Dan Lyons: Rotten reporting on Apple

Newsweek's Dan Lyons writes that the media's coverage of Apple bites. His rationale?

Newsweek's Dan Lyons writes that the media's coverage of Apple bites. His rationale?

For the past six months Steve Jobs has been looking terribly ill. But only this week did Apple finally acknowledge that Jobs isn't doing well, when the company announced that Jobs would take a leave for six months.

If you haven't seen Lyons infamous on-the-air spat with CNBC's Jim Goldman, it's worth a watch. Lyon's explains:

On Wednesday night I went on CNBC and was obnoxious enough to point out, on the air, that CNBC itself had been put into the latter camp by a Silicon Valley bureau chief who had appointed himself the official defender of Steve Jobs and Apple. Worse yet, in December, when one blog in the Valley reported that Jobs had canceled his annual Macworld keynote because "Steve's health is rapidly declining," this reporter went out of his way to attack that outlet and refute its report, both on air and in print. The CNBC guy claimed he had sources deep inside Apple who were telling him that Jobs was healthy. "Apple's Jobs is (Still) Fine," was his headline on the CNBC Web site.

Turns out, however, that the blog—a gadget site called Gizmodo—was right, and the CNBC guy was wrong. When I was on air, I pointed this out, and suggested the CNBC reporter should apologize to Gizmodo, and also to his viewers for having misled them.

Lyon's is essentially saying that Apple tends to get a pass on most things and that he's getting sick of having what Apple PR says treated as gospel. My favorite line in his piece:

It's one thing for PR flacks to tell lies. That is, after all, what they get paid to do. But it's another thing for the media to join in on the action.

So, who's right?