The Daily Praises iPads With Gabrielle Giffords, Gets Bootlegged on Day Two


It’s day two of Rupert Murdoch’s iPad newspaper, The Daily, which launched yesterday to many tweets. Already, they’re dominating the online media conversation, in certain circles, but not just for the 360-degree photographs. This morning, the paper-less paper teased a “touching interview” with Rep. Gabrielle Giffords from before the shooting in Arizona, but used their now (sadly) more valuable video footage to plug the iPad, a product that must succeed in order for the publication to work. Hm! Find out just how insensitive and uncool that is below in today’s Press Clips, the Runnin’ Scared media round-up. Plus, find out how you can read The Daily online without an Apple tablet, for now!

Too Soon?: “Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is doing ‘rigorous’ speech therapy every day and her recovery is progressing — thanks at least a little bit in part to her favorite gadget: the iPad,” reads the opening line of The Daily article accompanying the video interview. Which, fine, it’s true. But considering that this is being delivered, for those most fortunate, to an iPad newspaper seems quite callous! Or clueless?

The video clip features Giffords all but plugging The Daily, praising her new iPad for making long trips to Washington more convenient. So in part, The Daily is just summing up the interview:

A few weeks before the congresswoman was shot in a Tucson, Ariz., rampage, she told The Daily that she bonded with her husband, Mark Kelly, over their new iPad. Giffords and her husband enjoyed sitting in bed with their tablet computer, she told The Daily in an in-camera interview conducted in the rotunda of the Capitol.

But to do so on day two, and with packaging that could be described as inexpert, sympathy-wise, comes across as a tasteless reach for publicity, trading on a name that is exponentially more popular than it was when the spot was filmed, but not less self-promotional. It’s not that the story isn’t interesting or true, but it’s still enough to trigger a wince and a cringe.

That said, in its Post-like abandon for other people’s emotional squeamishness — plus yesterday’s opening editorial about American exceptionalism — this thing is already looking like vintage Murdoch.

The Information Wants To Be Free: The Daily costs 14 cents a day, or 99 cents per week. The plan is for it to be delivered automatically to your iPad every morning. But an iPad costs at least $499. But the section of the Venn diagram that cares about an iPad newspaper, but does not own an iPad (present!) has multiple saviors already.

The Daily: Indexed is a Tumblr serving as an archive for the paper, linking “to all the free, public, web-friendly articles on The Daily, daily.” That’s because the official website doesn’t have one, nor does it have a traditional homepage, laying out the day’s stories. Instead, articles can only be accessed on the web if shared from inside the app. “If you like the articles, go subscribe!” reads The Daily: Indexed’s site description, likely in an attempt to cover their ass for claims of piracy.

The Daily, Daily, though, drops the pretense: “THE BEST IPAD ONLY NEWSPAPER ON THE PLANET, DELIVERED STRAIGHT INTO YOUR TUMBLR, BY THE INTERNS OF THE DAILY.” This description seems unlikely to be true considering a) the ALL CAPS, b) The Daily‘s other Tumblr, which features only “highlights” and c) the fact that on The Daily, Daily every article is embedded as it appears on the iPad, but for free.

Considering how much time and planning went into this first iPad newspaper, the bootlegging of content must have been addressed internally. Perhaps they imagine it as free press, like some bands consider pirated music, spreading the word. Or maybe they think only strange die-hards will have the commitment to make the entire issue free every day (or read it in such a format) and that the numbers are small enough to be inconsequential. On the other hand, it’s possible that they’ll go after everyone with threats of litigation should the reproduction of the articles continue, or once someone gets ballsy enough to throw advertisements against other people’s work.

“Imagine if everyone just encountered The Daily through dozens of different homepages created by whoever felt the whimsy to design one. Brilliant!” writes Rex Sorgatz.

But whatever the strategy for dealing with freeloading iPad-less readers, it’s not doing anything to fill that $30 million hole.

UPDATE: Joe Pompeo at Yahoo’s Cutline received an unsolicited email from the obviously fake “INTERNS” of The Daily, Daily, from the email address therealdaily@gmailcom.

Hey Joe!

We’re just incredibly proud to be the elite few interns at the center of the future of the entire media universe as everyone knows it, and we’re excited to share that with everyone. Even if they don’t own an iPad. Think of us as the B-Sides to the A-Side. THE DAILY ROCKS!


Well played, actually.


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