Some people shouldn’t be allowed to write

Farhad Manjoo in July, more than two months before the iPhone 5 was announced:

And yet the iPhone sure has become boring, hasn’t it? I find it difficult to get worked up, anymore, about Apple’s signature mobile device. Last month, I yawned through the company’s announcements at its developer conference.

Farhad Manjoo in October after actually using the iPhone 5:

Hold Apple’s latest gadget for just a few minutes and you’ll marvel at the existence of such a remarkable object.

And writers wonder why readers lose trust in them. Here’s a thought — why not wait until you actually get to use a product before blasting it as boring. I know, it’s a crazy thought.

[Via Your Mac Life]



  • Agiabuba

    SIGH…

  • http://twitter.com/CoreyTamas Joel In Real Life

    He’s a little comma-crazy in that first one.

  • wisenheimer

    Hahahahaha! Thanks for calling him out. That guy will say any damn thing to get page hits.

  • http://www.smutchings.com/ Sam

    We all do it, for one thing or another. We make a decision on something before we have tried it, seen it, or even understand anything about it.

    The number of people saying the iPhone 5 would suck, before it even existed, were to numerous to count. It will be the same next year, and the year after.

  • lucascott

    No worse than analysts etc that write about expected sales on not yet announced, much less released, items, ‘confirming’ them via ‘unnamed sources’ etc. And then post rumors about made up production issues etc to cover that the talk is vapor

    Philip DeWitt and his ‘the invitations are confirmed as going out on Oct 10th’ would be a prime example. Another is the ‘real’ Apple TV now ‘delayed’ until 2014 over ‘licensing issues’ as well as ‘production concerns’

  • zczc

    Manjoo: “I’ve made a huge mistake.” What could you possibly want him to say, now, that is better than that? I don’t see the point of picking a fight about it. There is a problem with writers and trust, but this doesn’t seem a good example of it, for he’s done something important and all too rare: admitted the mistake. Your position won the day, and he agrees. The right thing to do is not to rub it in, but to shake hands on your new point of agreement.

    • http://twitter.com/MeanKidneyDan Mean Kidney Dan

      i think the thing is, he never should have written the “bored by” piece to begin with because it is disingenuous. He hadn’t used it before pronouncing judgement. No apology would be necessary if the man just waited a little while.

      • http://www.tumblr.com/blog/his-divine-shadow His Shadow

        The titles of Forehead’s previous two articles are strident and don’t necessarily reflect the actual articles.

        Perhaps it’s a case of shell shock. We in the Apple support community constantly assail the link bait garbage that passes for writing in the blogosphere, and rightly so. But when one of the writers of these articles does a full one “I made a huge mistake” we also beat him up for that? I think we can give credit where it is due.

        I’m totally on board with guilt trips, I’ll fuel the vehicle and pack the bags. But Dan Lyons deserves far more abuse for his gibberish than Manjuice is getting here. Same goes for the Business Insider hacks constantly making mountains out of molehills. It’s what Forehead does from this point that will actually make the difference.

    • Glenn Carpenter

      I don’t know if he really deserves any “honesty” points when both the original article and the follow-up are provocative-but-empty opinion pieces in an area as rife with click-bait as the introduction of a new iPhone. His initial controversial stance and eventual mea culpa seem a bit too convenient. He strikes me as neither responsible nor thoughtful in his reporting, and frankly the second piece seemed as much over-the-top, to me, as the first piece seemed cynical.

  • Mother Hydra

    I think the more salient point is that real journalism isn’t taking place, just a re-pack of all the groupthink available on the dawn of the iPhone 5 launch. Impressed now that he’s spent time with one? Me too, but what a herp derpy way to go about “reporting” as if his opinion could supplant fact and hands-on experience outside a press junket.

  • ort888

    I think you’re looking for conflict where none should exist.

    Farheed is a great writer who generally has interesting things to say.

    His entire second article acknowledges and discusses his previous thoughts and why they are now different…

    So what is the big deal? Why should he not be allowed to write? Allowed by who?

    It’s a pretty arrogant (and slightly ominous) thing to say really, that another writer should not be “allowed” to write because his opinion differs from your own.

    • http://twitter.com/shycophante Shyco Phante

      You make some excellent points. I agree with most of what you wrote.

      The original article felt just like an outpouring of thoughts and emotions. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with writing in this style occasionally.

      “This blog has taken a decidedly arogant and hostile tone over the last few months and I don’t really like it.”

      Yep.

      • http://twitter.com/Moeskido Moeskido

        You’re both right.

        Everyone should get an award just for showing up and criticism is bad because it hurts people’s feelings.

        • http://www.tumblr.com/blog/his-divine-shadow His Shadow

          I LOL’d.

          But I have been cutting Forehead some slack. A full on mea culpa is something we never get from the Usual Suspects in Apple bear tech “writing”, so I’ll take what I can get. Hopefully, some lesson was learned.

          Going forward, we’ll see if Forehead learned anything from this.

  • http://twitter.com/johnlotz johnlotz

    So glad you’ve called this guy out. I’ve seen a few others mention his turn around on the iPhone 5 but haven’t seen anyone call it like it is. Manjoo, like so many other bloggers, just had to say something about the new iPhone even though they hadn’t even used it yet. All for page views.

  • David

    You are right in calling out Farhad’s flipflop and in pointing out the wisdom of not making pronouncements about a product before you have seen it, held it, used it. But I do want to say there is something here that is worth exploring: iOS leads to a functional, attractive, useful phone. But after the first iPhone, the excitement that Pontiac advertised is more likely found in the latest Razr. Farhad may not have been that far off in both his posts. The iPhone is magical but now lacks Pontiac-excitement. (Of course while we explore this, we might remember that GM had to kill the Pontiac division for good reason.)

  • rj

    “And writers wonder why readers lose trust in them. Here’s a thought — why not wait until you actually get to use a product before blasting it as boring. I know, it’s a crazy thought.”

    A Tuesday post on loop insight: “I wonder what they’ll do to him when Windows 8 flops and the Surface sucks balls.”

    Got a lot of Win 8 and Surface time in, Jim?