Irony Meter Splode: Reporter covering iPhone launch mocks shoppers for their triviality

TV “reporter” Eric Spillman walks the line outside an Apple or AT&T store moments before the iPhone3G launch, mocking the shoppers for their interest in something as pointless as a cell phone. One, challenged to choose between “gadgets and human beings,” asks the irritating little twerp a perfectly pointed question: “This is journalism to you?”

Via Cult of Mac

Update: See the thread at the motherboing.

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36 Responses to Irony Meter Splode: Reporter covering iPhone launch mocks shoppers for their triviality

  1. MrScience says:

    This reminds me so much of the furry episode in Back to You:

    http://furry.wikia.com/wiki/Back_To_You (Best description I could find)

  2. mgfarrelly says:

    This reminds me of “Wake Up and Smile” one of the funniest, darkest SNL sketches of the 90’s

    It’s morning anchors off book and going…bad.

    http://tubearoo.com/articles/44363/Will_Farrell_Wake_Up_And_Smile.html

  3. alowishus says:

    No, simply that children are really expensive. If you can’t afford them, you’d be unwise to have them. Inability to afford a $600 phone is an acceptable signpost that one hasn’t the capital necessary to raise and educate a child to their full potential in the modern world.

    Sure, if you can’t afford a $600 phone before you have kids. But after you have kids there’s the priority shift. So a revision to your original statement is in order.

    Even half-assed parenting shows kids cost $500,000 for “total operations cost” (over 18 years). Sending your kid to decent schools, with regular computer upgrades with high speed Internet bandwidth, musical instruments, chemistry sets, mobile phones and service, and so on, at least doubles that figure.

    Even if parents had $500 K or a million bucks in the bank before having kids, there’s no guarantee that the money would retain its value. You even said in the post about the post-apocalypse that you believe America is in the first stages of collapse.

    More accurately: “Before having children, couples should posses enough expertise, ingenuity and flexibility to ensure they’ll be able to generate enough wealth to raise their offspring well.”

    I’ll counter that having a baby because “they’re cute” or “it’s expected time in life to start a family” without fundamental financial analysis and planning, and thus essentially “winging it” in terms of providing for expenses, is the epitome of parenting selfishness.

    I think this is a narrow view. “Fundamental financial analysis and planning” is not the only key to success. I gather you’re studying economics, so I’m not surprised by that satement. ;) Oh yes, it’s very important, but creativity, flexibility, ingenuity and drive are more important.

    And one more thing:

    . . . regular computer upgrades with high speed Internet bandwidth, musical instruments, chemistry sets, mobile phones and service, and so on, at least doubles that figure.

    I think you’re jumping the gun. By the time our kids (if we had them tomorrow) are in the market for communication devices, they’ll either be available for 10 ¢ from vending machines or they’ll be hand-made from conch shells (depending on whether the apocalypse happens). Technological advancements are exponential. Barring a total big-bada-boom scenario, that means faster, better and cheaper learning tools like computers and (virtual) chemistry sets. If we can make it through this transitional period between fossil fuels and the next, better energy sources, raising a kid should become cheaper.

    Oh, and if we’re hijacking the thread, at least we all write well and have interesting things to say. Again, ;)

  4. Xeni Jardin says:

    Bahahahaha! Why, I do believe I know that guy, the guy who pwnd the TV guy!!!! Super hilarious, and super well done.

  5. dculberson says:

    JenJen, he had after I got through with him. (Rowr!!)

  6. rAMPANTiDIOCY says:

    apparently that “journalist” has Mr. Gates’ cock in his mouth.

  7. rAMPANTiDIOCY says:

    oh, right, and what a wonderful example of Objectivity in journalism!

  8. Toma says:

    The reporter looks like he’s this close to saying, “Look, this phone is coming out and people are waiting in line. That’s it. Do I really have to be here?” And I can sympathize with that mentality – even as an Apple fanboy, I can understand that there isn’t much of a story in waiting in line for a phone.

