Fake Steve Jobs Outed as Forbes Senior Editor
August 5, 2007 4:21 PM   Subscribe

[newsfilter] Fake Steve Jobs, infamous anonymous blogger writing in the unrestrained voice of Apple CEO Steve Jobs, has had his real identity uncovered by the New York Times. Fake Steve is best known for his creative mockery of other high tech figureheads, including Steve Wozniak, Bill Gates, and Richard Branson. The race to discover his identity had run for nearly as long as he had been writing, and suspects included Leahnder Kahney and Andy Ihnatko, both well-known Mac columnists. Daniel Lyons, senior editor with Forbes Magazine has been writing in the satirical voice for just over a year, and has announced that Fake Steve will keep writing, sponsored by his current editors at Forbes.
posted by heeeraldo (33 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
my first FPP... go easy on me!
posted by heeeraldo at 4:22 PM on August 5, 2007

I was wondering which news organization would be the assholes to unmask him.
“I’m stunned that it’s taken this long,” said Mr. Lyons, 46, when a reporter interrupted his vacation in Maine on Sunday to ask him about Fake Steve.
Fuck you, NYT!
posted by mullingitover at 4:29 PM on August 5, 2007

Wow, I can't believe it took this long and it turned out to be a pretty high up editor at Forbes. I thought for sure it was a freelance writer at Macworld Magazine or something.
posted by mathowie at 4:41 PM on August 5, 2007

I was so sure it'd turn out to be Andy Ihnatko, too.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 4:46 PM on August 5, 2007

Ha-ha-ha-ha! The fools think they've won this time, but they'll never catch the Fake Larry Ellison!
posted by Smart Dalek at 4:47 PM on August 5, 2007

Man, fucking lame. There is no way the guy will feel as "free" being unmasked. But I suppose he was willing to give away his anonymity for the book deal. Oh well.
posted by delmoi at 4:50 PM on August 5, 2007

The bar for 'infamous' is pretty low these days.
posted by Space Coyote at 4:52 PM on August 5, 2007 [3 favorites]

How hilarious is it that this is the same guy who wrote that "Attack of the Blogs" article that got slammed on MeFi and every other place on the web?
posted by zerolives at 4:59 PM on August 5, 2007

Fake Steve Jobs used to be pretty funny, but the bloom is off the rose, so to speak. It's never the same once the anonymity is lost.
posted by tommasz at 4:59 PM on August 5, 2007

Is it bad that reading his "real blog" makes me respect him less based on the opinions there? He seems to have a serious hard-on for making the Open Source community look bad and tries to do it in really silly ways.

Friggin' love Fake Steve Jobs, though.
posted by jmhodges at 4:59 PM on August 5, 2007

Huh, I thought it was the ghost of Ken Lay
posted by YoBananaBoy at 5:00 PM on August 5, 2007

I didn't follow the blog very much but I have to say the post a month or two ago about the music industry was genius.
posted by mathowie at 5:01 PM on August 5, 2007

Fuck, I suck. His "real blog".
posted by jmhodges at 5:01 PM on August 5, 2007

Fake Floating Point is actually better.
posted by Smart Dalek at 5:07 PM on August 5, 2007

Real Steve Jobs is hilarious enough. But if you love your humor with intentionality, maybe Fake Steve is better.
posted by DU at 5:09 PM on August 5, 2007

NYT frigtards! i guess all good things must eventually come to an end.

namaste... [gassho]
posted by joeblough at 5:22 PM on August 5, 2007

That didn't take long. No content unfortunately.
posted by yeti at 5:29 PM on August 5, 2007

Why is it that everyone likes to play the parlor game, but when someone finally solves it, he is vilified?
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 5:30 PM on August 5, 2007

He seems to have a serious hard-on for making the Open Source community look bad and tries to do it in really silly ways.

I thought there might be a few posts, but it seems that that's all this blog is about. Really, at least all his 2007 posts are pieces slanted against open source or open source institutions.
posted by grouse at 5:34 PM on August 5, 2007

Eh, the point about Linux having sixteen years to make a kickass desktop and not doing so was spot on.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:54 PM on August 5, 2007 [1 favorite]

Does this mean there's a real Steve Jobs?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:54 PM on August 5, 2007

Man, no matter how you feel about the OSDL/Groklaw/PJ thing, he's claim to be just "covering it" is specious at best, and hypocritical at worst. Looking over his posts, he's got a mindset he believes is correct and he's trying to prove it.

