Eryan Cobham

Thinker-tinker. Web Developer.

Comedy Central and Fake Steve Jobs

For the past 10 years or so, it seems like the people whose jobs it is to do comedy/satire do a better job of pointing out what’s wrong in the country/world than almost any mainstream media outlet does. When I say mainstream media I mean primarily newspapers and network television. If you watch almost every episode of The Daily Show or The Colbert Report you start to wonder how it is that they are the only ones that notice the things they report on. These shows are on Comedy Central, but they really only make you laugh to stop from crying.

Now you have a blog that is written by a journalist pretending to be the CEO of Apple. It’s supposed to just be satire, but still manages to cut through a lot of bullshit and get to what isn’t being noticed or mentioned. Obviously most people don’t really give a shit about Apple, AT&T; or the iPhone, but in his latest post he kind of hits on something more important that any of that.

Essentially the point of the post is that AT&T; has been reducing it’s capital expenditures for the past few years even though it’s been getting a huge influx of wireless data revenue, mostly from iPhone customers that have to pay for a data plan. As a result of not spending that money to build network capacity, we have the problems that AT&T;’s network is plagued with today – bad service in densely populated areas, dropped calls and customer dissatisfaction. The reason, AT&T; has been cutting back on capex is so that it could smooth out it’s earnings, which, as anyone that’s taken an accounting class can remember, need to show steady upward growth for the investors to be happy — not too fast, not too slow, but just right. Since all the executives’ salaries are based on that number, they care about it more than anything.

Contrast AT&T;’s spending with Google’s from a couple of years ago, when their capital expenditures were insane as they built up data centers and all sorts of other things to handle the increasing amount of users they were expecting for all of their different products. I’m not saying every public company doesn’t try to smooth out earnings to some extent, but to do it in the face of increasing customer agitation like AT&T; has is pretty despicable.

Anyway, my point is this: why is this AT&T; information only being talked about in a blog post? Meanwhile you have a bs article in the NYTimes and a segment on CNBC that claim the problem is with the iPhone itself, despite that fact that the very same phone doesn’t seem to have these problems on any other network around the world.

This is why I can’t say I’m all that sad to see newspapers and network TV dying off. It seems like they stopped trying to go out and report actual news years ago. Now I get to hear about Tiger Woods’ sex life most of the time.