Another example of CNET's lazy writing, writers

Brooke Crothers, former editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times, should know better. Actually, anyone who considers themselves a journalist or a reporter should know better. So should the organizations who hire them and the editors and people who (supposedly) check their work.

But once again, CNET shows they don’t care about the bullshit their writers post. Crothers either knows better and doesn’t care or doesn’t know and therefore, is a poorly informed journalist. You decide which is worse.

In his article, “Microsoft and Apple: The roof tile analogy”, Crothers writes:

Redmond needs the Microsoft Store — or similar boutique storefronts where its product can stand out. This was confirmed for me on Friday when the Kansas City Star reported that people actually lined up outside in the wee hours of the morning for the opening of a new Microsoft store.

Having read about most of the other Microsoft Store stories, I knew how Microsoft got people to line up for their openings. Maybe things were different in Kansas City?

Reading the article, you quickly see why people were lining up:

…high-tech stuff might not have been the only draw.

The first people in line got wristbands allowing them “premier” views at a special concert by country music artist Blake Shelton at 2 p.m. Saturday at the mall.

Just as Microsoft has done at almost every other store opening, they bribed people to come into their stores.

It is easy to argue the above fact isn’t germane to Crothers’ story. But it is germane to the story of the Microsoft Retail Stores in general and every story that talks about the importance of the stores to Microsoft should include the fact Microsoft bribes customers to line up for a Store opening.

Apple just opens a store.

31 thoughts on “Another example of CNET's lazy writing, writers”

  1. “Another example of CNET’s lazy writing, writers”

    Don’t call other writers lazy if you can’t figure out how to use a comma.

      1. To paraphrase Winston Churchill: This is the sort of language up with which Jonathan will not put.

      1. Thanks…now…does anyone have any comment on the BODY of the story or are all you pedantic bastards going to focus on is the headline? 🙂

  2. Kris,

    This is normal comma use in headlines. I myself find it clumsy, but it is certainly not incorrect.

    1. Is that what he’s trying to slam me about? First off Kris, it’s an apostrophe, not a comma. And secondly, David is right – it *is* clumsy but not incorrect.

      1. I think what he’s referring to is the “comma splice” in “writing, writers,” which is certainly bad prose but is totally kosher in headlines, as David points out.

  3. A pedant and a didact walk into a bar…

    The phrase is, “go pound sand up your ass.” This is true. Now, does the period go before or after the closing quotation mark?

    As for the body of the story, if, when (see what I did there?) Microsoft actually releases the Surface tablet, it will be interesting to see if any lines form at their stores.

    1. I did see what you did there, Art, but wouldn’t the logical implication—that Microsoft may or may not ever actually release said tablet—have been better served by reversing the terms (i.e., “when, if”)?

      Hey, you’re right! Pedantry is fun!

      BTW, Shawn, I enjoyed the article almost as much as the comments. 😉

  4. Apple has handed out “lucky bags” at its store openings before, some of which contained iPods. (It did at the Regent Street London store opening in 2004, for example. That caused quite a queue.)

    I guess they don’t do this now, but Apple Stores are more established than they were in 2004, and Apple is much more successful and high profile.

    Not that that excuses journalists not mentioning a likely reason for the Microsoft queues. And whilst Apple didn’t always “just” open stores, at least their giveaways were of Apple products.

    1. I was at the opening of Apple Store #1 at the Glendale Galleria in Glendale, CA. This was when virtually all tech writers were sure Apple’s attempt to open such stores was a huge mistake, yet the line to get in the store snaked endlessly though the massive mall. Other than a t-shirt, visitors got nothing for showing up.

      I’ve since been to two other Apple Store openings (Pasadena, The Grove) and both times the lines were massive, and achieved without swag. Apple Stores have been phenomenally successful, since day one, without the need for any “bribes” or giveaways, although I’m sure from time to time Apple has indeed done promotions at stores to reward the faithful.