Dude, at least have the courage to claim what you believe in. That doesn't necessarily mean you think SCO is right, but you know you have a desire for Open Source to "fail" (whatever that means). You are interested in this story because you believe it is an example of more bad actions in the Open Source movement.

You're allowed that opinion, but don't claim it isn't influencing what you look to cover and how you cover it. Everyone can read your posts and we all see it. By not being forthright, you look like an ignorant, arrogant idiot without a shred of consciousness of your own actions. Don't be that guy.
posted by jmhodges at 6:01 PM on August 5, 2007

M.C. Lo-Carb! writes "Why is it that everyone likes to play the parlor game, but when someone finally solves it, he is vilified?"

What parlor game? I never sat around trying to figure out who he was. It didn't matter. It was a funny blog, and I was happy to enjoy it for that. Unmasking FSJ accomplishes nothing more than shitting in the pool.
posted by mullingitover at 6:02 PM on August 5, 2007

Thanks guys over at the NYT! That's the kind of investigative journalism I look for - now if only you had done something about the whole 'investigative journalism' thing when we were oh, I don't know, going into a WAR. Priorities people - priorities! What you investigate is important - especially when you fail to investigate, and turn into a laughing stock/corporate suckup/administration brownnoser/insert epitaph here. What a shame, considering their once gloried history.
posted by rmm at 6:02 PM on August 5, 2007 [1 favorite]

When delivered by the persona of a major corporate executive, the glib shorthand that stands for a smart, informed guy's understanding of the issue is entertaining and, in its way, informative.

When delivered by a sockpuppet mouthing the words of somebody who appears not to understand the issue at any more depth than he's speaking, it ain't.
posted by ardgedee at 6:51 PM on August 5, 2007

I support open software, but the people who rise to positions of influence & authority in the open software movements are human like everyone else, and I have no problem with the fact that a business reporter has made it his self-appointed task to point out their foibles and attack them for instances of ethical weakness.

It's a good example of how free speech is supposed to work, people self-organizing into ad-hoc systems of checks & balances. It's annoying when his blog devolves into the sort of theatrics & rancorous name-calling so typical of blogs, but I can't think of any blogs that have a pet cause that don't.

He certainly carried the cause over to FSJ -- it's filled with slurs on open software ideas.

And, there was a lot of truth in the Attack of the Blogs article, and those ideas showed up often in FSJ too.
posted by lastobelus at 6:53 PM on August 5, 2007

The real Steve Jobs is just a mere mortal.
posted by madamjujujive at 7:12 PM on August 5, 2007

oh, and good job on your first post, heeeraldo.
posted by madamjujujive at 7:13 PM on August 5, 2007

This makes all the sniping at the WSJ and the backhanded compliments to Fortune all the more hilarious.
posted by xthlc at 10:22 PM on August 5, 2007

mangina needs to be used more often, IMHO. what a fantastic word.
posted by spish at 10:36 PM on August 5, 2007

The gist of Lyons' soon-to-be maligned story is that blogs are “the prized platform of an online lynch mob spouting liberty but spewing lies, libel and invective.”
posted by PenDevil at 11:15 PM on August 5, 2007

Groklaw's take on this.

You know, this might be the best thing to happen to FSJ's book sales. I bet there are a lot of people who hadn't really seen or considered FSJ until now. Me included, although I'm not buying the book.
posted by grouse at 2:53 AM on August 6, 2007

One bright side is that at least I was busted by the Times and not Valleywag. I really, really enjoyed seeing those guys keep guessing wrong. For six months Dr. Evil and Mr. Bigglesworth put their big brains together and couldn't come up with the answer. Guy from the Times did it in a week. So much for the trope about smarty-pants bloggers disrupting old media. Brilliant.

As for the outing, I hope FSJ will continue to be sporadically funny, but wonder whether your man's identity being revealed will dull his sword, so to speak.
posted by jack_mo at 4:52 AM on August 6, 2007

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