Harry, would love to talk with you!

The top story on TechMeme this morning is that PC World Editor, Harry McCracken, resigned his job yesterday cause his boss wanted to be nicer to advertisers and wanted to kill a story he did on Apple. I like Harry a lot. He was in my living room a few months ago during a debate about OSX vs. Vista.

Anyway, Harry, I’d love to work with you again — your stock just went up due to your editorial stance. IDG’s just went way down.

UPDATE: I just striked out the text above because John Welch is right and I don’t know what really happened. I’ve been reflecting on his words and he’s right that we’re only hearing one side of the story. I know that from my time inside Microsoft that usually the story you see in public isn’t the true story and that only the employee who left the company gets to speak because of fears of getting sued. We know that Harry isn’t working for PC World anymore. But we don’t know the kind of story he wanted to run or hear Colin’s point of view.

Either way, Harry was enjoyable to work with before and I’d love to work with him again.

65 thoughts on “Harry, would love to talk with you!

  1. As much as it pains me, I’ll disagree on John here.

    “But I’m still curious as to when it is acceptable for someone to comment on a story like this.”

    It’s “acceptable” to comment at any time – seconds after the fact even. What John, I and others take issue with is so many bloggers, “journalists”, columnists and others in the Peanut Gallery drawing black and white distinctions/conclusions *seconds* afterwards.

    To (barely) paraphrase John, “I advocate getting all the facts before making Harry into a hero or Colin into Satan…” That’s the issue I personally have with the “tone” of the vast majority of “reporting”, blogging or commenting I’ve seen on this issue.

    “Harry is a Journalistic God sticking up for the readers” vs “Colin is a venal, self serving hack, doing Apple’s dirty work” is the tone you see from so many people – *none* of whom have any more facts than are presented in the Wired story.

    Full disclosure: I know Crawford personally but Im not defending him (I don’t know him *that* well :) ). I just want to hear more facts, both from Harry (why hasn’t he commented on any of this?) and from Colin (who has commented on it).

  2. As much as it pains me, I’ll disagree on John here.

    “But I’m still curious as to when it is acceptable for someone to comment on a story like this.”

    It’s “acceptable” to comment at any time – seconds after the fact even. What John, I and others take issue with is so many bloggers, “journalists”, columnists and others in the Peanut Gallery drawing black and white distinctions/conclusions *seconds* afterwards.

    To (barely) paraphrase John, “I advocate getting all the facts before making Harry into a hero or Colin into Satan…” That’s the issue I personally have with the “tone” of the vast majority of “reporting”, blogging or commenting I’ve seen on this issue.

    “Harry is a Journalistic God sticking up for the readers” vs “Colin is a venal, self serving hack, doing Apple’s dirty work” is the tone you see from so many people – *none* of whom have any more facts than are presented in the Wired story.

    Full disclosure: I know Crawford personally but Im not defending him (I don’t know him *that* well :) ). I just want to hear more facts, both from Harry (why hasn’t he commented on any of this?) and from Colin (who has commented on it).

  3. Jayson, that’s hard to say. But I think a few days at the VERY least, maybe longer if it’s really important. If the other side simply won’t comment, then you make sure you say that in your story, so that readers know they are only getting one side.

    As well, try to avoid the “Well, I work at PC world and I heard…” or “I work there, and i was i the room…” from unverifiable sources.

  4. Jayson, that’s hard to say. But I think a few days at the VERY least, maybe longer if it’s really important. If the other side simply won’t comment, then you make sure you say that in your story, so that readers know they are only getting one side.

    As well, try to avoid the “Well, I work at PC world and I heard…” or “I work there, and i was i the room…” from unverifiable sources.

  5. @29 – John, it was good to see that come out. But I’m still curious as to when it is acceptable for someone to comment on a story like this. If the blog post hadn’t been written and there was no response, how long should a blogger wait before it is acceptable to comment based on the available information?

  6. @29 – John, it was good to see that come out. But I’m still curious as to when it is acceptable for someone to comment on a story like this. If the blog post hadn’t been written and there was no response, how long should a blogger wait before it is acceptable to comment based on the available information?

  7. Question for John: In situation like this, how long do you advocate waiting for Colin to give his side? If he or his employer no comments a request for reaction does it become fair game? If there is no response whatsoever – how long should someone like Robert wait before commenting?

    Read comment 21 for linkies

    Let’s imagine for a second that the rumour was that Harry left due to pressure from Microsoft (and not Apple). Would John Welch be showing such restraint? Would John Welch be urging everyone to hear both sides first?

    Let’s imagine for a second that you read the articles, and realized that the incorrect meme was that Colin supposedly pressured Harry due to possible pressure from Apple, instead of as you are now saying actual pressure from Apple.

    Let’s imagine you actually read the text in the original Wired article. Mmmm…it’s a pretty fantasy, isn’t it.

    So, if the supposed reason was a bad article about Microsoft instead of Apple, but the rest of the initial story was the same, would I advocate getting all the facts before making Harry into a hero or Colin into Satan? Yes. Because if it wasn’t true, then It wasn’t true. Microsoft does enough in reality to get ripped on, they don’t need fantasy. It’d still be bullshit for the same reasons.

  8. Question for John: In situation like this, how long do you advocate waiting for Colin to give his side? If he or his employer no comments a request for reaction does it become fair game? If there is no response whatsoever – how long should someone like Robert wait before commenting?

    Read comment 21 for linkies

    Let’s imagine for a second that the rumour was that Harry left due to pressure from Microsoft (and not Apple). Would John Welch be showing such restraint? Would John Welch be urging everyone to hear both sides first?

    Let’s imagine for a second that you read the articles, and realized that the incorrect meme was that Colin supposedly pressured Harry due to possible pressure from Apple, instead of as you are now saying actual pressure from Apple.

    Let’s imagine you actually read the text in the original Wired article. Mmmm…it’s a pretty fantasy, isn’t it.

    So, if the supposed reason was a bad article about Microsoft instead of Apple, but the rest of the initial story was the same, would I advocate getting all the facts before making Harry into a hero or Colin into Satan? Yes. Because if it wasn’t true, then It wasn’t true. Microsoft does enough in reality to get ripped on, they don’t need fantasy. It’d still be bullshit for the same reasons.

  9. “Pull your head out of your ass for a goddamned minute, and either do some goddamned research or wait until someone else does. Don’t you get tired of jumping on something, then when you find out the facts, you have to print retractions/apologies/etc?”

    Short answer from Robert … hell no!!!

    “Any time Robert appears to be quoting a fact, you better check the shit out of it.”

    Ya reckon?

    Robert says: “John: on further reflections I’ve decided you’re right, so I striked out some portions of the text above.”

    Jeez man, do us all a favour and reflect *before* posting, not after.

  10. “Pull your head out of your ass for a goddamned minute, and either do some goddamned research or wait until someone else does. Don’t you get tired of jumping on something, then when you find out the facts, you have to print retractions/apologies/etc?”

    Short answer from Robert … hell no!!!

    “Any time Robert appears to be quoting a fact, you better check the shit out of it.”

    Ya reckon?

    Robert says: “John: on further reflections I’ve decided you’re right, so I striked out some portions of the text above.”

    Jeez man, do us all a favour and reflect *before* posting, not after.

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