NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- During times of tumult, most of us look for signs and symbols of consistency. We lean on rocks. Maybe it's a family elder. A Springsteen song. Or Mom and Dad. At times, particularly if you're romantically involved or have a family, you become that rock.
In a company, at least in my experience, employees look directly "above" them. The rank-and-file looks to their team leaders and managers to see if they're freaking out. Team leaders and managers check to see if directors have lost it. Directors to VPs and soon on. Ultimately, top-level executives, in many cases the CEO, set the tone.
Sadly, for whatever reason, investors and others crazily to mildly obsessed with companies and stocks rarely look for signs from the company. They take their cues from the media. The often hysterical media.
I told you about the extreme example: Betty's Liu's absolutely absurd Is there a product that can save Apple (AAPL - Get Report) brain sniffle. That's just one. There's plenty of similar stuff out there, innocuous items by themselves, but collectively creating a pervasive attitude.You know, there's just this air in the air that something's horribly wrong at Apple. Who do you think deserves a lion's share of the responsibility for this? The media, yes. Or, maybe, to a lesser extent, the consumer of media. Have we become so cynical that we believe nothing that comes out of a company such as Apple, but we allow news and opinion outlets to influence our sentiment? As if company representatives -- a guy like Tim Cook -- could not possibly be telling the truth, but Betty Liu's got your back. I do my best to pay attention to everything -- or as much as possible -- and then weigh the good vs. the bad. For whatever reason, most others choose to ignore the good (or potentially good). Few people point to Tim Cook on Apple's conference call, reiterating the company's strategy about market share and revenue grabs. We cast off his slow, strong and steady wins the race demeanor at the recent Goldman Sachs conference in favor of tripe, such as . . .
Henry Blodget telling us that if rumor #632 on Apple -- a large-screen iPhone (another unfounded rumor, BTW) -- is true, the company is "hosed." Really, Henry? I guess a clunky Samsung clone is all that can "save" Apple. If Liu and Blodget had a love child (tongue firmly planted in check here), it would be Nancy Grace. Or ... the less subtle type of stuff like Nigam Arora's non-story that Intel (INTC - Get Report) "beat Apple to the punch" on a living room-related announcement and, somehow, that matters.