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Apple’s Steve Jobs calls family of teen killed for iPod

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By LC Angell

Contributing Editor
Published: Tuesday, July 5, 2005
News Categories: iPod

In a phone call to the father of the 15-year-old boy who was fatally stabbed over his iPod last week in Brooklyn, Apple CEO Steve Jobs conveyed his sympathies and told the man not to hesitate to ask if there was anything Jobs could do for him.

“I didn’t know who he was,” Errol Rose, father of the slain Christopher Rose, told The New York Times. “He called me on my cellphone, at 4 maybe. Or maybe it was 5.”

“He told me that he understood my pain,” Rose said. “He told me if there is anything—anything—he could do, to not be afraid to call him. It really lightened me a bit. Some people talk to you like they’re something remote,” Rose said. “He was so familiar. After every word, he paused, as if each word he said came from his heart.”

“We live in a world which is changing rapidly,” Rose said. “We have the technology that can give us the iPod and everything else, but it’s not all these things. We have to work on the minds and the hearts. We’re failing these kids. We’re not loving them like we’re supposed to.”

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Comments

61

Jobs is obviously doing this so that the family doesn’t sue his ###.  DUH!

Posted by Pookgai on July 6, 2005 at 9:02 PM (PDT)

62

I can shed some light on one of the claims of the cynical.  Apple is not in any way liable for the stabbing.  People are confusing having a product cause harm with having a criminal cause harm.  When a product is the causal agent in an injury or depth something about it caused the harm.  That is not true of someone being injured or killed during a robbery.  So, Steve Jobs did not take a legal risk by placing the call to the boys’ father.

I think we should judge celebrity activism by whether it has any substantive effects.  A couple of celebrities who have helped raise funds for UNICEF are Mia Farrow and Angelina Jolie.  Their trips to the Third World are not just photo ops.  They’ve both also donated millions.

Posted by Podesta on July 6, 2005 at 9:15 PM (PDT)

63

Correction:  When a product is the causal agent in an injury or death something about it caused the harm.

I saw Pookgai’s remark after posting mine.  He is completely wrong.  I think he and others are confusing this situation with those in which a product catches on fire or otherwise causes injury.  It is not not that kind of situation.  Nor is the product inherently dangerous as in gun cases.  The product itself played no role in what happened.  So, no liability for the manufacturer or seller.  In circumstances like these, one can sometimes sue the family of the minor responsible.  Their insurance company will pay, but that usually occurs when the violence happened on premises the parents own.

Posted by Podesta on July 6, 2005 at 9:24 PM (PDT)

64

I think some of you who feel Jobs calling the father was wrong in doing so need to realize that Jobs was genuine in his call. He was one of the first to donate to the 9/11 fund, he’s battled cancer and maybe has a new outlook on life and respects it more.  Jobs is also a father, so he can relate.  Just goes to show you that some of the rich aren’t doing it for publicity. They do it because they want to.

Posted by Ted Thomas on July 6, 2005 at 10:21 PM (PDT)

65

Ben,

Honestly, why isn’t $10 million within reason for a guy like Mr. Jobs (Forbes says he’s worth $2.6 billion)?

Why isn’t $10 million within reason for a corporation like Apple?

They don’t owe the victims of this crime anything, but what would it be to them if they did pay $10 million?

I guess I’m done on this.

Posted by Talking Madness in Los Angeles on July 6, 2005 at 11:16 PM (PDT)

66

Because if they gave $10m to them, then anyone who get’s mugged for an iPod is going to be expecting large sums of money from Apple.

Posted by Nathan on July 7, 2005 at 4:10 AM (PDT)

67

Nathan, bingo.

Moreover, Talking Madness is completely missing my point that among adults, the offer that Jobs made wasn’t a literal carte blanche… Jobs didn’t sign over his entire net worth to this guy… It was a _gesture_.

And your last post is silly too. Don’t try understanding “within reason”...you are obviously not mature enough.

It’s not about some amount of money relative to Steve’s net worth, it’s about and implicit understanding based on social boundaries.

Posted by Ben on July 7, 2005 at 5:50 AM (PDT)

68

Nathan,

You’re right, Mr. Jobs wouldn’t want to open the door to a series of lawsuits based on ‘iPod crimes’.  Unfortunately we live in a litigious society, and the simple thing I was saying from the get go was that this story of goodwill on the part of Mr. Jobs is primed to take a turn for the worse as soon as money becomes a factor.  And, I believe at some point money may become a factor.

When the death of a child becomes worthy of a New York Times article…someone is going to pay for that—hopefully criminally, but usually financially.

Posted by Talking Madness in Los Angeles on July 7, 2005 at 10:51 AM (PDT)

69

Ben,

I totally get that 99% of the gestures men make to one another is intended to sound good rather than be good.

It’s too bad that most of the times when someone says ‘lemme know if there’s anything I can do’ they don’t actually mean it.

Posted by Talking Madness in Los Angeles on July 7, 2005 at 10:59 AM (PDT)

70

It’s foolish to think that what Jobs said means _literally_ anything.

And NO… the point isn’t that Jobs is trying to sound good rather than be good… (once again the “sounds good” part implies publicity stunt) you are twisting my words. The point is that even of saying those words to someone is comforting… and if you RTFA, you’d realize that for a little while anyway, Jobs offered some relief for the man. Leave it at that.

We do not live in television world where everybody is suing everybody else… and when you grow older you’ll realize that there are things in people’s lives OTHER than money… there is raw emotion and feeling. You are absolutely wrong that everything ends up being about money.

Maybe when you’ve experienced something like that in your life will you understand that it’s no longer about money… but right now you don’t know.

Posted by Ben on July 7, 2005 at 12:44 PM (PDT)

71

Ben,

You win!

Posted by Talking Madness in Los Angeles on July 7, 2005 at 6:38 PM (PDT)

72

screw steve jobs

Posted by ViPeRS1017 on July 7, 2005 at 9:27 PM (PDT)

73

Steve Jobs took the time to call a man after the loss of the mans son.  WOW what the heck is the big deal?!?  Has the world really become a place where people going out of their way every once in a while is a crime?  Or have you guys just gotten tired of living your own sad pathetic lives in U.S. suburbia that you need to attack someone higher on the food chain then you.  Get a life people! Oh my geez, who actually spends time debating whether or not Jobs was trying to be nice or trying to make himself look better?  Did you read the friggin’ article?  The slain boys father stated, “It really lightened me a bit.”  Ok there ya go.  The man feels like someone out there cares so there go’s one more person in the world coming out of a terrible and tragic situation with a positive gesture that he NEVER would have suspected he would get.  Man you guys really need to find something better to do in your free time, then maybe someone above YOU will go out of their to enlighten or relieve you in a time of anguish . . . wait probably not!

From: The person who has better things to do!

Posted by sam on July 17, 2005 at 12:54 AM (PDT)

74

Oh my gosh and whoever suggested that this was a publicity stunt to sell more ipod’s is a freakin’ NARK!  Why the heck would any sane and logical person go out and buy the very item that caused someone’s life?  hmmm…oh what…THEY WOULDN’T!  People are gonna buy the things because they want them not because someone makes a phone call. 

SHEESH!!!

Posted by sam on July 17, 2005 at 1:00 AM (PDT)

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