Dan Gillmor has been asking an interesting question: will apple sue the Wall Street Journal over the Intel leak the way they sued the bloggers in Apple v. Does? The WSJ doesn't seem to think so; they're patting themselves on the back over Jobs' reference to them as the end of his keynote [link: paid site]. Gillmor doesn't seem to think so, either, and neither do I. Letting the WSJ off the hook is a way to reinforce the legitimacy of "old media" reporting over "new media" blogging. This is also probably the reason he singled out the WSJ in his talk, even though c|net also broke the story. For a company that wants to be your internet and digital hub, Apple can be pretty hidebound.
From a business standpoint, of course, this makes sense. Leaks to newspapers have limited circulation and are easily quantifiable. Leaks to blogs, on the other hand, take on a life of their own. Most journalists will also give you a call and try to get a comment on a story before they break it. This gives you two important things: first, a chance to prepare, and second, the opportunity for the all-important sound bite, or at least the chance to get your "no comment" or craftily worded half denial on record. Bloggers, and even more traditional online publications, tend to post first and ask questions later, which complicates spin and damage control.
[via Dave Winer]