Trib Blogger: iBlog, therefore I don’t have to double-source

In his “iPhone, Therefore I Blog,” er…blog, The Chicago Tribune’s Scott (hmm, his last name doesn’t seem to appear on his own blog post) reports the earth-shattering, riot-inciting news that AT&T will require current iPhone owners to hand over their old phones in order to get a 3G version.

Naturally, Scott (and his commenters) are up in arms. “To be told that I need to turn it in to qualify for my next iPhone,” writes Scott, “is a slap in the face that hurts more than a strong San Francisco wind on the Golden Gate Bridge.” (I’ve never been slapped by Golden Gate wind, but from Scott’s description, I infer that it hurts quite a bit. Wait, maybe not, since Scott also describes the situation as “almost hurtful,” so perhaps the wind on the bridge isn’t so strong after all. I’ll admit to being a little confused on this point.)

Luckily, it is clear that Scott is a journalist so, as he is quick to assure us, “I definitely didn’t misunderstand in this case.” OK, that makes it seem like he has a history of misunderstanding in other cases, but let’s forge on. He “finished an exchange with an AT&T spokesperson,” he tells us. See? As a professional journalist, Scott waited until the exchange was finished before reporting on it. I suppose he could have checked with a second AT&T spokesperson (we could call that something like “verifying through multiple sources” if we were so inclined), but he was probably coming up on deadline or something. And I’m sure this spokesperson was emailing Scott through his official att.com corporate account, so why assume his or her story needed checking, right?

Anyway, Scott (and his commenters) are righteously indignant about the sleazy underhanded tactics AT&T is using to steal our full-priced, un-subsidized iPhones from us. Scott bravely advises all his readers to make sure to let “anyone who doesn’t read this blog” to know about this “breaking news story,” regardless of the hoardes of page views it may inflict on his blog (and its advertisers). Now that’s selflessness.

Oops. In navigating my way to the blog’s home page in search of Scott’s last name (Kleinberg, it turns out), I discovered that Scott has exhibited another mark of the true journalist: follow through. In his third posting on the topic (the second having been posted on the bus on the way to work — what a trouper, that Scott!) he explains that “whew!!” (both friendly lowercase and two exclamation points — Scott knows how to connect with his readers!) “False alarm.”

It seems that Scott’s trusted (but solitary) source was wrong after all, in spite of Scott having both “checked and rechecked.”

It’s only folks who buy their iPhone after May 27th who have to turn in their iPhones, and that because AT&T will give them a brand new iPhone 3G. Wow, we can all share a good laugh at that one!

Naturally, Scott doesn’t included the update in his original post where it might disrupt the flow of his prose (or educate his readers). He writes a new post where far fewer people are likely to be bothered by having to read a correction (journalists hate those.) Unfortunately for Scott, it looks like some cranky editor (journalists hate them, too) has made him add the update to the original post. Sorry, Scott.

And finally, in what appears to be his very own catch-phrase signoff (another sign of a professional journalist), Scott tells us all: “Thanks for calling.”

No, Scott — thank you!

1 Comment

  1. Nice! Scott doesn’t want to double source his stories so, guess what? He gets held up to ridicule and scorn. Works for me…

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