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Something Is Terribly Wrong, Just Not With Apple

Stocks in this article: AAPL

Immediately, the inane financial media formula kicked in. One after the thoughtless and lazy other, Web site after Web site throws together a story, citing the WSJ, mindlessly reciting the headline that Apple cuts supply because of weak demand. Of course, that's the line that takes off. It gets in most subsequent headlines because, other than exceptions such as Ciaccia, few people have the ability to think for themselves.

Later, the WSJ decides to remove "weak demand" from the headline, but keep it in the body of the story. I captured a screenshot of that last night. (By the way, mad respect to the late Aaron Swartz. Part of me was uncomfortable with his picture showing up in this article but, then again, anything we can do to shed light on his suicide, depression and our backwards legal system is a good thing).

Instead of writing the smart story, seems to me the Wall Street Journal led with an assumption. Sure, your source tells you one thing. Fine. I don't buy it, particularly because we have heard this story before with iPhone 4s (Credit to cnet for the story from November 2011, and Twitter follower @noxid1974 for digging it up).

But that's how this game gets played. Reporters have carte blanche to beat around the bush and leave readers/investors in the dark in the name of protecting a "source."

At the very least, present the story -- out of the gate -- like Osawa presented it in the still-not-perfect, but much better and certainly moderated video clip from page one. Present it with some context. Be responsible. Don't treat other people's money with reckless abandon.

Of course, bigger fish exist for frying in the grand scheme of things. However, within the context of investing in the stock market as it intersects with the financial media, this is critically important.

You can't just come out with half-cocked reporting, move a stock and its derivative plays, call it a day's work and then go do it all over again next week. At least you shouldn't be able to when the hard-earned money of retail investors is on the line.

Where's the Securities and Exchange Commission when you need it? Busy getting after Reed Hastings for a Facebook post?

--Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.

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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