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ECT News Community   »   MacNewsWorld Talkback   »   Re: Prickly Behavior of Jobs Doesn't Surprise Biographer



Re: Prickly Behavior of Jobs Doesn't Surprise Biographer
Posted by: Jean Whitney 2005-11-06 06:56:42
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Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and Pixar Animated Studios, reportedly lashed out in an e-mail at author Fredric Alan Maxwell over an unpublished article he sent Jobs about Jobs' biological father. Maxwell's article described a Syrian immigrant and political science professor named Abdulfattah Jandali, whom he said is Jobs' birth father. Maxwell also writes for Newsweek , The New Yorker and Harper's magazines.


Re: Prickly Behavior of Jobs Doesn't Surprise Biographer
Posted by: dextra7 2005-11-23 19:04:22 In reply to: Jean Whitney
The best reply to F. Maxwell (and he has posted his story all over the internet) can be found at:
http://www.livejournal.com/users/slurslee/
This one says it all.

Re: Prickly Behavior of Jobs Doesn't Surprise Biographer
Posted by: dextra7 2005-11-08 17:52:29 In reply to: Jean Whitney
If Fredric Alan Maxwell writes for Newsweek (I didn't know they took freelance articles), The New Yorker and
Harper's magazins, why can we not find his work at their internet sites??
Why has Maxwell sent out so many posts to internet sites recounting how he sent an email to Jobs and how Jobs replied? Why is he trying to provoke a publicity storm - just to find a publisher? Or does he want to follow in the steps of "iCon: Steve Jobs" and get banned by Apple stores in order to sell more copies (scandal sells, as we all know).
It all seems very sleazy.
As for Jobs' father, the press has known his identity since the eighties - 20 years ago. As the man has never had any contact with Jobs - and indeed never saw him - newspaper legal departments have usually advised an ethical stance re this particular subject, In other words, leave him alone. He is now a man in his mid-seventies, he works extremely hard to earn a living and it would be even more cruel now to publicize his life & whereabouts than it was 20 years ago. He is not hard to find - at all. So why subject the man to an unpleasant storm of publicity, which will probably cost him his job - let alone subject him to the attention of literally thousands of unhinged Apple addicts or enemies.
I find this aspect of Mr Maxwell's self-publicizing behavior rather chilling.

Re: Prickly Behavior of Jobs Doesn't Surprise Biographer
Posted by: FAMAxwell 2005-11-11 13:50:55 In reply to: dextra7
Hi, dextra7. This is Fredric Alan Maxwell. Let me address a few of your concerns.
First, as I wrote Ms. Whitney of the Palo Alto Daily News, where this story came from (who took it off the wire), I do not write for Newsweek, Harper's, or The New Yorker -- I have simply been published there, and many other places. (Newsweek: "Chipping Away at Civilization," 5/19/86, Harper's "Memories, Mom, and The Library of Congress," 5/93 The New Yorker, "The Vietnam Undead,"11/30/92; they also profiled me as "Bookworm" in December, 1992) These articles or citations are available via Pro Quest or InfoTrac. I mainly write books now.
Second, I respond to inaccurate information about the story when I have time. As the former CBS producer Ms. Mapes wrote in today's Washington Post online, many chat rooms or forums or bloggers have or are folk who tend to act like 14 year olds who've broken into their parent's liquor cabinet -- drunk on the power of having their words appear without any sense of responsibility. (her exact quote is, "Some of the people who attacked me and CBS acted, sadly, like 14 year old boys who had broken into their parents' liquor cabinet. Angry and drunk with power. That is unfair, unproductive and un-American.") She goes on to say that you must counter these attacks and inaccuracies as soon as possible. This is what I do -- again, when I have the time.
Third, and akin to the last point, there seems to be a bunch of people who don't use their real names circulating simply-untrue statements about me and this story. (I wonder if they [and you] are Apple shills?) Such as, when you say that "As for Jobs' father [sic], the press has known his identity since the eighties - 20 years ago. As the man has never had any contact with Jobs - and indeed never saw [sic] him - newspaper legal departments have usually advised an ethical stance re this particular subject." How do you know they've never met? How do you know where Jobs' birth father lives and works? How do you know newspaper departments have advised "an ethical stance," whatever that means in this context? (Jobs himself talked about his birth parents at Stanford this June, and his biological sister, novelist Mona Simpson, is open about her biological father, even writing a novel about finding him and has given her children his last name.) Kindly cite me one newspaper or give me the name of one credible reporter who will verify any of what you say, and your claim that "the press" has known this for twenty years. I can be reached at: stevejobsbio {at} yahoo.com.
Finally, one of the things that has been lost in all of this is the fact that I'm not writing the biography anymore. I stopped several months ago after the publisher canceled the contract -- strange in that it was the publisher who came to me suggesting that I write the bio in the first place, even stranger in that it was canceled two days after MacWorld. I'm onto another book now. Two, actually. However, a back story developed when I took a wee part of what I'd found, expanded it while on assignment with Fast Company magazine, who then killed the piece. I've been encouraged to write about this, and am. Remarks such as yours are a part of that story. I haven't approached any new publisher about the Jobs bio, nor do I have any plans to.
Again, feel free to write me with any collaboration of the claims you make.

