So Editor Brian Lam and the crew at Gizmodo.com apparently pulled a slew of pranks at the C.E.S. expo in Las Vegas this week. They got their hands on a gadget called the TV-B-Gone that lets you turn off virtually any TV remotely and went around the show switching off all manor of flat panel displays right in the middle of presentations. As one might imagine, show organizers, sponsors and naturally presenters were furious and have called for firings as well as banning Gizmodo from future admission at C.E.S. We know how much Brian likes to have fun, but after viewing the video that they themselves made, I find myself pretty upset.
The people who attended C.E.S. went to see the very stuff that Gizmodo screwed with. If I had been in the audience and monitors started blacking out every time I sat down, I’d be raising bloody hell to the organizers too. This group of bloggers saw fit to waste people’s time and money on a puerile joke that that isn’t even that funny. David Pogue wrote this week that Gizmodo crossed the line and I happen to agree with him.
“Why do the exhausted, hard-working booth reps deserve to have their demonstrations ruined? Why did the audience deserve to have its time wasted? Besides: if Gizmodo’s beef is with the C.E.S. organizers, why punish the presenters and their companies?”
Imagine if they had tried to pull this at Macworld instead of C.E.S. What do you think would have happened then? Unlike some wishy-washy people in charge of C.E.S., I would bet my right arm that Steve Jobs wouldn’t let them set foot in another Macworld expo for at least 3 years. In addition, Mac users would probably hoist Lam and company to the top of the highest yard arm and have their way with them seven ways to Sunday online. However, the Gizmodo crew isn’t stupid, and so the chances of them attempting a repeat performance next week in San Francisco are slim to none. After all, I don’t think even Brian Lam is crazy enough to come between the faithful and their Macs. For his sake, let’s hope so.
UPDATE: The more I think about what Gizmodo did, the more upset I get. Apparently some people think we should all just “lighten up” and have a sense of humor about the whole thing. Hardly. The folks at Gizmodo want to have access to people like Bill Gates, the most successful CEO in history, so they can post video interviews of him and lure eyeballs. At the same time, they run around C.E.S. pulling vandalism worthy of 5th graders. You can’t have it both ways boys. Thankfully an opposing view point at ZDNet seems to get it right. As anyone who’s watched The Amazing Race knows, karma’s a bitch.
Update II: A reader points out, not only are they jerks, but they’re hypocrites too. Check out Gizmodo’s original review of the TV-B-Gone. Irony much?