U2's Bono has expressed thanks for Steve Jobs's "invaluable" support in fighting AIDS in a letter to the editor of The New York Times. Bono contacted the editor after The Time's Andrew Ross Sorkin wrote a link-bait column titled "The Mystery of Steve Jobs's Public Giving." In the column Sorkin seemed somewhat obsessed over the "mystery" and lack of a public record about Steve Jobs' charitable contributions.
Clearly Bono wanted to set the record straight, as his letter to the editor reads:
To the Editor:
Re "The Mystery of Jobs's Public Giving," by Andrew Ross Sorkin (DealBook, Aug. 30):
As a founder of (Product)RED, I'd like to point out that Apple's contribution to our fight against AIDS in Africa has been invaluable. Through the sale of (RED) products, Apple has been (RED)'s largest contributor to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria - giving tens of millions of dollars that have transformed the lives of more than two million Africans through H.I.V. testing, treatment and counseling. This is serious and significant. And Apple's involvement has encouraged other companies to step up.
Steve Jobs said when we first approached him about (RED), "There is nothing better than the chance to save lives."
I'm proud to know him; he's a poetic fellow, an artist and a businessman. Just because he's been extremely busy, that doesn't mean that he and his wife, Laurene, have not been thinking about these things. You don't have to be a friend of his to know what a private person he is or that he doesn't do things by halves.
Dublin, Sept. 1, 2011
In Sorkin's defense, the columnist obviously (and rightfully) cares about the importance of philanthropy. I too am a big supporter of the "those that have more should give more" line of thought, but to jump on a man who's notoriously private about his personal and business dealings when he's just resigned over health issues was a bit much, but then again, link bait is a powerful motivator. As for Bono's reply, at least he didn't call for Sorkin to apologize to Steve Jobs like Forbes's Eric Jackson did.