In the wake of former Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ death from pancreatic cancer, much of the mainstream media has resisted the urge to take partisan potshots over the occasion. However, MSNBC’s Martin Bashir apparently could not help but connect Jobs’ demise to Sarah Palin’s announcement she would not seek the GOP Presidential nomination, made shortly before Apple’s announcement concerning Jobs.
We’ve marked two important stories: the tragic and sad passing of a true creative genius at the age of just 56 and hopefully the end of a charade that’s been going on for three years. One individual represents the very best of American exceptionalism– brilliant, determined, creative. The other represents the very worst form of American opportunism– vacuous, crass, and according to almost every biographer, vindictive, too.
He played himself to the very end, casually dressed and solely focused on producing product after product that would literally transform culture, information, and our social interactions. Over the last three years, she created nothing, produced nothing, and served no one but herself.
And while the vast majority of consumers have expressed high levels of satisfaction with the products he produced, imagine how her most ardent followers must feel today. They were misled into buying ghostwritten and vainglorious books that attempted to create the illusion of leadership and character. They bought tickets to a documentary that ignored facts and was a celluloid whitewash of her life. Even on the day she confirmed what all of us knew — that she wouldn’t be running for President — she still dropped a video asking for more donations. Amazing.
But though the death of Steve Jobs coincided with Sarah Palin’s announcement, it has been a helpful accident of fate, because it allows us to realize and commemorate the greatness of one individual’s contribution and the utter futility of the other. May he rest in peace.