Steve Jobs, Holy Moses

Moses has been in the news a lot lately thanks to that more-modern oracle over at 1 Infinite Loop: Steve Jobs.

Apple’s impending tablet has been a favorite of lede and headline writers for a good month or more.

The New York Times liked the Moses thing so much it used it twice in two weeks, once in a comment printed with a Bits blog post in December:

Not since Moses carried one down from a burning bush has there been this much interest in a tablet

(Never mind that the burning bush and the Ten Commandments are two separate stories.)

And a week later in David Carr’s column :

There hasn’t been this much hype about a tablet since Moses came down from the mountain…

(Carr was really into Exodus that week. The day before, he referenced Moses in a column about Twitter)

That same day, John Naughton of The Observer, who has the distinction of being the first reporter in my Factiva search to use the joke—way back in June—went back to the Well of Moses for another go:

…not since Moses has a slate been the subject of so much advance speculation

But at least Naughton’s delivery improved in those seven months. Here’s the clunky wording of his June original:

As far as unveiling tablets is concerned, Steve’s only peer is Moses.

A few days after Carr’s column, Therese Poletti of MarketWatch broadened the Moses metaphor beyond Apple Corporation:

This year’s sprawling Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is playing out the 1956 epic “The Ten Commandments.” Multiple characters are trying out for the role of Moses — sans the big hair and long, white beard — and coming down from the tech mountain with digital tablets.

Canada got into the act a day later when Toronto Star reporter Tyler Hamilton got a little meta with his Moses:

Gadget pundits like to use biblical references when talking about Apple chief Steve Jobs, so when reports surfaced this week that the computing giant is preparing to release a new tablet device, talk of Moses coming down from Mount Sinai was inevitable.

The Philadelphia Inquirer called it “the most eagerly awaited tablet since Moses.” The Age cast Steve Jobs as Moses on January 14, and the Southland Times had Moses in its tablet story, but only in the byline (Asher Moses, that is).

By last Friday, the Moses shtick had floated into the reeds of cubicle-cloistered stock analysts, whom the Financial Post duly quoted:

“Anticipation for an Apple Tablet (expected Jan. 27) resembles that of Moses bringing down the 10 Commandments,” RBC Capital Markets analyst Mike Abramsky wrote in a note to clients on Friday.

The National Post itself dispensed with quotes today, writing:

Not since Moses came down the mountain has a tablet been the subject of such frantic anticipation.

Frantic anticipation like the Post’s own subsequent verbiage: “Apple is expected to unveil its latest culture-changing gadget this week.”

And finally, Audit pals, today we have the Los Angeles Times:

Not since biblical times has the arrival of a tablet been greeted with such anticipation.

Hey, there’s a reason they call us hacks.

Let’s just hope we don’t have to read a bunch of Moses-on-the-mountain ledes on Wednesday when the thing is unveiled. Or if you insist, at least incorporate a little Mel Brooks:

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Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at Follow him on Twitter at @ryanchittum.