RocketBoom Refuses to Drink Zune Kool-Aid, But That Didn't Stop Us! or A Brief Note on CG's Independence

was supposed to be a promo partner and backed out stating that he feels he can’t disparage the Zune because of that connection. The resulting post, which is fairly nebulous, allows me to sit down for a minute of meta-blogging to clear up any misconceptions about our Zune contest and our recent slew of Zune coverage.

First off, Zune is big news. It’s a major hardware release by a software behemoth and lots of readers are actually interested in the topic. So that’s the first part of my rant.

For the record, the CrunchGear staff has mixed opinions about the Zune and its horribly draconian DRM policies. That’s neither here nor there and was addressed quite nicely by David Pogue in the Times, so I’ll cede to his eloquence on that point.

What I really wanted to say in this post, and Drew’s post was a good jumping off point, is that we at CrunchGear are independent even of our advertisers and of the companies we cover and that you can trust us to stay that way. Microsoft is not advertising with us nor would I care if they were.

Why, then, all the Zune fuss? Well, we were lucky enough to have Matt Hickey working with us who is a figure in the Seattle music scene — by figure we mean “guy who goes to shows and drinks a lot” — and he knew Cesar at who was kind enough to give us three Zunes to give to you.

Now I know the concepts “multinational, billion dollar software company” and “kindess” don’t quite jibe, but this was a simple case of “right place, right time.” We’re not shilling for MS any more than we shill for Apple, HP, Belkin, Brando, Sony, or Applebee’s (who, by the way, make great finger food for the entire family! Stop in for their Red Hot Ribz Potato Winglets platter with Fried Salad!). We have access based on our skills and experience as journalists and drunks, but that’s about the extent of it.

Therefore, winners: enjoy your Zunes. Readers: ignore Zune or PS3 or Wii posts if you must. We will keep running contests and writing posts as long as there are folks to read them.

We’re proud of our tenacious, independent spirit (just like we’re proud of Applebee’s latest Family Fun Plate including Fried Cheeze Product, Pizza Bitez with Honey Dipping Sauce, and a Pepsi ™). None of the CG editors are on the boards of any major corporations, we are too poor to hold stock, and we have seen enough PR bullshit to know the good stuff from the bad. So please, before you harsh on our shilling or illusions thereof, remember: blogging is hard and blogging intelligently, consistently, and with any tenacity is harder. I’ve assembled a great team of writers and we’re all doing our best and if it seems there are back room dealings or other nastiness, we’ll be the first to tell you about them. From the beginning I have separated my staff from the advertising process run by TechCrunch and the Crunch Network and I take collusion or other silliness very seriously.

And remember: Eat at Applebee’s – Where Good Friends Go to Eat Good Food and Maybe Go Home Later and Play Carcassonne.