awhile back, chris nolan commented on how the .com craziness was affecting technology journalism [sic]:
“”Both local papers, in their own ways, exercise judgments that undermine their credibility. The [San Francisco Chronicle’s] technology coverage harps on the same tired theme of amazement. My God, says the local paper, look at the wizards and their wonders. The Chron should justrun the same daily headline: “More Cool Stuff From Those Young People in Palo Alto.” The [Mercury News] regards the area’s newly wealthy as curiosities from another planet. The Merc’s recurring headline would say, “They’re Rich. They’re Young. What Does It Mean for People Who Are Poor Like Us?”” “One former editor at the Merc once stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Oracle CEO Larry Ellison at a banquet, but couldn’t bring himself to say a word to the billionaire. He told me later he didn’t know what to say to Ellison, whom he noted was at the time the wealthiest man in Silicon Valley.
How is it possible for an editor to be so awed by power, money or influence that he could not even shake another man’s hand? Such insecurity in the face of the area’s increasing wealth and sophistication is a sad commentary on the people who should be telling the valley’s stories””
the commentary is all the more amusing since dan gillmor [note that he his a columnist for one of the publications that chris took to task] has finally – eight long months later – decided to come clean with the pronouncement that tech stock boom was a legal con game:
“The technology boom has been called the largest legal creation of wealth in the history of the planet.
Maybe so, but that’s not the whole story.
As the events of 2000 have shown, it’s also been the greatest legal con game of all time.”
but does dan do any soul-searching? well – we do get four sentences:
“My own profession bears a share of responsibility for the debacle. Journalists served more as stenographers than skeptical observers while technology executives, public-relations people, market “analysts” and other self-serving participants in the con talked up the New Economy and insisted that some fundamental laws of economics had been repealed.
We celebrated the 21-year-old billionaire of the week. We raved about companies with tiny revenues and no prospect of earnings as the harbinger of a new world, when the newly rediscovered reality was firmly rooted in old truths.”