Ziff Davis writer Violet Blue wrote a paragraph about a someone she saw at MacWorld:

I was, in fact, looking at The Saddest Booth Babe In The World. […]

She sat on a stool in between two large monitors across the aisle from us. The pretty brunette was in one of those big corner booths that paid a few bucks for that sorta-prime real estate you know is a gamble for whoever forked over the money to sell wignuts or widgets or iPhone cases or other sundry USB landfill.

Her shoulders were hunched and her hands sat limply in her lap beneath breasts that were packaged air-tight in a tight, branded t-shirt.

She stared at the floor. Unlike her counterparts, she never smiled. Sad booth babe was sad.

Some discussion ensued. Was the woman a booth babe? Some thought she was developer Piroska Szurmai-Palotai. It turned out the woman was the developer’s colleague in the PR department, Zsófia Rutkai. She was not, in any case, a booth babe – a model or actor hired specifically to work the trade show.

Blue was widely criticized for her error, and launched a ferocious (and ill-advised) defense of an indefensible position. Chuck Jordan reviews the damage.

And to someone who actually cares, the easiest and laziest way to get him to back down from an argument is to claim that he’s complicit in behavior that he’d never want to be associated with. And it’s bullshit. It sucks when it’s used as an attack, and it sucks when it’s used as a condescending ‘teachable moment.’

More on the pro journalism front: Hillary Rosner, What I Saw At The Women’s Mags.