Archive for July 17th, 2009

The death of the most trusted man in America

July 17, 2009

As I write the national news reports are filled with the news of the death of Walter Cronkite. I mourn his passing. With his death we have lost more than a great and good man, we have lost an era. I believe that we have entered the post-media era. But he represented the height and best of the mass media era.

He was named the most trusted man in America. I suspect, even though trust is a much more rare and precious commodity today than in Cronkite’s day, that if he was still doing what he did best, he may very well still be the most trusted man in America. And if the decline of mainstream media forced him into some of the behaviors of journalists today, he would have quit with his trust intact.

I mourn his passing.


Amazon fumbles Kindle book “recall”

July 17, 2009

A quick look at Twitscoop showed there was something going on in the Twitter world about Kindle. Checked it out–sure enough. Lots of Tweeters are pretty unhappy to discover that Amazon has deleted books they purchased on their Kindles. Turns out the publisher decided they didn’t want their book on Kindle anymore so Amazon exercised the right they apparently reserved in the tiny print to reach into customer’s Kindles and steal the book back. I shouldn’t say steal because they credited the price. But as Pogue in NYT says, it feels just like Barnes & Noble sneaking into your house and taking a book from your shelf. Big deal if they left a $20 bill on your counter. It still doesn’t feel right.

Irony #1: This is Amazon, who helped created the world of online commerce–certainly they would understand how this violates their customers’ sense of right and wrong.

Irony #2: the author removed was George Orwell, the books “1984” and “Animal Farm.”

Irony #3: Who would have thought that Amazon would end up as Big Brother.

It will be interesting to see how Amazon handles this crisis. If they even consider it that. Will it change how some people think about Kindle and whether they should buy one. Yeah, I think so. Amazon, what do you have in mind?