Thursday, January 15, 2009

Calling in Sick

From the standpoint of digital rhetoric, the electronic communication and Internet statements of Apple CEO Steve Jobs illustrate some of the problems of trying to break bad news without undermining confidence in the author's authority and credibility. Recently a blogger for the New York Times has called for more clarity from the Apple company and its executive class about the physical health of its corporate head and chief evangelist for its products. The company's website posts Jobs' recent e-mail admitting to a more "complex" medical condition
and than the "simple and straightforward "hormone imbalance" he described in a letter the week before. He's also missing his annual rhetorical performance at Macworld; Senior Vice President Philip Schiller, who stepped in, seemed to be much less of a master of the genre of the corporate tech company keynote. In contrast, here's my rhetorical analysis of a past performance by Jobs.

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