Readers may remember the media kerfuffle a few months back, when NYT technology columnist David Pogue told an interviewer that he was "not a reporter" and declared in exasperation: "Since when have I ever billed myself as a journalist?"
Well, how about this for billing? In the online brochure for the Kids@Play summit at the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next January -- where Pogue will be speaking -- Pogue's bio offers up a new official title:
"David Pogue, technology columnist, New York Times visionary."
This is presented not as marketing hype, but in the official listing of titles and bios for the event's speakers. It appears alongside other official titles, such as" Warren Buckleitner, Editor, Children's Technology Review" and "Jim Gray, Ed.D., Director of Learning, LeapFrog Enterprises."
In Pogue's case, the new title is followed by his official bio, reprinted word-for-word from his website.
Which raises the question: is this a new title that Pogue has bestowed on himself? Will it officially replace "reporter" and "journalist" on his NYT business card? Either way, it must be a comfort to NYT editors to have a official visionary in the building. Not that he ever drops by, of course.
[UPDATE: We received a statement Friday afternoon, in the form of a posted comment, from Robin Raskin, the creator of the kids@play event whose brochure identified Pogue as a "visionary."
"Not to bore you with the details, but the mistake was totally on our side of the fence," Raskin wrote. "David's name/bio and the word visionary came from an overzealous intern."
Before that we had received an email from Pogue about it. He described "visionary" as "definitely not a title I would ever use for myself." Pogue's email blamed the mistaken title on the organizer of the panel he was to appear. He named the organizer and suggested we contact him. But since the "overzealous intern" explanation comes from the event's creator, we'll accept that as the official version of what happened.
By the way, a note to commenters: Relax! We like David Pogue. We think he's funny and good at what he does. Our post doesn't accuse Pogue of wrongdoing, or attack him in any way. We made it clear that we didn't know if Pogue had been involved in the "visionary" thing or not. We were only reporting on the existence of the brochure, which was readily available on the Internet.]