After the event in New York, I had an exchange with Leo Apotheker of SAP where he expressed disappointment that his comments which should have remained “private” showed up in our blogs. My initial reaction and that of a few of my fellow bloggers was WTF – the conversation was not declared as “off the record”
But the more I think of it, he is correct.
We live in a world where the President’s casual reading of a magazine title about Jessica Simpson gets twisted and dissected.
Did I need to be literal with everything he said? No. Did Larry need to literally quote he used the word “s**t”? Probably not. Did I need to repeat that in my post? No. In a press conference setting Leo would have been much more careful with his words. And it would have been boring.
We got the chance to ask him tough questions, see him come out swinging, show spunk in the blogger session. We want him to continue to be that way. In return we owe it to him to not have to defend every word he says in that frame of passion. And we can do so while providing our readers the spirit of what is being discussed.
We goofed. Sorry, Leo. I hope we can continue that level of open conversation. On our part, we will use better judgment in how we report it.