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Why the Controversy Over Apple?

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Have a look at and listen to what Oracle's (ORCL) Larry Ellison had to say about Apple (AAPL) without Steve Jobs during an interview with the great Charlie Rose that aired on "CBS This Morning."

Of course, the Apple diehards will come to Tim Cook's defense, oddly defacing Steve Jobs's legacy and discrediting Ellison. It has become typical. The double standard that exists among AAPL permabulls reflects the emotion that clouds otherwise intelligent folks' judgement of the company and stock.

When I write a provocative headline for an article that goes on to challenge bullish assumptions about Apple, I get ripped. Yet, some blogger from the long-irrelevant Computerworld can go pro-Apple and take shots at me under the headline Why Apple CEO Tim Cook critics need more sex and, mysteriously, these same people have nothing but praise for the lame, parasitical attempt at pageviews.

I explain a segment of the emotion at work here in Why Apple Sucks as an Investment, but Amazon Doesn't.

Long story short -- people who complain about headlines use them as poster children for their angst over the subsequent story's content. They prefer not to take on points they would rather not face; therefore they filter them out, distracting themselves with self-righteous and shallow outrage over word choices in a title.

But all of this leads me to wonder, why the controversy over Apple?

It just doesn't seem to make much sense. I can only chalk it up to the same sort of dysfunctional psychology that had people convinced AAPL was headed to $1,000 from $700. Or, if you were among the most bullish on Wall Street, $1,111. It's that same psychology -- trademarked by filtering and dissonance -- that put quite a few people underwater, or worse, on their long AAPL positions.

Look at the facts. Steve Jobs, as Ellison states, is a once-in-a-generation figure. You can put Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and maybe Howard Schultz in his category -- or somewhere in the vicinity -- among living CEOs. And then there are the visionaries who are not necessarily tried and true CEOs. People such as Jack Dorsey who helped found Twitter and Square. These folks are a special breed of cat.

Tim Cook -- objectively speaking -- is a businessman. A damn good one, but an MBA at heart. Not a visionary. And while it's perfectly logical to say He's not Steve Jobs or We can't expect and should not want him to be Steve Jobs or He was Steve Jobs's choice! or whatever, it doesn't change reality. You cannot expect Apple to maintain the same level of greatness and dominance it had under Jobs and still has shreds of as a result of Jobs' leftover aura under fundamentally different leadership.

Justifications for Tim Cook's relative impotency as Apple CEO do not erase the need to consider the consequences of this new reality.

The more I think about it -- and all the controversy this conversation generates -- the more I think it's not that controversial at all. It just feels that way because it triggers mania in a handful of folks who feel some deranged loyalty to defend Apple even as they discount the impact its greatest employee ever had on the company.

--Written by Rocco Pendola in New York City

Rocco Pendola is TheStreet's Director of Social Media. Pendola's daily contributions to TheStreet frequently appear on CNBC and at various top online properties, such as Forbes.

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