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Ouch! Spanked by the Poguemister :(

by zippyG / March 20, 2006 6:36 AM PST

I just listened to today's Podcast that included your interview David Pogue.

I have been wondering when you all would get "called" on one of your rants. Normally your ranting is completely justified and one of the best parts of the show.

I got the distinct impression that David saw himself as the father figure in this conversation, scolding his two youngsters in the back seat...Don't make me come back there.

Tom & Molly you showed good form with your apology and explanation.

Keep up the good work.

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David was Livid!
by amadscientist / March 20, 2006 7:16 AM PST

I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who thought David was livid! Man, Tom & Molly did show great form, and David had every right to be angry, but....he was REALLY angry. Dude.

ZippyG, I can't figure out if you're amused or upset. ''I have been wondering when you all would get 'called' on one of your rants.'' You make it sound like BOL had it coming, and that David's un-checked emotions were warranted.


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by TylerA / March 20, 2006 7:58 AM PST
In reply to: David was Livid!

I thought David was a little harsh, and that he was blaming others for his mistakes.

Tom and Molly had EVERY RIGHT to make this story a big deal, because you know what? It IS! He accepted service he shouldn't have, and even though it is a service he should've denied it, no questions asked.

Because of that comment i'll be getting a call from David soon, wonder what he's going to argue to me?

Hope he does call, boy I'll show him!

I thought David was awfully harsh.

Cheer up Tom and Molly, you're the REAL journalists here!

Yay Tom, Yay Molly! Happy

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oh dear
by lena10 / March 20, 2006 9:55 AM PST
In reply to: Hmmmm...

Well, sorry, dudes--I didn't mean to sound harsh. I have the utmost respect for Tom and Molly, and had good chats with Tom before and after.

I thought it was worth correcting the three errors Tom and Molly made in their original podcast: that I never disclosed the DriveSavers freebie in the Times article; that the resulting review was overwhelmingly positive; and that the Times forbids reviewers (apart from travel critics) from accepting free services for review.

I consider Tom's invitation to appear on the followup podcast, and Molly's apology, to be the height of graciousness and appropriateness.

Nonetheless, I don't intend to duck out of the responsibility of my bad judgment call. I'll be far more careful in the future!


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Wow. A response from one of my techno-geek idles
by zippyG / March 20, 2006 11:18 AM PST
In reply to: oh dear

Can?t we all just get along? I think that this topic does raise some interesting ethical questions that I personally don?t care to address.

I personally don?t think that David crossed any ethical ?line? in his acceptance of services and his review seemed fair. I have always found David?s advice/reviews helpful and accurate. So even if he did accept free stuff and then review said stuff that does not mean his judgment was impaired in anyway. It?s not like he went on for pages about how great the service was etc.

David, Tom, Molly and EarthLink guy (Alright, not EarthLink guy) keep up the good work and by all means keep feeding us unbiased, well researched definitive information about all the crap our wives wish we would quit buying,

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boy.. you said it
by Athlauwa / March 20, 2006 10:46 PM PST

"....crap our wives wish we'd quit buying". Boy did you say it.

MsBtate0121: "ANOTHER $#@#$ $300 IPOD?!?!?"

Btate0121: "honey... it's NOT an ipod, and this one has a radio AND a voice recorder!!!"

sheesh.. women.. who get's em.

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Let's not forget....
by thatcherm / March 21, 2006 3:09 AM PST
In reply to: boy.. you said it

...that 2/3 of your favorite podcast--and plenty of other CNET editors--are women, and many of us have significant others at home who wish we'd stop buying this crap, too. Happy

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by bseybolt / March 20, 2006 10:06 AM PST
In reply to: Hmmmm...

There's not a whole lot of journalism going on at BOL. It's more commentating on the daily tech news.

Regardless, I thought it was very a compelling show due to the conflict. Goononya for David calling in and for Tom/Molly having the stones to have him on and apologizing.

-bill in atl

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Chill Out
by greattam / March 21, 2006 9:29 PM PST
In reply to: Hmmmm...

I agree, he was a little overly dramatic about the mistakes made on both side. Ease up David, you made a mistake and BOL did too so cut your loses and call it a day.

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IMHO, David Pogue is a sourpuss!
by dougnuts / March 20, 2006 1:53 PM PST

Granted he's defending himself, but c'mon, playing excerpts of the prior podcast and then forcing Molly to read the lines from Times' article. His questionable ethics aside, I have to say that I've lost a bit of respect for him based on his podcast "appearance."

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I agree but....
by TylerA / March 20, 2006 4:02 PM PST


I agree with you, BUT, he did have the guts to come on the forums, read, and post positivly on the topic.

I guess everyone can't be perfect, but if everyone wanted to listen to PURE 100% news and not Molly's rants or Tom's awesome segways, they would listen to the podcast. Instead people tune into BOL where they can listen to three very educated technology journalists and hear what they have to say about "the rest of the days news."

