Give the Jobs cancer story a rest

Let's stop kidding ourselves by claiming there's a supposed public right to know. If Steve Jobs is ill, Apple will issue a release. Until then, call a cease-fire on the rumors and let's move on.

Charles Cooper Former Executive Editor / News
Charles Cooper was an executive editor at CNET News. He has covered technology and business for more than 25 years, working at CBSNews.com, the Associated Press, Computer & Software News, Computer Shopper, PC Week, and ZDNet.
Charles Cooper

Maybe it's our particular infatuation with Apple and its mercurial co-founder, or maybe it's simply a by-product of the times we live in, where seemingly nothing is out of bounds for public discussion. Whatever the reason, I surely can't be the only person reacting to the "Is Steve having a cancer relapse" rumor with a fix of frustration and disgust.

James Martin/CNET News.com

Truth be told, I did wonder whether Jobs had suffered a relapse when I saw his interview with CNBC yesterday. He looked thin, even gaunt. But last time I checked, neither Apple nor its CEO had issued a health alert.

Unfortunately for Apple, people remember that the company's board failed to immediately disclose Jobs' original cancer diagnosis. (Fortune Magazine reported that the board held onto the news for nine months before disclosing it to shareholders.) So now the rumor mill is churning out speculation aplenty--just in case.

Yesterday, Valleywag speculated about Jobs' health and this morning Henry Blodget is running his mouth.

"Many readers will consider this post inappropriate," Blodget began. He should have taken that advice to heart and stopped right there.

Sideline diagnoses aren't worth much, and I don't buy this nonsense that the public has any special rights here. If Jobs no longer can carry out the function of a CEO, he should turn over the reins to a successor. Until then, it's a private matter for Jobs and his family.

Enough already. It's beyond bad form.