They did a short segment on the launch of the new iPad this year  in which they echoed the sentiments of this article. They were especially critical of the excessive coverage given by the government broadcaster themselves, which is supposed to be particularly careful when it comes to even mentioning brand names in most other contexts (e.g. They never use the sponsors names when referring to sporting stadiums):
"Why on earth, we wondered, did ABC News Breakfast spend nine minutes in all on a bunch of techheads queuing outside a shop with a piece of fruit on it, to buy a marginally updated product that they could have got anywhere?"
 www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/transcripts/s3464157.htm (the video and transcript are both here).
Product launches ARE news, no matter how you slice it. News is simply a product of what people want to know about, plus what people SHOULD know about.
So people want to know about new Apple products. So the news media delivers.
But they also SHOULD know about things like the failure of iOS 6 maps, which has been roundly slammed by the media. If the media were truly in bed with Apple, would it be writing this kind of negative portrayal?
Is there symbiotic relationship between the marketing departments of companies and journalists? Absolutely. Do journalists give them free passes? Hell no.
Many news staples fall into this category from movie premieres to press releases to anniversaries to deliberate "leaks."
I don't think he's suggesting that Apple has full control over what is said about them.
But that's sort of the point, they don't have to worry about that as much as other companies. They do not have to spend as much time and money trying to control the negative portrayals and carefully releasing positive ones. The media is flooded with positives about Apple. And Apple gets them for free.
And it's not clear why saying, "Well Apple's events are also over covered!" is somehow a dodge for "The RNC is being massively overcovered."
P.S., If anything CES is undercovered. In the 10 years I've been following it I've never once felt like I have any clue what is going on there.
A) he's not a journalist. B) He's saying that however much the convention coverage is a problem, tech journalism is a bigger mess. C) His point is pretty clear: journalism purports to be reporters working for readers, but that is no longer the case.
I think CES is for buyers at chain stores to meet up with CE manufacturers. It doesn't really have a huge point, in my mind. I think a highly curated "cool tech" show could do a lot better, and allow in consumers. A Vegas cool-tech show / hype machine would be really interesting.
I find most,"tech journalist" want their feathers stroked. Throw a couple of lunches; make them feel important and they'll write a bible about you.
The 2007 iPhone introduction showed me what my future phone would look like. The latest LTE feature on iPhone 5? Awesome because it means I won't have to hunt around for wifi once it becomes widespread.
To sum it up, people care about these announcements because the company that makes them actually delivers (and they do it in style).
In addition, Apple doesn't release 8 products a year so their announcements are more notable in that regard.
I suppose you could put a monetary value on the free giveaways or horse trading that gets done though.
Its release certainly is news if that is the case.
Apple master the process of creating expectations and surprising people, in their staged announcements, good for them.
Why the hate? envy?
There are some great books written about this, namely Daniel Boorstin's The Image
In my case, the hate for things like this is that news has a purpose beyond enriching Apple's shareholders. In particular, an informed citizenry is vital to a healthy democracy. The constitution guarantees freedom of the press for a reason.
"Ryan Holiday is the bestselling author of Trust Me I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator and a PR strategist for brands and writers."
It seems ironic to me that someone would lambast Apple for getting a free ride in the media, only to end the article with an advertisement of his own.
This may be true, but had media ever "functioned properly?". Nearly every media outlet generates far more revenue from advertising than from viewership/subscriptions. So of course the media is beholden to the marketers.
I used to be a big Google News readers, but about a third of their Tech section is devoted to Apple, so I've gone to other sources.
What a joke.
Per Vanity Fair:
"Exhibit A: today the iPhone brings in more revenue than the entirety of Microsoft.
One Apple product, something that didn’t exist five years ago, has higher sales than everything Microsoft has to offer. More than Windows, Office, Xbox, Bing, Windows Phone, and every other product that Microsoft has created since 1975. In the quarter ended March 31, 2012, iPhone had sales of $22.7 billion; Microsoft Corporation, $17.4 billion."
Looking at data from 2007, it seems like Apple was spending a third what Microsoft was on marketing, and had half the revenue; arguably then, Apple was spending 33% less than Microsoft on advertising per revenue, not really "a fraction".
However, you seem to be correct about now: I pulled some 10Q's from this year, and it seems Microsoft is spending $3.4b/Q for $17b/Q in sales ($6b/Q profit) while Apple is spending Apple is spending peanuts (although I honestly couldn't find the data I needed to verify this from the 10Q) for about $35b/Q in sales ($9b/Q profit).
While looking into that further (as I was especially bothered that I couldn't find the exact advertising numbers), I then came across this article, which looks at yearly data and comes to the same conclusion.
He's intentionally controversial - that's his strategy.
That said, the iMania can go too far at times: Today on the BBC news website (even right now), first item is "19 people killed in pakistan protests", 2nd item "Apple says map app will improve". I understand that first world problems have their share, but we 're talking about a very small part of the population that will actually care about either maps issues or the people who are affected by them.
"Democrats or Republicans look too rehearsed on stage? Let’s pounce. Apple? Let’s sweep it under the rug."
Look too rehearsed? When presenting a demo to a client, managing an "Apple like" demo is the holy grail. Although, you could expect a political candidate to partly be "too rehearsed" and still be his real self (or his other pretend self) on stage.
ALL news can be made to be interesting and exciting. The problem is that the pay-per-pageview model heavily incentivizes blogs to grab low hanging fruit instead of doing the real (and often expensive) work of making the important news readable.
Apple brought forth the smartphone revolution ( nailed the execution and others since copied). Also they have created other things like Siri (others copied their execution too). Thus it's no surprise millions are extremely interested in what new tech they'll be releasing.
For me though the iPhone 5 isn't too exciting... Nothing revolutionary or profound. Personally i was hoping they'd add a QR scanner to the built in camera.