But yeah, Pouge did a great job to actually care and come on the forums, even though his appearence was a little "father" like.

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Back and forth but ultimately...
by MacHugger / March 20, 2006 4:32 PM PST

My feelings bounced all around listening to David's interview today. Near the beginning, I kept finding myself thinking "oh, come on David, ease off a bit. You're sounding too defensive and that's going to play poorly with the regular BOL listeners."

I did expect a bit more humility out of the gate but after hearing the entire interview, I think it's clear he's frustrated that much ado was made over nothing. Still, he could use some PR coaching.

Having said all of that, by the end, I was COMPLETELY confident in his integrity as a journalist and I would not question any future stories, interviews, reviews, etc.

-Kevin S.

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A bit far
by rechellesharp / March 20, 2006 6:52 PM PST

I think David had a very real case as his professionalism had been called into question. And a bit of spanking the people that did that was called for.

But by the second time he was pulling out the voice recording it was getting a bit much. He had a public apology and had a bit of fun but I think he went a bit far with it.

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Most awkward episode ever
by oikavel / March 20, 2006 7:35 PM PST

Anyone else get that weird tingly feeling in your back listening to this podcast? Awkwardness on both sides...

In the end, David got attacked by that paper, but was defending a shaky concept. Gah all around...

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Pogue wasn't really nice...
by ph3Ar / March 20, 2006 9:19 PM PST

This is one episode i found quite upsetting. I thought after the incident he would at least politly correct Tom and Molly. Whats more his rants arn't as funny as the BOL crew so we all have to take him seriously and listen to his boring rant on what really happened. He claims that he has to turn down tickets and dvds, well if he didn't like his job why didn't he quit! And find a better job?

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Things needed to be said
by jdtreoman / March 20, 2006 10:05 PM PST

Look I really love BOL, but I have been reading David Pogue way longer than this Podcast has been around. He needed to call them out on the things they said and how they said it. Maybe from now on they will read the article before they comment. People in this forum were making statements like the NY Times has credibility issues. Obviously, you don't read the NY Times. It is the only newspaper who gets it right. All other media outlets look to the front page of the NY Times to see what is the big news. If you watch TV or read other peoples news reports you will find this line all the time, "As seen in the NY Times." Mr. Pouge is a genuine, intelligent, and insightful journalist. SF Weekly should apologize and retract their article. And BOL should understand if you are going to go off on someone, be ready for them to go off on you.

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Why should SF Weekly retract?
by adkinsjm / March 20, 2006 11:02 PM PST

Did SF Weekly get their story wrong? It seems accurate to me.

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David Pogue Cry Baby
by mirage711 / March 21, 2006 2:10 AM PST

Listening to David Pogue talk back was great. Thanks for giving him a chance to speak his peace. Never have I heard a person be able to tell his part of the story so well. But I still do believe he was wrong because he still received free work done not on a company hard drive but on his own. He did have some merits but not enough to convince me... Thanks Molly and Tom......What a cry baby

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by MacHugger / March 21, 2006 3:48 AM PST
In reply to: David Pogue Cry Baby

I don't think it's necessary to call Pogue a cry baby. As even you mentioned, he told his part of the story very well and his frustration at having to defend himself was obvious.

Yes, he could have been less defensive as a guest but to throw the name cry baby at him is simply inflammatory (I've done likewise before and it gets you nowhere). He explained that he verified the ethics all the way up the ladder and regardless of whether or not you or I feel it was right or wrong, he did nothing wrong under the (then) policy of the Times. If they have changed their policy to only pay for what they review, good for them because as Pogue said, even the appearance of impropriety is a concern.

-Kevin S.

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Journalistic integrity
by Chris Beaumont / March 21, 2006 2:26 AM PST

re: Pogue's anger ... it seemed fairly justified. I got the feeling he was trying to embarrass Molly in particular, which is a little childish, and he definately came accross like a bit of an ego-maniac, but when all is said and done, he'd had his journalistic integrity unfairly challenged to its very core, and when you take into account the problems the NY Times has had with issues of integrity recently, the severity of his reaction is to be expected and understood.

I thought Tom and Molly took it on the chin like pro's though, and the nature of their response ... humble while at the same time attempting to debate the issues at hand ... is to be respected.

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Tom & Molly, kudos
by LifeStar / March 21, 2006 2:51 AM PST

I think it would be good if either of you just mentioned your thoughts on yesterday's podcast and to just clarify why you responded the way you did. I think both David and you guys did things appriopiately, and though it did make it a weird podcast, it was understandable considering the situation. I'm just more annoyed at how people are not getting the fact that both David and you guys have a lot on the line when it comes down to intergrity and being proper journalists. If you need to apologize and retract statements that were erroneous, I believe you would take the proper actions to remedy the problem.

Either case, good on you both and to David. It's good to have the facts cleared up and maybe one day down the line, invite David to be part of the podcast like how you asked Leo to be in it. I'd love to hear his thoughts on tech news in general. Later.

