and immature.

Trash 'journalism' is just that... trash. And why these idiots can claim to have the same protection as people who actually report *news* is beyond me.
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post #19 of 103
Quote:
Originally posted by Norman Terry
This is of course Aple and Jobs not just Jobs.
They are a "public" company and he is therefore a public figure and subject to the scrutiny that comes with that. Besides any one person who makes more than 40 million a year should be publicly critisized for something. You don't make that much money without screwing someone over.

Envy doesn't become you.
post #20 of 103
Quote:
Originally posted by Norman Terry
This is of course Aple and Jobs not just Jobs.
They are a "public" company and he is therefore a public figure and subject to the scrutiny that comes with that. Besides any one person who makes more than 40 million a year should be publicly critisized for something. You don't make that much money without screwing someone over.

Wow um..that makes no sense in context.

You do of course realize that the people who he wrote the article for refused to publish it right? You gathered that much from the article I hope. Can you think of reasons why they might do that? As a student of mass media law, I will tell you:

In this country we can publish whatever we want without being stopped. No prior restraint against us. Government cant stop of from publishing anything except rare things related to imminent danger or national secruity. However, if after articles are published they are found to hold lies, defamation, or malice, then a libel case can be made.

For a public figure such as Steve Jobs he has to prove actual malice. Actual intent and actual knowing of lies to harm. CLEARLY this "nut case" didn't do a good job and his publisher thought it crossed the line. If it had been published, he and his publisher would surely have wanted to hold libel insuriance because they would have payed through their teeth.

And I agree, this is dissapointing of Appleinsider to report on. It is a pretty sleezy story, in the future I hope you keep to your normal level of journalistic integrity or I will have to go somewhere else. I just don't see how it is news worthy.

I also don't think the term "lashed out" is valid based off the 5 words Steve used. I would imagine the people close to Steve would say that on a scale of frustration "Are you a nut case?" is toward the gentle side of his vocabulary.
post #21 of 103
Quote:
Originally posted by rtamesis
Maxwell wrote that article probably with the idea of directing anti-Arab and anti-Muslim sentiment against Steve Jobs. He probably thinks he can embarass Jobs by claiming that he is of Syrian descent, especially after the UN claimed that Syria was responsible for the assasination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Maxwell clearly is nuts. Who knows, he may even be dangerous and turn violent.

Ah. Ya. You know your world politics well, and like you i jumped to the same conclusion until i did more research. Vanity Fair is also reporting it.
post #22 of 103
Quote:
Originally posted by Bluecrusader
You are right. The man knows now of what he speaks. He is confusing the abridging an American's right of free speech with censorship. What he means to say the right only applies to the government not private interests. And he is correct there. But we are talking about censorship, the suppression of ideas, and Mr. jobbs is engaged in attempted censorship.

Er, no? I don't see how "are you a nut case?" equates with the denial of Maxwell's ability to publish the document.

So in your viewpoint, if someone offers a dissenting opinion, that's 'censorship'?

Just trying to get a clarification here...
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post #23 of 103
Yeah, excellent question...

" But we are talking about censorship, the suppression of ideas, and Mr. jobbs is engaged in attempted censorship."

How is Mr. Jobs engaged in attempted censorship?

I don't follow. Are you in reference to the iCon book being pulled from Apple Stores?

If I don't want a book on the bookshelf in my room, I don't have to keep it there. Same goes for the bookshelf in my computer company store. I can put whatever the hell I want on my bookshelf and that is not up for debate by any measure of debate. It is fundemental. What is your point?
post #24 of 103
Quote:
Originally posted by Mero
Yeah, excellent question...

" But we are talking about censorship, the suppression of ideas, and Mr. jobbs is engaged in attempted censorship."

How is Mr. Jobs engaged in attempted censorship?

I don't follow. Are you in reference to the iCon book being pulled from Apple Stores?

If I don't want a book on the bookshelf in my room, I don't have to keep it there. Same goes for the bookshelf in my computer company store. I can put whatever the hell I want on my bookshelf and that is not up for debate by any measure of debate. It is fundemental. What is your point?

well, it CAN be taken too far, when the vendor is large and monopoly-ish. like if, say, clearchannel decides to blacklist someone, they're dead in the water. we looked the other way here because, really, apple stores were hardly the biggest vendor possible for the book (i was tempted to pick it up at barnes & noble, until i heard it just wasn't that great a read).
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When you're lovers in a dangerous time,
You're made to feel as if your love's a crime.
Nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight.
Gotta kick at the darkness 'til it bleeds daylight.

