Joshua Topolsky, tell us what you really think.
There's been something that's been bothering me about Josh's coverage of late. During this week's On The Verge, and following comments my MG Siegler and Gruber, it was very apparently what it was:
Josh doesn't tend to take a 'stance' on anything anymore.
I can't say for sure what's caused this, but to be it's pretty hard not to notice. Did the "Windows is Poison" comment get stacks of negative feedback? Is he sick of getting of being labelled an "Apple Fanboy?" Does it keep the advertisers happy? The commenters happy? Everything happy?
Case in point: Since the "Windows is poison" comment Josh keeps apologizing and backtracking, even devoting a segment of 'On the Verge' to looking at how to love Windows again. Honestly - if you hate Windows, just say it. You don't need to convince anyone that the way you feel is 'right'.
Case in point number 2: The Galaxy Nexus review. It's apparent Josh likes the Galaxy Nexus over the iPhone 4S. It's apparent that lots of members of the staff do - there's not been much praise Apple's way from the mobile podcast of late. Would it really have hurt to just say "For my needs the Galaxy Nexus is a better phone" or just "I feel the Galaxy Nexus is the better device". You can't honestly say that both devices happened to get 8.6 by coincidence.
Case in point number 3: Introducing John Gruber for On The Verge 002. Wow, this was embarassing. I don't know if this was intentional or not, but you were practically apologizing to the audience for bringing him on the show. It was almost like "I'm really sorry guys, but hear me out...". If you think John Gruber is someone worth listening to enough to bring him on the show, you should feel free to just say "This is John Gruber, he's a super smart guy with a really popular site, we think he's awesome so now you're going to shut up and listen to what he has to say."
Case in point number 4 (And this is more of a general point): Devices getting respectable review scores and then getting universally trashed afterwards. The Nitro HD comes to mind here - 7.1 isn't a 'bad' score per se, yet neither you or David had ANYTHING positive to say about it on the Mobile Podcast or On the Verge, apart from the incredible speeds thanks to an empty LTE network.
Yes, the hardcore iPhone crowd might complain you're not taking things important to them into account.
Yes, the hardcore Android crowd might complain that they think John Gruber is a fanboy.
yes, the hardcore Windows crowd might complain that you're a fanboy for using an OS that isn't any use to them.
But if you really think strongly enough about those stances, then you have no reason to care.
Then again, if this 'lack of stance' is a legitimate approach you need to take to keep the lights on because people DO get riled up over such things, then that's really, really sad.