Why fanboys hate tech reporters?

Mossberg’s column ran for about 900 words; just 70 of them, or 8 percent, by my count, suggested anything even approaching negative criticism. Apple loved the review so much that it excerpted it in advertisements. Apple CEO Steve Jobs quoted it in his speeches. But Mossberg says that his mailbox told a different story. Several Apple fans felt slighted. What did he have against Apple? they wanted to know.

There are many tribes in the tech world: TiVo lovers, Blackberry addicts, Palm Treo fanatics, and people who exhibit unhealthy affection for their Roomba robotic vacuum cleaners. But there is no bigger tribe, and none more zealous, than fans of Apple, who are infamous for their sensitivity to slams, real or imagined, against the beloved company. “It’s funny — even if I write a generally positive piece about Apple, I still get more complaints from Apple partisans” than from opponents, Mossberg says. He has even coined a term for the effect. “I call it the Doctrine of Insufficient Adulation.”

In my years as a tech reporter, I’ve dealt first-hand with Mossberg’s doctrine — as well as its opposite, the PC fans who see a pro-Apple press bias in my work (a few years ago, Salon’s customer service department informed me that a reader called to cancel a subscription in response to my piece, “Hallelujah, the Mac Is Back.”) (link)

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