The Media Frenzy Surrounding Steve Jobs' Health
Over the last year (give or take a month or so), Steve Jobs’ health has been a heavily debated topic. There are those of the opinion that Steve Jobs’ health should be fully disclosed to shareholders, given the fact that he is such a huge part of day to day operations at Apple. Then there are the people who feel Steve’s health is no one’s business but his own. As long as he sees that his duties as CEO are taken care of, he’s off the hook and has to answer to no one when it comes to his health.
Now that Jobs is on medical leave from Apple, there are some pretty harsh words being thrown around. An example is those of Joe Nocera from the New York Times: “There are certain people who simply don’t have the same privacy rights as others, whether they like it or not,” Nocera writes. “Presidents. Celebrities. Sports figures. And, at least in terms of his health, Steve Jobs,” he continues. Nocera argues that Jobs’ health is a material fact for Apple shareholders and labels his vagueness on the topic of his health (“his vagueness about his health, his dissembling, his constantly changing story line”) as infuriating.
Bloomberg last week wrote a piece suggesting Steve Jobs may need a liver transplant because of the nature of the treatment he underwent for his pancreatic cancer in 2004. The media outlet contacted the Apple Chief for comment and when asked about it over the phone, Steve said, “Why don’t you guys leave me alone - why is this important?”
We’d like to take this time to firmly establish our position on the issue. Over the months we’ve been keeping an eye on Steve and, like a lot of you, we’ve watched him deteriorate with each public appearance. Many blogs speculated as to whether or not Steve Jobs was healthy and we joined in. We did wonder why he had lost weight and we pondered the possibility that the Apple CEO might be ill. But now that Jobs has answered questions of is-he/isn't-he healthy, we do not support the idea that his health should be common knowledge or released to the public until he is ready again to share.
From here on out, this is the last we’ll say on the matter, at least until there is official word from Apple or Steve himself. We wish Jobs the best in what is obviously a distressful time for him physically and emotionally. End.