Contemplate this roundtable video from a historical standpoint — say, a few decades from now. What will people see? They will immediately note the stunningly low technical quality and production values. It will be instantly recognizable, whether our future viewers lived through these times or not, as “one of those awful virtual meeting videos made during the COVID-19 crisis”. You know, the crisis in which several hundred thousand Americans needlessly died and millions were sickened because of the Trump administration’s incompetent, insane, sclerotic response. The crisis that Trump’s disastrous, humiliating, “what the hell was anyone thinking when they voted for this obvious lunatic?” presidency is now and forever will remain synonymous with. Like how when I say “Jimmy Carter”, people think “genial peanut farmer who was in over his head and allowed 52 Americans to be held hostage by Iran for over a year and oversaw an energy crisis that culminated in an automobile-dependent nation being unable to buy gasoline”. Or I say “Richard Nixon” and people think “shifty crook whose crippling paranoia drove him to send a squad of bumbling goons straight out of a Coen brothers casting call to burgle his political opposition’s headquarters and then oversaw a criminal attempt to cover it up, inexorably leading to his resigning from office in utter disgrace”. When you say “Trump” decades from now, after our current hot moment has turned igneous, we’ll think about shamefully blatant racism, we’ll think about jaw-droppingly transparent corruption, we’ll think about his stupid-looking hair and poorly-applied bronzer and the rapidly degenerating incoherence of his every utterance, but more than anything we will think about the COVID-19 crisis, and his heartbreakingly cruel, incomprehensibly stupid and irresponsible response to it. That’s Trump’s lines-around-the-block-for-gasoline, his Watergate, his Hoovervilles. But hundreds of thousands of Americans didn’t die waiting for gas in the ’70s, or because G. Gordon Liddy shouldn’t have been trusted to shoplift a pack of gum without getting caught. Just try to imagine how much worse the jaded eyes of history will view a self-inflected fiasco that resulted in so many American deaths that morgues were overrun in cities across the nation. It’s a presidential albatross without peer.
John Gruber goes off.
So Gruber’s normal beat is posting about Apple and its products, which is how this came up; the referenced “rountable” involved Tim Cook, hence making it fodder for Gruber’s blog. But the above? He added it later, in an addendum underneath an initial, relatively anodyne, comment. Gruber is well-known for being opinionated but not… like this. This is something different.
People are angry, and rightly so.