Can the TheStreet.com Internet Sector index, or DOT, do it without AOL (AOL) ? What a gamble! The dead-tree press nationwide tallied the winners and losers of this MediaOne (UMG) deal and in every case we had AOL in the losers column. As I type, still one more defense of AOL is going on in the background, this time from Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette's man, Jamie Kiggen.

The broadband/cable-Achilles-heel rap surfaces every so often and wreaks havoc on the stock. If only

Bob Pittman

had taken a swim in the River Styx instead of a dip, we would be just fine, thank you!

AT&T

(T) - Get Report

is in everyone's face right now with the new killer AOL strategy.

It lingers like fallout and can't be penetrated. Why am I not more worried?

I guess you just have to look at the

National Semiconductor

(NSM)

announcement to figure out why I have fewer qualms. I can't tell you how many times I had to read that

Cyrix

was going to destroy

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

. Then when it teamed up with National Semi, it was really going to destroy Intel (like that

Scooby Doo on Zombie Island

, where this time the monsters are for real!).

Oh, National Semi not a real competitor like AT&T? OK, how about the

Motorola

(MOT)

-

Apple

(APPL)

,

AMD

(AMD) - Get Report

and

Sun Micro

(SUNW) - Get Report

challenges?

Yeah, I guess I have heard it all before. AOL is not standing still. AOL is not willing to kill its stock price in order to please the blubberers who are demanding a cable solution right now. I like that.

As Kiggen points out, this whole thing will take years to play out. This cable platform worry, I believe, is like all of the worries that attacked Intel in its great run to multibillion dollar valuation.

In other words, this too shall pass.

So whither the DOT? I think it acts darn well with AOL.

We had still one more shakeout this morning. One of what will be a googol's worth of shakeouts. And the DOT gets off the canvas and comes back.

Guess that puts me in the positive camp.

Random musings:

I mistakenly

said this morning that

TSC

has bond futures on the site. Nope, not yet! The powers that be at

TSC

are working to upgrade its tools and information, though, and soon will be rolling out deep data for stocks. If you've got ideas for additions, send them to

letters@thestreet.com.

James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of TheStreet.com. At time of publication, his fund was long AOL and AT&T, although positions 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.