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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Takeover rumors can amount to a telephone game gone horribly wrong, especially when the offending rumor first appeared in a news story lacking a single source.


Research in Motion



The latest rumor that RIM will be taken over or sold for parts to


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came this weekend via the London-based Sunday Times.

They did not mention a single source.

With RIM rumors cheaper by the dozen and this latest round unsourced, you probably wish the rest of the media would simply ignore the Sunday Times report, letting it take its rightful place in obscurity.

When it comes to the media, though, wishing only wounds the heart. The media exercised no such restraint. Instead, they were all over the report, regurgitating it in their own publications, effectively legitimizing the illegitimate.

At least a good number of publications -- including Forbes and Reuters -- adequately reflected the low quality of the original report by highlighting the lack of attribution. But All Things D and Seeking Alpha did not mention the big hairy flaw in their reference point.

Look: RIM reports earnings on Thursday. Pay attention to that, not these unsourced rumors.

At the time of publication, Fuchs had no positions in any of the stocks mentioned in this column.

Marek Fuchs was a stockbroker for Shearson Lehman Brothers and a money manager before becoming a journalist who wrote The New York Times' "County Lines" column for six years. He also did back-up beat coverage of The New York Knicks for the paper's Sports section for two seasons and covered other professional and collegiate sports. He has contributed frequently to many of the Times' other sections, including National, Metro, Escapes, Style, Real Estate, Arts & Leisure, Travel, Money & Business, Circuits and the Op-Ed Page.

For his "Business Press Maven" column on how business and finance are covered by the media, Fuchs was named best business journalist critic in the nation by the Talking Biz website at The University of North Carolina School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Fuchs is a frequent speaker on the business media, in venues ranging from National Public Radio to the annual conference of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.

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