Digging for the Story Behind the Story

While the press preps its stories, rumors fly on the Street. How do they get out?
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I just told my assistant Joe Mastellone to go out and get

Barron's

. What's that? You tell me it doesn't come out until after the close? Then why did so many of my brokers reference articles from tomorrow's

Barron's

in their calls today?

One thing I hate is when the press can't keep its fingerprints off a story. Take

Tyco

(TYC)

. I must have gotten a half dozen calls about some Tyco article that is supposed to be in this weekend's

Barron's

. Yesterday the word was that it was a hatchet job. Today I hear the article may be more benign. Who knows.

Aren't these things supposed to be secret? Aren't they supposed to be a surprise? How about some

Saks

(SKS)

article that my people keep talking about? How do people know this stuff in advance?

Part of it may be that reporters call analysts and the analysts are free to say whatever they want to their sales forces. For example, I heard that a

Barron's

reporter raised a number of negative questions about Tyco to a number of Tyco analysts. If true, then I wish they had asked negative and positive questions and then just dropped the positive answers. I wish they would disguise themselves better.

No matter. While I am not playing Tyco, what I figure happens is that some negative article comes out Saturday, the stock gets hit at the opening Monday -- maybe -- and then ramps because so many traders got short it ahead of the article and the article doesn't really lay a glove on these guys.

The ones who win are the ones who bet against

Barron's

. Sweet.

James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of TheStreet.com. At time of publication, his fund had no positions in the stocks mentioned, although holdings can change at any time. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. Cramer's writings provide insights into the dynamics of money management and are not a solicitation for transactions. While he cannot provide investment advice or recommendations, he invites you to comment on his column at

letters@thestreet.com.