Celebrity Apple cronies silent on community expulsions

Pass the cake

Apple's wealthiest and most prominent celebrity cheerleaders have yet to break their silence on the company's culling of its grassroots publishers.

A ham-fisted public relations decision by IDG last week saw MacWorld Expo media accreditation withdrawn from a multimedia publication - which covers the arts, the Internet, and happens to cover Apple too - and Graphics Power, along with a number of other sites on the grounds that they printed rumors.

Printing 'rumors' is quite legal, we should point out, but the more germane fact is that neither of these sites has ever printed a 'rumor'.

The latest to feel the snub is MacFixit. MacFixit has been a valuable help resource for years, and doesn't print rumors either, leaving us to wonder how far this nasty hissy fit will extend. VersionTracker, perhaps?

The indiscriminate nature of the "rumor" site ban - which turns out not to be a "rumor" site ban at all - suggests Apple and IDG Expo are determined to make a symbolic gesture of humiliation, rather than clamp down on rumors. Pick a few out at random, and string them up - pour encourager les autres.

David Coursey today raised the issue, and bravely offered to sneak a few in under the ZDNet AnchorDesk banner. But there hasn't been a word of outrage from the close-knit bunch of celebrity groupies - whose combined annual salaries could finance a fair-sized Silicon Valley start-up. In between their appointments with TV stations, their agents and book-signing sessions, not one of the national Apple commentators has come to the grassroots defense. Maybe they've all on an Independence Day vacation, all at once, and are out of radio contact. Or maybe they don't see Apple's public relations disaster as worthy of comment. Their silence has been noted, by several readers:-

"I wonder if we'll see the Pogue's, Inhankto's and "Dr. Mac" Levitus' actually bat for the grassroots that gave them their jobs?" one editor asked us, rhetorically.

So far, this Mount Rushmore of Apple commentators has been notably silent.

Equally odd is the silence from so many other small publishers MacWorld attendees: independents who've just been poked in the eye. Why is the grassroots determined to take it lying down? From our postbag, many of you are extremely unhappy, and justifiably so. If ever there was a time to publish and be damned, it's now. ®

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