My Rant: Objectivity is the new codeword for anti-Apple
Pick your favorite tech pundit, reporter, or blogger, Choose any one you like, male or female, gay, straight, or transgendered. Due to either peer pressure or deep seeded beliefs, almost all are succumbing to the new definition of objectivity when it comes to reporting on Apple. These days, it is nearly impossible to find a story about an Apple product that lavishes unabashed praise, no matter how much it might actually deserve it. Every product must get points taken off for imaginary missing features such as no BlueRay or HDMI 1080P out. The magic mouse and magic trackpad are great except they don't have twelve programable buttons and a dedicated D-pad. You get the idea.
The reason for this is that people in the media have become afraid of being labeled "fans" of Apple. Somehow, though, it is OK to be a fan of Google, MS, RIM, Palm, HTC, HP, and any other company that competes directly with Apple. If you listen to the pundits, the Zune HD is the best media player of all time. The Palm Pre and webOS rule when it comes to innovation. The Droid-gasms one regularly hears from personalities like Molly Wood and Leo Laporte make it abundantly clear that the new definition of objectivity only applies to Apple.
This type of bias is demonstrated in a number of ways. Some hosts of popular podcasts tend to apologize for mentioning Apple related stories, as if they wish they didn't have to do it, but they had no choice. These types of apologies do not take place when talking about Google, which dominates at least as many news cycles. Other personalities have been outed as Apple product users. Whenever this happens, they feel the need to justify their use of the device. It usually involves them claiming that it is their job to try all products in the category. There is often some lame excuse that dismisses their use of the product as being strictly utilitarian, rather than just saying they love the product. That would be biased.
Still others, when talking about a product category dominated by Apple, try to pretend that the playing field is really even among all competitors. This is often manifested by mentioning other products in the same breath as the iPhone, iPad, or other dominant Apple products. They might say something like, "A new player in the high-end smartphone game will have to step up its user experience to compete with the unmatched experience of products such as the iPhone, Droid, and Pre." Clearly, the iPhone leads this, and many other categories. But it would not be "objective" to mention the iPhone without including others. It is a way of pretending that the iPhone actually has competition.
Even sales figures get fudged in the name of objectivity. In order to project the idea that the competitive field is equal, pundits pretend that other phones are just as popular as the iPhone. Absurd! They suggest that Android is outselling the iPhone by grouping the sales of 60+ handsets, and comparing them to iPhone sales. They pretend that Android is a phone, not an OS. They pretend that an Android phone selling out after 100,000 sales in the first weekend is the equivalent of the iPhone selling out after 2M in the same timeframe. They pretend that Android, and others, being "sold" as free phones with rebates, bogof, and free with contract offers are remotely equivalent to Apple selling every unit it makes at full MSRP for the life of the product.
All of these things are done in the interest of objectivity. It keeps them from saying that Apple has innovated paradigm shifting products and business models, and stands alone as the leader for which everyone else must follow. That wouldn't be very "objective", so they have to pretend that everyone else is roughly the same.
Many do this because of peer pressure. Others do it to hide a deep seeded hatred of all things Apple. Either way, it is now unacceptable to speak favorably about Apple without heavy caveats. One must always find the dark side to every Apple silver lining. And one must always mention an Apple competitor to balance out any good news from Apple. I'm sick and tired of it. How about you?
On a positive note, I love me some Chad G, who is not afraid to speak up with what he really thinks, rather than being afraid of the fanboy label. If being objective means you have to find a way to disparage Apple, even when they don't deserve it, then I am down with a little bias.