Street Trash

If you are unfamiliar with the recent flap over TheStreet.com’s reporting of Wall Street’s so-called “whisper number” for the iPhone sales launch, take a minute and go read this post over at OneButtonMouse. Go ahead and read it, I’ll wait.

I was content to let this story lie thanks to the great post Anthony had written concerning Scott Moritz’s seemingly fabricated 1 million unit mark that was “whispered” to TheStreet.com prior to the iPhone launch. I had written to both Moritz and his editors and vented my frustrations with his piece. In addition, John Gruber’s Daring Fireball and even MacNN had brought attention to it. Well, today I spied a new story from these financial wizards that I just couldn’t let pass.

Today, writer Marek Fuchs has a new piece up called “Can’t Get a Clear Signal on iPhone Sales“. What’s the story about you ask? Well, it’s about how there’s confusion on just what the expectations were towards how many iPhones Apple would sell in the initial launch. That’s right folks, TheStreet.com is now claiming that it’s impossible to tell just how the iPhone did this weekend because analysts’ public estimates are different from the so-called “whisper number” that Moritz reported on after the launch on Tuesday, July 3rd. The “experts” (and I use that term loosely) over at TheStreet.com know they were the ones spreading the FUD of expected sales of 1 million units, and were called on it. Now they’ve decided to cover their asses with a piece about how no one can really know how many were sold. I particularly love this bit from page 3:

“First, when it comes to such a well-hyped product, never base your decision on one article. If you do, The Business Press Maven will come to your house and put you in time-out.”

In other words, don’t listen to what we reported to you last Tuesday, just listen to what we’re telling you now. Never mind that Mortiz’s report possibly depressed stock prices early in the week and made investors second guess AAPL, never mind that the 1 million number seems to have come straight from the mouth of a competing cell carrier, and above all, never mind the fact that TheStreet.com was the only one to report the number, and only did so after the launch. All these facts should be ignored, because after all, it’s a whisper number! The problem with whisper numbers is that no one is accountable for them. They’re like gossip on the wind that no one can trace back to its source. For all investors know, Mortiz might have just as well pulled the number out of a hat.

Despite all the fear, uncertainty and doubt that TheStreet.com generated this week, AAPL weathered the storm quite nicely and gained in value an average of 7.8%. For all the nay-saying about the iPhone from various sources, Apple has proven that they can, and did generate unparalleled interest in the iPhone. Gizmodo reported this week that the 1 million mark was in fact met in the form of iPhone activations. In addition, Bloomberg reported there were more iPhones sold in these three days than the über-popular Razr sold the entire month of its launch. That’s what we in the business call street cred. Maybe Scott Moritz and company should get some.

Disclosure: Being the huge fan boy I am, I own stock in Apple. Duh.

Scooter Skates

Big news today that W. has commuted the sentence of I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby to effectively cleanse him of any punishment regarding his obstruction of justice in the Valarie Plame affair. I’m not going to say much about this, since others have said it so well. But I do want to offer some particularly poignant historical quotes that we should all ruminate over as this episode plays through the summer:

“I have nothing but contempt and anger for those who betray the trust by exposing the name of our sources. They are, in my view, the most insidious of traitors.” – George H. W. Bush / 4.26.99

And then there is this gem right after the Plame investigation was opened:

“If there’s a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is . . . If the person has violated law, that person will be taken care of.” – George W. Bush / 9.30.03

And from the President’s official statement made earlier today:

“The Constitution gives the President the power of clemency to be used when he deems it to be warranted. It is my judgment that a commutation of the prison term in Mr. Libby’s case is an appropriate exercise of this power.” – George W. Bush / 7.2.07

I have to say I pretty much called this back in March. My timing was off, and even though W. let the fine and sentence stand, there will be no real punishment. His fine will be paid from money raised by his friend Dick, along with a cushy position somewhere the Carlyle Group or other Bush related firm, I’m sure. So with this, Bush firmly cements his place as worst President ever, and more brave men and women will die in Iraq for a war that might have been avoided if Joe Wilson had been allowed to speak freely. So sad.