How can you out someone who is out?

That’s when co-host Simon Hobbs piped up, saying, ‘I think Tim Cook is fairly open about the fact he’s gay at the head of Apple, isn’t he?’

For a moment, a deafening silence filled the studio as the hosts look awkardly from one to the other before Stewart, shaking his head in disapproval, responds with a succinct, ‘No.’

Hobbs tried to recover, ‘Oh, dear, was that an error? I thought he was open about it.’

It’s true that we’ve not had one of those 12 steps moments. “Hi, I’m Tim Cook and I’m gay”.

But he has agreed that he is indeed gay publicly.

23 comments on “How can you out someone who is out?

  1. If, according to the progressives, it’s not only not supposed to matter but to be a good thing, why do they always act as if it does matter and it’s a thing to be hidden?

  2. Interesting. Is it still even possible to sue someone for calling you gay?

    You’d have to show there was harm done to your reputation, but in our luvvie duvvie world where there’s now no shame in being gay you can’t be harmed by it. To even attempt to sue someone for it might make you seem as though you have a problem with gays.

  3. PS. Of course, Stewart could have known quote well that Cook is out and just been trying to make Hobbs shit his pants on live TV, but that probably would have required a reversal of their respective nationalities.

  4. Anyway.

    The problem with Tim Cook isn’t that he’s gay. It’s that he isn’t Steve Jobs. Which isn’t all that surprising, because a Steve Jobs type would never have worked for Steve Jobs.

    Apple is going back to the 90’s without Jobs. They’ll continue serving their traditional audience of hipsters and people who don’t like technology while Google and Samsung take over the world.

    Without a tyrant-genius like Jobs driving new products, they’re reduced to boring iterative improvements and wanky arguments over skeuomorphism that no normal person cares about . The expensive new corporate HQ they’re building is also a classic sign of a business that’s just past its peak. Hiring a handbag saleswoman to head up their retail operations is a John Sculley 2.0 move.

  5. Steve,

    “Without a tyrant-genius like Jobs driving new products, they’re reduced to boring iterative improvements and wanky arguments over skeuomorphism that no normal person cares about ”

    There’s no evidence that Jobs had anything new in the pipeline, either.

    Jobs did a great deal of things right. I don’t want to deny that he made a difference, but he was also fortunate in his timing. The web was taking off during his early years, meaning that the lack of Windows API was less important. The cost of laptops had fallen, meaning that people weren’t upgrading so much like in the desktop era. And the chips got small and powerful enough and storage small enough that you could make MP3 players.

  6. Steve – “Without a tyrant-genius like Jobs driving new products, they’re reduced to boring iterative improvements and wanky arguments over skeuomorphism that no normal person cares about .”

    Steve Jobs is a good example of the Great Man theory of corporate building. What is Apple without Steve Jobs? HP with Hipsters? They have thousands of highly talented engineers. But none of them are Jobs.

    “The expensive new corporate HQ they’re building is also a classic sign of a business that’s just past its peak.”

    As C. Northcote Parkinson pointed out, great buildings come from organisations in decline. Steep decline for Apple I am guessing.

    “Hiring a handbag saleswoman to head up their retail operations is a John Sculley 2.0 move.”

    It worked so well for HP.

    The Stigler – “There’s no evidence that Jobs had anything new in the pipeline, either. …. but he was also fortunate in his timing.”

    Sure but his genius was to take products that other people were making technically possible – and he was never a tech guy – and make them as perfectly designed as possible and cool to look at. He was supposedly about to re-design the Tv. iTV is a product that could have sold. So something new he could brutally exploit his work force into re-designing would have come along. Technology was not what he did. Design and marketing was.

    But without him, they will go the same way as HP.

  7. Sure but his genius was to take products that other people were making technically possible – and he was never a tech guy – and make them as perfectly designed as possible and cool to look at. He was supposedly about to re-design the Tv. iTV is a product that could have sold.

    The TV is done. It’s had decades of evolution, experimentation and improvement, and I’m struggling to see how you make it better. Changing channel is already as simple as it can be. It already works. This “Jobs redesigning TV” was just Apple vapourware designed to get their competitors to take their eye off the ball (like this smartwatch nonsense).

  8. You put it in an off-white plastic box with rounded corners, but instead of saying it’s an off-white plastic box with rounded corners, you say it has a “design language” with a tasteful sounding name. Then it’s a revolutionary innovation, and people buy it.

  9. The Stigler – “The TV is done. It’s had decades of evolution, experimentation and improvement, and I’m struggling to see how you make it better. Changing channel is already as simple as it can be. It already works. This “Jobs redesigning TV” was just Apple vapourware designed to get their competitors to take their eye off the ball (like this smartwatch nonsense).”

    I am with you on the smartwatch bullsh!t. Although it would be better for Apple’s shareholders if it was vapourware. But TV is going through huge changes right now. I assume that what he would have done is brought iTunes to TV so that you would have a TV that seamlessly merged with game players and the like – as long as they were Apple of course – as well as permanent internet access enabling you to steam all the content you liked.

    As with the little MP3 players, others are well down this road already. So we will get there. Just not in a beautiful Japanese-style white box with rounded corners.

  10. JuliaM – “If, according to the progressives, it’s not only not supposed to matter but to be a good thing, why do they always act as if it does matter and it’s a thing to be hidden?”