    But does that mean he has to be a jackass? No.

  9. zuzu says:

    Looks like the reporter’s phone is a Blackberry 8320 Curve; quite comparable to the iPhone in price and market audience.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I sent this.
    ATTN: Eric
    Have you ever seen a man naked?

  11. Rob Beschizza says:

    “To be honest, harassing the kind of people that spend hours queuing for luxury goods seems fair play to me. And strikes me as “journalism” as much as the onslaught of completely trivial news segm”

    ONLY COOL KIDS ALLOWED IN THE BBG TREEHOUSE.

  12. Anonymous says:

    > The commandment violated here is: “Thou shalt
    > not piss all over someone else’s fun.”

    since when? if you’re having fun already, why shouldn’t somebody else have fun poking fun at you? it only seems fair/free. okay – for the news guy to make fun of the guy in the line and okay – for the guy in the line to make fun of the guy doing the news. fun for everyone!

    > – Treating the line as a news story: Not OK.

    agree – this should be on Conan or the Daily Show not on the news. I think public station should only get a license to broadcast over public air waves when they fulfill some requirement of delivering news, educational program, and some free time of politics (so no need for campaign financing). Stations that deliver only fake news like this story should have their license revoked.

  13. dculberson says:

    Zuzu, to be fair, I doubt very many people lined up to buy the 8320 Curve. I do find it very odd that people bother to line up for the iPhone, when they know beyond a shadow of a doubt that they can just walk in and buy one in a few days. But I feel the same way about “opening night” for movies, etc… why the rush?

    But I don’t think mocking fellow humans on air is an appropriate response.

  14. mps says:

    I sent the station manager an e-mail to complain about this guys bad manners. That’s what it is and there is no excuse for it.

    A link…
    http://ktla.trb.com/about/station/ktla-stationmanagement-email,0,5835532.htmlstory

    Let them hear from us techies.

  15. Patrick Austin says:

    @#12: “dedicated to a mobile phone most people can’t even afford”

    There were people standing in line with me who were making minimum wage, FYI. I think most people can afford an iPhone if they have their priorities as screwed up as I do.

    Funny, I don’t think it’s ever cool to walk up to people on the street and humiliate them on TV.

  16. zuzu says:

    There were people standing in line with me who were making minimum wage, FYI. I think most people can afford an iPhone if they have their priorities as screwed up as I do.

    I vastly prefer the people who have their priorities “screwed up” such that they can afford an iPhone but don’t have kids, than the breeders who have kids but then claim they cannot afford an iPhone. (If you can’t afford a $600 phone, what the hell are you doing having children?)

    Singles, Seniors, Childless Couples and Teens, and Gays FTW.

    I doubt very many people lined up to buy the 8320 Curve.

    Yeah, I don’t understand the queuing either. Moreover, who actually goes to brick & mortar stores anymore? (I think of the Apple stores as primarily where people bring their computers in for repairs under AppleCare.)

  17. gobo says:

    If you think that all of this iPhone hype is silly because it’s “just a phone”, YOU ARE SPEAKING OUT OF IGNORANCE. Go away, find out what an iPhone is, and figure out why you are annoying.

    If you think that iPhone buyers have their priorities wrong because they are buying a “$600 phone”, again: YOU ARE IGNORANT. A new iPhone costs $199.

    If you are Eric Spillman, well, you’re just a dick.

  18. jenjen says:

    but… but… we still don’t know if that guy has ever seen a naked lady! Don’t we have a right to know?!

  19. WeightedCompanionCube says:

    One, challenged to choose between “gadgets and human beings,”

    Why choose? Launch lines tend to give people common ground. I was in line for 5 hours on Friday, and I had a lots of conversation with strangers about all kinds of things.

