SEC Investigates Steve Jobs Heart Attack Rumor
Previously: Steve Jobs is fine, but the rumor mill is running full speed ahead [Update: even a few hours later, Google Trends categorizes this topic as super-hot]. An early report that Apple's master visionary suffered a heart attack was denied by Apple within an hour, but the story continues to spread from blog to blog, causing Apple's stock to dip 10%, as if times weren't tough enough for tech. Jobs is Apple's guiding light, and sort of a Fidel Castro of Silicon Valley, in that there's no real succession structure for this personalistic leader. As such, speculation runs wild at any hint of his leaving the helm of the Good Ship Mac.
A citizen journalist’s report this morning that Apple CEO Steve Jobs had suffered a severe heart attack and been hospitalized is not true, Apple spokespeople told ZDNet this morning. The initial report cited an unnamed “reliable” source saying that Jobs was suffering chest pains and shortness of breath.
“It is not true,” Apple spokeswoman Katie Cotton said.
The original rumor included the following sentences: "Steve Jobs was rushed to the ER just a few hours ago after suffering a major heart attack. I have an insider who tells me that paramedics were called after Steve claimed to be suffering from severe chest pains and shortness of breath."
Jobs has been rumored to be in poor health in the past, particularly after looking gaunt and weak at some of the company’s events.
The question was then raised: do false reports like this damage CNN's credibility? The answer is yes, absolutely. This particular report may even lead to an SEC investigation where CNN will be asked to provide an IP address for the user who posted the story.