When it comes to the reporting of economic statistics, the business media calls the tune and investors often dance. That's why The Business Press Maven raises a glass when business journalists do an insightful job of reporting on economic data, but will splash the contents of that glass onto any biz journalist who writes in low-mentality mode. Speaking of the sort of dimness in economic data reporting that can lose you money, The Business Press Maven holds a dirty martini at the ready so he can talk about Gross Domestic Products numbers and, as we've seen yet again this past week, their subsequent revisions. In fact, dance too readily to the media's initial tune on the key benchmark of GDP and, before you can say "revision," you'll be doing your dancing on a subway platform with a beggar's cup. Here's why: On Tuesday, like clockwork, the Commerce Department revised its estimate of 2005 fourth-quarter growth from a really, really, really lame 1.1% to a just-one-really lame 1.6%. In all seriousness, this is nearly a 50% differential. Not chicken feed. Though The Business Press Maven will give a merit badge to the first reader who adequately explains how wild guessing does not play a role in these numbers, the Commerce Department said that the revisions were required on this go round because of federal spending, inventories and money blown on equipment and software. Everything, I guess, but a run on gumball machines, funnel cakes and whoopee cushions. The Business Press Maven is less concerned with the competence of Commerce Department number crunchers, however, than the way the media reports their first slap at numbers as an article of faith. True, some reporters will dutifully bury a caveat way down low in the article. It goes something like this: "Initial government estimates of economic growth are frequently revised higher." Like, duh.