  20. Lea Hernandez says:

    “I was lucky enough to see Eric Spillman’s hilariously unfortunate reporting on people waiting in line for their iPhones here:
    http://gadgets.boingboing.net/2008/07/12/this-is-journalism.html

    Spillman’s and the producer’s effort was, in the vernacular of the Internet, “made of fail.” Instead of being baited, Spillman was roundly rebuffed by people not impressed by a button-down shirt, TV hair, and a camera.

    Thank you for a clip that will surely be a welcome addition to many “lookit the dumb reporter” YouTube compilations.

    Lea Hernandez”

  21. Charles Cooper says:

    fools, it’s just a phone
    my purpose in life is true
    I sleep with a gun

  22. alowishus says:

    @ZUZU:

    I vastly prefer the people who have their priorities “screwed up” such that they can afford an iPhone but don’t have kids, than the breeders who have kids but then claim they cannot afford an iPhone. (If you can’t afford a $600 phone, what the hell are you doing having children?)

    I think your view is misinformed and pretty screwy. Yes, poor people have kids. However saying that poor people shouldn’t have children reeks of social Darwinism eugenics. But here’s the thing: Many influential people grew up poor, under terrible circumstances. And many people start out middle class or even wealthy and lose it all due to powers beyond their control AFTER they’ve had children. Should those children be terminated?

    And it does make sense for a well-off parent to say “I can’t afford a $600 phone,” even if he/she has a hundred grand in the bank. Having kids changes your priorities. Suddenly it makes more sense to wait for that $600 phone to drop to $200 before buying because the extra $400 means financial stability and hell, maybe even some cash for college down the line. You would fault parents for that?

    Your hatred of “breeders” seems to be a symptom of inexperience and selfishness.

  23. Trent Hawkins says:

    “Looks like the reporter’s phone is a Blackberry 8320 Curve; quite comparable to the iPhone in price and market audience.”

    -the main difference being that he got it free from his employers and he didn’t stand in like for a week to buy it.

  24. AirPillo says:

    Isn’t that post some kind of boomerang-burn on BBgadgets, too?

    I mean sure, nobody here is standing next to an iPhone queue on camera and being an ass… but there has certainly been a lot of coverage of the next-gen iPhone and some of it has been of undeniably trivial nature, almost to the point where it’s easy to call it “filler content”.

  25. zuzu says:

    @ ALOWISHUS

    I think your view is misinformed and pretty screwy. Yes, poor people have kids. However saying that poor people shouldn’t have children reeks of social Darwinism eugenics.

    No, simply that children are really expensive. If you can’t afford them, you’d be unwise to have them. Inability to afford a $600 phone is an acceptable signpost that one hasn’t the capital necessary to raise and educate a child to their full potential in the modern world.

    Even half-assed parenting shows kids cost $500,000 for “total operations cost” (over 18 years). Sending your kid to decent schools, with regular computer upgrades with high speed Internet bandwidth, musical instruments, chemistry sets, mobile phones and service, and so on, at least doubles that figure.

    Your hatred of “breeders” seems to be a symptom of inexperience and selfishness.

    I’ll counter that having a baby because “they’re cute” or “it’s expected time in life to start a family” without fundamental financial analysis and planning, and thus essentially “winging it” in terms of providing for expenses, is the epitome of parenting selfishness.

    So if you can’t even afford a $600 phone, children are probably not for you.

    I’m specifically not arguing against reproductive freedom, but in terms of personal finances, children are a luxury not an entitlement.

  26. dculberson says:

    Zuzu, I agree that people should be in a solid position, financially speaking, before having children. But I also realize that additional generations are very important for the country, economically. Since I have no plans to have kids, I don’t begrudge lower income bracket people their benefits and funding for spawning. That way, I don’t feel so bad about my wife and I remaining childless and selfish. ;-)

  27. Casper says:

    Why are people acting like the rightness/wrongness here is a function of whether it makes sense to wait in line for a phone. People waiting in line for a phone, or opening night for a movie, are doing it because it is FUN for them to experience the energy of being around others who enjoy being the first to see the Lord of the Rings, read Harry Potter, send an e-mail tagged “sent from my iPhone” etc.

