The Apple fan community was dealt a shocking blow this week, as US president elect Barack Obama – previously thought to be a devout Mac and iPod user – was caught using Microsoft’s Zune media player whilst on a morning work out.
The news broke on a blog in the Philadelphia City Paper, where reporter Neil Santos recounted his surprise at bumping into Obama at the gym, and mentioned as an aside that he was “reading a copy of USA Today and listening to his Zune.”
Diligent readers of the site were quick to pick up on the full importance and scale of this detail. A tirade of comments quickly flooded the site, initially fuelled by disbelief, and later managing to convince themselves that it wasn’t possible through a kind of skewed logic.
Some highlights included:
“Wait. Barack Obama has a Zune???”
“I’m not sure I believe this. Obama is a confirmed Mac user, and it isn’t too much of a stretch to believe he uses OS X as his primary OS, considering there have been articles on his implementation of iChat in his campaign. As far as I know the Zune is not Mac compatible, and even if he was dual booting it wouldn’t make much since for him to load Windows every time he wanted to sync with his music library.”
What followed has been laughably coined ‘Zunegate’, as the story spread across various tech-orientated news sites globally. At its high point, the furore prompted the sentence “After all of the misinformation and dirty lies spread about Obama over the course of the presidential campaign, this is the most shocking I’ve heard about him.”
As anger from the Apple community grew, the author was forced to post an amendment to the blog, pointing out that although he said the Zune belonged to Obama, there was no way to be sure it wasn’t actually someone else’s – such as one of the security guards he had watching over him whilst he enjoyed the treadmill.
Finally, the author reassured disgruntled fans by pointing out there was no way to disprove the notion that the president elect uses a different media player as well, such as the iPod. “There's only one way to find out for sure,” he advised. “Ask the man yourself the next time you see him at your neighbourhood gym.”