You'd think they'd discovered a cure for cancer or a way to get supermarket tabloids to talk about something other than Sandra Bullock.
But no. That media frenzy is all about the Apple iPad, a single device that -- judging simply by the feverish coverage -- will change life as we know it.
Apple says it moved some 300,000 iPads on its first day, or about one for every glowing review or hyperventilating preview on the Web. Normally cranky journalists like AllThingsD's Walter Mossberg were gushing like school girls at a Justin Bieber concert.
Per Mossberg (the non-puppet version):
I believe this beautiful new touch-screen device from Apple has the potential to change portable computing profoundly, and to challenge the primacy of the laptop. It could even help, eventually, to propel the finger-driven, multitouch user interface ahead of the mouse-driven interface that has prevailed for decades.
The puppet version of Mossberg gives us an even more enthusiastic take on the iPad. I think I prefer the felt-covered Walt -- more cheerful, less like Billy Goat Gruff.
Wired's Steve Levy called it "One small step for tablets, one giant leap for personal computers" and managed to work in comparisons to Lady Gaga, hula hoops, the Beatles, and birth control pills. (He was talking about the media excitement enveloping the iPad, not the thing itself -- I think.)
Can a one-and-a-half-pound slab possibly live up to this massive hype? From my first bit of exposure, the answer is almost -- and that's pretty great. ... There's something about the size and interface that engages you almost primally in reading, viewing video, web browsing, playing Scrabble and other activities. The iPad points to a Third Way -- sitting in between the phone and the laptop -- of interacting with information.