    Personally, I’ve never waited in line for a thing like this, but that’s because I hate lines. Other people enjoy them – I say have at it, as long as I can still get by on the sidewalk.

    The commandment violated here is: “Thou shalt not piss all over someone else’s fun.” I’m pretty sure Moses would have gotten to that in the next ten commandments. Eric Spillman’s non-sequitir about naked women was greeted with more respect than it deserved, frankly. And kudos to the woman co-anchor who also called him on it.

  28. Rob Beschizza says:

    “Isn’t that post some kind of boomerang-burn on BBgadgets, too?”

    No, because I’m entirely comfortable covering trivial subjects!

  29. zuzu says:

    But I also realize that additional generations are very important for the country, economically.

    I don’t mean to hijack the thread, but I’d like to know how that assertion is substantiated. To me, it seems like one of the last things we need is greater surplus and thus even lower pricing on labor. (Not that I’m arguing against immigration either; in fact I support opening the border and giving them the opportunities rather than spawning even more additional people.)

    Furthermore, it’s precisely raising the per capita value that requires such expensive investment in young human minds for the field of knowledge work (i.e. creativity / critically thinking for a living). Soon everything else will be “Made in the USA by robots.

  30. adamrice says:

    It’s one thing to mock people standing in line waiting for the iPhone. That’s fine—and I say that as someone who stood in line waiting for the iPhone (and felt rather tool-ish about it).

    Is the line newsworthy? One could come up with an interesting angle about the iPhone as a cultural phenomenon, but that is certainly not what was happening in this segment, where they were using ridicule of the people in line as a cheap’n’easy substitute for journalism.

    So, to review:
    – Insulting people waiting in line for a phone: OK.
    – Treating the line as a news story: Not OK.
    – Insulting people waiting in line as an excuse for a news story: Very Not OK and deserving of verbal smackdown.

    I don’t want to wade into the kids vs phones issue except to say that if you’ve got a cranky toddler and you’re planning on standing in line for a phone for several hours in very hot weather, please don’t be standing right in front of me.

  31. Silva says:

    To be honest, harassing the kind of people that spend hours queuing for luxury goods seems fair play to me. And strikes me as “journalism” as much as the onslaught of completely trivial news segments done by people with their mouths firmly pressed against Jobs’ crotch dedicated to a mobile phone most people can’t even afford.

    And if he was harassing, dunno, Zune buyers, I doubt most of you would be so pissed.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Are we not suppose to make fun of people waiting in line for iphones?

    someone once told me that the less powerful, the poor, the minority has the right to poke fun of the powerful, the rich, the majority. the other way round is offensive. (i.e. poor making fun of rich is okay (rich can’t complain); rich making fun of poor isn’t)

    I say if you’re getting a phone that’s generally accepted as being expensive and you’re waiting in line for it — what poor people do (rich people don’t wait – they have assistants or better yet, gets things for free) then you should not complain of being mocked. You do, however, have the right to make fun of people wearing thousand dollar shoes or driving impractical hummers.

    The irony as BBG pointed out is that the news is trivial; there’s always more important news, but that doesn’t excuse the people waiting in line for iPhones for wasting time.

  33. yer_maw says:

    Both parties in this issue are complete losers.

  34. monkeywidget says:

    when the reporter said he didn’t care about his Blackberry, that was a perfect opportunity to yank it out of his hand and stomp on it

  35. dculberson says:

    I half expected him to ask, “Do you like gladiator movies, Billy?”

  36. SeppTB says:

    #32 – Except The Daily Show often has more integrity than many “news” shows. In fact, this clip is exactly the sort of thing I’d expect to show up on the Daily Show, and if they were on the air now, it likely would!

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