CNET writer resigns. I'm glad I write for real professionals

From Dave's blog, The Bleeding Edge.

Greg Sandoval, a senior writer for CNET, resigned today saying CNET owner CBS Television forced a biased selection of its editors/writers for Best of Show Technology at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week.

I am so delighted to write for a professional magazine like CPA Practice Advisor.

I’ve been doing this for 20 years now, since the day that Tawn Allen Rose asked me to do a technical column for what was then known as the CPA Software News. He asked me to produce a column at “the bleeding edge of technology” – something honest, edgy and a little on the side of being crazy.

He did that even though I am not and have never been an accountant, though I have worked for accounting firms, accounting software companies and a number of financial and non-profit organizations. And I have an MBA in executive management.

Through the last two decades, this publication has changed hands and changed names. The owners of this publication have not always agreed with my judgments, and have not always known what to do with my columns, but they have never interfered, or edited, or told me what to write.

Which brings me to the issue of Greg Sandoval, a first-rate columnist for CNET who resigned today because the owner of his network, CBS Television, inserted itself into the selection of the Best of Show Technology from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week.

CNET editors had voted Dish Network Corp.'s "Hopper with Sling" the best home theater and audio product for the show. But because CBS is in a legal fight with Dish over the Hopper's ad-skipping capabilities, CBS vetoed the selection, saying the product couldn't be considered "Best of CES." Instead, CNET's official selection was a sound bar from TV maker Vizio.

Those who have followed my blog posts know that I consider the Vizio sound bars to be very substandard technologically, mostly for the company’s use of generic remote control codes that make it almost impossible to control the volume of the sound bars in conjunction with Vizio and other low-cost brands of televisions.

Sandoval tweeted on Monday morning that he was resigning from CNET, saying he had lost confidence that CBS is committed to editorial independence.

"I just want to be known as an honest reporter," he tweeted, adding "CNET wasn't honest about what occurred regarding Dish."

CNET Reviews Editor-in-Chief Lindsey Turrentine later posted a story on the site saying that around 40 CNET editorial members voted the Dish Corp.'s "Hopper with Sling" the best home theater and audio product. But that was just a few hours too late to keep the integrity of a leading columnist for their publication.

Ordinarily, I would not comment on the foibles of other publications. I have had my issues with some other publications over their policies, their schedules, and the lack of respect that some show for their outside writers.

But watching the difficulties that some editorial writers have with the parent companies that own technical publications, I have to say that I am proud to write for a classy and professional publication like the CPA Practice Advisor – and in fact, all of the publications I am associated with – because they have the integrity to ensure that the information they provide to you is not tainted by their own prejudices or financial interests.

With the CPA Practice Advisor, you get some of the best writers in the accounting industry – and even a few columns from an old fraud like me – free from interference from parent companies, advertisers or those who would taint the value of our advice.

And that is a very good thing, for you and for me.