Apple shoots for the high ground in ‘fake news’ debate

“Tim Cook blasphemed Monday night in San Francisco, at least from the perspective of his Silicon Valley brethren,” Aaron Pressman and Adam Lashinsky write for Fortune. “‘We felt that the top stories should be selected by humans,’ Cook said, discussing a new, curated section of Apple News devoted to the U.S. midterm elections in November. His reasoning: ‘To make sure that you’re not picking content simply to enrage people.'”

MacDailyNews Take: Humans aren’t capable of picking content simply to enrage people? That’s the proper and painfully obvious followup question that a “real news” organization should pose. Alas. Nada. (Of course, Cook was being interviewed at Fortune event, so one wouldn’t expect any hardballs to be thrown, however refreshing they might be.)

“The last thing Silicon Valley’s news aggregators want is human selection, you see. Google and Facebook thrive by algorithm. Popularity counts most, even if the beauty contest is gamed by state-sponsored trolls and other criminals. And more is always better than better because there’s money to be made here,” Pressman and Lashinsky write. “Again, Cook took issue with his neighboring Goliaths. ‘I’m not being critical of people who do something different,’ Cook allowed, a sure sign he was about to be critical of two companies that profit mightily from re-purposing the news that others write while collecting data from readers, ‘but Apple has always stood for curation. We’ve always believed in quality, not quantity.'”

“Never perfect, Apple nevertheless has the high ground on this issue. Cook said Apple News will employ its own writers to supplement what it gets from other sources,” Pressman and Lashinsky write. “He also said the company will turn to topics other than the midterm elections.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Again, do not solely trust Apple News. Do not trust any single gatekeeper.

The best way to consume so-called “news” is to cast a wide net.

As always, readers of “news” need to consider the sources and interpret what they are being told accordingly. The more disparate sources you can find, the better. And we don’t mean different newspaper, network, website brands that are all owned by the same conglomerate. Determining the actual ownership of your “news” sources is an investment that requires a bit of time, but it is very enlightening. — MacDailyNews Take, June 17, 2015

Apple News launches 2018 Midterm Elections section – June 25, 2018
Editorial bias: Apple News’s human editors prefer a few major newsrooms, study shows – June 6, 2018
New York magazine editor Lauren Kern named first Editor-in-Chief of Apple News – May 25, 2017
Who’s going to ‘curate’ Apple News? – August 13, 2015
The Apple News app is doomed – July 30, 2015
The future’s not looking too bright for Apple News – July 30, 2015
Apple hiring team of journalists for News app; a ‘jaw-dropping’ development says publisher – June 15, 2015
Apple News is fast, responsive, enjoyable, and it might become your only news app – July 15, 2015
Apple News shows that Apple wants to bolster and profit from ads, not eliminate them – July 10, 2015
Apple News to have human curation – and that raises issues – June 15, 2015


  1. Nothing burgers and fake news, the latest exports from Apple’s home nation.

    Great take MDN and casting a wide net means looking at news sources from a variety of nations. It might surprise that a lot of newspapers talk about other things than pedantic poly ticks.

  2. I frequent both CNN and Fox News. It’s kinda funny (sad?), the differences between the two sites. CNN is unrelentingly anti-Trump, his business, his family, his acquaintances, his cabinet, and probably his dog, too. Fox is almost as unrelently Trump-positive.

    There are so many stories that headline each site that are not mentioned at all on the other site. I find it amazing sometimes that big, big stories are simply buried on one site or the other.

    It’s all about the money: both of these sites couldn’t give a rip about being right or wrong or reporting the news without bias. All they care about is the clicks. At the expense of our country, IMHO.

      1. Boy, they sure are. Unfortunately, they are also the main news source for many, many people in the country. And so many of those go to only one site or the other, where they get such a one-sided view.

    1. Fox News’s talking heads are mostly pro-Trump, but they’re plenty of GOPe tools that toe the #NeverTrump line. When these tools interact with the liberal hosts and guests they snidely allow attacks (some outright lies and Dem talking points) to go unanswered.

      Then there’s Shep Smith. The guy is virulently anti-Trump and Republican and he runs the ‘news’ dept. he started off the SCOTUS travel ban story with three minutes of dissenter Soto-Mayor’s picture and dissent quotes.

  3. I use CBC, CTV, BBC, and generally avoid American news sites. Helps that I’m Canadian, I suppose, but my wife if Ukrainian and her news sites are Russian and Ukrainian and she gets completely different stuff. Sure is interesting, though…

  4. And those curators are ofcourse the most balanced, unbiased individuals in the world… cherry picked by none other than unbiased Tim Cook Himself in one of the most unbiased regions of USA… Silicon Vally … ! Yes ladies and gentelman.. finally a genius solution to fake news and the most corrupt instituation in the world…. media and journalism .

    Apple news will continue to be Just as unbiased as it is now… Trump bashing left and right.

    Cut the crap T.

    1. youjimbo: stop repeating the empty biased whining and provide specifics.

      What does “balanced” look like? If a news source was to provide equal coverage to both sides of the story, then people would whine that they suck, they don’t provide a simple narrative that completely aligns with what people want to hear.

