Dan Lyons, the Newsweek columnist who launched his career from obscurity by impersonating Apple's CEO on a viciously satirical blog, has revealed what he really thinks of the man. Put on your blast armor.
See, in the world of Steve, it's all about Steve. When he does go, he will be remembered as a tremendous genius—but also as a petulant narcissist with a grandiose sense of his importance and a sadly limited view of the world around him. Ironically, it is Gates, his archnemesis, who will likely go down in history as the classy one: the one who knew how to exit gracefully, the one who is devoting the later years of his life, and all of his billions, to helping the world's poorest people—and not clinging to his CEO job while he insults reporters and plays petty cat-and-mouse games with Apple shareholders and fanboys.
And this from a man who claims to admire Jobs. Lyons, who stopped blogging last year, seems strangely freed, even in the stifling pages of Newsweek; since he no longer has a sideline pretending to be Steve Jobs, he can say what he really thinks: That Jobs, who had his digestive tract rewired in the course of surgery to treat his pancreatic cancer, and whose health has been troubled ever since, deserves a public evisceration for dodging questions about his illnesses.
Lyons replaced technology writer Steven Levy at Newsweek, whose idea of hard-hitting Apple coverage was to call the iPod a "life-changing cultural icon." Apple regularly rewarded Levy's pieces with exclusives on new gear. Any bets on how many years it will be before Apple gives Newsweek a new iPhone to review?