      FWIW. Both times I’ve been to a Microsoft Store, which is a sort of Bizzaro Apple Store or a cloning attempt gone wrong, the place was virtually empty, save the staff. The Apple Store closest to me is packed every time I go in, morning, noon, or night.

  5. The post is fun, the comments more so. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen weenie, bookish nerds as fierce and fearsome as when discussing the placement of a comma.

        1. It’s the OXFORD comma, not the Harvard comma, you upstart whippersnapper! The Queen’s English, as she should be spoke!

    1. If you think this (or any other) blog is just for being “stupid, childish and inaccurate”, please stop reading this (or any other) blog. I have no interest in dealing with commenters who are likely trolls. I;m not saying your are a troll but you exhibit troll-like symptoms. 🙂

  6. I remember buying my first Mac back around 1997 from the local CompUSA. The “mac section” was relegated to about a 12×12 foot space at the far back corner of the store. All of the display models were either off, unplugged, not hooked up or otherwise not working correctly, and the staff was useless. Apple opening up their own stores made a lot of sense. Virtually every brick-and-mortar computer store has always only focused on selling PC’s with Windows. Why Microsoft felt that wasn’t good enough and needed to open their own stores confuses me.

  7. If you go back and review the comments, you will see they start out questioning your understanding of how to use a comma. Then it sinks into a name calling shouting match. All this because the marketing stratgies of Microsoft get dissed because they do it differently from Apple. So I guess you are correct that there is nothing childish here, and I am just a troll.

    1. “they start out questioning your understanding of how to use a comma.”

      Correction: they start out *incorrectly* questioning my understanding.

      “Then it sinks into a name calling shouting match.”

      Huh? I rechecked just to be sure but I see no “name calling shouting match”. Maybe you have a thinner skin or less tolerance of those things than I do but I assure you, comments on this blog will *never* get to the point where I think that is happening. That’s why all comments here are moderated.

      “All this because the marketing stratgies of Microsoft get dissed”

      To be fair, the point of the original article was found in the headline.

      “So I guess you are correct that there is nothing childish here, and I am just a troll.”

      OK…if you say so…

      1. Let’s see, “pedantic bastards”, “weenies”, “nerds” and “trolls”. Nope no name calling here. Reminds me of politicians that after a interviewer shows a video of the politician saying something, the politician denies ever saying it, even though millions of people just saw him or her say it. I think the bloggers are the trolls. See, I just called a large group of people a name. If this keeps up we will have to soon consider calling someone a blogger, calling someone a name.

        1. LOL Wow. You really do have a thin skin. Sorry to hear that.

          All of what you call name calling is what I would call good natured teasing. And I didn’t say there was no name calling. I said there was no “name calling shouting match” going on (Proving the value of a comma. 🙂 ).

          Regardless, you have your opinion of the matter, I have mine. And, as it’s my blog, my opinion counts more than yours. 🙂

  8. It is not the name calling that I am thin skinned about, it is the comments start off calling you lazy. That comment is a personal attack on your commitment to good writing. It had nothing to do with the content of your blog, other than to question your right to say it. Everywhere you go on the Internet the comments always sink into name calling which soon begin to reveal political affiliations. Then the whole point of the blog is lost. You see it a kidding around, but I see it as representative of something bigger. So my original post was to suggest a headline that would hopefully keep people on topic. If you had said MS was a bunch of losers, or that, the specific, CNET writer was lazy, maybe the first comment out of the shoot may have actually responded to your proposal instead of turning it back on you and calling you lazy. Just because you called CNET writers lazy, does not mean accusing you of the same character fault is a valid comment. Also this is the first time I have ever read you blog, so I could be missing the entire point of what you are doing.

    1. I greatly appreciate your defense of me but trust me – I’ve been doing this long enough that it’s not strictly necessary. At least, not in this case. 🙂

      Let’s move past this subject now, shall we? I think the horse has been well and truly beaten to death.

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