If given the option to banish one media company from the Earth, there's little doubt which one Steve Jobs would choose: Gawker Media, Inc. This year, the rogue news blog founded by Nick Denton has been a giant thorn in Apple's side. The latest offense is a highly opinionated piece called "Apple's Worst Security Breach," which partially blames the company for a security hole at AT&T (you can read more about it here). But let's not forget Gawker's purchase of a prototype iPhone in April and its publication of a private Steve Jobs e-mail conversation in May.
In the former instance, the Gawker site Gizmodo published several photos of an iPhone prototype giving coveted intel to Apple competitors and spawning an ongoing legal fight. Jobs has made it clear he thinks Gawker committed "extortion" and he isn't going to "let it slide."
In the latter instance, Gawker's Ryan Tate engaged in an alcohol-induced e-mail exchange with Jobs and published every last word of it. In their discussion, Tate criticizes Jobs for banning porn from Apple's App Store. In response, Jobs says he's giving his users "freedom from porn." The result? Tate writes a blog post titled "Steve Jobs Offers World 'Freedom From Porn'" and calls his views "absurdly Orwellian." Was Jobs angry? You bet. He insists Tate never identified himself as a journalist.
Thus far, Apple hasn't come close to evening the score. They banned the company from its Worldwide Developers Conference but Gizmodo merely aggregated coverage from other sites. When Apple unveiled the iPhone 4 at the conference, the Gizmodo story went gangbusters generating 461,640 page views. Now, with today's screaming headline about Apple's "worst security breach," you've got to wonder: How much does Jobs just hate those guys?
Update: In an e-mail, Gizmodo's Jesus Diaz provides some additional insight:
I think he hates us even more than you think. Did you forget about the exclusive we broke on his cancer lies? ...He really really REALLY hates us.