When Greenpeace protesters convened outside last year’s Macworld Expo, Apple CEO Steve Jobs dismissed the environmentalists by suggesting they “get out of the computer business [and] go save some whales.“
And while the back-and-forth between Apple and Greenpeace is ostensibly about responsible environmental policies, it’s also important to remember that it’s also a battle between two very sophisticated PR teams.
Wired: Apple’s ‘Green’ Notebook Doesn’t Impress Environmentalists
Here’s the letter to the editor I just wrote to Wired…
We’re flattered you put Greenpeace’s “sophisticated PR
Team” on par with Apple’s, given that we’re considerably fewer and stupendously less well paid.In fact, we may have been a bit too sophisticated, in that your opening line misquotes Steve Jobs with a line that came from us:
“When Greenpeace protesters convened outside last year’s Macworld Expo, Apple CEO Steve Jobs dismissed the environmentalists by suggesting they ‘get out of the computer business [and] go save some whales.’”
Jobs didn’t say that — we did, in a spoof video in which we voiced over Steve making the Keynote speech we wanted to hear.
We then saw that quote reported and repeated as a genuine Jobs utterance, as I blogged here a year ago.
And sophisticated though we may be, we seem to have failed to get across the message of how pleased we have been to see Apple heading in the right direction. The mere fact that he brought the environment into his keynote, and that he’s concerned enough about recyclability and toxic ingredients to highlight these aspects in product spec pages, and more importantly actually moving in the direction of becoming a leader in green innovation were all applauded in our reaction.
But hey, we’re Greenpeace. Our job is to be provocative. So while we applaud Apple’s intentions, we’re still waiting to see Steve do what we and Apple loyalists around the world know he can do, which is to lead the entire electronics industry toward a new standard of environmental excellence.
Now this is an object lesson in how unreliable some internet journalism can be when it feeds on itself. Wired now joins a small, select list of folks including MacOpinion and Mona Lisa Hard Drive who attributed to the real Steve something I said in a parody piece. On the internet, apparently, nobody knows you’re not Steve Jobs. Hmm, which gives me an idea:
Well, here it is, my application to work for you as a speech writer. Yes, I’m sure your eyebrows are shooting up given my previous experience as a communications manager for Greenpeace, but I’m fed up with being underpaid, overworked, and having to read the fine print on tuna cans.
Besides, I already have experience. I actually penned a line that you’ve used! According to Wired, you said “Greenpeace should get out of the computer business [and] go save some whales…” Hey! I wrote that line for you, and put it in a spoof video that has gotten more than 135,000 hits on YouTube. I’m really glad you liked it enough to use it in real life. Clearly, I should be writing more stuff for your keynotes.
My salary requirements are extortionist, I’m afraid, but I know you’re good for it. And I’ve seen how much money former Greenpeacers like Patrick Moore can make by churning out utter rubbish about how [YOUR COMPANY NAME HERE] is green and shiny and good for the planet and something he was utterly wrong about when he founded Greenpeace and invented world peace.
So I reckon you can give me a gig like that, and pay me large sums of money to come up with clever ways to trash my former employer. If you agree, just send the limo and I’ll be tickled green to join your sophisticated PR department.
Looking forward to working with you,
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Tags: apple, greenpeace, whales, misquotes, journalism