Journalist Fakes Bill Gates Interview

Status: News
Microsoft has accused a Norwegian journalist of fabricating, out of thin air, an interview with Bill Gates. Bjoern Benkow, the journalist in question, claimed that he interviewed Gates while onboard a commercial flight. Gates apparently didn't share any interesting secrets with the guy, only that "rival search engine giant Google (nasdaq: GOOG - news - people ) has "been smart," that he never carries more than a "dime" in his pocket and that he occasionally places $1 bets with his wife, Melinda."

Still, Microsoft insists the whole thing is bogus. Which makes one wonder how the journalist thought he could get away with this. Maybe he figured that Bill Gates would never read a Norwegian newspaper. Or wouldn't care enough to deny the interview, even if he did read it. Kind of like Clifford Irving figured that Howard Hughes would never emerge from self-imposed exile to deny that Irving had interviewed him.


Posted on Fri Aug 04, 2006


Well, my hunch is that it's real, in a roundabout way. The forbes link wasn't working for me, but the three statements quoted are so banal, they could have been plucked out of any interview or speech made by Bill in the last five years. Then again, it's not like he doesn't have time to do interviews. If that was the case, we would all be using Vista already.
Posted by Tom K  on  Fri Aug 04, 2006  at  09:14 AM
Would the richest man in world take a commercial flight or travel on his own private jet?
Posted by Captain Al  in  Vancouver Island, Canada  on  Fri Aug 04, 2006  at  10:05 AM
It was not just Norwegian papers that were fooled, and it was not only the Bill Gates interview that was fabricated.

The Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet is considering the possibility to sue Bj
Posted by BeRKA  on  Mon Aug 07, 2006  at  02:08 AM
This news story is an interesting coincidence, because it so happens that Bill Gates sat next to me last week on a Uranus-to-Neptune rocket flight, and he granted me a lenghty interview. The unabridged version will be in my forthcoming book, but here's a brief excerpt:

bg (Big Gary): Tell me, Mr. Gates, how exactly is it that such a profoundly crappy product as Windows could consistently outsell vastly superior software like Linux and the Mac OS?

BG (Bill Gates): Yes, that's interesting, isn't it? I attribute the success of Windows mostly to my lifelong devotion to Satan. I became a devil-worshipper as a young man, and in 1984 I dedicated the Microsoft Corporation to him.

bg: So the rumors are true! Are your customers aware of the Satanist roots of Microsoft?

BG: Well, they should be, if they've been paying attention at all. I mean, what did they think that dancing paperclip gnome represents-- the one we stuck into Word for no other apparent reason? He's obviously a depiction of Beelzebub. And when Windows unaccountably crashes for about the 10,000th time, wouldn't a normal person begin to suspect demonic possession?
Posted by Big Gary  on  Mon Aug 07, 2006  at  02:48 PM
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