The journalism student who got into an email fight with Apple CEO Steve Jobs has posted a tipsy webcam video which she says will be the first in a series. Meet a fameball in the making, Chelsea Kate Isaacs.
Isaac's video, uploaded to her Facebook account in the wee hours of Wednesday, features the Long Island University journalism student talking to the camera about her newfound fame. She lip-syncs to the Toadies, flirts with the camera, lectures about society and ethics, complains about apathy and then attempts to eat some digital icons that scroll across the screen.
Her monologue is at least slightly coherent, which is some achievement given the low standards of the first-person-webcam video genre, Isaac's apparent tipsiness and the glass of whisky-colored liquid she flashes (she tells us, by email, it was just "Dr. Brown's cream soda," and that she was "super tired, and plus, I have a tendency to get lost in philosophical thought").
"Even if it's against me," she says in the video (above), "we need more people in this world who say what they think. I'm going to start making these videos a little bit more often."
Embracing the limelight — and a degree of infamy — isn't exactly a surprise move for Isaacs, whose relentless pursuit of a quote from the cloistered control freaks at Apple PR ended with an email fight in which CEO Jobs asked her to "please go away."
Of course, Isaacs won't. This is hardly the first time the former hand model caused a stir; her writing was purportedly published by The National Review, CBS and Karl Rove's website, according to a now-deleted Wikipedia page, though it's not clear if she actually wrote commissioned pieces for those sites or merely had some of her college journalism work quoted in them (Isaacs got a burst of meta publicity in the conservative press when she covered a visit by Karl Rove to the University of Miami.
She got still more attention when Reuters covered the deletion of her Wikipedia entry, and those of several other people, for being deemed unimportant and excessively promotional. Isaacs told the news service (and us) she had no idea who had written her flattering Wikipedia page. Hmmm.
Like any protocelebrity, Isaacs leavens her serious pursuits with a healthy helping of hedonism. She did enough club hopping to score a gig writing a nightlife column for NewYork.com. And after we publicized the email tiff with Jobs, Microsoft sponsored the j-schooler at the launch for the new Windows Phone 7.
Another participant now tells us the event was fairly posh — and that Isaacs was kept away from Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer:
I was one of the other "student journalists" covering the Microsoft event (there were 8 of us total). There wasn't really a contest to cover the event. They pretended there was an application, but in my case at least (and I think it's safe to say, given the circumstances, Chelsea's), they just emailed me and said they wanted me to cover it. Everyone else is covering it for a campus publication or college-geared blog, but Chelsea was just covering it for her own personal blog.
It was pretty cool, they set us up in a nice hotel and paid for all our meals as well, and we met a bunch of Microsoft executives and journalists. Three students even got to interview Steve Ballmer (Chelsea didn't), and after the "cocktail reception" following the event (at the same space where the press conference/open house was held) they took us to an art installation/scenester colony in a former catholic school in Soho where the Roots were playing.
Basically, it was way more than just travel expenses, and it was all meant to try to get us to tell all our friends to switch to Microsoft (as far as I could tell). Their words were to "learn from us" to see what college students actually wanted out of technology. The adviser didn't tell us to pressure the executives, but she said not to be afraid to ask hard questions. It was kind of awkward because all 8 of us had Macs (yes, including Chelsea).
Now Isaacs tells us she's been covering an event sponsored by iRobot Corporation, and interviewing the droid maker's CEO.
Isaac's fight with Jobs, then, would seem to be paying off. Her tenacious streak would actually serve Isaacs quite well in a journalism career. But with this video thing, we can't help but wonder if she's headed in a whole other direction. The rules for being a protocelebrity are very different from the rules for being a protojournalist. But Isaacs seems well versed. Fameballing, at least, could pay better. It's not exactly a lucrative trade, but it's hard to do worse, in this particular job market, than journalism.