While I don’t think anger and writing mix well, I’m going to take my chances here. In an act of childishness and just outright douchebaggery, Richard Blakeley from Gizmodo got his hands on a TV-B-Gone remote and caused chaos at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
The TV-B-Gone remote will turn off just about any TV with an active LED port, and that’s basically what Blakeley did. He made his way through CES, turning off televisions and ruining presentations and exhibits left and right. The Motorola Press Conference in particular suffered from his actions, as the representative on stage had to apologize and improvise when the monitors continuously shut off during his presentation.
The internet is already ablaze with opinions on the situation and I’m firmly in the “it was stupid and immature” crowd. I’ll freely admit that the idea is funny – I do have a sophomoric sense of humor – but not nearly funny enough to justify the hassle that the Motorola rep or any of the other victims were put through.
A lot of people view bloggers as amateurish and unprofessional when compared to “real” journalists and it’s garbage like this that gives them that impression. CES only recently started granting access to bloggers – and it’s still limited – so the timing on this couldn’t be worse. Even if CES still allows bloggers in the future, it still hurts us all in the public eye.
This was a real step back for everyone involved.
UPDATE: According to Webware, the CEA (which runs CES) had this to say about the situation:
“We have been informed of inappropriate behavior on the show floor by a credentialed media attendee from the Web site Gizmodo, owned by Gawker Media. Specifically, the Gizmodo staffer interfered with the exhibitor booth operations of numerous companies, including disrupting at least one press event. The Gizmodo staffer violated the terms of CES media credentials and caused harm to CES exhibitors. This Gizmodo staffer has been identified and will be barred from attending any future CES events. Additional sanctions against Gizmodo and Gawker Media are under discussion.”
So it looks like the guy is banned for life. A fitting punishment, if you ask me.