We generally try to stay away from politics here at TUAW, but this week, some controversy erupted when a Philadelphia news photographer saw Barack Obama at the gym with -- gasp! -- a Microsoft Zune music player. PC World even went so far as to call it "ZuneGate."
Well, rest assured that an Obama spokeswoman felt it necessary, for some reason, to say yesterday that the president-elect typically uses an iPod, and she didn't know where the Zune came from.
This is so many kinds of disturbing that I don't know where to start.
Let's start with the reaction. People came out on both sides of the issue: some were happy that the president-elect, who built a campaign for change from the ground up, used a Zune because it reflected his desire to set himself apart from the status quo. iPod users were sad, because, well, Obama didn't buy the same thing they did. Cry me a Rio.
Second, let's look at the coverage. Wired's Jose Fermoso satirized the hyperbole surrounding the story to make it sound as if there were riots in the streets, dozens of people dead, and mass depression setting in. In reality, he cited a few tweets and forum posts from people who were alternately vaguely interested or, at best, "Internet angry."
Third, let's look at ourselves. If you want to take any of the contrived, hackneyed political situations available ("the 3 a.m. phone call," "the ticking time bomb," or "the finger on the button"), at no time does anyone's selection of music player even remotely cross the transom of one's mind. The fact that we clamor for news on this issue suggests that we have our priorities entirely out of order. To the Engadget user who "wanted [their] vote back" over this issue? Take it. Just please don't ever vote again, if that's your sole criterion.
I don't care if Obama has a Zune or an iPod or a Zen, or whatever. If a red one helps get the economy back on track, or terrorism stopped, then great -- let's go with that one.