Re: Untrue re Stanford
Posted by: dextra7 2005-11-27 12:36:28 In reply to: FAMAxwell
As kk said on the MacNN site: " Please let us state once and for all that it is not true that Jobs " talked about his birth parents at Stanford this June." As if he had already outed the identity of his birth father. No Mr Maxwell.
He talked about his unmarried mother, not his birth father. "
see: http://news-service.stanford.edu/news/2005/june15/jobs-061505.html
And why shouldn't Mona Simpson be open about her birth parents - they were legally married.
Jobs' unmarried birth mother put him up for adoption at birth - whoever the father was, he was no more according to US law than a sperm donor.

Re: Prickly Behavior of Jobs Doesn't Surprise Biographer
Posted by: ReddyK 2005-11-06 18:46:37 In reply to: Jean Whitney
This story seems pretty lean on actual newsworthiness. Most of us who follow Apple and Jobs are well aware of his attitude towards those who try to publish accounts of his private life.
But I believe the story does contain a shameful error: According to IMDB, Brad Lewis was indeed a producer for "Ants," but it was certainly not a Pixar film, as the article states. That film was created by Pacific Data Images/Dreamworks.
Pixar's insectoid feature at about the same time was titled "A Bug's Life." IMHO, it was a much better film. While Brad Lewis may now have moved to Pixar, he apparently had absolutly nothing to do with Pixar at the time both films were being produced.

Re: Prickly Behavior of Jobs Doesn't Surprise Biographer
Posted by: lepprd 2005-11-06 07:14:52 In reply to: Jean Whitney
I am so very weary of this very these over-sensationalized phrases (cult of Jobs; reality distortion field). There are huge numbers of highly educated Mac users who are not and never will be cultists to Jobs or any other personality or cause. If you ask me to describe a distortion presented by Jobs, I cannot think of any and I attend or read about or listen to replays of all the announcements made by Jobs.
As I said, such phrases are inaccurate, overused, very old and tired and extremely boring. They are mostly dredged up by losers who are desparate for attention of any sort.

Re: Prickly Behavior of Jobs Doesn't Surprise Biographer
Posted by: bennyboy 2005-11-06 16:21:01 In reply to: lepprd
It is interesting why Jobs or Maxwell never really say why Jobs banned the book. It's one thing to write the truth, but these days anybody can write anything and purport it to be the truth. Just look at our government and see how you can spin lies into something plausible.
Also, I'm sure that everybody has something in their lives that they would rather not make public. You have to respect Jobs's privacy. the man has had an interesting life with ups and downs and he has shared private things like the fact that he had cancer and was undergoing treatment for it. It would be best not to upset him especially since you usually spend the rest of your life recovering from cancer. The fear of it coming back never goes away.
Jump to:
If my employer requires me to return to the company's office full-time to perform my job, I will...
Agree, because I like my job regardless of where I perform my duties.
Comply, because I can't afford to lose my current job.
Go with the flow, but start looking for different employment.
Resign immediately, so I can dedicate all of my time to find a job that better suits my needs.
Try to negotiate a hybrid work from home / work in office arrangement with my employer.