-...
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post #25 of 103
So basically you are saying it isn't relevent to this case then, correct? And further, I absolutely agree that there are lines and I think it is distrubing how small the list of mass media companies who own everything is. But I think it is absolutely fair for the man whom the book is about, if he does not approve of its content, to pull it from his store shelves.
post #26 of 103
Uuuuh... gang.... I don't get it?
Whats the big deal?

Judging by a lot of the reaction here, there is a lot of racism towards Syrians. At lest thats the undertone I feel.
Jobs could be Syrian, he could also not be. What difference does it make?

It's not like he has some gene in him thats going to place a bomb inside every new iMac.
The iMac Boom

Really guys, I don't even see what the story is here? I even read a few pages on Amazon, and still don't see what the big deal is?

I'm an advocate for Free Press and Privacy. Where the conundrum resides is in how far do we allow each to go? Where is the balance?
I think we should be able to know everything about Jobs when it pertains to the 'Business Man'.
I think it's none of our business when it comes to Jobs, the neighbour down the road.
Don't listen to your government, it's NOT ok to spy on your neighbour. Because guess what, they may be spying on you.
Reminds me of Germany in the 30's. Or the early witch hunts.

A public figure in government is different then a private citizen public figure.
This is something they used to teach in ethics class's for journalism.

Anyways, Jobs could be drunk, gun toting, 1 legged, x-con from Iceland with terrets syndrome and a crack addict... I don't care, as long as my machine works.

"Everyone thinks it's a good idea... until it happens to them".
post #27 of 103
If Steve Jobs decides not to sell a product in a store that is decision. I dont think you can call it censorship if you go right next door and pick it up at B&N or any other book store. This not the library limiting the books offered, it is private industry. And to that point if there is a product on his shelf that either puts him or the company he represents in a bad light the he can and should remove it from the shelves.

How long are people going to complain about how much he makes. If you can design hardware and an operating system that the consumer base would so choose to purchase the by all means do it. Stop this ridiculous whining about his bank account. It just shows how petty you are.
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post #28 of 103
The real question is how did this fruitcake get Steve's email address?
There are one or two things I'd like to discuss about the Intel switch.

Being from outside of the US, I didn't pick up on the supposed Syrian connection as being a big deal until I saw what was being read into it here. Just sounds like a case of loser/desperate journalist vs. famously irritable Steve Jobs. Not really an epic, but not something worth digging up the arguments over censorship vs. freedom of speech for either.

The iCon tale is more interesting and in fact shows you something about Jobs which we don't need the nut case guy to remind us about. "Don't piss him off". Apple wouldn't be Apple if it weren't for the way he conducts business. Far worse things go on in corporate America. It's not like we're talking about Amazon pulling a book they don't want people to read. Or Microsoft trying to force feed everyone their DRM...
post #29 of 103
Quote:
Originally posted by fuyutsuki
The real question is how did this fruitcake get Steve's email address?
There are one or two things I'd like to discuss about the Intel switch.

Anyone can email Steve... Make it short and interesting and you may even get a reply; its been known.
post #30 of 103
Quote:
Originally posted by rain
Uuuuh... gang.... I don't get it?
Whats the big deal?

Judging by a lot of the reaction here, there is a lot of racism towards Syrians. At lest thats the undertone I feel.
Jobs could be Syrian, he could also not be. What difference does it make?


What...are you...talking...about? Where is there any implication of racism towards Syrians in this entire thread or article? And how on earth could you possibly derive that as your summary...hahaha. I do hope you were joking.

Quote:
I even read a few pages on Amazon, and still don't see what the big deal is?

No, you didn't read a few pages of the "nut case's" work because it's not being sold on Amazon! The "nut case" text was read and subsiquently denied by his publisher. You are referring to the iCon biography, which is entirely seperate from the person whom Steve called a nut case and has nothing to do with the bulk of this appleinsider article except that it is another case where Steve did not endorse or warm up to works about him.

They were only using that example because otherwise the content of the article would have been entirely too short and even less news worthy then it already is.

Quote:
A public figure in government is different then a private citizen public figure.

The reason why they taught you that in ethics class and not Law class is because it is not at all true in a legal sense. A private citizen public figure is called a voluntary or involuntary public figure who may have to prove malice vs a fully private citizen who just has to prove negligence.

