The Macalope Weekly Special Edition: Fools of the Year

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Welcome back, friends, to the show that never ends! Another year has passed us by, and it’s time for our annual reckoning of the worst in Apple coverage! While you’re waiting for the four-letter words your friends Sharpied on your face while you slept to rub off, you can take solace in the fact that these people are even more foolish than you.

One note before we begin: There was a lot of hideous commentary around the time of Steve Jobs’s death, but the Macalope has left that out. It doesn’t deserve any more air.

Now, let’s meet the Fools!

10. Rebecca Greenfield

Appearing at the number ten spot, The Atlantic Wire’s Rebecca Greenfield is a rising star in the field of extreme Apple jerkery.

Greenfield thinks that because the iPhone 4S and new iPad weren’t grand redesigns that Apple must be done innovating.

It doesn’t really bother the Macalope that she thinks Microsoft is “the hippest tech company” around. It’s her opinion that Apple’s on the downslide—because of a logo she doesn’t like and because people keep pretending it’s the only company that uses Chinese manufacturing—that bothers him.

Keep up the bad work, Rebecca! The Earth’s core is the limit!

9. Zach Epstein

Unlike some of the trolls on this list, Epstein genuinely seems to believe what he writes, proving that reality distortion is not just for Cupertino anymore.

When Microsoft introduced Windows 8, Epstein unquestioningly bought into the company’s vision of the future, saying “Apple paved the way but Microsoft will get there first with Windows 8.” Does Epstein not know that Windows 8 still won’t ship for months, and that you can buy an iPad right now? Or that you could have bought one two years ago? How many yards are we supposed to spot Microsoft in this game, anyway?

Epstein doesn’t see anything wrong with expecting Windows 8 tablets to run a full desktop operating system and applications, have a good user experience, get great battery life, and be cost-competitive with iPads. Reality distortion?! You’re soaking in it!

Epstein also called the iPhone 4S launch “Apple’s fall from grace” because Apple “did wrong in the eyes of pundits who had previously viewed every Apple product announcement as a gift from the heavens.”

Punditry is easy when you can make up things that didn’t happen!

Read more…

8. Brooke Crothers

CNet’s Brooke Crothers is a conventional wisdom machine!

Based on questionable sources, Crothers predicted Kindle Firey doom for the iPad. This was after he predicted that the iPad had met its match in the HP TouchPad.

Keep dreaming, Brooke! We know that iPad killer’s out there somewhere, and when it comes you’ll be there to predict that it’ll kill the iPad! If only because you seem to do that for every tablet.

If you disagree with Crothers, well, then you’re a “fanboi.” The Macalope has never really understood the “fanboi” variant. Is the idea that you’re like a fanboy, but Frencher? Or are these people just that bad at spelling?

Crothers’s most recent “effort” lists the terrifying clues in the new iPad about Apple’s post-Jobsian design fail! Sweet Ouija board, say it isn’t so!

7. Mike Elgan

After years of saying dumb things about Apple as editor of Windows Magazine, Mike Elgan is now trying to pass himself off as an Apple fanboy.

See, the Macalope told you all during the Switcher campaign that we should lobby for first right of refusal, but noooooooooooo… Blah blah blah “growing the platform” blah blah blah “big tent.” Now look where it’s gotten us.

If Elgan is an “Apple fanboy” (a pejorative that no self-respecting Apple fan would ever use to refer to themselves), then he’s the worst one ever. He also argued that everyone should wait for the iPhone 5 instead of buying the iPhone 4S, and then provided a list of not just “iPhone killers” but "extreme iPhone killers". It is uncertain if they are also "to the max" but one of them, the Macalope April fools you not, features a projector.

It’s times like these that the Macalope wishes he could pull Steve Jobs from behind a curtain, Marshall McCluhan-like, to say “You know nothing of my work.” And then Steve would fire him. And he and the Macalope would go get vegan sushi together.

This probably isn’t surprising, but the Macalope leads a rich fantasy life.

6. Forbes

The Macalope had really not paid much attention to Forbes before, as when he’s in the dentist’s waiting room he frankly prefers flipping through a copy of Dental Surgery Accidents of the 1800s: A Pictorial History.

But writing for Forbes online, several scribes combined to commit a stunning swath of stupid. Timothy B. Lee jumped on the “Google is winning” bandwagon, Kyle Smith appeared every few months to tell us that Apple is a religion, and Louis Bedigian called the iPhone 4S a “remarkably sucky, shoddy, sloppy, slapped together disaster of a phone.”

He really said that!

And, as if that wasn’t enough, Forbes also publishes pieces by our next Fool.

What happens when print dies and you have no idea how to publish online? Just go trolling!

5. Rob Enderle

Seriously, the Macalope should just retire Enderle as Fool Emeritus, but he can’t. He’s just too astounding. Like discovering a unicorn of wrongness on a previously undiscovered island of incorrectitude. Over and over again.

Rob predicted 2012 would be a tough year for Apple (not looking like that so far), keyed several pieces deriding the new iPad, and, ugh, wrote about his crotch.

What could we possibly have done in a prior life to deserve Rob? We couldn’t all have been Hitler.

4. Dan Lyons

The most charitable description of Lyons’s career path is that he transitioned from comical stereotype of Steve Jobs to comical stereotype of an Apple basher. Lyons’s current shtick consists of predicting Apple doom at every turn, and then deriding those who disagree with him as “fanboys”. Speaking of which, he’d like you fanboys to stop being so mean to poor Samsung!

As the Macalope’s noted previously, Dan’s like an aging rocker who’s angry that we don’t want to hear his new material.

Come on, Sting. Just play “Roxanne” and call it a night.

3. Don Reisinger

Does it make any sense to deride a relentless maker of stupid top-ten lists from within a stupid top-ten list? Let’s find out!

First, if you can’t tell the difference between this top-ten list and the ones that Reisinger hurls up on the Internet every week like a dog that keeps eating Wii remote covers, then you haven’t read Don’s top-ten lists. Delivered in state-of-the-art ad-impressions-maximizing slideshow-o-rama format, these lists are poorly edited and even more poorly thought out.

Reisinger loves to construct imaginary competitors for Apple, that will surely bring imaginary doom, and he churns these wastes of time out with a sickening frequency.

His worst sin of all, though, was forcing the Macalope to agree with Fool alumnus Joe Wilcox about how bad these lists are.

That, sir, is beyond the pale.

2. Henry Blodget

The Macalope was actually surprised to find that Blodget’s opus work—jerktastically entitled “IT’S OFFICIAL: Android Clobbering Everyone, iPhone Dead In The Water”—was done within the past year, even if just. It seems like forever ago that the “Android is winning!” meme started.

No link for that because Blodget all but admitted he was simply trolling for hits. You might wonder how a guy like that looks himself in the mirror, but trolling Apple fans is actually an improvement for someone fined $2 million by the SEC and banned from the securities industry.

Blodget also accused us all of being brainwashed by Apple because we weren’t outraged by Locationgate.

It’s a shame someone jumped the line on you, though, Henry, because the Macalope would have loved to have used your typical construction and say “IT’S OFFICIAL: Henry Blodget is the Fool of the Year.” As it is, you’ll have to settle for second place.

1. Mike Daisey

This one is simple. You get the top spot this year, Mike, for one reason: You could have made your point without lying. But you ruined yourself and tarnished your case when it wasn’t necessary.

Shame on you.

You’re the Fool of the Year.

[Editors’ Note: In addition to being a mythical beast, the Macalope is not an employee of Macworld. As a result, the Macalope is always free to criticize any media organization. Even ours.]

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