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Fake Steve on The New York Times’s Coverage of Real Steve

The New York Times published a second piece on Steve Jobs yesterday, implying strongly that Steve Jobs somehow jumped the line and obtained a liver that should have gone to someone else. This article presents no evidence, and no quotes from anyone with knowledge of Jobs’s case. Is it any wonder that Jobs gave the scoop to The Wall Street Journal? This story is so scurrilous it has me thinking that the Times is coming apart at the seams.

After a long hiatus, Dan Lyons has turned the Fake Steve blog back on, and he has a terrific piece about the Times’s coverage:

“Whenever someone rich and famous receives a transplant, suspicions inevitably arise about whether that person managed to jump to the head of the waiting list and take an organ that might have saved the life of somebody just as desperate but less glamorous,” they say — only to assert, a paragraph later, that every doctor they talked to says there is no reason to cheat because these days anyone can pretty much sign up for a liver and get one.

There’s no evidence suggesting I cheated. Nobody is quoted in the story saying I cheated. There’s not a shred of anything in the actual story about that.

Lyons is ruthless on Brad Stone, as well. Deservedly so — if John Markoff were still on the Times’s Silicon Valley beat, it’s a good bet Jobs would have given him the scoop. And at the very least Markoff would have gotten his own version of the story the next day.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009