WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. (TheStreet) -- The business media tends to exercise no restraint when it comes to focusing on the very short-term. They persistently concentrate their energies on the near-term to the exclusion of the more meaningful long haul. That is never clearer than when they report on Warren Buffett, who represents the ultimate in long-term outlooks. The juxtaposition is telling--and laughable.
Take coverage of the Buffett/
Bank of America
deal. Buffett will invest $5 billion in Bank of America. When Buffett invests, he famously invests forever. He wants business that will (and often do) stand the test of time. So how did the media use this Buffett standard as a lens through which to view his latest purchase?
Read this Wall Street Journal headline and weep: "Warren Buffett Made $700 Million in 30 Minutes on Bank of America." Uh, did he sell? Did he even care? Right in the first sentence, the Journal tells us that, "the investment is already paying off."
If the stock's down next week when, say--shorts finish covering or traders stop following Buffett, does that mean the investment is no longer paying off? Look: the business media views the world with an egg timer. That's never put in bolder relief than when they cover Warren Buffett, the ultimate long-term investor.
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. Fuchs appreciates your feedback;
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