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  • Writer's pictureJeff Matthews

Gawker Gets It Wrong: The Cancer Did It

Gawker, which is just one of the many excellent reasons the New York Times keeps cutting staff (I have yet to see an article “tweeted” or “liked” by anyone under the age of 30 from the Times) carried the following inflammatory story yesterday which zipped around the blogosphere faster than a Joe Biden expletive moment:

Harvard Cancer Expert: Steve Jobs Probably Doomed Himself With Alternative Medicine

Having established a provocative statement of purported fact in the title, Gawker’s unfortunate story led off with a howler of first sentence:

Steve Jobs had a mild form of cancer that is not usually fatal…

That statement is wrong. How wrong, we wrote about in 2008, here.

In fact, the five-year survival rate on the kind of “mild” islet cell tumor Steve Jobs had been diagnosed with in October 2003 is 42%. Mathematically, of course, that means the cancer is indeed usually fatal. And Steve Jobs survived seven years.

Now, a big part of the problem is that Apple as a company did the medical world—and the blogosphere—no favors by downplaying Jobs’ condition over the years. (And we wrote about that here.)

For example, when Jobs appeared at a conference in 2006 looking like, well, like a cancer patient, Apple actually said, “Steve’s health is robust and we have no idea where these rumors are coming from.” Two years later the company claimed Jobs had “a common bug.”

With all the disinformation spread about Jobs over the years, it is no wonder Gawker got it so wrong; but, having gotten it so wrong, they ought to get it right.

Jeff Matthews

Author “Secrets in Plain Sight: Business and Investing Secrets of Warren Buffett”

(eBooks on Investing, 2011) Available now at

© 2011 NotMakingThisUp, LLC

The content contained in this blog represents only the opinions of Mr. Matthews. Mr. Matthews also acts as an advisor and clients advised by Mr. Matthews may hold either long or short positions in securities of various companies discussed in the blog based upon Mr. Matthews’ recommendations. This commentary in no way constitutes investment advice, and should never be relied on in making an investment decision, ever. Also, this blog is not a solicitation of business by Mr. Matthews: all inquiries will be ignored. The content herein is intended solely for the entertainment of the reader, and the author.

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