A few months back on the Huffington Post, I wrote a critical article about the organization's deep sense of Apple Love. The short version is that I admire the wide coverage the Huffington Post gives technology, but their deeply clear bias towards Apple (last year, they had a Tech page banner headline about nothing more than rumors of an invite to an Apple event!) and Microsoft bashing go much too far and hurt their reputation.
Before publishing the article, I have a very nice, extremely open and long phone conversation with the HuffPost tech editor, and give her lots of points for that. But I'm not sure much has changed. And an article today about the new Microsoft Surface Pro emphasizes that.
To be clear upfront, I don’t know much about the Microsoft Surface Pro. I haven’t had a chance to test it yet. I've been in touch with the company about getting a review unit, but they've been slow on following up. So, I’m speaking a bit out of my hat. But even acknowledging my limits, the article stands out. After all, it begins –
“U.S. tech writers have given Microsoft Corp's new Surface tablet-laptop hybrid largely negative reviews, casting a shadow over…”
And it goes on to largely trash the device will only a negative picture. Yet the #1 tech site, CNET, unmentioned in the piece, gives the Surface Pro 3.5 stars and a “Very good” rating in its review And there are these two very positive reviews from the Supersite for Windows and on AnandTech.
To be clear, these latter two aren't major, mainstream websites, but they're both substantive. And CNET is significant. None of this is meant to be definitive. I haven't researched Surface reviews. These are just articles that have crossed my path.
The reality is that I don’t know where the truth sits. As I said, I haven’t tested the Surface Pro yet. Bu it just strikes me that there’s still something very unbalanced here, leaving out the positive. Further, this is almost exactly the same thing as an earlier article on Huffington Post (which I address at length in my aforementioned and linked to article) trashing Windows 8 – which also left out CNET and other praise.
And one thing that I do know about leaps out in the article, with the journalist comparing battery life between the Surface Pro and the iPad. But that’s wildly unfair because one is a light tablet, and the other is a full-fledged laptop that does more, which requires more power, and therefore has a heavier power draw. It's comparing apples and oranges. No pun intended. (Also, a Reader Comment below the Huffington article points out that the article criticizes the Surface Pro for being 2.5 pounds, yet the MacBook Air -- highly admired for its lightness -- is 2.4.)
It's important to note that the article is from Reuters, not written by a Huffington Post journalist. But the editorial choice to use it, and the headlines are Huffington Post, and I doubt that users see the difference (as is clear from so many of the Reader Comments).
As a result, when I see an article like that today -- and yesterday an article on the Huffington Post homepage (!!) about “Latest Apple Rumors” -- it just strikes me that little has changed.
I stand by my appreciation of all the Huffington Post does well in its technology coverage. But its Apple Love remains an embarrassment. Especially for those who occasionally write for and are Featured on it.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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