CES, or the Consumer Electronics Show, is a trade show held in Las Vegas where new products are announced and demonstrated to the press. This year’s CES just ended January 10th, and it looks like there was a small scandal that occurred. Gizmodo, a popular tech/gadget blog owned by Gawker media, pulled a prank which has resulted in the prankster being banned from attending CES in the future. In a nutshell, they brought some devices called TV Be Gone to the shows and proceeded to randomly shut down screens during presentations and press demonstrations. This resulted in a lot of embarrassed presenters and confused audience-members. There’s a video of the pranks here, at Gizmodo’s site (where they also apologize.)
Sure, its funny. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to giggling at the “huh?!” faces on all the people in the wake of the TV Be Gone’s warpath. However, interfering with people’s jobs, like disrupting press demonstrations, seemed to be taking it much too far. The fun, and the point, could still remain intact if just the random screens hanging on walls, etc, were zapped. But, now that someone from Gizmodo is banned from future CES shows, there very well may be a bleed-over effect into other blogs. Legitimate press representatives from other tech blogs (and non-tech blogs) might be facing increased suspicion after this incident, not that any more was needed. Blogs already have something to prove to “real media,” that they are equally as potent, as respectful, as honest, as mature, as widely read, and as worthy of trust and respect as mainstream sources. Gizmodo just confirmed that blogs still have a way to go to gain that trust, and to use it wisely in situations where people are relying on the press to *report* rather than *sabotage.* I like Gizmodo, but their bad behavior casts a shadow on the integrity of all blogs who aspire to be more than online diaries. And that is most definitely not appreciated.