    I saw the Gay guy from BP, John Browne, on CNN the other day making two odd claims. One is that while he remained in the closet his entire career, he wants to help others come out. The other was that by helping Gay people come out companies improved their bottom lines. Ummm, no pun intended.

    Which raises the obvious questions – if he preferred not to, why shouldn’t others? And why the f**k would anyone think that pandering to the Gay lobby would help a company be more productive?

    There are a lot of things we would like to believe are true. But that doesn’t mean they are.

  11. Which raises the obvious questions – if he preferred not to, why shouldn’t others?

    Because times are different now. Coming out of the closet used to be a lot more risky, both to your employment and your physical health.

  12. SMFS – Yes. Very much like HP, but with enormous cash reserves and their own ecosystem. So they’ll have to work harder to squander their position – but they’re getting there. A couple of billion here and there for overpriced headphone makers, and soon you’re talking serious money. RIM had a great ecosystem till recently too.

    The Stigler – Yes, it’s hard to see what Jobs would have done next to compare with the success of iPod, iTunes, iPhone and iPad. But that’s the point surely – if we could predict it, we’d be Jobsian billionares too? I thought for sure he had made a huge mistake with the iPad. I remember thinking “who’s going to want an underpowered tablet PC without a proper keyboard?”. Turns out about a billion consumers did.

    SMFS again – Lord Browne of Beyond Petroleum eco-twattitude? How’s that worked out for them?

    Companies have personalities based on a rolling average of the sort of people they hire. BP hires Oxbridge twats.

  13. Pingback: Companies have personalities based on a rolling average of the sort of people they hire | Tim Worstall

  14. I think you over-estimate the Job’s influence. Apple can succeed or fail with and without Jobs. You’re reading too much of the “Apple is Doomed” literature without considering that according to the same people Apple has been doomed for the past 10-15 years.

    The issue can they keep focused and grow their “ecosystem”, and I’m reasonably confident they can. for a while anyway. in the end, just about every company falls away. So Apple will, but not, I think, just yet, as fashionable as it is to say that it is already on the way down.

    And Beats ? Chump change, chump change.

  15. Matthew L – “Because times are different now. Coming out of the closet used to be a lot more risky, both to your employment and your physical health.”

    I doubt there was ever a time among people of Browne’s class where coming out was a danger to your physical health. Even not among his class. The English speaking world is amazingly tolerant and non-violent. Violence against Gays seems mainly to be a work of fiction – see Brokeback Mountain and of course that Matthew Shepherd guy.

    But even so, why should someone prefer to take a political stand Browne didn’t? Perhaps most Gays would prefer to remain in the closet no matter how small the risks?

    Although the danger is to BP as a whole. Given diversity is inherently a bad thing when it impedes free and open communication. As it does if people are always waiting to be offended.

    Steve – “So they’ll have to work harder to squander their position – but they’re getting there. A couple of billion here and there for overpriced headphone makers, and soon you’re talking serious money. RIM had a great ecosystem till recently too.”

    The headphones are a bad sign. We will see but I think we agree here. The writing is on the wall.

    “Lord Browne of Beyond Petroleum eco-twattitude? How’s that worked out for them?”

    He really was a p!ss poor choice.

    “Companies have personalities based on a rolling average of the sort of people they hire. BP hires Oxbridge twats.”

    Sometimes companies are controlled by strong personalities who hire people very different to them, but still give the company their stamp. I expect that for all its PR, Apple was in private very much the sociopath that Jobs was.

    Ed Snack – “I think you over-estimate the Job’s influence. Apple can succeed or fail with and without Jobs.”

    It can, but will it? It depends, as I said, if the Great Man of Business Theory is true. I think I have come around to saying it is. No Jobs, no Apple. Can ten thousands highly competent engineers make up for the one man? IBM doesn’t seem to be a good precedent.

    “And Beats ? Chump change, chump change.”

    That is a bad mindset for them to be in. Jobs would have designed his own.

  16. Who gives a shit? As long as he isn’t trying to blow me I couldn’t care less. The only thing that matters is whether Tim Cook will be an effective leader at Apple. So far, the signs aren’t good, and that has nothing to do with who he’s sleeping with…

  17. It’s generally not a good idea for the CEO of a major oil company to come out as gay, given the foreigners he is expected to forge partnerships with.

  18. Tim Newman – “It’s generally not a good idea for the CEO of a major oil company to come out as gay, given the foreigners he is expected to forge partnerships with.”

    Although the damage that might cause is nothing compared to the joy that forcing every oil rig worker to go to Diversity Training because they called someone else a f@ggot in front of a delicate little petal from central office would.

    Things get done when communication, even hostile and offensive communication, is most free. Which is why anywhere with a Diversity Officer or the like is intellectually dead. Diversity brings costs.

  19. Although the damage that might cause is nothing compared to the joy that forcing every oil rig worker to go to Diversity Training because they called someone else a f@ggot in front of a delicate little petal from central office would.

    Oh, we already have to do all that shite, and more. But the remarkable thing is that nobody seems to care much in the oil business anyway: one of the platforms in Sakhalin had a gay Scot on it, he didn’t advertise it but it was no secret either, and nobody minded. And I don’t know anyone who criticized Browne for being gay. The oilfield is a remarkably diverse and tolerant place all on it’s own, I think because most of its members are from anywhere and everywhere and largely interested in making money.

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