The man behind the popular fake Steve Jobs column, Dan Lyons has “retired” his creation and taken a few pot shots at his colleagues who think the former Apple boss is still news.
It is the second time the Fake Steve Jobs has been retired. Last time the real Steve took time off sick, in 2008, Lyons stopped writing his column. After all it is pretty difficult to get gags out of cancer.
Now Lyons has decided he has posted his last item as Fake Steve and signed off.
Like many impressionists, Lyons said that he did not create the blog out of some personal animus toward Steve Jobs.
“I think Jobs is the most fascinating person on the planet. Once, at a public appearance, I admitted to having a “man crush” on him,” he said.
In Jobs ’email to employees he’s asking to be left alone and Lyons said that he did not need to be asked.
“In my final Fake Steve post I urged my fellow “filthy hacks” (Fake Steve’s affectionate term for journalists) to leave Steve alone. Sadly, I’m pretty sure that won’t happen,” Lyons said.
Lyons said that he feared that there will be some dirtbag who hangs around outside bars near the Apple campus and ambushes half-drunk Apple engineers, asking them if they’ve seen Steve lately.
He is certain that there will be stories where a hack talks to cancer specialists and tries to get them to speculate on what might be wrong with Jobs this time. They will rationalize the prying story by saying that Apple is a public company and investors need this information.
Lyons however says this is bullshit and there is no real news value to these stories. The only real value to any of these stories is that they generate page views. And the guys who are doing it, whether they write for a blog or for The New York Times, know the truth of what they’re doing, and they do it anyway.
He piously says that he can’t bring himself to snoop around about Jobs and his health.
It is not as if he can’t. Lyons claims to know asurgeon who has worked at Stanford Medical Center, where Steve Jobs has received a great deal of his medical treatment.
“But I won’t ask her what she’s heard. For one thing, she won’t tell me. For another, all the hot showers in the world could not wash that stink off me,” he said.
Lyons is used to stink. He was one of the few hacks who stood up for the anti-Linux bad boy SCO, until that particular stink got too much. If he had not come up with the fake Steve Jobs persona it would have been his contribution to the tech world.
It seems that as a technology editor he has forgotten his role as a hack. But , to be fair, again when it comes to Apple, most of the US technology industry has. Jobs is a cult of personality, he has used the media to feed a reality distortion field which claims that Apple is more than a technology company and he is more than human.
Sorry Dan, unlike a fake version which can be shut off, Jobs’ relationship with the media, which you also re-built your reputation upon, cannot be turned off just because he wants out for a bit.
Many are the stars who have been made by the media who have tried to make sure that it does not catalogue their ends, when it has gone all pear shaped. Jobs is no different.
This is particularly so while Jobs remains on sick leave, rather than quitting. It seems that he wants to participate in that particular story right until the bitter end.
Jobs lived by the story and it will continue its course even if Dan Lyons does not want to play any more. Sanctimonious digs at fellow hacks for doing their jobs means perhaps that after being the Fake Steve for so long he over empathises and forgotten what he is supposed to do for a living.