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No decency left

No decency left

Kipp is no shrinking violet, but even we have to draw the line at recent media behavior. A lot of people should be very ashamed.

February 23, 2011 2:04 by

Kipp has never pretended to be the most decent of websites. We’re not above jumping on the odd bandwagon, or lowering ourselves for the sake of a higher click rate, but even we have to shudder at the latest media coverage of one of the world’s most famous business men.

Unless you are completely clueless, you’ll know already who this article is about. He’s a brilliant, iconic and world famous CEO in charge of one of the world’s biggest companies and most famous brands. Like him or loathe him, you can’t argue with that statement. He’s a man whose vision and masterful leadership has changed the very way many people on earth interact with technology. And he’s very sick.

The CEO recently took a step back from his beloved company owing to his illness.

But his fame and incredible influence, his status as a household name, and the omnipresence of his employer’s products in many homes and lives has ensured that, rather than retire in privacy to battle his ailments in peace, this man remains in the full glare of the world’s media. But it’s not only for those reasons – the successes of the company he works for are associated with him so strongly that its future performance is thought to hinge on his presence. Thus ‘analysts’ step forward to discuss what will happen to share prices if he dies, or future innovations, and so on. And therefore the media has the perfect excuse to stay on the case – it is, after all, ‘in the public interest’ to know if this man will survive.

Except it’s not. It’s not at all. It’s in the public interest to know who is running the company. It’s in the public interest to speculate on the company’s future performance, just as it will be in the public interest to keep tabs on the company and see how it truly performs. And for all any of the media know, the company could launch yet another world changing product every month for the next 100 years. Innovation on this scale is rarely limited to one man.

So when someone follows the CEO as he goes to a café with his wife, secretly films him as he struggles to walk the few yards back to his car and climb in, and then posts the footage on the internet, that is not in the public interest.

In Kipp’s opinion, any media outlet republishing the video, or detailing its contents, or using it as a basis for a ‘balanced’ analysis piece, should be ashamed. Kipp is ashamed that we watched it, and that we’re a part of this whole macabre circus. That’s why we haven’t written his name or the name of the company where he works, since it would just add us to the cannon of websites and news outlets out there jostling for position in the search engine rankings (the more his name appears in the headline, the subhead, the tags or the body of the piece, the more likely they are to get ‘hits’).

On this occasion, you can keep your hits; we’d rather have none.

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