Steve Jobs is an all-purpose public figure, a member of a publicly traded company and someone who casts his image into public light on a regular basis.

Again, I and others just felt that this was not worthy of being covered by AI. But at the same time it's funny to see the "classic Steve" and this is a great discussion.
post #31 of 103
Quote:
Originally posted by Mero
If I don't want a book on the bookshelf in my room, I don't have to keep it there. Same goes for the bookshelf in my computer company store. I can put whatever the hell I want on my bookshelf and that is not up for debate by any measure of debate. It is fundemental. What is your point?

Actually, it is more than just not stocking one book. They pulled ALL titles from that publisher from the store, even written by authors that had done nothing wrong and had only the misfortune of being with the wrong publisher. Pulling from an entire publisher vs. choosing not to stock one book are different orders of magnitude, I think.

Using a company's resources to protect "the man" isn't necessarily in the best interests of the rest of the shareholders, and I think represents a conflict of interest of sorts. IIRC, Steve doesn't own majority stake in Apple and I don't think he should have misappropriated his authority in retaliation. Not too surprisingly, it backfired, making it a bad decision twice over.
post #32 of 103
Steve Jobs is NOT a public figure, he didn't chose a profession like acting or singing or politics, he is a business man just cause that business is very successful doesn't mean he should be treated any differently from any other business man
post #33 of 103
Quote:
Originally posted by kiwimac
Steve Jobs is NOT a public figure, he didn't chose a profession like acting or singing or politics, he is a business man just cause that business is very successful doesn't mean he should be treated any differently from any other business man

He's as much a show man as a businessman, as evidenced by the keynotes. Being a well-known "main man" of a large publicly traded company reduces the legal protections afforded.
post #34 of 103
Steve Jobs demonstrates passion for excellence, sometimes seems mercurial, but wily.

He is a public figure in terms of what he is doing, pushing his companies products. But he has always seemed to like privacy, and so far as I am concerned should have it.

How has Jobs attempted to engage in 'censorship'? It is his business whether or not he poses the question he did, or whether Apple stores have a book in them.

The publisher must have not thought there to be sufficient merit to publish.

Better to just let it die.
post #35 of 103
Quote:
Originally posted by vinney57
Where does this definition come from exactly?

Thousands of books, government courses in high school, law schools, etc.

It's different from the word "censure" which means a judgement of condemnation, which can be from anyone.

Censorship is a term that is used incorrectly many times. That doesn't give those incorrect uses authority.

Editorial judgments are made all the time. Appropriateness is the job of the editor. What is published in one journal may not be fit for another. Editorial judgements are not the same as censorship.

However, if the government says that no journal may publish it, that's censorship.

An example would be those seven words not allowed on TV (though they are now coming out after all). The network "censors" were there to make sure they, and other matters, didn't appear. But it was understood that the government would have legislated its own rules had the networks not acceded to their expectations. That's censorship. You can see what the networks are doing since the government has loosened up.
post #36 of 103
Quote:
Originally posted by Norman Terry
This is of course Aple and Jobs not just Jobs.
They are a "public" company and he is therefore a public figure and subject to the scrutiny that comes with that. Besides any one person who makes more than 40 million a year should be publicly critisized for something. You don't make that much money without screwing someone over.

You voted Bush right? The intellect is all there...
'If these words were people, I would embrace their genocide.' - Maddox
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post #37 of 103
Quote:
Originally posted by wilco
When Jobs stops appearing on the cover of TIME, then you might have an arguement. Until then...

You voted Bush right? The intellect is all there...
'If these words were people, I would embrace their genocide.' - Maddox
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'If these words were people, I would embrace their genocide.' - Maddox
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post #38 of 103
Quote:
Originally posted by ZoranS
You voted Bush right? The intellect is all there...

Please don't resort to personal attacks.
post #39 of 103
Official agreement. ZoranS, stop with the content-free personal attacks. Go to AppleOutsider if you want to engage in that sort of crap.

(OOoooh! Look! Censorship!)
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post #40 of 103
If I could I would ban Kickaha for censorship (well I can but then someone else would censor me).

First thought: Who the hell cares about Jobs father?

Second thought: Well. Just Jobs being Jobs.

Third though: He could have been more communicative than "are you a nut case?" and stripping of press credentials. Like "yes I am a public figure but I would like to keep my private life private and I would prefer that you respected that". Then there would not have been a story at all.

Fourth thought: Mmmm. Jelly Beans
"I reject your reality and substitute it with my own" - President Bush
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