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Thanks Lifestar
by acedtect-20196213851867054973637995818137 / March 21, 2006 6:15 AM PST
In reply to: Tom & Molly, kudos

Yes, I think most people understand what we did. We got a couple things wrong on Friday but had a basic issue with how the story got done. David rightly called me and corrected a few things, and I invited him to come on the show. He came on, well-prepared as a good journalist is, and went through the points. We admitted what we got wrong, and then discussed the basic issue of getting things for free and remaining objective.

I don't think we came to 100% agreement but that's OK. We all respect each other's opinion and I for one never thought David was doing anything malicious. I think it's still debatable whether you should take $2,000 in service, but we muddied that critique by hammering him about a disclosure that actually happened. We got it wrong. We try like hell to make sure we get things right but we're human.

David honestly didn't see a problem with taking the service, because he felt it got him closer to the story and didn't cause undue influence. He certainly wasn't trying to get away with something. My opinion is that he misjudged.

The rest of our discussion pertained to where the line is on these issues and that's up for debate. I think one thing we all learned (re-learned) is the line is up to public perception.

Was David defensive? Sure, but that's understandable. Was he a crybaby? Absolutely not. I was impressed that he was so willing to come on the show and talk frankly about it.

David has called us gracious and he was gracious as well. We too would love to have him back on the show.

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david is right
by square_yard / March 21, 2006 7:04 AM PST
In reply to: Thanks Lifestar

i've been listening to the podcast for the better part of a year but i am totally against tom and molly's story and portrayal of david pogue.

i'm sorry but david pogue has every right to be angry since his credibility was wrongfully portrayed. tom and molly went off on a completely unjustified and ignorant rant. they had not even read the articles in question. questioning his objectivity for even accepting the service is ironic seeing as tom and molly's rant was anything but objective or even informed.

listening to the original rant it seems to me that they were going for laughs and snide remarks at the expense of truth and david's reputation. not cool.

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(NT) (NT) Agreed on all points
by wizardjs / March 22, 2006 2:03 AM PST
In reply to: Tom & Molly, kudos
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I thought David Pogue came off as classless
by DLBN-Shawn / March 26, 2006 9:09 AM PST

Just going through this week?s podcasts now and I have to say that I was saddened by David Pogue?s lack of tact. I understand and can respect why he was unhappy with the original podcast, however, any credibility he wished to gain by having a chance to air his own side of the story was lost (at least to me) in his snarkey manner. He could have made his points clearly, concisely, and respectfully, but instead he chose to play Molly?s own words back to her several times effectively rubbing her face in her mistake. That?s simply not necessary in my opinion and any respect I may have had for the man died with this show. As others have said, this was definitely the most awkward show to date. Tom and Molly were pretty much left hanging in the wind to take on the lashing and that angered me. That?s not the professional behavior of a journalist. He could have made his points without the attitude.

Just my 2 cents!


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I agree
by merrybrown / March 26, 2006 10:11 AM PST

I have read David Pogue for years. I have always found his reporting to be informative and reliable.
But it bothered me to know that he took (and kept) something from someone he was reviewing. Granted it would be hard to create something to test as well as having your personal information on your own hard drive and having it crash. However I thought it less than ideal from a journalistic and hopefully impartial view. When someone reviews something I am always hoping and usually assuming that they are not being influenced by ''gifts'' from the people they are reviewing. Otherwise, why trust the review?
The way he treated Tom & Mollie was pretty appalling. I thought he was really rubbing Molly's face in it after she had already recanted and apologized.
It appeared petty and made me wonder if he wasn't feeling just a bit guilty. ''Me thinks thou protesteth too loudly.'' I find when people go overboard like that it is because they know they handled thinks badly on their end.

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small thinking here
by nutjob / March 26, 2006 12:48 PM PST

Why are people so compelled to rescue Tom and Molly? They are adults (somewhat). Molly did and does make many calls based on her belief (i.e. not facts). That is what is endearing about the show. A tech writer ? who makes decisions based on whom they like or not like.

Tech writers are very much like sports writers. They follow people and report based on secondary issues. I read sports pages because I tend to know how they react before I read them.

Keep up the good work Molly, Tom.

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Down with Pogue!!
by alshinn / March 28, 2006 12:42 AM PST

I liked it better when David Pogue was the bad guy, richly deserving all our journalistically high-minded scorn. I didn't like the part when he took the righteous high road. It was more fun before he changed from a black to a white hat. You guys took it pretty well, I guess, but I sat there wincing through that whole episode. It's like watching your dog lose a fight with the cat: it may be deserved and necessary, but it ain't pretty or pleasant. I might have even turned it off, if I didn't have to listen to it to get it cleared off of my iPod Mini. The worst part is that I was trying to get my wife interested in BOL by having her listen to that day's epi-pod, and she didn't bite. Oh, well. I still like you guys.

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