Responding to a ridiculous story about Steve Jobs hating Japan because airport security wouldn't let him take Ninja stars aboard his private jet, Apple today debunked the original piece originally ran by Japanese tabloid SPA! Magazine
and relayed by Bloomberg
The Digital Daily's John Paczkowski quoted an Apple spokesperson
who insisted the incident never took place and asserted the magazine pulled the story out of thin air: "Steve did visit Japan this summer for a vacation in Kyoto, but the incidents described at the airport are pure fiction," the statement reads. "Steve had a great time and hopes to visit Japan again soon."
Steve Jobs points at Steve Wozniak during the Apple iPhone 4 event
The original report asserted that Jobs challenged officials at Kansai International Airport during a security scan by insisting it wouldn't make sense for him to hijack his own plane. They allegedly forced him to ditch the Shurikens
, which is the Japanese word for throwing Ninja stars
, before he was allowed to board the plane. The "misunderstanding" allegedly occurred because the Kansai International Airport lacks separate security policies for private flights.
While this story even sounds believable - if you ask me, this is a prime example with what's exactly wrong with online journalism, a classic example how false reporting spreads misinformation that gets repeated over and over again until people take it as a fact. We wrote about the "repeated truth" on more than one occasion.
Because Apple is gaining ground in Japan, this "incident"
could have taken a turn for the worse had Apple left it unanswered. The company already had some bad publicity over burning iPods
in Japan and the bogus story portraying Apple's boss as an arrogant CEO who gets enraged so much over Japanese security measures that he trash-talked the country could have quickly spiralled out of control. That said, Apple's official denial of the incident was the right move to make.
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