Although the official photos showing Steve Jobs dinning with President Obama and other Silicon Valley leaders have somewhat soothed the worries about Apple CEO's health status and helped expose a sensationalist report by the supermarket tabloid The National Enquirer as an attention-seeking maneuver, many bloggers are saying that the White House photos don't tell the whole truth.
Some folks suspect the angle of the White House shot might have been deliberately chosen to conceal Steve's face. There is no frontal shot and Steve is completely obscured on another photo released by the government. Conspiracy theorists are pointing out that an emaciated Steve on the government photo isn't raising his glass or lifting his elbow off the table, unlike other attendees of a Woodside, California dinner organized at the home of John Doerr of venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
Steve Jobs at a press conference last October.
In addition to Jobs, a number of other tech executives were at that dinner, including Mark Zuckerberg, Eric Schmidt, Carol Bartz, Dick Costolo, Reed Hastings, Arthur Levinson, John L. Hennessy and Steve Westly, but nobody from Microsoft. Interestingly, everybody was dressed up but Steve Jobs who showed up wearing his usual black attire.
"Why don't they show the face?," a poster wonders in the comments of our story. "To me that last pic looks like an Auschwitz survivor, not a healthy person at all," another one wrote, probably unaware there's nothing unusual about Steve's physique on the White House image. If you ask me, a lot of faces are being obscured on the White House photo. Should that mean they are all going to die soon too?
Additionally, both Mark Zuckerberg and the guy above left-handed President Obama have their glass pretty low. Are they terminally ill, too? Besides, Steve has way more hair and it doesn't appear as gray as the old guy's hair on the Enquirer's sleazy doctored shot. Beg to differ? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments. Apple on January 17 announced its chief executive was going on his third medical leave of absence "so I can focus on my health." The Californian gadget maker added Jobs would continue as CEO and remain involved in all strategic decisions.
We here at BSN are fed up with Steve Jobs health stories, providing five reasons why The National Enquirer's morbid "six-weeks-to-live" story based on an inconclusive paparazzi shot is laughable, if not gruesome. We also feel sympathetic to the request of Steve and his family that the media have "respect for our privacy." There's no doubt Steve put up an amazing fight battling with pancreatic cancer and receiving a liver transplant.
On the other hand, we feel being a public person and the CEO of the world's most-valued technology company also means accepting reduced privacy as a fact of life. On top of that, a CEO's health materially impacts a company's performance - that's why analysts regularly include the health factor into their estimates. That being said, we think investors are entitled to know the truth about Steve Jobs' health and that's why we've been trying to cover this particular story from all angles.