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Media’s fawning of the iPad has not gone unnoticed by Howard Kurtz

April 4, 2010

Just to prove I am not the only one obsessesd with the media’s lave affair for the iPad, Howard Kurtz, the Washington Post’s media reporter and the host of CNN’s Reliable Source–a program that analyzes the American  news media–has noticed the free advertising two of the biggest weeklys devoted to the Apple:

When was the last time that Time and Newsweek went with the same cover subject whose name wasn’t Obama?

Clearly, such treatment would be reserved for a development so indisputably vital that it would change civilization as we know it. That event has arrived, in the form of a $500-to-$800 product that you should feel guilty for not having, even though it doesn’t hit the stores until Saturday.

The iPad might turn out to be so revolutionary that we’ll look back on its unveiling like Alexander Graham Bell speaking to Mr. Watson. Or not. But Apple and its media maestro, Steve Jobs, are once again reaping what amounts to tens of millions of dollars in free publicity.

And while he does not harp on it too much, he does note the potential conflict of interest:

The same media outlets covering the phenomenon are also hoping to profit from the iPad. The Wall Street Journal and New York Times struck nondisclosure agreements with Apple in exchange for early samples for their development teams.

You see, the media needs the iPad and other tablets to succeed beyond that of niche status–at a certain threshold, it may allow publishers to “turn off” their free online content, with the intent of acquiring paid subscriptions from the millions of iPad and tablet owners.

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