Gizmodo’s Checkbook Journalism.

Come on.

Admit it.

When you saw Gizmodo’s photos of iPhone 4 this week, you thought it. “Way to go Gizmodo!”

Part of me wants to applaud Gizmodo for doing the Lois Lane thing and getting that story no matter what it took. I’m generally okay with checkbook journalism, as long as no one breaks the law in the process of the acquisition of the story.

Part of me, the Apple fangirl in me perhaps, or perhaps its the part that’s related to Dudley Do Right, or perhaps it’s just my common sense talking, thinks that Gizmodo is about to be in a heap of trouble of the legal sort. They paid 5,000$ for a device that they knew belonged to Apple. They paid it, in spite of the fact that they knew the device had not been legitimately acquired from Apple. Appleinsider is already taking Gizmodo to task under California law, which sounds like it wouldn’t matter what Gizmodo did, or even if they knew it or not, they still broke the law.

Assessing damages for not knowing that you bought stolen property?

Come on Cali. Seriously?

What’s bothering me though is this: Why couldn’t Gizmodo arrange some kind of deal with Apple that allowed them to take pictures and release them at a specified date (prior to Apple’s Keynote on iPhone 4, like maybe a couple of days before it) and help that poor Programmer at Apple keep his job.

If that guy isn’t out of a job, he is most certainly now out of the loop. I doubt he’ll ever be allowed to touch another iPhone prototype again. So I can’t help but feel bad for him. Really, if you had that job, the last thing that you’d want to be is kept out of the loop.

However, I have learned something from this fiasco too so in this way alone, I’m truly grateful to Gizmodo for bringing this story to light. The thing that I learned is that I need to get a MobileMe account, like, yesterday. Before the guy that picked up the iPhone 4 off a barstool even got out of bed the next morning, Apple wiped the phone from remote.

That’s MobileMe in action.

I need that!