Picking a Bone with the Journal

I have a gripe about a headline.

It's in Thursday's Wall Street Journal, in the Money and Investing section.

Reviewing Wednesday's markets, the headline sums them up this way: "Stocks Retreat as Investors Get a Dose of Reality."

The story itself goes on to say, "after soaring 13 percent in four sessions, stocks retreated as mediocre earnings from Intel and others slapped investors with a dose of reality."

So let me get this straight. The dose of reality was the bad news that day? Not the good news the four prior days?

It was subtle but clear: The bad news is real. The good news is not.

Don't get me wrong. I have the highest respect for the Wall Street Journal. I personally think it's the best-written, most sober newspaper in the country.

But methinks I detect a bias. A bearish one. That suddenly somber news out of Intel is reality. And surprisingly good news out of Johnson and Johnson, and Citigroup and Aetna is not.

It's as if problems at J.P. Morgan Chase and Coca-Cola and Boeing are the norm.

But upbeat news out of General Electric or IBM is not.

And I don't want to pick on just the Journal.

The latest Fortune does it too -- all but saying the housing boom will go bust and you'll be sorry. And in another story, just about predicting a 3,000 something Dow as a given.

Look, I'm not dumb enough to think I should only cover the good side. All I ask of my colleagues is to cover, fair and balanced, all sides.

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