      What “bias” specifically do you object to? My beef, most flagrantly displayed here, is that news outlets are just plain lazy, maximizing ad revenue instead of seeking the unvarnished truth. Ain’t nobody in the world free of bias, and that includes you and me.

      Can’t believe you think the Silicon Valley is unbiased — the dominant opinion there is that they should be free to have access to your data and profit by both subscriptions and ad revenue. They are totally pushing thin client computing and walled garden access restrictions because everyone in Silicon Valley thinks they know everything better than you do. They want to be fliter to your info world, because that’s where the profit is. Not a position that any middle of the road person like me will accept, but strangely even the most libertarian posters here seem to love iOS. Can’t wait for the next Fappening or iCloud outage or massive Apple server security breach, that will be fun. We all know Apple is now to fat dumb and lazy to keep ahead of the bad actors — after all, hubris is a dominant Silicon Valley trait.

      Fake news: is anything from any source that does not come with an objective reference including complete verifiable data. Stop pretending that your favorite “news” sources score highly on this very simple measure. Almost all television is ad revenue and entertainment ratings first, accuracy dead last in priority.

      Clueless Trump deserves all the bashing he gets. Never seen a less informed executive in my life.

        1. I completely agree, the best POTUS in at least a century, against the heaviest domestic (!) opposition in history.

          As far as general news, no one does it better than Drudge. There’s too much pop culture fluff for my liking, but it’s as “balanced” as possible in the world we live in. actually leans left becasue most stories are from left-wing sites (virtually all mass media is to the far left). The difference is having human, non-communist editors to pick the stories and headlines. Tim Cook should give Matt Drudge a call.

        2. William F. Buckley on Trump:

          “When he looks at a glass he is mesmerized by its reflection. If Donald Trump were shaped a little differently, he would compete for Miss America.”

          Trump’s problem is that he has no principles, his ego and endless quest for adulation have undermined any strategic goals that America could go for. He has no forward vision, he is looking backward wishing America to return to the era of Trump’s youth, when the USA was basically the only developed nation unscarred from 5+ years of war. That is a massive miscalculation, dreaming about past glory and pretending that the USA hasn’t been coasting along in many areas for decades since.

          David R. Henderson encapsulated Trump’s fundamental incapacity for the office as “Trump Derangement Syndrome”, with focus on these key unmistakable problems:
          1) economic policy
          2) foreign policy
          3) personal style and behavior

          For economy, Trump brags about deregulation and tax reduction. The Competitiveness Enterprise Institute found that in Trump’s first 9 months of office, he issued 58% fewer “significant rules” than Obama did only a year before. CEI defines a significant rule is one that would affect the US economy by $100 million or more. What few people refuse to see, also, is that Trump’s intentional decision to not hire staffers, slash administrative budgets, and leave major bureaux without an appointed leader, he is tying his own hands. With a competent professional efficient staff, Trump would have greater executive leverage to work with industrry and forge impressive economic policy initiatives, public-private partnerships, etc. Instead American businesses find that there’s nobody answering the phones. When they seek government help — yes, the government actually does help businesses — across the board they find the Trump administration incapable of prompt professional results.

          Tax moves have now been pretty well assessed and everyone now sees that the sugar high that Congress passed will absolutely drive future debts, The CBO projects an increase in federal debt to be 6.9%. That sounds all lovey dovey until you ask yourself what happens if you overspend your income by 7% every year. The compounding kills you. Worst of all, Trump’s tariffs have an unknown effect. It most likely will undermine all advantages that low taxes are supposed to offer US corporations, while putting consumers in a worse state. Economically, the uncertaintly is bad for business, bad for trade, and completely unnecessary.

          On foreign policy, we have seen some press ops and tweets and handshakes, but absolutely no cohesive strategy. Allies now question US motives, enemies now know that Trump doesn’t have the attention span to keep tabs on them. Basically the US is in full-stage isolationism, attempting to circle its wagons and barricade itself from the big bad world rather than boldly keeping the wagon train moving west.

          On personal style points, Trump’s crude and inconsistent demeanor ranks him near the bottom of all presidents in trustworthiness. Silent Cal Coolidge garnered more respect and faith in his leadership without uttering more than a few words per day. The extracurricular activities, the obvious personal business conflicts of interest, the narcissism, the crass tweets, the fact-free policy shifts, the womanizing, the complete lack of appreciation or respect for religious or cultural traditions has brought the honor of the presidential office to a new low.

          Other than propaganda and tweets, Trump has remarkably little accomplishments to show for all the turmoil.

          The saddest thing of all is that while you sing his praises, Trump is calculating not a better future for Americans, but his next political score. He doesn’t care a whit about you or your prosperity. Every move Trump makes is a game designed to make Trump feel like a winner, which means everyone he insults must be framed as a loser. That includes all Americans, not just the “illegals” or “rapists and murderers” that Trump proudly chose to imprison with the most inefficient and barbaric “due process” imaginable. Ironic coming from a rapist with an illegal immigrant wife.

          One wonders what one has to be paid to put on blinders and refuse to criticise Trump for the obvious mess he is causing.

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