Dan Lyons on Steve Jobs’s Call to Joe Nocera

Dan Lyons thinks there’s something fishy about Jobs’s insistence that his conversation with Joe Nocera be off-the-record:

Nocera also knows why guys like Jobs play the off-the-record game, and he knows that it’s the surest way to get pwned by a source. So he had to be suspicious about Jobs calling him out of the blue and then demanding to speak off-the-record. It’s one thing when someone wants to go off the record to talk about someone else — their boss, their neighbor, their colleague. If someone inside the Bush administration wants to tell you something but doesn’t want to lose their job, that’s one thing.

But people who want to set the record straight about themselves don’t go off the record. They don’t need to. They don’t want to.

Lyons is implying that if Jobs is actually fine, then there’s nothing he shouldn’t be willing to talk about on the record regarding his health. But that’s only true if the full story isn’t the least bit embarrassing or private. In Jobs’s case, it seems clear that whatever it is that’s been bothering him this year, it is related to his digestive and intestinal system. Even if he’s recovering fully from this problem, set to live a full life for decades to come, is it any wonder he might not want to speak on the record about digestive problems like, say, extreme diarrhea? Fuck that.

Sunday, 27 July 2008