THAT’S NOT NEWS! 18 September 2016

Welcome to THAT’S NOT NEWS!, my occasional focus on especially pointless crap published online and dressed up as actual news.

And as predicted in my first post back in July, it’s, that epitome of journalistic standards, the A Current Affair of the online press, that’s providing all the quality material. And so much of it about more-or-less the same thing too. Impressive as ever,…


The premise here is a cocky 16-year-old wearing an absurd fur hat with ear muffs—where did he think he was? Russia in December, clearly—who gave Apple a “sweet plug”, then gave a “shout out” to his “number one crew”, then apparently “walked off like a rock star, oozing confidence beyond his years”… yeah, because tools like my namesake here (it makes me cringe every time) keep talking about the pointless little git as if he is one!

This was a kid—a kid!—standing in a line to buy a sodding phone. And how on earth is this in any way newsworthy? Oh, that’s right. He was the first in line. He was first in line to buy an iPhone7. Outside the George Street Apple Store in Sydney. On launch day.

So, I repeat, how on earth is this in any way newsworthy? Oh that’s right. Because said 16-year-old kid, Marcus Barsoum, did it last year, too, for the iPhone6S launch. He was tenth in line last year. Oh, and he did it the year before, as well, for the iPhone6 launch. He was thirteenth in line that year. Hitting the Top 10 last year must’ve sufficiently swollen his already significantly over-inflated ego, but rocketing from #10 to #1 with a bullet this year? What an incredible achievement.

But, again I have to ask why this was considered in any way newsworthy? Oh that’s right, because he’d been at the head of the queue for three days. THREE DAYS! WTF?

As appalling a thought as that may be, though… THAT’S NOT NEWS!

What were the relevant responsible adults thinking, anyway? It’s not school holidays, is it? What happened to this kid’s studies while he was camped out like a person of no fixed abode in front of the Apple shop for three days? When I was that age, my parents wouldn’t let me get home from the school blue light disco after 11pm, let alone let me skip school to sit on a city street for three days. And how the hell does a 16-year-old have sufficient disposable income to buy three brand new iPhones in as many years, anyway? If anything’s newsworthy here, it’s potentially that.

Perhaps there’s good to come out of this after all. Maybe one day, a real journalist will investigate the topics of lack of adequate parental duty of care, or how teenagers come to have so much time and money on their hands when there are Australians who can’t afford to eat or put a roof over their heads. Done properly, at least that would be newsworthy.

Incidentally, if you’re looking for references to more than one so-called “star” in this article, as indicated by the plural “stars” in the headline, you’ll have to look very closely indeed. After blowing a constant stream of smoke up Marcus Barsoum’s arse for 24 paragraphs, aside from a couple of begrudging references to his “crew”, there are four lines at the end about someone else in the queue—someone who won some Apple award at some unspecified time and got to go to some conference in America. That’s an actual clever person, with legitimate skills, who’s had actual recognition from the company that produces the devices that led to all this dross in the first place. Four lines. That’s all he gets.



Oh God, here we go again.

First of all, whatever happened to the short, sharp, punchy headline that grabbed our attention by summarising the article that followed in as few words as possible? Since when have full sentences cut it as headlines? Or doesn’t that matter, now that all print news is dead and everything is online? People will read anything plus the word iPhone is in the headline plus people skim everything these days anyway so it doesn’t matter how long the headline is or whether there’s any punctuation or typos in the article or whether or not the article serves any newsworthy purpose whatsoever coz people will just consume it anyway like the slaves to pointless dross that we’ve all become… <inhale>… <insert frustrated shriek here>!

But I digress.

So this little gem—which just happens to have been written by the same hipster-bearded “technology editor” as the last journalistic masterpiece—covers the devastating revelation that Apple wouldn’t have a full compliment of iPhone 7s with which to furnish their most eager fans, who’ve waited, as the so-called headline so clearly establishes, for nearly 48 hours, enduring high winds and occasional downpours, outside the glassy geek hub on Sydney’s George Street.

Among them, strangely enough, was Marcus Barsoum, the very same wannabe media starlet from the last article. How lovely to see his bloated sense of self again so soon.

But hang on: only eighty-one minutes earlier, the said same “technology editor” had written that Barsoum and his ilk had been queued up for three days. Now, the people in the queue have been there for “nearly 48 hours”. Inconsistent reporting? Any fact checking? Nobody reading the article will care about (or even notice) discrepancies or inconsistencies anyway? Let’s go with the latter.

It keeps getting better. From making a huge deal of the 48 hours thing, or three days, or whatever other random timeframe this fraud of a writer chooses to quote, halfway through the article is a screenshot of his tweet from earlier in the morning, which was clearly intended to downplay the whole thing by claiming that there was only a “couple of hundred people max” in the queue, with “1/3 only waiting an hour” to get their hands on a new iPhone. That’s one hell of a turn around from “nearly 48 hours”.

At any rate, thanks to the limited availability issue, Barsoum missed out on his desired jet-black iPhone 7 Plus. His heart, apparently, was “shattered”. Poor kid. He’s clearly never experience any actual pain, loss or hardship.

And now we also discover that he has indeed “missed a number of important days at school to wait in line”. Important to who, I wonder? Not him, clearly. But wait, there’s more. We then learn that he and his friends have all taken turns to leave and have, in fact, left more than once to sit exams at school, before returning. So the seemingly impressive claim in the earlier article, that this little media whore had been in the line for three days, was, in fact, a furphy. Colour me surprised.

This article is so full of the most magnificent twists and turns that it’s virtually a work of fiction.

But, assuming it’s true, we can all sigh with collective relief because once the rain cleared it turned out that there was an Apple-flavoured pot of gold waiting at the end of the rainbow for Marcus Barsoum. Inexplicably—but no doubt thanks to some jiggery-pokery worked by the down-with-the-kids hip ‘n’ happening hipster-beared “technology editor”—Vodafone “was keen to provide him with the jet black iPhone Plus of his desires”. Oh fuck off.