Apple Shareholders Live Blog In Press’s Absence

Press barred from blogging, shareholders didn

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Before Apple’s shareholder meeting began today in Cupertino, Calif., members of the press were upset about it being more of a “prevent” than an event. Apple barred the press from live-blogging or even carrying laptops or smartphones into the meeting—the gag rule didn’t apply to shareholders themselves apparently.

Steve Jobs, CEO Apple
Steve Jobs
CEO Apple

Fortune posted the live blogged minutes of the meeting as given by shareholders identified only as “Cheddarmuff” and idannyb. And from the sound of it, Apple board meetings get a little lively.

At least, Cheddarmuff’s and idannyb’s notes are far more entertaining than CNN Money’s report. This marked the first time Steve Jobs was unable to attend the meeting due to health issues, an event moving shareholders to demand answers…and about which none came.

Some of the insightful posts:

There was one attempt to talk about jobs health that was shot down quick. Bet there will be more in the Q&A

 AFLCIO made a speech on universal health care … Tried to bring up SJ health. Cooperman cut him off

First question about disclosure of Jobs health quoting 10b-5 rules. Saying company should correct bad data

Arthur levinsom responding…jobs still involved. Succession plan has regularly discussed. No disclosure about health or plan.

After pressing the board repeatedly about Jobs’ impending death, the entire crowd then commenced to singing him happy birthday.

Despite, the occasional sharing of numbers—increasing revenue from $8 billion to $32 billion over 4 years; 13.7 million iPhones sold in 08; iTunes outselling Walmart; new stores opened weekly—the rest of the meeting, according to the live-blogged notes was spent bickering about political issues.

Al Gore, Apple Board Member
Al Gore
Apple Board Member

And yes, Apple board member Al Gore was in attendance. No, he was not spared wrath from either side of the political spectrum, with corporate heads railing against socialist Democrats and environmental activists calling on him to make Apple greener.

Subsequent reports from journalists who attended kept the boring shareholder meeting tradition alive with reports that Apple reelected the board and that Steve Jobs is still involved in Apple operations.

So we learn two lessons here. 1. In the Information Age, it’s really, really hard to keep a secret, even if you handicap the press. 2. Doesn’t matter if they were handicapped—though it should matter, and the press should have been insulted, outraged, and defiant about the secrecy and active information suppression of a publicly traded company—apparently the (mainstream, Apple-favored) press is boring us on purpose.



Apple Shareholders Live Blog In Press’s Absence
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