The Register vroeg de organisators van de CeBIT 2000 naar de reden achter hun besluit om internet journalisten geen pers kaart te verschaffen. Door deze ban kunnen journalisten van grote sites (zoals bijvoorbeeld The Register) geen toegang krijgen tot persbijeenkomsten en pers faciliteiten, iets waarover o.a. opwinding onstond bij Dokter Tom:
Erberhard Roloff, the press chief, answered for the gang of three Deutsche Messe officials. ""It's a canard," he said. "It's online media that are not accredited, not online journalists." We marvelled at this truly Jesuitical response, and listened intensely. Thousands of people want to get in as journalists because they have something on the Web, Roloff explained. The Messe decides who will get in as journalists. We check websites, and will be producing a list of approved Web sites. It was most important work, he claimed. Roloff did say that he would be consulting exhibitors about his list of approved online sites - and we hope he means all 7,800.
The reason Roloff gave for the intransigence towards online journos was that in the past some had apparently pestered exhibitors to take advertising space on their Web sites. We didn't point out that it was the other way round at The Register. Nor did we take the time to explain that even worse might be true: print media, in their enthusiasm of course, might just tell vendors that a good product review could be put alongside an advertisement, to help their readers to find out how to buy the product, naturally.